Cheliomyrmex andicola

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Cheliomyrmex andicola
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Tribe: Cheliomyrmecini
Genus: Cheliomyrmex
Species: C. andicola
Binomial name
Cheliomyrmex andicola
Emery, 1894

Cheliomyrmex andicola casent0249450 p 1 high.jpg

Cheliomyrmex andicola casent0249450 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


O'Donnell et al. (2005) described foraging and predation by rarely observed hypogaeic army ants in the genus Cheliomyrmex . Unlike other army ants, C. andicola workers use their sting during prey capture. The workers’ unusual mandibles and potent stings may be adapted for piercing and gripping the integument of nonarthropod prey animals, and for rapidly subduing large-bodied prey, respectively (. prey on large-bodied ground dwelling invertebrates and, possibly, on vertebrates



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Colombia, Peru (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


O'Donnell et al. (2005) - A subterranean column of C. andicola workers erupted from the soil in pursuit of a fleeing giant earthworm. Several hundred ant workers ran over the leaf litter in the direction taken by the worm. Five C. andicola workers mounted the worm and were biting and apparently stinging its body. After the worm crawled for a distance of 3 m down slope from where it exited the soil, its body contracted from over 40 cm in length to approximately 20 cm in length, and abruptly stopped moving. We assumed that the worm was either paralyzed or dead. Thus Cheliomyrmex workers can actively pursue and subdue large-bodied, fast moving prey. We hypothesize that the mandibular morphology in Cheliomyrmex is an adaptation for the successful capture of large-bodied prey.

C. andicola large worker from Canandé, Ecuador. Photo by Philipp Hönle.



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

  • andicola. Cheliomyrmex nortoni subp. andicola Emery, 1894c: 185 (s.) PERU. Forel, 1914e: 10 (w.). Raised to species: Forel, 1914e: 10. Senior synonym of ursinum Kempf, 1975c: 372. See also: Borgmeier, 1955: 71.
  • ursinum. Eciton morosum subsp. ursinum Emery, 1901d: 52 (m.) BRAZIL. Combination in Cheliomyrmex: Wheeler, W.M. 1921d: 324. Raised to species: Wheeler, W.M. 1921d: 324. Junior synonym of andicola: Kempf, 1975c: 372.