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Crematogaster wardi occurs in mature wet forest habitats on both the Atlantic and Pacific slopes of Costa Rica. The species is known only from workers. They have been collected three times as nocturnal foragers on low vegetation, once as diurnal foragers on extrafloral nectaries of an Inga sapling, twice in Malaise traps, and three times in Winkler samples of sifted leaf litter from the forest floor.
Costa Rica, Prov. Heredia, La Selva Biological Station , 10°26'N, 84°01'W, 50m , 17 Mar 1993 (Longino, collection code JTL3408-s) [INBC, specimen code INBIOCRI001238528].
One worker, same data as holotype [BMNH, specimen code INBIOCRI001238527] GoogleMaps; one worker, same locality, 3 Mar 1989 (Longino, collection code JTL2460-s) [LACM, specimen code INBIOCRI001281212] GoogleMaps; one worker, same locality, 18- 22 Jun 1999 (INBio-OET, Project ALAS collection code W/13/008) [MCZC, specimen code INBIOCRI002719786]; GoogleMaps one worker, same data [MHNG, specimen code INBIOCRI002719787]; GoogleMaps one worker, same data [NHMB, specimen code INBIOCRI002719788]; GoogleMaps one worker, same locality and date (INBio-OET, Project ALAS collection code W/11/006) [UCDC, specimen code INBIOCRI002720566]; GoogleMaps one worker, same data [USNM, specimen code INBIOCRI002720567] GoogleMaps.
Description of worker
Color yellow orange; workers monomorphic in size.
Mandibles feebly striate on proximal half, smooth and shining with large piligerous puncta on distal half; clypeus with two longitudinal carinulae at anterior margin, anterior margin gently convex to straight; head longer than wide, with rounded posterior border; antenna with terminal two segments enlarged to form a club, third segment from end somewhat enlarged, blurring distinction between two and three-segmented club; scapes with abundant suberect flexuous setae; when scapes laid back from antennal insertions, they distinctly surpass margin of vertex; face smooth and shining, with a few concentric carinulae around antennal insertion; face covered with abundant, long, erect, flexuous, white setae, no appressed pubescence; in face view setae project from lateral and posterior margins.
Promesonotum in lateral profile somewhat flattened, pronotum and anterodorsal face of mesonotum of similar length, nearly in same plane; posterior face of mesonotum short, meeting dorsal face at angle but not produced or tuberculate, dropping to propodeal suture; propodeal suture deep in dorsal view but partially obscured in profile by lateral carinulae that bridge the suture; propodeum with short, differentiated dorsal face and longer posterior face; propodeal spines medium length, spiniform, directed posteriorly and weakly curving upward; pronotal dorsum with sparse longitudinal carinulae, interspaces smooth and shining; mesonotum with parallel lateral carinae that converge toward propodeal suture; medial mesonotum concave, smooth and shining; dorsal face of propodeum feebly rugulose, posterior face smooth and shining; side of pronotum smooth and shining; katepisternum smooth and shining medially, feebly punctate at margins; side of propodeum shining, largely smooth with traces of feeble carinulae ventrally; promesonotum with long flexuous white to amber erect setae in three ranks, four across anterior pronotum, two at anterior mesonotum, and two at mesonotal midlength; humeral setae are longest(0.21mm), other six are subequal in length (0.15mm); propodeal dorsum with one or two pairs long setae, on base of propodeal spines and half way along spine shaft; short inconspicuous setae sparsely scattered elsewhere on mesosomal dorsum; tibiae with abundant short subdecumbent setae, none longer than maximum tibial width.
Petiole in side view trapezoidal, punctate; anteroventral tooth present, rounded, rightangle, or acute; dorsal face of petiole smooth and shining, subrectangular, longer than wide, with about eight long amber setae along posterior border; postpetiole with acute anteroventral tooth, postpetiole in dorsal view subquadrate, wider than long, with emarginate posterior margin, abundant long setae; fourth abdominal tergite smooth and shining, with abundant long suberect amber setae, no appressed pubescence.
Workers vary in robustness and coloration. Small workers are relatively paler, with weaker sculpture on the katepisternum and flatter promesonotum. Large workers are darker orange, with stronger punctate sculpture on the katepisternum, and a more arched promesonotum. The two collections I have from the Osa Peninsula are small and pale. Material from La Selva Biological Station varies from small and pale to larger and darker. Three workers collected at 1070m elevation in Braulio Carrillo National Park above La Selva vary from small and pale to larger and darker orange. A series of three workers from Bajo La Hondura, an 1100m elevation site near the southeastern edge of Braulio Carrillo, are the largest I have seen, with distinctly arched promesonotum, and lacking the anterior row of long setae on the pronotum. I initially had access to only these large workers and the specimens from the Osa Peninsula, and I considered them distinct species. Subsequent collections from La Selva revealed variation linking the two forms. It is likely that there is some form of clinal variation on the Atlantic slope, with small pale forms dominating in the lowlands and larger, darker forms more common at higher elevations, a pattern seen in many other ant lineages.
Holotype: HL 0.537, HW 0.546, HC 0.493, SL 0.473, EL 0.156, WL 0.618, SPL 0.110, PTH 0.143, PTL 0.201, PTW 0.162, PPL 0.141, PPW 0.181, CI 102, OI 29, SI 88, PTHI 71, PTWI 81, PPI 128, SPI 18.
Other specimens: HL 0.581, 0.547, 0.669; HW 0.615, 0.554, 0.683; HC 0.570, 0.495, 0.626; SL 0.499, 0.472, 0.640; EL 0.162, 0.168, 0.186; A11L 0.241; A11W 0.128; A10L 0.105; A10W 0.111; A09L 0.054; A09W 0.086; A08L 0.046; A08W 0.059; WL 0.676, 0.626, 0.801; SPL 0.142, 0.123, 0.163; PTH 0.168, 0.138, 0.178; PTL 0.213, 0.196, 0.267; PTW 0.194, 0.159, 0.218; PPL 0.145, 0.158, 0.177; PPW 0.209, 0.180, 0.241; CI 106, 101, 102; OI 28, 31, 28; SI 86, 86, 96; PTHI 79, 70, 67; PTWI 91, 81, 82; PPI 144, 114, 136; SPI 21, 20, 20; ACI 0.80.
This species is named for Phillip S. Ward at the University of California at Davis. Phil taught me how to mount ants.
Crematogaster wardiHNS occurs in mature wet forest habitats on both the Atlantic and Pacific slopes of Costa Rica. The species is known only from workers. They have been collected three times as nocturnal foragers on low vegetation, once as diurnal foragers on extrafloral nectaries of an Inga sapling, twice in Malaise traps, and three times in Winkler samples of sifted leaf litter from the forest floor.
Crematogaster wardiHNS is uniquely characterized by the combination of (1) yellow coloration; (2) humeral setae of mesosomal dorsum long, flexuous, and longer than any other mesosomal setae; (3) relatively long propodeal spines; and (4) relatively elongate promesonotum. Similar species are minutissimaHNS and flavomicropsHNS.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 25 times found in montane wet forest, 12 times found in cloud forest edge, near dairy farm pasture, some big trees in rocky areas, probably disturbed primary or old second growth, on a steep slope, 4 times found in ridgetop cloud forest, 1 times found in SCH, 4 times found in cloud forest, 1 times found in grassy clearing in rainforest, 1 times found in 2nd growth forest, 3 times found in riparian forest, cloud forest along stream, near dairy farm pasture, 2nd growth or disturbed primary, 1 times found in SAT, 1 times found in Llorona, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 30 times ex sifted leaf litter, 12 times Hojarasca, 2 times beating vegetation, 1 times nocturnal foragers, 1 times foragers on low vegetation, 2 times bajo de M/01, strays on vegetation times night collecting near blacklight #3. #3408-s, 2 times Malaise trap, 2 times bajo de M/22, 1 times wet forest, 1 times under stone, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 27 times miniWinkler, 11 times search, 10 times Mini Winkler, 2 times Winkler, 5 times flight intercept trap, 3 times beating, 5 times Malaise, 3 times maxiWinkler, 1 times baiting, 1 times Malaise trap.
Elevations: collected from 5 - 1580 meters, 846 meters average
Type specimens: Holotype wardi: inbiocri001238528; paratype of Crematogaster wardi: inbiocri001238527; Paratype wardi: inbiocri001281212, inbiocri002719786, inbiocri002719787, inbiocri002719788, inbiocri002720566, inbiocri002720567