Hylomyrma reitteri

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Hylomyrma reitteri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Pogonomyrmecini
Genus: Hylomyrma
Species: H. reitteri
Binomial name
Hylomyrma reitteri
(Mayr, 1887)

Hylomyrma reitteri casent0173969 profile 1.jpg

Hylomyrma reitteri casent0173969 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Hylomyrma reitteri inhabits mainly areas in the Atlantic forest, but there are also records in the “Cerrado” (Brazilian savanna) in Goiás, and in coffee plantations (Minas Gerais), both in Brazil. Specimens are frequently found in leaf-litter samples (Fig. 68), which suggests that nests are located in fallen logs, rotten wood, between leaves, or inside natural cavities of the superficial soil layers. Most of the intercastes are worker-like and just few have more queen-like traits, those may in the future be understood as ergatoids. One winged queen and one queen-like intercaste were collected together in two different winkler samples (winkler 49 from São Bonifácio, SC, and winkler 31 from Santa Teresa, ES, Brazil). (Ulyssea & Brandao, 2021)


The following from Ulyssea & Brandao (2021):

Regular and longitudinal striae on head dorsum diverge towards posterior margin; mesosoma with longitudinal, regular to irregular striae of uniform thickness slightly divergent, interspaces between striae smooth; lateral of pronotum and mesepisternum with longitudinal striae which in part continuing transversely on propodeum dorsum, and in part continuing on propodeal spine; ventral surface of node smooth; regular to irregular striae on node dorsum; subpostpetiolar process smooth; profemur mostly smooth; protibia extensor surface entirely striate, striae weakly marked; striation on tergum of first gastral segment restricted to base; branched setae of two types: 1) 2–3 thin, short and equal-sized branches diverging from the main axis; 2) thick setae flattened in its final half, with several branches.

Hylomyrma reitteri is similar to Hylomyrma balzani, Hylomyrma lopesi, Hylomyrma transversa, and Hylomyrma wachiperi. The first four species show broad distributions (Figs. 84, 85, 89), while H. wachiperi is known only in one locality in Peru (Fig. 86). Hylomyrma reitteri, H. transversa, and H. wachiperi are allopatric, but present the discontinuous dorsal margin of petiole, and a similar pattern of sculpturation on head. However, H. reitteri can be easily distinguished from H. transversa (characteristic in parentheses) in the reniform eye (vs. drop-shaped), the longitudinal striae on the mesonotal dorsum (vs. transverse striae), and the smooth ventral surface of petiole (vs. striate). Hylomyrma reitteri differs from H. wachiperi in the reniform eye (vs. oval), the smooth ventral surface of petiole (vs. striate), and the tergum of the first gastral segment with short striae (vs. long striae).

Hylomyrma balzani and H. reitteri occur in sympatry in Paraguay (Alto Paraná department) and in 19 localities at Brazil (Santa Teresa, ES; Lavras, and Viçosa, MG; Estrada Velha Guaricana, Irati, Laranjeiras, Morretes, Rondon, and Tuneiras do Oeste, PR; Rio de Janeiro, and Teresópolis, RJ; Frederico Westphalen, Nova Petrópolis, and 5km N of Progresso, RS; Chapecó, Nova Teutônia, and Seara, SC; Botucatu, and Jundiaí, SP). Hylomyrma reitteri can be distinguished from H. balzani by the regular to irregular striae on the mesosoma (vs. rugose striae), the irregular striae on the petiole (vs. rugose striae), and the smooth ventral surface of petiole (vs. striate surface). The winged queens of both species are very similar, differing only in the laterodorsal sculpture of the propodeum. In Hylomyrma balzani this region presents rugose striae, whereas H. reitteri has regular to irregular striae in this region.

Hylomyrma reitteri differs from H. lopesi in the smaller body size (vs. larger), the thick striae on the mesosomal dorsum (vs. thin striae), the transverse striae on the ventral surface of petiole (vs. smooth surface), the laterals of the mesosoma covered mainly with regular and thick striae that are directed to the propodeal spine (vs. irregular and thin striae directed to the propodeal dorsum), and the striate subpostpetiolar process (vs. smooth). Both species occur broadlly in Brazil, the distribution of H. reitteri is more restricted to eastern portions of Brazil from southern and southeast regions, whereas H. lopesi is distributed mainly in the center of Brazil from northern (state of Pará) to southern (state of São Paulo) regions. Hylomyrma reitteri and H. lopesi co-occur in Botucatu (SP), Niquelândia (GO), and São José de Buerarema (BA), Brazil.

The most striking intraspecific morphological variation found in H. reitteri concerns the pilosity and the sculpture of the petiolar dorsum. The striae on the petiolar dorsum, usually longitudinal, can be transverse (Brigadeiro, MG, and Teresópolis, RJ, Brazil) or can be in part longitudinal and in part transverse (Niquelândia, GO; Brigadeiro, MG; Santa Teresa, ES; and Morretes, PR, Brazil). Hylomyrma reitteri setae are mostly branched, with branches of unequal length. The exception to this setae pattern is observed in some specimens from Florianópolis, SC and Viçosa, MG, Brazil, which present mostly unbranched setae, and the few branched setae have branches of equal size (found in the propodeum, petiole, postpetiole and/or gaster).

It is impressive that out of the 1,037 H. reitteri female specimens analysed, 730 are intercastes. As in H. balzani and H. lopesi, H. reitteri presents considerable morphological variation among intercastes. We recognized eight morphotypes that essentially have larger body sizes, and mostly are worker-like, just two are queen-like (Fig. 2A).

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -12° to -30°.

Tropical South
  • Source: Ulyssea & Brandao, 2021

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

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.




Images from AntWeb

Hylomyrma reitteri casent0178655 head 1.jpgHylomyrma reitteri casent0178655 profile 1.jpgHylomyrma reitteri casent0178655 dorsal 1.jpgHylomyrma reitteri casent0178655 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0178655. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MIZA, Maracay, Venezuela.


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

  • reitteri. Tetramorium reitteri Mayr, 1887: 621 (w.) BRAZIL (São Paulo).
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Ulysséa & Brandão, 2021: 100), 1 paralectotype worker.
    • Type-locality: Brazil: São Paulo State (E. Reitter).
    • Type-depository: NHMW.
    • Kempf, 1960f: 433 (q.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1977a: 581 (l.); Ulysséa & Brandão, 2021: 102 (m.).
    • Combination in Lundella: Emery, 1915i: 191;
    • combination in Hylomyrma: Kempf, 1960f: 430.
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 134; Forel, 1895b: 126; Luederwaldt, 1918: 45; Emery, 1924d: 292; Borgmeier, 1927c: 110; Kempf, 1960f: 430 (redescription); Kempf, 1964e: 55 (in key); Kempf, 1972a: 118; Kempf, 1973b: 247 (redescription); Kutter, 1977a: 88; Brandão, 1991: 347; Bolton, 1995b: 213; Wild, 2007b: 33; Pierce, M.P., Branstetter, et al. 2017: 137; Ulysséa & Brandão, 2021: 100 (redescription).
    • Senior synonym of goeldii: Kempf, 1960f: 430; Kempf, 1972a: 118; Kempf, 1973b: 247; Kutter, 1977a: 88; Bolton, 1995b: 213; Pierce, M.P., Branstetter, et al. 2017: 137; Ulysséa & Brandão, 2021: 100.
    • Distribution: Brazil, Paraguay.
  • goeldii. Pogonomyrmex (Hylomyrma) goeldii Forel, 1912g: 17 (q.) BRAZIL (Rio de Janeiro).
    • Type-material: holotype queen.
    • Type-locality: Brazil: Mt Corcovado, nr Rio de Janeiro, xii.1889 (Goeldi).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Combination in Hylomyrma: Borgmeier, 1927c: 77.
    • Status as species: Emery, 1921f: 49; Borgmeier, 1927c: 77.
    • Junior synonym of reitteri: Kempf, 1960f: 430; Kempf, 1972a: 118; Kempf, 1973b: 247; Kutter, 1977a: 88; Bolton, 1995b: 213; Pierce, M.P., Branstetter, et al. 2017: 137; Ulysséa & Brandão, 2021: 100.

Type Material

  • Tetramorium reitteri
    • Lectotype (designated by Ulyssea & Brandao (2021)): BRAS[BRAZIL: São Paulo: E. Reitter leg., in Metopias aglenus (Pselaphinae) nest], Collect. G. Mayr (1W) (CASENT0919630) [NHMW] [examined by Ulyssea & Brandao (2021)].
    • Paralectotype: same data as lectotype (1W) [NHMW] [examined by Ulyssea & Brandao (2021)].
  • Pogonomyrmex (Hylomyrma) goeldii
    • Holotype: [BRAZIL]: Rio [de Janeiro: Corcovado], dec.89, Goeldi col., [Coll. Forel] (1Q) (CASENT0907677) [MHNG] [examined by Ulyssea & Brandao (2021)].

Ulyssea & Brandao (2021) - Kempf (1960) described the queen of H. reitteri and labelled it as a paratype. However, this queen is not part of the type specimens. The first queen description was made by Forel (1912) in the original description of Pogonomyrmex goeldi. Also, Kempf (1960) indicated that five H. reitteri syntypes from “an unknown locality in São Paulo State” were housed at Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Austria. While visiting this collection at the museum, we recognized two workers and one queen with the label data described by Mayr (1887), and later labelled as lectotypes (workers) and paratype (queen) by Kempf. At the same museum there is also one worker labelled “Brazil” and “lectotype”, and two workers from Santa Catarina, Brazil, labelled “paratypes” by Kempf. Nevertheless, as Mayr (1887) described only the worker, providing a range of body measures and stated that the type locality was São Paulo, Brazil, we understand that only the two workers with the label data similar to what was described by Mayr are part of this type series. Possibly the other three “syntype” workers seen by Kempf have been misplaced. Kempf did not publish the later type designations he had apparently intended, thus we are designating the lectotype and consequently the paralectotype. Therefore, any other specimen with a type label should not be considered as such.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Achury R., and A.V. Suarez. 2017. Richness and composition of ground-dwelling ants in tropical rainforest and surrounding landscapes in the Colombian Inter-Andean valley. Neotropical Entomology https://doi.org/10.1007/s13744-017-0565-4
  • Brandao, C.R.F. 1991. Adendos ao catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao neotropical (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 35: 319-412.
  • Campos R. B. F., J. H. Schoereder, and C. F. Sperber. 2007. Small-scale patch dynamics after disturbance in litter ant communities. Basic and Applied Ecology 8: 36—43.
  • Chacon de Ulloa P., A. M. Osorio-Garica, R. Achury, and C. Bermudez-Rivas. 2012. Hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) del Bosque seco tropical (Bs-T) de la cuenca alta del rio Cauca, Colombia. Biota Colombiana 13(2): 165-181.
  • Dias N. D. S., R. Zanetti, M. S. Santos, M. F. Gomes, V. Peñaflor, S. M. F. Broglio, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2012. The impact of coffee and pasture agriculture on predatory and omnivorous leaf-litter ants. Journal of Insect Science 13:29. Available online: http://www.insectscience.org/13.29
  • Dias N. S., R. Zanetti, M. S. Santos, J. Louzada, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2008. Interaction between forest fragments and adjacent coffee and pasture agroecosystems: responses of the ant communities (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Iheringia, Sér. Zool., Porto Alegre, 98(1): 136-142.
  • Favretto M. A., E. Bortolon dos Santos, and C. J. Geuster. 2013. Entomofauna from West of Santa Catarina State, South of Brazil. EntomoBrasilis 6 (1): 42-63.
  • Feitosa R. dos S. M. and A. S. Ribeiro. 2005. Mirmecofauna (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) de serapilheira de uma área de Floresta Atlântica no Parque Estadual daCantareira – São Paulo, Brasil. Biotemas 18: 51-71.
  • Fernandes T. T., R. R. Silva, D. Rodrigues de Souza-Campana, O. Guilherme Morais da Silva, and M. Santina de Castro Morini. 2019. Winged ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) presence in twigs on the leaf litter of Atlantic Forest. Biota Neotropica 19(3): http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1676-0611-bn-2018-0694
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Forel A. 1912. Formicides néotropiques. Part IV. 3me sous-famille Myrmicinae Lep. (suite). Mémoires de la Société Entomologique de Belgique. 20: 1-32.
  • Kempf W. W. 1960. Miscellaneous studies on Neotropical ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Studia Entomologica (n.s.)3: 417-466.
  • Kempf W. W. 1973. A revision of the Neotropical myrmicine ant genus Hylomyrma Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Studia Entomologica 16: 225-260.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Lapola D. M., and H. G. Fowler. 2008. Questioning the implementation of habitat corridors: a case study in interior São Paulo using ants as bioindicators. Braz. J. Biol., 68(1): 11-20.
  • Lattke J. E. 1985. Hormigas nuevas para Venezuela II (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bol. Entomol. Venez. 4(6): 51.
  • Luederwaldt H. 1918. Notas myrmecologicas. Rev. Mus. Paul. 10: 29-64.
  • Majer J. D., and J. H. C. Delabie. 1994. Comparison of the ant communities of annually inundated and terra firme forests at Trombetas in the Brazilian Amazon. Insectes Sociaux 41: 343-359.
  • Medeiros Macedo L. P., E. B. Filho, amd J. H. C. Delabie. 2011. Epigean ant communities in Atlantic Forest remnants of São Paulo: a comparative study using the guild concept. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 55(1): 75–78.
  • Mentone T. O., E. A. Diniz, C. B. Munhae, O. C. Bueno, and M. S. C. Morini. 2011. Composition of ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) at litter in areas of semi-deciduous forest and Eucalyptus spp., in Southeastern Brazil. Biota Neotrop. 11(2): http://www.biotaneotropica.org.br/v11n2/en/abstract?inventory+bn00511022011.
  • Oliveira Mentone T. de, E. A. Diniz, C. de Bortoli Munhae, O. Correa Bueno and M. S. de Castro Morini. 2012. Composition of ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) at litter in areas of semi-deciduous forest and Eucalyptus spp., in Southeastern Brazil. Biota Neotrop 11(2): 237-246.
  • Pacheco, R., R.R. Silva, M.S. de C. Morini, C.R.F. Brandao. 2009. A Comparison of the Leaf-Litter Ant Fauna in a Secondary Atlantic Forest with an Adjacent Pine Plantation in Southeastern Brazil. Neotropical Entomology 38(1):055-065
  • Pierce M. P., M. G. Branstetter, and J. T. Longino. 2017 . Integrative taxonomy reveals multiple cryptic species within Central American Hylomyrma FOREL, 1912 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 25: 131-143.
  • Rosa da Silva R. 1999. Formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) do oeste de Santa Catarina: historico das coletas e lista atualizada das especies do Estado de Santa Catarina. Biotemas 12(2): 75-100.
  • Rosa da Silva R., and B. Cortes Lopes. 1997. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Atlantic rainforest at Santa Catarina Island, Brazil: two years of sampling. Rev. Biol. Trop. 45(4): 1641-1648.
  • Rosumek, F.B., M.A. Ulyssea, B.C. Lopes, J. Steiner. 2008. Formigas de solo e de bromélias em uma área de Mata Atlântica, Ilha de Santa Catarina, sul do Brasil: Levantamento de espécies e novos registros. Revista Biotemas 21(4):81-89.
  • Salinas P. J. 2010. Catalogue of the ants of the Táchira State, Venezuela, with notes on their biodiversity, biogeography and ecology (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Amblyioponinae, Ponerinae, Proceratiinae, Myrmicinae, Ecitoninae, Formicinae, Pseudomyrmecinae, Dolichoderinae). Boletín de la SEA 47: 315-328.
  • Santos M. S., J. N. C. Louzada, N. Dias, R. Zanetti, J. H. C. Delabie, and I. C. Nascimento. 2006. Litter ants richness (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in remnants of a semi-deciduous forest in the Atlantic rain forest, Alto do Rio Grande region, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Iheringia, Sér. Zool., Porto Alegre, 96(1): 95-101.
  • Silva R. R., R. S. Machado Feitosa, and F. Eberhardt. 2007. Reduced ant diversity along a habitat regeneration gradient in the southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Forest Ecology and Management 240: 61-69.
  • Silva R.R., and C. R. F. Brandao. 2014. Ecosystem-Wide Morphological Structure of Leaf-Litter Ant Communities along a Tropical Latitudinal Gradient. PLoSONE 9(3): e93049. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093049
  • Siqueira de Castro F., A. B. Gontijo, P. de Tarso Amorim Castro, and S. Pontes Ribeiro. 2012. Annual and Seasonal Changes in the Structure of Litter-Dwelling Ant Assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Atlantic Semideciduous Forests. Psyche doi:10.1155/2012/959715
  • Siqueira de Castro F., A. B. Gontijo, W. Duarte da Rocha, and S. Pontes Ribeiro. 2011. As comunidades de formigas de serapilheira nas florestas semidecíduas do Parque Estadual do Rio Doce, Minas Gerais. MG.BIOTA, Belo Horizonte 3(5): 5-24.
  • Sobrinho T., J. H. Schoereder, C. F. Sperber, and M. S. Madureira. 2003. Does fragmentation alter species composition in ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)? Sociobiology 42(2): 329-342.
  • Suguituru S. S., D. R. de Souza, C. de Bortoli Munhae, R. Pacheco, and M. S. de Castro Morini. 2011. Diversidade e riqueza de formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) em remanescentes de Mata Atlântica na Bacia Hidrográfica do Alto Tietê, SP. Biota Neotrop. 13(2): 141-152.
  • Suguituru S. S., M. Santina de Castro Morini, R. M. Feitosa, and R. Rosa da Silva. 2015. Formigas do Alto Tiete. Canal 6 Editora 458 pages
  • Suguituru S. S., R. Rosa Silva, D. R. de Souza, C. de Bortoli Munhae, and M. Santina de Castro Morini. Ant community richness and composition across a gradient from Eucalyptus plantations to secondary Atlantic Forest. Biota Neotrop. 11(1): 369-376.
  • Ulyssea M.A., C. E. Cereto, F. B. Rosumek, R. R. Silva, and B. C. Lopes. 2011. Updated list of ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) recorded in Santa Catarina State, southern Brazil, with a discussion of research advances and priorities. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 55(4): 603-–611.
  • Vargas A. B., A. J. Mayhé-Nunes, J. M. Queroz, G. O. Souza, and E. F. Ramos. 2007. Effects of Environmental Factors on the Ant Fauna of Restinga Community in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Neotropical Entomology 36(1): 028-037
  • da Silva R. R., and R. Silvestre. 2000. Diversidade de formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) em Seara, oeste de Santa Catarina. Biotemas 13(2): 85-105.
  • da Silva, R.R. and R. Silvestre. 2004. Riqueza da fauna de formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) que habita as camadas superficiais do solo em Seara, Santa Catarina. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia (São Paulo) 44(1): 1-11
  • de Souza D. R., S. G. dos Santos, C. de B. Munhae, and M. S. de C. Morini. 2012. Diversity of Epigeal Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Urban Areas of Alto Tietê. Sociobiology 59(3): 703-117.