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Species: Myrmelachista meganaranja   Longino, 2006 

Classification:
Download Data

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2018)

Myrmelachista meganaranja Longino, 2006A PDF: 36, figs. 1, 6, 12, 13 (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 southern highlands, at Wilson Botanical Gardens near San Vito and at Las Alturas.

Biology:

Natural History:

This species occurs in mature wet forest in the southern highlands of Costa Rica. At Wilson Botanical Gardens it occurs in a variety of plant species, nesting in live stems. I found a large aggregation of workers in the terminal two internodes of a Cecropia insignis sapling. A nest in a 2-3m tall Ocotea contained only workers, brood, and males, even though I entirely dissected the tree. A 10m tall Guarea rhopalocarpa tree contained a colony scattered in live stems throughout the crown. All the shoot tips contained cavities excavated by beetle larvae prior to entrance by ants. Many of the branches contained alate queens. The nests contained Pseudococcidae on the inner stem walls.

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 meganaranjaHNS NEW SPECIES

Figures 1, 6, 12, 13

Holotype alate queen: Costa Rica, Prov. Puntarenas, Wilson Botanical Garden, 4km S San Vito GoogleMaps, 8°47’N, 82°58’W, 1200m GoogleMaps, 23 Mar 1990 (J. Longino #2623) [INBC, specimen code JTLC000006225]. GoogleMaps

Paratypes: workers and queens, from same nest as holotype, specimen codes JTLC000006226 - JTLC000006230, distributed to MCZC, USNM, UCDC, LACM, BMNH. GoogleMaps

Diagnosis

Worker with antenna 9-segmented, maxillary palpus 6-segmented, color yellow orange. Queen with orange head, HW 1.28-1.36mm. Male with pygostyles present, basiparamere lobes and parameres very long and thin, digitus broadening apically to paddle-shaped apex.

Worker

Antenna 9-segmented; maxillary palpus 6-segmented; dorsal surface of mandible coarsely punctatorugose; clypeus and face smooth and shining; in full face view, with abundant short subdecumbent setae projecting from rear margin and sides of head; ventral surface of head with abundant short subdecumbent setae, occasional longer setae; scapes with abundant erect to subdecumbent setae, longer setae subequal to width of scape; outer surface of hind tibia with abundant subdecumbent short setae, occasional longer erect setae about 2/3 width of tibia; color uniformly orange.

Measurements: HL 0.830-0.970, HW 0.824-0.991, SL 0.457-0.527, EL 0.149-0.159, CI 99-102 (n=5).

Queen

Antenna 9-segmented; maxillary palpus 6-segmented; labrum short, bilobed, not covering mouthparts; dorsal surface of mandible with dense, large, piligerous puncta; face and clypeus smooth and shining, with some larger puncta on anterior malar spaces; in full face view, with abundant short subdecumbent setae projecting from rear margin and sides of head; ventral surface of head with abundant somewhat longer appressed to suberect 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 about 1/2 to 2/3 width of tibia; color orange with infuscated bands on gastral terga.

Measurements: HL 1.450-1.509, HW 1.277-1.358, SL 0.646-0.673, EL 0.315-0.326, OW 0.092-0.094, OD 0.185-0.203, CI 88-90, OI 24-25, OcI 6-6 (n=2).

Male

Antenna 10-segmented; maxillary palpus 6-segmented; pygostyles small but present, distinctly sclerotized, setose; basiparamere lobe and paramere very elongate, thin; cuspis a thin spiniform processed fused to inner surface of paramere, distant from digitus; digitus elongate, paddle-shaped, broadening distally; apodeme of penial valve curving into dorsal margin at obtuse angle; ocelli relatively large.

Etymology

The name refers to the large size and orange coloration of the workers.

Range

Costa Rica. In Costa Rica it occurs in the southern highlands, at Wilson Botanical Gardens near San Vito and at Las Alturas.

Biology

This species occurs in mature wet forest in the southern highlands of Costa Rica. At Wilson Botanical Gardens it occurs in a variety of plant species, nesting in live stems. I found a large aggregation of workers in the terminal two internodes of a Cecropia insignis sapling. A nest in a 2-3m tall OcoteaHNS contained only workers, brood, and males, even though I entirely dissected the tree. A 10m tall Guarea rhopalocarpa tree contained a colony scattered in live stems throughout the crown. All the shoot tips contained cavities excavated by beetle larvae prior to entrance by ants. Many of the branches contained alate queens. The nests contained Pseudococcidae on the inner stem walls.

Material Examined

COSTA RICA, Puntarenas: Wilson Botanical Garden, 4km S San Vito GoogleMaps, 8°47’N, 82°58’W, 1200m GoogleMaps (J. Longino, 3 collections) GoogleMaps; same data (G. Hewson) GoogleMaps; 5km SW Las Alturas GoogleMaps, 8°55’N, 82°52’W, 1240m GoogleMaps (J. Longino) GoogleMaps.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in wet forest, 1 times found in rainforest.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times Moist forest along trail to river. Ex live stems of 10m tall Guarea rhopalocarpa, 1 times ex live stem understory tree, 1 times Large worker aggregation in upper two internodes of Cecropia insignis sapling al, 1 times Degraded forest. In live stems roadside Ocotea(?). Referred to as "sp-1" Photos., 1 times Moist forest along trail to river. Colony in 2-3m tall understory Ocotea (det. L, 1 times ex live branch Ocotea.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 1 times Search.

Elevations: collected from 1200 - 1360 meters, 1215 meters average

Type specimens: Holotype queen meganaranja: jtlc000006225; Paratype meganaranja: jtlc000006226, jtlc000006227, jtlc000006228, jtlc000006229, jtlc000006230



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