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Species: Myrmelachista lauroatlantica   Longino, 2006 

Classification:
Download Data

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Myrmelachista lauroatlantica Longino, 2006A PDF: 28, figs. 4, 7, 8, 9 (w.q.m.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Distribution:

  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Costa Rica
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Neotropical

Distribution Notes:

Costa Rica. In Costa Rica it occurs in the Atlantic lowlands.

Biology:

Natural History:

This species occurs in mature rainforest habitats in the Atlantic lowlands. It is a specialist inhabitant of live stems of Lauraceae, similar to M. flavocotea. In the forests around the community of Tortuguero on the north Atlantic coast understory Ocotea dendrodaphne and Licaria sp. are common, and nearly all are inhabited by M. lauroatlantica. I dissected numerous small plants with colonies, many of which were monogynous but some of which were polygynous. One small Licaria contained 25 dealate queens, along with workers, brood, and an adult male. One contained a cluster of 3 dealate queens in a colony with abundant workers and brood. A large Licaria tree that had fallen over and produced sucker shoots along its length was packed with a large polygynous colony, with clusters of dealate queens in many chambers. In a forest patch at C.A.T.I.E. near Turrialba colonies were common in O. dendrodaphne and O. atirrensis. A monogynous colony was found in an understory Ocotea (probably dendrodaphne or atirrensis) in Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve.

References:

Longino, J. T. (2006). A Taxonomic review of the genus Myrmelachista (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica. Zootaxa 1141:1-54.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Longino, J. T., 2006, A taxonomic review of the genus Myrmelachista (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica., Zootaxa 1141, pp. 1-54

Myrmelachista lauroatlanticaHNS NEW SPECIES

Figures 4, 7, 8, 9

Holotype queen: Costa Rica, Prov. Limón, Casa Verde, Tortuguero GoogleMaps, 10°35’N, 83°31’W, 5m GoogleMaps, 24 Jun 1988 (J. Longino #2136) [INBC, specimen code JTLC000006207]. GoogleMaps

Paratypes: workers and queens, from same nest as holotype, specimen codes JTLC000006208 - JTLC000006212, distributed to MCZC, USNM, UCDC, LACM, BMNH. GoogleMaps

Diagnosis

Worker with antenna 9-segmented, maxillary palpus 5-segmented, color yellow. Queen black; in full face view, with abundant long erect setae projecting from rear margin and sides of head. Obligate inhabitant of Lauraceae.

Worker

Same as M. flavocoteaHNS except for color of the gaster, which has faint posterior bands of infuscation on the tergites.

Measurements: HL 0.450-0.588, HW 0.422-0.579, SL 0.217-0.295, EL 0.080-0.130, CI 94-100 (n=5).

Queen

Antenna 9-segmented; maxillary palpus 5-segmented; labrum short, bilobed, not covering mouthparts; dorsal surface of mandible punctate to coarsely punctatorugose; clypeus with large piligerous puncta; malar spaces with variable extent of weak punctatorugose sculpturing, grading to smooth and shining posteriorly; in full face view, with abundant long erect setae projecting from rear margin and sides of head; ventral surface of head with abundant short erect setae; scapes with abundant erect to suberect setae, longer setae subequal to width of scape; outer surface of hind tibia with abundant erect to subdecumbent setae, longer setae shorter than width of tibia; color solid black.

Measurements: HL 0.874-1.08, HW 0.763-0.930, SL 0.380-0.434, EL 0.231-0.286, OW 0.048-0.073, OD 0.170-0.227, CI 83-89, OI 29-33, OcI 5-8 (n=11).

Male

Antenna 10-segmented; maxillary palpus 5 or 6-segmented; pygostyles nearly absent (tiny remnants visible at high magnification); basiparamere lobe pronounced, with broad base, about half the length of the paramere; paramere also with broad base; cuspis small, rectangular, with minute apical denticles; digitus evenly curved downward and tapering to blunt point; apodeme of penial valve curving into dorsal margin at obtuse angle.

Etymology

The name refers to its association with plants in the family Lauraceae and its geographic distribution in the Atlantic lowlands.

Range

Costa Rica. In Costa Rica it occurs in the Atlantic lowlands.

Biology

This species occurs in mature rainforest habitats in the Atlantic lowlands. It is a specialist inhabitant of live stems of Lauraceae, similar to M. flavocoteaHNS. In the forests around the community of Tortuguero on the north Atlantic coast understory Ocotea dendrodaphne and Licaria sp. are common, and nearly all are inhabited by M. lauroatlanticaHNS. I dissected numerous small plants with colonies, many of which were monogynous but some of which were polygynous. One small Licaria contained 25 dealate queens, along with workers, brood, and an adult male. One contained a cluster of 3 dealate queens in a colony with abundant workers and brood. A large Licaria tree that had fallen over and produced sucker shoots along its length was packed with a large polygynous colony, with clusters of dealate queens in many chambers. In a forest patch at C.A.T.I.E. near Turrialba colonies were common in O. dendrodaphne and O. atirrensis. A monogynous colony was found in an understory OcoteaHNS (probably dendrodaphne or atirrensis) in Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve.

Material Examined

COSTA RICA, Cartago: CATIE, nr. Turrialba GoogleMaps, 9°54’N, 83°39’W, 550m GoogleMaps (J. Longino, 6 collections) GoogleMaps; Limón: Tortuguero GoogleMaps, 10°35’N, 83°31’W, 5-50m GoogleMaps (J. Longino, 17 collections) GoogleMaps; Hitoy Cerere Biol. Reserve GoogleMaps, 9°40’N, 83°02’W, 100m GoogleMaps (J. Longino) GoogleMaps.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 30 times found in wet forest, 3 times found in 2nd growth cloud forest, 2 times found in mature rainforest, 1 times found in Primary wet forest, 1 times found in mature wet forest, 1 times found in montane wet forest.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 13 times ex live stems Ocotea, 8 times ex live stem Ocotea dendrodaphne, 5 times ex live stem Lauraceae, 6 times in live stems Licaria (Lauraceae), 1 times ex live stems, 1 times nest in live stems Ocotea, 1 times in live stems Lauraceae, 1 times in live stem Lauraceae.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 6 times search, 2 times Malaise.

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1500 meters, 382 meters average

Type specimens: Holotype queen lauroatlantica: jtlc000006207; Paratype lauroatlantica: jtlc000006208, jtlc000006209, jtlc000006210, jtlc000006211, jtlc000006212



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