Bolton (2000) - Despite the circumstances of its discovery I suspect that moloch is a leaf litter or rotten wood inhabiting species. It seems likely that the holotype was caught whilst foraging in the base of the already fallen epiphyte, rather than being a canopy species that accompanied the epiphyte in its fall.
Bolton (2000) - A member of the Strumigenys splendens-group. S. moloch is a relatively large bizarre species. It is isolated in the group by its remarkably shaped scapes and strange antennal pilosity. These features, combined with the flat cephalic dorsum, diastemate mandibles, and complete absence of ventral postpetiolar spongiform lobes accompanied by hypertrophy of the other lobes, render the species instantly recognisable.
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.
- moloch. Pyramica moloch Bolton, 2000: 235, figs. 156, 182 (w.) BRAZIL. Combination in Strumigenys: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 124
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Holotype. TL 3.1, HL 0.90, HW 0.66, CI 73, ML 0.08, MI 9, SL 0.36, SI 55, PW 0.29, AL 0.88. Mandibles at full closure with a small edentate gap basally between the blades, see note under diagnosis of group. Dorsum of head behind level of frontal lobes unsculptured, flat both longitudinally and transversely; ventral surface of head convex, deepest behind level of eye. Upper scrobe margins with translucent flanges, their outer margins more or less straight and markedly divergent posteriorly. Dorsolateral margins of head behind apices of scrobes convergent posteriorly. Expanded ventrolateral margin of head visible in full-face view, emerging from below preocular carina behind its midlength and diverging posteriorly until concealed by projection of upper scrobe margin close to its apex. Scape distinctly triangular in section, apex uppermost, the anterior and posterior faces rising dorsally to an elevated longitudinal ridge that extends the entire length of the scape. Dorsal ridge of scape with a spaced row of erect narrowly clavate stout hairs that are directed vertically. Funicular segments 1 - 4 each with a single stout suberect hair that is directed vertically; each hair longer than the maximum width of the segment from which it arises. Dorsum of head with sparse minute appressed pubescence only, without standing hairs of any form. Dorsolateral margins of head behind apices of scrobes with stout dorsally to dorsolaterally projecting short hairs; sides of head below dorsolateral margins with longer laterally projecting hairs that arise from discrete tubercles. Ventrolateral margin of head sharply marginate from mandible to corner of occipital lug, with a row of ventrally projecting hairs. Eye with 7 ommatidia in total. Dorsum of alitrunk very narrow, weakly marginate dorsolaterally and with stiff simple hairs projecting from the marginations. Pronotal humeri each with a longer, more laterally directed hair. Alitrunk unsculptured. Propodeum in profile with dorsum elevated posteriorly, rising from metanotal groove to its highest point above the level of the spiracle. Propodeal spines narrow, markedly divergent in dorsal view. Hind femur somewhat bilaterally compressed, ca 0.62 long and narrowly bicarinate ventrally; femoral and tibial gland bullae conspicuous. Femora and tibiae with stiff suberect to erect simple hairs projecting from all surfaces and similar hairs also present on dorsal (outer) surfaces of tarsal segments. Petiole n ode very long and low in profile, without a differentiated anterior face. Lateral spongiform lobe of petiole large, extending entire length of node. Ventral spongiform curtain of petiole deep , at maximum more than twice the depth of the peduncle. Lateral spongiform lobe of postpetiole massive, standing out from the disc and its lateral free margins down-curved. Ventral lobe of postpetiole entirely absent but base of first gastral sternite with a narrow spongiform pad. In dorsal view lateral lobes of postpetiole completely surrounding the disc and exceeding it in area. Basigastral costulae 4-5 on each side of a shallowly concave costula-free central area that is about as broad as the postpetiole disc. Dorsal surfaces of postpetiole and gaster otherwise smooth, with sparse simple suberect to erect hairs that are acute apically.
Holotype worker, Brazil: Amazonas, nr Manaus, 12.vii.1981, in roots and soil of fallen epiphyte, forest floor (A.R. Hetheridge) (The Natural History Museum).
- Baroni Urbani, C. & 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. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute. 65:1-1028. (page 235, figs. 156, 182 worker described)