Strumigenys zeteki

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Strumigenys zeteki
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Strumigenys
Species: S. zeteki
Binomial name
Strumigenys zeteki
(Brown, 1959)

Strumigenys zeteki casent0217926 p 1 high.jpg

Strumigenys zeteki casent0217926 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Inhabits lowland rainforests. I have encountered it mainly as workers from Winkler samples of forest floor leaf litter. At La Selva Biological Station, an alate queen was collected in a canopy fogging sample. (Longino, Ants of Costa Rica)


Bolton (2000) - A member of the crassicornis complex in the Strumigenys gundlachi group. The general description of the body and its pilosity also applies to Strumigenys auctidens and Strumigenys stenotes; characters separating these from zeteki are noted on their species pages.

Longino (Ants of Costa Rica) - Mandibles in full-face view linear, elongate and narrow; ventral surface of petiole without spongiform tissue; leading edge of scape with freely projecting hairs; inner margin of mandible with a clearly defined submedian tooth near the midlength; labral lobes long, trigger hairs at apices of lobes short; preapical denticles gradually decreasing in size; mandibles relatively short (MI 33-45); propodeal suture moderately impressed; total head length less than 0.90mm; eyes relatively small, with 14 or fewer ommatidia, with 2-4 in longest row; scapes relatively short (SI 48-61); head in full-face view relatively narrow, CI 66-71; in profile head strongly dorsoventrally flattened, the maximum depth of the head capsule 0.35-0.41 X head length; color light yellow-brown; pair of mesonotal setae short and inconspicuous, tilted rearward.

Keys including this Species


Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Peru

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama (type locality), Peru.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Strumigenys were once thought to be rare. The development and increased use of litter sampling methods has led to the discovery of a tremendous diversity of species. Many species are specialized predators (e.g. see Strumigenys membranifera and Strumigenys louisianae). Collembola (springtails) and other tiny soil arthropods are typically favored prey. Species with long linear mandibles employ trap-jaws to sieze their stalked prey (see Dacetine trap-jaws). Larvae feed directly on insect prey brought to them by workers. Trophallaxis is rarely practiced. Most species live in the soil, leaf litter, decaying wood or opportunistically move into inhabitable cavities on or under the soil. Colonies are small, typically less than 100 individuals but in some species many hundreds. Moist warm habitats and micro-habitats are preferred. A few better known tramp and otherwise widely ranging species tolerate drier conditions. Foraging is often in the leaf litter and humus. Workers of many species rarely venture above ground or into exposed, open areas. Individuals are typically small, slow moving and cryptic in coloration. When disturbed individuals freeze and remain motionless. Males are not known for a large majority of species.



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • zeteki. Neostruma zeteki Brown, 1959b: 10, figs. 1, 5 (w.q.) PANAMA. Combination in Pyramica: Bolton, 1999: 1672; in Strumigenys: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 130. See also: Bolton, 2000: 196.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Bolton (2000) - TL 1.7-2.1, HL 0.50-0.57, HW 0.34-0.39, CI 67-71, ML 0.17-0.22, MI 34-38, SL 0.17- 0.22, SI 49-56, PW 0.24-0.30, AL 0.47-0.56 (20 measured). Characters of crassicornis complex. Apicodorsal tooth of mandible followed proximally by a row of 4 - 8 denticles and a larger submedian tooth. Proximal to submedian tooth is a row of 3 - 7 denticles. Apex of mandible with 3 - 4 minute intercalary denticles between apicodorsal and apicoventral teeth. Outer margin of mandible concave through its apical third. Head narrow and markedly dorsoventrally flattened, in profile the dorsum concave above and behind the level of the eyes and the maximum vertical distance between highest and lowest points of head capsule 0.36-0.41 X HL. Hairs on leading edge of scape very broadly splayed out apically, at least one curved toward the base of the scape. Pronotal humeral hair short stout and flat, directed anterolaterally. Pronotum flattened and bluntly marginate dorsolaterally, its dorsum without standing hairs. Mesonotum somewhat more strongly marginate and with a pair of very short erect hairs (easily lost). Ventral spongiform lobe of postpetiole small but di stinct, the disc densely reticulate-punctate. Standing hairs on petiole, postpetiole and first gastral tergite remiform or somewhat apically flattened and expanded. Head and alitrunk reticulate-punctate everywhere except for katepisternum, which is smooth.


Dealate female. TL 2.5, HL 0.58, ML 0.22, WL 0.68, CI 71, MI 38, ICD 41.

Type Material

Holotype (National Museum of Natural History): Barro Colorado Island, Panama Canal Zone (James Zetek). Paratypes (USNM, Museum of Comparative Zoology, etc.) Several small series, received mixed with other dacetine and basicerotine species, mainly collected by Mr. Zetek on Barro Colorado during 1941-1943. Known only from the type locality.

Bolton (2000) Holotype worker, paratype workers and queen, PANAMA: Canal Zone, Barro Colorado Island, ii-iii. 1943 (J. Zetek) (National Museum of Natural History) (examined).