Strumigenys talpa

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Strumigenys talpa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Strumigenys
Species: S. talpa
Binomial name
Strumigenys talpa
Weber, 1934

Pyramica talpa casent0103123 profile 1.jpg

Pyramica talpa casent0103123 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label


A ground nesting species that foragers in leaf litter.


Bolton (2000) - A member of the Strumigenys talpa-group. As Brown (l953a) has pointed out, the three older species currently placed in this group are very closely related, and best separated by differences in their clypeal pilosity. Strumigenys wrayi has hairs on the anterior clypeal margin that curve away from the midline and spoon-shaped hairs on the lateral margins that are weakly reflexed; hairs on the clypeal dorsum are inclined posteriorly. Clypeal hairs with these orientations are absent from Strumigenys filitalpa and talpa. In particular the fringe of hairs on the lateral margins curves anteriorly; those of talpa being decidedly spatulate or weakly spoon-shaped whilst those of filitalpa are slender and filiform. Neither has posteriorly inclined hairs on the clypeal dorsum.

Pyramica deyrupi

Bolton (2000) - A member of the Strumigenys pulchella-group. In addition to the comparative features noted under Strumigenys creightoni, Strumigenys deyrupi differs from Strumigenys metazytes as the latter has distinctly smaller and narrower spongiform lobes on the waist segments. As well as the character noted in the key, the petiole of metazytes in profile has the maximum length of the lateral lobe less than half the length of the node; in deyrupi this lobe is distinctly greater than half the node length. The size difference in clypeal pilosity between the hairs located mid-dorsally and those that fringe the lateral margins is obviously different in deyrupi and Strumigenys abdita, and easily discerned even under low magnification.

P. deyrupi bears a striking resemblance to Strumigenys talpa, but in the latter species all the hairs on the leading edge of the scape are curved toward the scape apex.

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


Wesson and Wesson (1939) from their description of the synonymized S. venatrix: described from a colony containing about 60 workers. Eight colonies and occasional scattered workers have been taken in Pike, Lawrence, Scioto and Adams Counties. The species is definitely a soil or humus dweller and forages for Collembola under the leaves and dead vegetable matter on the surface of the ground. So far as we can tell, it is not associated with other species for the purpose of obtaining the Collembola about their nest. Specific examples of the colonies may give a better idea of the habitus. A colony was found in a small opening near the edge of some young oak woods on a rather dry, gently-sloping hillside. The soil was a sandy clay. Several workers were first observed around a light cover of dead leaves. One of these, carrying a springtail in its mandibles, led to the nest, the entrance of which, was a tiny hole under a flake of stone in the middle of a small bare area 30 sq. cm. in extent. Just below the surface, this hole widened out into a spacious, elongate chamber 5 to 10 mm. in diameter and 10 cm. in length, which appeared to be the hollow interior of a dead and decayed root. Another colony was found in the grassy humus on the edge of a bushy thicket in a field. A colony of Aphaenogaster fulva was under an adjacent stone. Four colonies, including the type, were found in a grassy clearing in some dry, open woods. Two of these colonies were on the surface in the tangled roots of the grass, while the other 2 were in the soil 2 to 8 cm. below the surface. Galleries of Camponotus americanus ran close to one nest, but we were unable to find any connection between the two. Two colonies were 2ound in the cedar thicket described above under Strumigenys missouriensis. One of these was nesting in an opening at the bottom of the humus, the other in a small cavity at the base of an old rotted cedar stump. Stray workers in these and other places were often found by pulling back the top cover of the humus in places where springtails were abundant.






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

  • talpa. Strumigenys (Cephaloxys) talpa Weber, 1934b: 63, fig. 1 (w.) U.S.A. Brown, 1953g: 77 (q.m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1955a: 141 (l.). Combination in S. (Trichoscapa): Smith, M.R., 1947f: 587; Creighton, 1950a: 310; in Smithistruma: Smith, M.R., 1951a: 828; Brown, 1953g: 76; in Pyramica: Bolton, 1999: 1673; in Strumigenys: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 128. Senior synonym of venatrix: Wesson, 1949: 21. See also: Wilson, 1954: 486; Bolton, 2000: 132.
  • deyrupi. Pyramica deyrupi Bolton, 2000: 119 (w.) U.S.A.
    • Combination in Strumigenys: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 118.
    • Status as species: Deyrup, 2003: 46.
    • Junior synonym of talpa: Deyrup, 2017: 140.
  • venatrix. Strumigenys (Cephaloxys) venatrix Wesson, L.G. & Wesson, R.G., 1939: 103, pl. 3, fig. 5 (w.) U.S.A. Combination in S. (Trichoscapa): Smith, M.R., 1943f: 307. Junior synonym of talpa: Wesson, 1949: 21; Brown, 1953g: 76.

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



TL 2.0-2.2, HL 0.53-0.60, HW 0.36-0.39, CI 64-69, ML 0.08-0.11, MI 15-19, SL 0.25-0.29, SI 66-76, PW 0.23-0.26, AL 0.50-0.59 (20 measured).

Fully closed mandibles with a basal gap between anterior clypeal margin and basal tooth that is distinctly longer than length of basal tooth. Anterior clypeal margin very evenly and shallowly broadly convex. In full-face view lateral clypeal margins with a continuous fringe of distinctly projecting, anteriorly curved hairs that are spatulate to very feebly spoon-shaped. Row of hairs on clypeal dorsum closest to lateral margin also project outward and curve anteriorly above the principal row; these hairs shorter than the principal marginal hairs but longer than those situated more centrally on the dorsum. Anterior clypeal margin without hairs that curve away from the midline. Dorsum of clypeus densely clothed with small spatulate hairs that curve anteriorly or anterolaterally. Dorsolateral margin of head with a single projecting flagellate hair, in apicoscrobal position. Dorsum of head close to occipital margin with 1-2 pairs of flagellate hairs. Flagellate hairs also present at pronotal humeri, on pronotal dorsum and mesonotum (1 pair each), on first gastral tergite and dorsal (outer) surfaces of hind tibia and basitarsus. Basigastral costulae strongly developed, extending one-third or more the length of the tergite.

Pyramica deyrupi

Holotype. TL 1.9, HL 0.52, HW 0.33, CI 63, ML 0.09, MI 17, SL 0.26, SI 79, PW 0.22, AL 0.48. Anterior clypeal margin almost transverse in full-face view. Dorsum of clypeus with numerous small short spatulate hairs that are somewhat elevated and curved anteriorly; these hairs tiny by comparison with the long, laterally projecting, anteriorly curved spatulate to narrowly spoon-shaped hairs that fringe the lateral clypeal margins. Dorsolateral margin of head with a flagellate apicoscrobal hair. Cephalic ground pilosity curved and narrowly spatulate, elevated; vertex near occipital margin with a pair of longer erect flagellate hairs. Pronotal humeral hair very long and fine, flagellate. Pronotal dorsum with 1 pair of erect flagellate hairs; mesonotum with a pair of flagellate hairs. Hairs on first gastral tergite very fin e and flagellate ; similar hairs present on waist segments. Hind basitarsus with a fine flagellate hair projecting from the dorsal (outer) surface close to its base. Basigastral costulae coarse, strongly developed , extending over the basal quarter of the tergite.

Paratypes. TL 1.9-2.0, HL 0.52-0.54, HW 0.33-0.35, CI 63-65, ML 0.09-0.10, MI 17-19, SL 0.26-0.28, SI 78-81, PW 0.22-0.24, AL 0.48-0.50 (5 measured).

Type Material

Holotype worker, U. S. A. Illinois, Herod, 12.x.1933 (T.H. Frison & H.H. Ross) (Illinois Natural History Survey Insect Collection) [not seen].

Pyramica deyrupi

Holotype worker, U.S.A.: Florida, Ocala, 9 mi. SSW Marion Co., 16.x.1990, Ocala waterway, scrub area (M. Deyrup) (Museum of Comparative Zoology) [holotype is top specimen on a pin of three].

Paratypes. All specimens from same series (absolute number not known) (Museum of Comparative Zoology, Archhold Biological Station Florida, UTEL, The Natural History Museum)


  • Baroni Urbani, C. and De Andrade, M.L. 2007. The ant tribe Dacetini: limits and constituent genera, with descriptions of new species. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale “G. Doria”. 99:1-191.
  • Bolton, B. 1999. Ant genera of the tribe Dacetonini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Nat. Hist. 3 33: 1639-1689 (page 1673, Combination in Pyramica)
  • Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute. 65:1-1028. (page 132, catalogue)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1953g. Revisionary studies in the ant tribe Dacetini. American Midland Naturalist. 50:1-137. (page 77, queen, male described; page 76, Combination in Smithistruma)
  • Weber, N. A. 1934b. A new Strumigenys from Illinois (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche (Camb.) 41: 63-65 (page 63, fig. 1 worker described)
  • Wesson, L. G.; Wesson, R. G. 1939. Notes on Strumigenys from southern Ohio, with descriptions of six new species. Psyche. 46:91-112.
  • Wesson, L. G. 1949. Strumigenys venatrix Wesson and Wesson synonymous with S. talpa Weber. Psyche (Camb.) 56: 21 (page 21, senior synonym of venatrix)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1955c. The ant larvae of the myrmicine tribe Solenopsidini. Am. Midl. Nat. 54: 119-141 (page 141, larva described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 1954a [1953]. The ecology of some North American dacetine ants. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 46: 479-495 (page 486, biology)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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