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|Senior synonym of Pachycondyla concinna, Pachycondyla dibullana, Pachycondyla irina, Pachycondyla montezumia (and its junior synonyms Pachycondyla amplinoda, Pachycondyla orizabana): Brown, 1950e: 247.|
Widespread in mainland Neotropics, from southern USA (Louisiana) to northern Argentina; also in Jamaica. Costa Rica: widespread in lowland forest, sea level to about 500m elevation, wet and dry forest habitats.
This species is one of the most common Pachycondyla species in Costa Rica. Foragers are common on the ground, never arboreal, and relatively more abundant at night. They occur in most samples of sifted leaf litter (Winkler samples), and I collected them once at a tuna bait. In Corcovado, I once observed a mid-morning mating swarm inside an insectary.
I have never found a nest of this common species. The nest must be subterranean. If they nested in the leaf litter or in dead wood, nests would be more frequently encountered.
Garcia-P. et al. (1997) observed harpax preying on termites (Gnathamitermes tubiformans) in the wild.
When pursued with forceps, workers release a stream of clear viscous secretion from the top of the abdomen (Overal 1987). Overal suggests these are defensive secretions employed in tunnels, where room is lacking in which to wield the sting.
Brown, W. L., Jr. 1950. Morphological, taxonomic, and other notes on ants. Wasmann J. Biol. 8(2):241-250.
Fabricius, J. C. 1804. Systema Piezatorum secundum ordines, genera, species, adjectis synonymis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus. Brunswick: C. Reichard, xiv + 15-439 + 30pp. Ants - p. 395-428.
Garcia P., J. A., A. Blanco P., R. Mercado H., and M. Badii 1997. The predatory behavior of Pachycondyla harpax Fabr. on Gnathamitermes tubiformans Buckley in captivity conditions. Southwestern Entomologist 22:345-353 [Spanish].
Overal, W. L. 1987. Defensive chemical weaponry in the ant Pachycondyla harpax (Formicidae, Ponerinae). Journal of Entomological Science 22:268-269.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 381 times found in mature wet forest, 169 times found in tropical moist forest, 152 times found in tropical rainforest, 119 times found in tropical wet forest, 106 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 106 times found in lowland wet forest, 105 times found in montane wet forest, 77 times found in 2º wet forest, 51 times found in lowland rainforest, 50 times found in mesophil forest, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 671 times MiniWinkler, 504 times Baiting, 88 times Winkler, 123 times MaxiWinkler, 67 times Mini Winkler, 28 times Malaise, 26 times Search, 25 times Berlese, 7 times Pitfall, 5 times hand collecting, 1 times Under rock, ...
Elevations: collected from 20 - 1770 meters, 326 meters average