Strumigenys reflexa

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Strumigenys reflexa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Strumigenys
Species: S. reflexa
Binomial name
Strumigenys reflexa
Wesson, L.G. & Wesson, R.G., 1939

Pyramica reflexa casent0104485 profile 1.jpg

Pyramica reflexa casent0104485 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

A colony of this species was found in a small, punky, partly-buried board in moderate shade in a backyard in Jackson. The colony was within a meter of a large log pile, and workers were found foraging among the woody debris at the base. Stray workers were discovered at 2 other places in the yard. An early attempt to find the above colony gives a check on the feeding habits of the species. A dead springtail was placed in front of a worker which had been discovered beneath a piece of bark. Apparently not greatly disturbed, the ant continued to stalk among the debris until she came within about 1 mm. of the springtail. She then crouched and waited. After several minutes, the springtail was gently pushed toward the ant until it was partly on top of her head. The next instant the ant was to be seen holding the already dead .springtail tightly in her mandibles and stinging it viciously. In a few seconds she started off at a rapid pace with the springtail. In the artificial nest the hunting methods of the workers were similar to those of Strumigenys pulchella, but even more sluggish. (Wesson and Wesson 1939)


Bolton (2000) - A member of the Strumigenys pulchella-group. The unique arrangement of clypeal pilosity is immediately diagnostic. P. reflexa is close to Strumigenys missouriensis but the latter species does not exhibit reflexed hairs along the entire lateral clypeal margins. See also notes under pulchella.

Wesson and Wesson (1939) - We have compared S. reflexa with cotypes of Strumigenys missouriensis and Strumigenys sculpturata to both of which it is very similar. From S. missouriensis it may be distinguished by (1) the broad depression on the anterior portion of the head; (2) the much more strongly scalloped and sculptured head (3) the less convex mandibles; (4) character of the pilosity. From S. sculpturata it differs in (1) the more robust head; (2) the rounded, non-truncate clypeus (3) the slightly less abundant pilosity, particularly on the clypeus and gaster (4) the appearance of the 6 large fringing clypeal hairs which are curved strongly backward—a feature by which this form may be easily recognized.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • reflexa. Strumigenys (Cephaloxys) reflexa Wesson, L.G. & Wesson, R.G., 1939: 102, pl. 3, fig. 4 (w.) U.S.A. Brown, 1953g: 74 (q.m.). Combination in S. (Trichoscapa): Smith, M.R., 1943f: 307; Creighton, 1950a: 309; in Smithistruma: Smith, M.R., 1951a: 828; Brown, 1953g: 73; in Pyramica: Bolton, 1999: 1673; in Strumigenys: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 126. See also: Bolton, 2000: 123.

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



Length, 1.75-1.85 mm.

Head robust; exclusive of mandibles, 2 to 2.2 times as long as the greatest width of the clypeus, 1.3 times the greatest width across the occipital lobes; clypeus broadly rounded laterally, more narrowly rounded in the middle of the anterior border, the sides strongly scalloped; anterior portion of the head with a very broad distinct depression extending from the anterior portion of the clypeus to between the frontal carinae occipital lobes broadly and rather evenly rounded; posterior border shallowly excised. Mandibles 1/6 the length of the rest of the head, moderately robust, the external borders gently convex; the pair of basal teeth stout, just hidden when the mandibles are closed, succeeded by a toothless space which is equal to 1/3 the length of the mandibles anterior to them, the toothless space followed by 4 or 5 pairs of rather short acute teeth which meet the apical series of numerous fine denticles. Antennal scapes rather sharply but not strongly angulate basally, 2/3 as long as the funiculi; fourth funicular joint decidedly shorter than the first, the terminal joint almost half again as long as the remainder of the funiculus.

Thorax as in Strumigenys pulchella; mesoepinotal suture distinct, slightly constricted. Epinotal spines broad and thin; infraspinal lamellae wide, broadly expanded ventrally.

Head, thorax and petiole reticulate-punctate, subopaque; head, especially on the dorsal posterior half coarsely tuberculate. Meso- and meta pleura, dorsum of the postpetiole and gaster, smooth and shining; first gastric segment with numerous longitudinal striae on the basal 1/4.

Clypeus with a few, short, irregular squamose hairs on the border; projecting from the edge of the clypeus on each side are 3, occasionally 4, long coarse squamose hairs which are .strongly curved posteriorly; the rest of the dorsal surface of the head with more numerous erect, curved, narrow squamose hairs, curved predominately posteriorly; antennal scapes with 6 or 8 erect, clavate hairs on the outer border, most of which are slightly curved toward the bases of the scapes. Hairs on thorax sparse, irregular in length, erect, slightly enlarged apically. Petiole, postpetiole and gaster with long thin erect hairs, slightly enlarged apically. Legs and antennal funiculi with thin reclinate hairs. Spongiform processes as in S. pulchella.

Bolton (2000) - TL 2.0-2.3, HL 0.52-0.58, HW 0.38-0.42, CI 70-76, ML 0.07-0.09, MI 13-18, SL 0.26-0.30, SI 65-71, PW 0.24-0.26, AL 0.50-0.58 (15 measured).

Anterior clypeal margin broadly convex and its dorsum depressed. Eye with 2-3 ommatidia in the longest row. Curved spoon-shaped hairs on anterior and lateral clypeal margins mostly or entirely reflexed; those on anterior margin curving away from the midline, those on lateral margins curved posterolaterally. Smaller spoon-shaped hairs on clypeal dorsum close to the margins also curved posteriorly or posterolaterally. Most clypeal hairs peripheral, central area of disc hairless. In full-face view dorsolateral margin of head with numerous laterally projecting clavate or apically spoon-shaped hairs that curve dorsally; a slender spatulate straighter hair occurs in the apicoscrobal position. In profile vertex around highest point with suberect to erect short hairs, the apices of which are broadened or spoon-shaped. In addition there is a transverse row of 4 more slender erect hairs just in front of the occipital margin. Pronotal humeral hair long and fine, filiform to flagellate; pronotal dorsum with a pair of erect stiff hairs. Mesonotum with 2-4 pairs of erect hairs that are more or less straight, the anterior pairs longer than the posterior. Pilosity of first gastral tergite erect and slender, apices usually truncated or slightly thickened. Dorsal (outer) surface of hind basitarsus with 1-2 very fine projecting flagellate hairs.

Type Material

Bolton (2000) - Syntype workers, U.S.A.Ohio, Jackson, 1938 (Wesson) (Museum of Comparative Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, National Museum of Natural History, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, The Natural History Museum) [examined].