Procryptocerus hylaeus

Procryptocerus hylaeus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Procryptocerus
Species: P. hylaeus
Binomial name
Procryptocerus hylaeus
Kempf, 1951

Procryptocerus hylaeus casent0178095 profile 1.jpg

Procryptocerus hylaeus casent0178095 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

This species inhabits wet or moist forest canopy. Collections are most often from canopy fogging samples, treefalls, or photoeclectors. The species is abundant in J. Adis’ canopy ant samples from near Manaus. A P.S. Ward collection from Bolivia was from a nest in a dead twig. (Longino and Snelling 2002)


Keys including this Species


Longino and Snelling (2002) - Procryptocerus hylaeus is a South American species that barely makes it into Central America. Only one Central American specimen is known from a canopy fogging sample from near Gatun Lake, Panama.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 25.68015° to -22.809943°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia (type locality), Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

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.


DaRocha et al. (2015) studied the diversity of ants found in bromeliads of a single large tree of Erythrina, a common cocoa shade tree, at an agricultural research center in Ilhéus, Brazil. Forty-seven species of ants were found in 36 of 52 the bromeliads examined. Bromeliads with suspended soil and those that were larger had higher ant diversity. Procryptocerus hylaeus was found in 3 different bromeliads but was associated with twigs and bark cavities, rather than suspended soil or litter, of the plants.



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

  • hylaeus. Procryptocerus goeldii subsp. hylaeus Kempf, 1951: 50 (w.) COLOMBIA. Longino & Snelling, 2002: 15 (q.). Raised to species: Kempf, 1964b: 247.

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



Longino and Snelling (2002) - HW 1.130, HL 1.085, SL 0.715, EL 0.294, MeL 1.242, MeW 0.830, PrW 0.603, PrL 0.297, PrS 0.180, PrT 0.477, MTL 0.721, PtL 0.408, PtW 0.393, PpW 0.505, PtH 0.388, AL 1.219, AW 1.087, ASW 0.022.

Face to vertex margin with evenly dispersed discrete foveae, distance between foveae subequal to fovea diameter; interspaces with silky sheen and faint areolate etchings; clypeus abruptly bent ventrad, with a median longitudinal carina and a few longitudinal carinulae near lateral margins, otherwise smooth with microareolate sculpture; frontal carina thickened just posterior to torulus, ending on dorsum of torulus; genae closely foveate; genal bridge longitudinally rugose; mandible longitudinally striate; in anterior view, eyes asymmetrically convex, skewed ventrad; scape with flange over condyle and neck, flattened over entire length, narrow basally, broadening distally; surface of scape finely areolate, outer lateral margin shallowly punctatorugose; vertex margin angulate but not crenate; vertex shiny with variable extent of longitudinal striae radiating from occiput.

Mesonotal lobes small, forming right angles or subacute teeth; propodeal lobes in the form of a broadly convex anterolateral margin that tapers toward propodeal teeth, or with posterolateral tooth delimiting posterior border; promesonotum foveate anteriorly, grading into variable mix of foveae and longitudinal striae posteriorly; dorsal face of propodeum longitudinally striate; propodeal suture impressed, in profile forming a distinct V-shaped notch; posterior face of propodeum perpendicular to dorsal face, completely smooth and shining; dorsal face of pronotum meets flat lateral face at rounded angle; lateral face of pronotum, anepisternum, katepisternum, and lateral face of propodeum longitudinally striate; forecoxae smooth or striate; hind femur strongly swollen medially, spindle-shaped; outer surfaces of tibiae punctatorugose; posterior face of forefemur smooth and shining.

Petiole short, anterior face with coarse transverse striae, posterior face rugose-foveate, ventral margin flat with small anterior tooth; postpetiolar dorsum evenly convex, longitudinally rugose; ventral margin short, with a prominent, acute anterior tooth; first gastral tergite finely longitudinally striate, striae superimposed on micropunctate sculpture (giving granular appearance), striae becoming somewhat irregular in center of disc, formed from irregular rows of small puncta; first gastral sternite with bands of subparallel longitudinal striae along lateral margins, remainder smooth and shiny with sparse piligerous puncta; second gastral tergite with micropunctate granular sculpture.

Dorsal surfaces with sparse, stiff setae, about 10 on face, 30 on promesonotum, 10 on dorsal face of propodeum, 10 on petiole, 15 on postpetiole, 30 on first gastral tergite; these setae about 0.12 mm long, longer on petiole and postpetiole; first gastral sternite with sparse suberect hairs, finer and more flexuous than dorsal setae; color black, usually with lighter red brown to orange tibiae.


Longino and Snelling (2002) - (n = 1, Brazil, barcode LACM ENT 141637): HW 1.242, HL 1.186, SL 0.765, EL 0.375, MeL 1.719, MeW 1.022, MTL 0.858, MFL 0.940, MFW 0.324, PtL 0.502, PtW 0.439, PpW 0.588, PtH 0.455, AL 1.548, AW 1.205, ASW 0.025.

Similar to worker in most respects; pronotum, mesoscutum, axillae, and scutellum foveate; interspaces subequal to or greater than fovea diameter, with microareolate sculpture; foveae on mesoscutum distinctly elongate; dorsal face of propodeum irregularly rugose-foveate.

Type Material

Longino and Snelling (2002) - Holotype worker: Colombia, Naranjo, foot of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Forel). Neotype worker: Brazil, Amazonas: Ilha de Curari, Va´rzea [3°15’S, 59°49’W], 22 Jan 1976, ex ground photoeclector (J. Adis) Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. Barcode: LACMENT 141647.

The type of P. hylaeus is missing. It was not found in Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève during Longino’s 1990 visit, nor is it in Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo (C.R. Brandao, personal communication). Therefore, we designate a neotype here.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology
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  • Fernández F., E. E. Palacio, W. P. Mackay, and E. S. MacKay. 1996. Introducción al estudio de las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Colombia. Pp. 349-412 in: Andrade M. G., G. Amat García, and F. Fernández. (eds.) 1996. Insectos de Colombia. Estudios escogidos. Bogotá: Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, 541 pp
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
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  • Groc S., J. H. C. Delabie, F. Fernandez, M. Leponce, J. Orivel, R. Silvestre, Heraldo L. Vasconcelos, and A. Dejean. 2013. Leaf-litter ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a pristine Guianese rainforest: stable functional structure versus high species turnover. Myrmecological News 19: 43-51.
  • Groc S., J. Orivel, A. Dejean, J. Martin, M. Etienne, B. Corbara, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2009. Baseline study of the leaf-litter ant fauna in a French Guianese forest. Insect Conservation and Diversity 2: 183-193.
  • INBio Collection (via Gbif)
  • Kempf W. W. 1951. A taxonomic study on the ant tribe Cephalotini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Revista de Entomologia (Rio de Janeiro) 22:1-244
  • Kempf W. W. 1964. Additions to the knowledge of the Cephalotini ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia (São Paulo) 16: 243-255.
  • Kempf W. W. 1978. A preliminary zoogeographical analysis of a regional ant fauna in Latin America. 114. Studia Entomologica 20: 43-62.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Larsen, A., and S. M. Philpott. 2010. Twig-nesting ants: the hidden predators of the coffee berry borer in Chiapas, Mexico. Biotropica 42: 342-347.
  • Longino J. T. and Snelling R. R. 2002. A taxonomic revision of the Procryptocerus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Central America. Contributions in Science (Los Angeles) 495: 1-30
  • Nascimento Santos M., J. H. C. Delabie, and J. M. Queiroz. 2019. Biodiversity conservation in urban parks: a study of ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Rio de Janeiro City. Urban Ecosystems
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