Thaumatomyrmex ferox

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Thaumatomyrmex ferox
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Thaumatomyrmex
Species: T. ferox
Binomial name
Thaumatomyrmex ferox
Mann, 1922

Thaumatomyrmex ferox casent0006627 profile 1.jpg

Thaumatomyrmex ferox casent0006627 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras (type locality), Mexico, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The type specimens were taken with one larva and one pupa in a depression in a half rotten log near a stream in the forest.


Winged queen is described by Vasquez et al. (2010). Gamergates reproduce as well in this species (Jahyny et al. 2002).


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • ferox. Thaumatomyrmex ferox Mann, 1922: 3, fig. 1 (w.) HONDURAS.
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Kempf, 1975b: 119), 1 paralectotype worker.
    • Type-locality: lectotype Honduras: San Juan Pueblo, ii.-iii.1920 (W.M. Mann); paralectotype with same data.
    • Type-depositories: USNM (lectotype); MCZC (paralectotype).
    • Vazquez, et al. 2010: 25 (q.).
    • Status as species: Weber, 1939a: 98 (in key); Weber, 1942b: 67; Smith, M.R. 1944b: 98 (in key); Kempf, 1972a: 250; Kempf, 1975b: 119 (redescription); Longino, 1988: 38; Brandão, 1991: 382; Bolton, 1995b: 420; Jahyny, et al. 2008: 333; Vazquez, et al. 2010: 25; Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012: 263.
    • Distribution: Guatemala, Honduras, Panama.


Kempf (1975): lectotype - TL 4.7 mm; HL 0.89 mm; HW 1.13 mm; CI 127; ML 1.20 mm; MI 134; IfW 0.68 mm; IfI 60; SL 0.77 mm; SI 87; WL 1.36 mm; PnW 0.64 mm; HfL 0.97 mm; HfI 86; PW 0.73 mm. Resembling zeteki in color, sculpture and pilosity, but presenting the following differences:

Head trapezoidal, much broader than long with anteriorly strongly diverging and stalked genae and mandibular acetabula; sides of head strongly receding toward occiput behind eyes; greatest head length between two parallels drawn through the anteriormost point of mandibular acetabula and the posteriormost point of dorsally visible occipital carina; greatest width of head still at level of eyes, the latter included. Mandibles (Fig. 34) without a small tooth at base of proximal spines which cross each other slightly when mandibles are closed and pressed against the clypeus; intermediate spines somewhat sinuous, half as long as apical spines; the latter in closed position of mandibles projecting laterad much beyond genae and even beyond the outermost point of eyes. Frontal lobes with an anterior slightly set off pointed projection. Eyes larger, their maximum diameter much longer than genae, subequal to one third of head length, with about 12 facets in a row across the greatest diameter. Antennal scapes relatively longer and more delicate, funicular segments II-VI nearly as long as broad. Thorax in general similar to that of zeteki, larger, and with propodeum more broadly rounded at junction of basal face with declivous face. Sides of the latter with only one seta (the other, the lower of the pair, perhaps rubbed off?). Petiolar node similar yet proportionately narrower. Gaster, as seen in profile, not forming a subacute angle between anterior and dorsal face of tergum I.

As Thaumatomyrmex zeteki, this species has a distinct and impressed metanotal groove, and the inferior propodeal ridges, flanking the declivous face, are well-developed. Propodeal spiracle in the same position and equally raised as in zeteki.

Kempf 1975 Thaumatomyrmex 2.jpg Kempf 1975 Thaumatomyrmex 4.jpg

Type Material

Kempf (1975) - HONDURAS: San Juan Pueblo, February-March 1920. W. M. Mann leg. 2 females (syntypes; lectotype: National Museum of Natural History, paralectotype: Museum of Comparative Zoology); lectotype examined.


  • Jahyny B., Delabie J., Fresneau D. 2002. Mini-sociétés sans reine chez le genre néotropical Thaumatomyrmex Mayr, 1887 (Formicidae : Ponerinae). Actes des Colloques Insectes Sociaux, 15: 33-37.
  • Kempf, W. W. 1975b. A revision of the Neotropical ponerine ant genus Thaumatomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 18: 95-126 (page 119, see also)
  • Longino, J. T. 1988. Notes on the taxonomy of the neotropical ant genus Thaumatomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pp. 35-42 in: Trager, J. C. (ed.) Advances in myrmecology. Leiden: E. J. Brill, xxvii + 551 pp. (page 38, Senior synonym of paludis)
  • Mann, W. M. 1922. Ants from Honduras and Guatemala. Proc. U. S. Natl. Mus. 61: 1-54 (page 3, fig. 1 worker described)
  • Vasquez, M., Dash, S.T. & Mackay, W. 2010. Description of the gyne of the ant Thaumatomyrmex ferox Mann, 1922 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Entomologica Americana 116: 25-28.

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Brandao, C.R.F. 1991. Adendos ao catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao neotropical (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 35: 319-412.
  • Branstetter M. G. and L. Sáenz. 2012. Las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Guatemala. Pp. 221-268 in: Cano E. B. and J. C. Schuster. (eds.) 2012. Biodiversidad de Guatemala. Volumen 2. Guatemala: Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, iv + 328 pp
  • Castano-Meneses, G., M. Vasquez-Bolanos, J. L. Navarrete-Heredia, G. A. Quiroz-Rocha, and I. Alcala-Martinez. 2015. Avances de Formicidae de Mexico. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.
  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • INBio Collection (via Gbif)
  • Jahyny B., S. Lacau, J. H. C. Delabie, and D. Fresneau. 2008. Le genre Thaumatomyrmex Mayr 1887, cryptique et prédateur spécialiste de Diplopoda Penicillata. Pp. 329-346 in: Jiménez, E.; Fernández, F.; Arias, T.M.; Lozano-Zambrano, F. H. (eds.) 2008. Sistemática, biogeografía y conservación de las hormigas cazadoras de Colombia. Bogotá: Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt, xiv + 609 pp.
  • Kempf W. W. 1975. A revision of the Neotropical ponerine ant genus Thaumatomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Studia Entomologica 18: 95-126.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Longino J. T. 1988. Notes on the taxonomy of the neotropical ant genus Thaumatomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pp. 35-42 in: Trager, J. C. (ed.) 1988. Advances in myrmecology. Leiden: E. J. Brill, xxvii + 551 pp.
  • Longino J. T. 2013. Ants of Honduras. Consulted on 18 Jan 2013.
  • Longino J. T. 2013. Ants of Nicargua. Consulted on 18 Jan 2013.
  • Longino J. T. L., and M. G. Branstetter. 2018. The truncated bell: an enigmatic but pervasive elevational diversity pattern in Middle American ants. Ecography 41: 1-12.
  • Longino J. T., and R. K. Colwell. 2011. Density compensation, species composition, and richness of ants on a neotropical elevational gradient. Ecosphere 2(3): 16pp.
  • Maes, J.-M. and W.P. MacKay. 1993. Catalogo de las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Nicaragua. Revista Nicaraguense de Entomologia 23.
  • Mann W. M. 1922. Ants from Honduras and Guatemala. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 61: 1-54.
  • Reynoso-Campos J. J., J. A. Rodriguez-Garza, and M. Vasquez-Bolanos. 2015. Hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de la Isla Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico (pp. 27-39). En: Castaño Meneses G., M. Vásquez-Bolaños, J. L. Navarrete-Heredia, G. A. Quiroz-Rocha e I. Alcalá-Martínez (Coords.). Avances de Formicidae de México. UNAM, Universiad de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Jalisco.
  • Rojas-Fernandez, P. 2009. El genero Thaumatomyrmex Mayr 1887 en Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Acta Zool. Mex. 25(1): 61-70.
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133
  • Weber N. A. 1942. The genus Thaumatomyrmex Mayr with description of a Venezuelan species (Hym.: Formicidae). Bol. Entomol. Venez. 1: 65-71.