Simopelta laticeps

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Simopelta laticeps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Simopelta
Species: S. laticeps
Binomial name
Simopelta laticeps
Gotwald & Brown, 1967

Simopelta laticeps castype09451 profile 1.jpg

Simopelta laticeps castype09451 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Beyond some habitat information (cloud forest) for the type specimen little is known about the biology of Simopelta laticeps.


Mackay and Mackay (2008) - The worker of this species can be easily separated from most of the others in the genus, by the four mandibular teeth, and the sharp spine on the anterior medial margin of the clypeus. It could be confused with Simopelta mayri, which shares these characteristics. It can be separated, as the posterior margin of the head is strongly concave, and the posterior lateral corners are sharply angulate. Additionally, the petiole is thicker (width at level of peduncles, including the poorly developed spiracular horn 0.42 mm, height at same region 0.36 - .42 mm).

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 1.673333333° to 1.673333333°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

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.


Cloud forest zone on the west slope of a low Andean pass at 2000 m (Gotwald and Brown, 1966).



Known only from the worker caste.


Mackay and Mackay 2008 Simopelta23.jpgMackay and Mackay 2008 Simopelta38.jpg


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

  • laticeps. Simopelta laticeps Gotwald & Brown, 1967: 273, figs. 15, 16 (w.) PERU.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 1 paratype worker.
    • Type-locality: holotype Peru: 28 mi. E Olmos, Lambayeque, 2000 m., 19.i.1955 (E.J. Schlinger & E.S. Ross); paratype with same data.
    • Type-depositories: CASC (holotype); MCZC (paratype).
    • [Note: Mackay & Mackay, 2008: 306, report that the paratype could not be found in MCZC.]
    • Combination in Belonopelta: Baroni Urbani, 1975b: 299 (in key);
    • combination in Simopelta: Bolton, 1995b: 383.
    • Status as species: Kempf, 1972a: 230; Baroni Urbani, 1975b: 299 (in key); Brandão, 1991: 331; Bolton, 1995b: 383; Mackay & Mackay, 2008: 305 (redescription); Bezděčková, et al. 2015: 125; Fernández & Guerrero, 2019: 546.
    • Distribution: Colombia, Peru.

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



Mackay and Mackay (2008) - The worker is a large (total length about 5.5 mm), reddish-brown to black specimen, with reddish appendages. The mandibles have four well-developed teeth. The anterior medial border of the clypeus has a sharp, short (0.06 mm), spine or tooth. The eye is small (maximum diameter 0.06 mm), and the scape extends about the first funicular segment past the sharply angulate, posterior lateral corner of the head. The posterior margin of the head is strongly concave. The dorsum of the mesosoma is broadly depressed, and reaches its lowest point at the metanotal suture. The petiole is only weakly narrowed as seen in profile; the subpetiolar process forms a single low, flattened lobe, which is angulate posteriorly.

The mandibles are striate, the dorsum of the head is punctate, and finely striolate, with the punctures being smaller than the diameter of the eye. The dorsum of the mesosoma, excluding the propodeum is transversely striolate, the sides are obliquely or nearly horizontally striate. The dorsum of the propodeum of the type series is shining (Gotwald and Brown, 1966), that of specimens from Colombia is transversely striolate. The side and both faces of petiole are horizontally striate, the dorsum is shining (Gotwald and Brown, 1966) or finely striated (specimens from Colombia). The dorsum of the postpetiole is smooth and glossy, with scattered punctures.

Most surfaces have erect and suberect hairs, including the scapes, dorsal and ventral surfaces the head, dorsum of the mesosoma, petiole, and gaster, suberect to appressed hairs are also present on these surfaces, as well as on the legs, including the tibiae.

Type Material

Mackay and Mackay (2008) - Worker, (holotype seen) Perú: Lambayeque: 20 mi. E Olmos. The holotype is in the California Academy of Sciences, a paratype is reported to be in the Museum of Comparative Zoology (not found).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Baroni Urbani C. 1975. Contributo alla conoscenza dei generi Belonopelta Mayr e Leiopelta gen. n. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Mitt. Schweiz. Entomol. Ges. 48: 295-310.
  • Bezdeckova K., P. Bedecka, and I. Machar. 2015. A checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Peru. Zootaxa 4020 (1): 101–133.
  • Brandao, C.R.F. 1991. Adendos ao catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao neotropical (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 35: 319-412.
  • Escalante Gutiérrez J. A. 1993. Especies de hormigas conocidas del Perú (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Revista Peruana de Entomología 34:1-13.
  • Fernández F. 2008. Subfamilia Ponerinae s.str. Pp. 123-218 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.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
  • Gotwald W. H., Jr., and W. L. Brown, Jr. 1967. The ant genus Simopelta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche (Camb.) 73: 261-277.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Lozano-Zambrano F. H., E. Jimenez, T. M. Arias-Penna, A. M. Arcila, J. Rodriguez, and D. P. Ramirez. 2008. Biogeografía de las hormigas cazadoras de Colombia. Pp. 349-406. 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.