Technomyrmex fulvus

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Technomyrmex fulvus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Technomyrmex
Species: T. fulvus
Binomial name
Technomyrmex fulvus
(Wheeler, W.M., 1934)

Technomyrmex fulvus casent0173587 profile 1.jpg

Technomyrmex fulvus casent0173587 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


The types were collected from under a flat carton shed on the trunk of a sapling in company with coccids. The discovery of this species was initially seen as a biogeographic anomaly (Shattuck 1992a). The finding of two extinct species in Dominican amber (Brandão et al. 1999) and the description of Technomyrmex gorgona, confirmed the native status of Technomyrmex in the New World.


Bolton (2007) - Its uniform yellow colour alone immediately distinguishes it from any tramp species that is likely to be encountered in the Nearctic and Neotropical regions. Although relatively little material was measured there appears to be some allometric variation, because as HW increases CI seems to decrease slightly and SI to increase.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 10.205371° to 7.040555556°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama (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.


Jack Longino: Wheeler reported that his three collections were all from "flat carton sheds with coccids on the bark of living trees." Phil Ward collected four workers on low vegetation, 0.5-2m above the ground and Jack Longino collected it from a carton nest under a live leaf of Cardulovica (Cyclanthacaceae), at the base of the blade and sheathing the upper portion of the petiole.

Technomyrmex fulvus appears to be remarkably rare. It's rareness in collections cannot be attributed to being cryptic; it builds conspicuous carton nests in the low arboreal zone. Barro Colorado Island and portions of Costa Rica have received a great deal of attention from collectors and ecologists studying ants, and yet no additional records of this species surfaced between 1934 and those reported here. It remains to be seen whether T. fulvus occurs as small disjunct populations, or is more uniformly distributed but at very low densities.

Association with Other Organisms

Explore-icon.png Explore: Show all Associate data or Search these data. See also a list of all data tables or learn how data is managed.

This species is a host for the eulophid wasp Microdonophagus woodleyi (a parasite) (Universal Chalcidoidea Database) (associate).



Images from AntWeb

Technomyrmex fulvus casent0173587 head 2.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0173587. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Technomyrmex fulvus psw3348-12 head 1.jpgTechnomyrmex fulvus psw3348-12 profile 1.jpgTechnomyrmex fulvus psw3348-12 dorsal 1.jpgTechnomyrmex fulvus psw3348-12 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code psw3348-12. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by UCDC, Davis, CA, USA.


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

  • fulvus. Tapinoma fulvum Wheeler, W.M. 1934g: 184 (w.) PANAMA. Combination in Technomyrmex: Shattuck, 1992c: 161. Senior synonym of sublucidum: Bolton, 2007a: 120.
  • sublucidum. Tapinoma fulvum subsp. sublucidum Wheeler, W.M. 1934g: 185 (w.) PANAMA. Combination in Technomyrmex: Shattuck, 1992c: 161. Junior synonym of fulvus: Bolton, 2007a: 120.

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



Length 3-3.3 mm.

Head nearly as broad as long, broader behind than in front, with distinctly and broadly concave posterior border; sides convex behind; cheeks straight or slightly concave. Eyes moderately large, convex, shorter than their distance from the corners of the clypeus, which is large and broad, somewhat flattened in the middle, its anterior border with a feebly sinuate but not projecting median area, separated on each side by a minute notch from the straight anterolateral border. Frontal carinae well-developed, farther apart than their distance from the lateral borders, arcuate and posteriorly diverging outward towards the middle of the eyes. Frontal area obsolete. Antennae long and rather slender; scapes reaching nearly one-fourth their length beyond the posterior border of the head; funiculi thickened as usual towards the tip; first joint fully three times as long as broad; joints 2-10 subequal, nearly one and one-half times as long as broad, terminal joint rather acutely pointed, as long as the two preceding joints together. Mandibles stout and convex, decussating when closed, their terminal borders broad, with 5 or 6 larger apical teeth and 6 or 7 basal denticles. Thorax stout but much narrower than the head; pronotum broader than long, convex dorsally and laterally; mesonotum nearly one and one-half times as long as broad, rounded and convex in front where it rises distinctly above the pronotum, concave behind and descending to the unusually deep mesoepinotal impression with its prominent spiracles; epinotum longer than broad, also with prominent spiracles; its base convex and rising obliquely and abruptly upward and backward from the impression and curving into the straight, sloping declivity, which is fully twice as long as the base. Petiole regularly elliptical, flat above, with thickened anterior border representing the vestigial node, ventral surface convex. Gaster large, with pointed tip, its anterior segment overlying and concealing the petiole and with a concave area for its reception. Legs moderately long.

Opaque throughout, very finely, densely and indistinctly punctulate and irregularly shagreened; mandibles also with sparse, coarser punctures.

Hairs on mandibles rather long, white and subappressed, on pronotum and gaster somewhat brownish, long, sparse and erect, arising from minute dark brown dot-like insertions, shorter on the epinotum. Pubescence glistening white, short, subappressed, most distinct on the cheeks, vertex, epinotum, gaster and appendages but not concealing the surface.

Rich fulvous yellow; petiole, gaster and legs paler yellow, the gaster with an anteriorly ill-defined pale brown band near the posterior border of each segment; mandibular teeth deep reddish brown.

Bolton (2007) - TL 3.2 - 3.8, HL 0.71 - 0.82, HW 0.65 - 0.80, SL 0.69 - 0.78, PW 0.45 - 0.55, WL 0.95 - 1.04 (10 measured). Indices: CI 92 - 98, SI 97 - 107, OI 21 - 24, EPI 63 -70, DTI 130 - 135.

With head in profile the dorsum entirely lacks setae behind the level of the posterior margin of the eye; dorsum of head anterior to this usually with 2 - 4 very short pairs of setae (less than 0.50 x the maximum diameter of the eye) between the torulus and the level of the midlength of the eye, but in some Costa Rican workers apparently with only one extremely short pair. With head in full-face view the posterior margin conspicuously excavated medially, not merely indented. Outer margin of eye distinctly fails to break the outline of the side of the head. Anterior clypeal margin with an extremely weak median concavity, almost transverse in most. Number of setal pairs on mesosoma: pronotum 3 - 7, arising from very well-marked pits; mesonotum 0 - 1 (when present short and close to metathoracic spiracle); lateral margins of propodeal declivity 1 - 2, apparently absent in some smaller workers. Mesonotum in profile shallowly convex anteriorly and with a steeply sloping declivitous face that extends down to the tuberculiform metathoracic spiracle. Propodeal dorsum convex in profile; dorsum rounds evenly into declivity. Gastral tergites 1 - 4 each with numerous setae, the longest of which are slightly shorter than the maximum diameter of the eye. Short pubescence on scapes and dorsal (outer) surfaces of middle and hind tibiae usually almost appressed, but slightly elevated in some. Entirely yellow to light brownish yellow, the middle and hind coxae usually somewhat paler than the mesosoma. Head and body usually finely microreticulate-sliagreenate but in some the sculpture may be weaker on the pronotum and mid-dorsal head than elsewhere.

Type Material

Described from numerous specimens taken from under a flat carton shed on the trunk of a sapling in company with coccids, on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, June 21, 1924.

Bolton (2007) - Syntype workers, Panama: Barro Colorado I.C.Z., No. 525.6.21 - 24 (W. M. Wheeler) (Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History) [examined].


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Adams B. J., S. A. Schnitzer, and S. P. Yanoviak. 2016. Trees as islands: canopy ant species richness increases with the size of liana-free trees in a Neotropical forest. Ecography doi: 10.1111/ecog.02608
  • Adams B. J., S. A. Schnitzer, and S. P. Yanoviak. 2019. Connectivity explains local ant community structure in a Neotropical forest canopy: a large-scale experimental approach. Ecology 100(6): e02673.
  • Bolton, B. "Taxonomy of the dolichoderine ant genus Technomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) based on the worker caste." Contributions of the American Entomological Institute 35, no. 1 (2007): 1-149.
  • Fernández F., and R. J. Guerrero. 2008. Technomyrmex (Formicidae: Dolichoderinae) in the New World: synopsis and description of a new species. Revista Colombiana de Entomología 34: 110-115.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Longino J. et al. ADMAC project. Accessed on March 24th 2017 at
  • Shattuck S. O. 1994. Taxonomic catalog of the ant subfamilies Aneuretinae and Dolichoderinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). University of California Publications in Entomology 112: i-xix, 1-241.
  • Ulyssea M. A., L. Pires do Prado, C. R. F. Brandao. 2017. Catalogue of the Dolichoderinae, Formicinae and Martialinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) types deposited at the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil. Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia 57(23): 295-311.
  • Ulyssea M. A., L. Pires do Prado, and C. R. F. Brandao. 2017. Catalogue of the Dolichoderinae, Formicinae and Martialinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) types deposited at the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil. Papeis Avulos de Zoologia 57(23): 295-311.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1934. Neotropical ants collected by Dr. Elisabeth Skwarra and others. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 77: 157-240.