Rhopalothrix ciliata

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Rhopalothrix ciliata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Rhopalothrix
Species: R. ciliata
Binomial name
Rhopalothrix ciliata
Mayr, 1870

Rhopalothrix ciliata casent0423544 profile 1.jpg

Rhopalothrix ciliata casent0423544 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Specimens have been collected in cloud forest and montane evergreen forest.


Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 3.55° to -0.276°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia (type locality), Ecuador.

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.



Longino and and Boudinot (2013) - Knowledge of the biology of the Rhopalothrix isthmica clade of Rhopalothrix is conjectural; a nest has never been recovered and a live specimen never seen. What we know is based on locations and frequencies of capture using various mass-sampling methods. Specimens are known from wet to moderately seasonal forest, from sea level to 2140 m elevation. At higher elevation, they are found in diverse mesophyll forest and in forests with various combinations of Liquidambar and montane oak. In Costa Rica, they are restricted to the wet forests of the Atlantic slope, to 1500 m on the Barva Transect in the Cordillera Volcánica Central and to 800 m in the Cordillera de Tilarán. The genus is unknown from the Monteverde cloud forest at 1500 m, the lowland wet forests of the Osa Peninsula, and the lowland tropical dry forests of Guanacaste, in spite of intensive collecting efforts in these areas. Further north in Central America they can occur at higher elevations.

In quantitative sampling at La Selva Biological Station, in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica, occurrences were relatively more frequent in soil/litter cores than in samples of sifted litter from the soil surface. This suggests that nests are subterranean, with workers only occasionally venturing up into the litter layer. Dealate queens are known for a few species, occurring occasionally in Winkler or Berlese samples. Alate queens of one La Selva species were found in canopy fogging samples, one each in two separate fogging events. Oddly, alate queens have not been found in the many Malaise samples from La Selva. Males remain unknown.



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

  • ciliata. Rhopalothrix ciliata Mayr, 1870a: 415 (w.) COLOMBIA. See also: Brown & Kempf, 1960: 232.

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



Brown and Kempf (1960) - Lectotype: TL 3.1, HL 0.69, HW 0.66 (CI 96), ML 0.32, WL 0.75 mm.

Rhopalothrix ciliata lectotype; Brown and Kempf 1960

The arch of large hairs from eye to eye is set in a broad and very shallow sulcus. In addition to the large hairs shown in the figure, there are numerous small, appressed squamose hairs covering the dorsum of the head, including the clypeus, labrum, and the upper surfaces of the scapes. Small hairs are present but inconspicuous on the alitrunk dorsum, where a whitish incrustation hides the surface; this also present on dorsum of occipital lobes, center of head and both nodes. Short simple hairs, oblique to reclinate, on mandibles, flexor margins of scapes, gula, legs, and sparse between larger hairs of gaster. Promesonotal suture indicated by a feeble sulcus; metanotal groove deep and abrupt. One erect cochlear hair on each side of mesonotum; one pair of posteriorly-inclined clavate hairs on petiolar node, 6 clavate hairs near posterior edge of postpetiole, and numerous obliquely erect clavate hairs evenly spaced over both surfaces of gaster. Body densely reticulate-punctulate, opaque; gaster and mandibles not quite so densely punctulate, gaster weakly shining of gaster.

The "apical fork" is composed of the long dorsal (subapical) and a slightly shorter ventral (true apical) tooth; between are two small subequal intercalary teeth.

Dull ferruginous, legs more yellowish.

Type Material

Longino and Boudinot (2013) - Lectotype, worker: Colombia, Santa Fe Bogota. Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna (not examined).


  • Brown, W. L., Jr.; Kempf, W. W. 1960. A world revision of the ant tribe Basicerotini. Stud. Entomol. (n.s.) 3: 161-250 (page 232, see also)
  • Longino J. T. and Boudinot B. E. 2013. New species of Central American Rhopalothrix Mayr, 1870 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Zootaxa. 3616:301-324. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3616.4.1
  • Mayr, G. 1870a. Formicidae novogranadenses. Sitzungsber. Kais. Akad. Wiss. Wien Math.-Naturwiss. Cl. Abt. I 61: 370-417 (page 415, worker described)