Holcoponera bisulca

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Holcoponera bisulca
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ectatomminae
Tribe: Ectatommini
Genus: Holcoponera
Species: H. bisulca
Binomial name
Holcoponera bisulca
(Kempf & Brown, 1968)

Gnamptogenys bisulca casent0179945 p 3 high.jpg

Gnamptogenys bisulca casent0179945 d 3 high.jpg

Specimen Label

Occurs in mesic forested habitats. The localities suggest preference for relatively cool sites as the lowest altitudes are found at higher latitudes (10°N) and as latitude approaches the equator the localities ascend in altitude. (Lattke 1995)


A member of the strigata complex (in the strigata subgroup of the striatula species group). Longitudinal costulae on propodeal declivity, metacoxal spines hooked and triangular, not acicular; well defined transverse costulae on postpetiolar sternum; propodeal spiracle as low as surrounding sculpture, not raised. Within the strigata complex this species is unique due to the development of its metanotal groove, and within the striatula group two other species also show this character state. (Lattke 1995)

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 19.509444° to -1.683055556°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.


Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.



Urcuqui et al. (2019) found Gnamptogenys bisulca to be a biological indicator of habitat quality in Andean montane forests and proposed to explain this characteristic by investigating its social structure and the spatial distribution of colonies at fine scale. In eight 100 m2 plots located in four forests in the western Colombian Andes, the position of G. bisulca colonies was recorded for spatial distribution and their social composition described: ergatoid females were found in most of the nests, isolated or together with normal queens. As ergatoids and queens were dissected to examine their reproductive status, it appeared that apparent polygyny represented, in fact, effective monogyny, with other potential reproductive females being unmated or inhibited. In the few cases of mixed colonies, a queen was always at the head of the colony. Local spatial distribution was random and did not fit the hypothesis of nesting by fission, as generally observed in the case of the presence of ergatoids. However, the social structure was significantly different according to the site, the most preserved forest showing no or rare ergatoids (but queens) compared to the other sites. Our results indicated that the presence of ergatoids in G. bisulca may help colonies to adapt to slightly disturbed habitat contexts.




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

  • bisulca. Gnamptogenys bisulca Kempf & Brown, 1968: 92 (w.m.) COLOMBIA.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 38 paratype workers, paratype males (number not stated, “a few”).
    • Type-locality: holotype Colombia: Valle Dept., nr Represa Calima, on road to Loboguerrero, ca 1600 m., 14.iii.1967, no. H-161 (R.B. Root & W.L. Brown); paratypes: workers Valle, mountain above Salidi, nr Cali, ca 1900 m., 23.iii.1967, no. H-164 (R.B. Root & W.L. Brown), workers, males Valle, SW Cali, Pichindé Valley, 1570 m., 22.iii.1967, no. H-161 (R.B. Root & W.L. Brown).
    • Type-depositories: MCZC (holotype); CUIC, DZSP, MCZC, MZSP (paratypes).
    • Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1971b: 1202 (l.).
    • Combination in Holcoponera: Camacho, Franco, Branstetter, et al. 2022: 11.
    • Status as species: Kempf, 1972a: 112; Bolton, 1995b: 208; Lattke, 1995: 159; Lattke, et al. 2004: 343; Lattke, et al. 2007: 257 (in key); Lattke, et al. 2008: 82; Feitosa & Prada-Achiardi, 2019: 671; Camacho, et al. 2020: 454 (in key); Camacho, Franco, Branstetter, et al. 2022: 11.
    • Distribution: Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Arias-Penna T. M. 2008. Subfamilia Ectatomminae. Pp. 53-107 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.
  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2944
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at http://www.asu.edu/clas/sirgtools/resources.htm
  • Lattke J. E. 1995. Revision of the ant genus Gnamptogenys in the New World (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 4: 137-193
  • Lattke J. E., F. Fernández, E. E. Palacio. 2004. Una nueva especie de Gnamptogenys (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) y comentarios sobre las especies del género en Colombia y Ecuador. Iheringia. Série Zoologia 94: 341-349.
  • Lattke J. E., F. Fernández, T. M. Arias-Penna, E. E. Palacio, W. Mackay, and E. MacKay. 2008. Género Gnamptogenys Roger. Pp. 66-100 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.
  • 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.
  • Longino J. et al. ADMAC project. Accessed on March 24th 2017 at https://sites.google.com/site/admacsite/
  • Scott-Santos, C.P., F.A. Esteves, C.R.F. Brandao. 2008. Catalogue of "Poneromorph" ant type specimens (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) deposited in the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil. Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia 48(11):75-88.
  • Valenzuela-González J., Quiroz-Robledo L. y Martínez-Tlapa D. 2008. Capítulo 8. Hormigas (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae). En: Manson R., Hernández-Ortiz V., Gallina S y K. Mehltreter (eds) Agroecosistemas cafetaleros de Veracruz: biodiversidad, manejo y conservación.Instituto de Ecología A.C.-Instituto Nacional de Ecología (INE-SEMARNAT). P.107-121. ISBN 970-709-112-6.