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Costa Rica: Monteverde cloud forest, Braulio Carrillo 1200-1600m elevation, Tapanti, Cerro Pittier at 1600m.
This species is a dominant ant in cloud forest leaf litter. It is mainly known from Winkler samples. In Monteverde, it occurs in nearly every Winkler sample in the ridge crest cloud forest, but drops out abruptly just below the divide on either slope (one collection is known from 1300m, just below the escarpent at the head of the Penas Blancas valley, but none from 900m and below, where many Winkler samples have been examined). Workers have been collected at baits in the Monteverde cloud forest. Several nests have been observed in rotten wood in the leaf litter. One collection (which is slightly different morphologically), from Tapanti, was from a nest in the clasping petiole of a Piper (not one of the myrmecophytic species). There was a seed cache in this nest.
Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.
Etymology Named after the type locality, a famous mountain reserve in Costa Rica.
Major: dark brown; eye broadly oval and set well forward on head; posterior dorsal profde of head flat; humerus in dorsal-oblique view lobose; propodeal spines moderately long and slender; postpetiole from above elliptical; almost all of dorsal head surface except occiput, frontal triangle, and midclypeus carinulate; carinulae originating on frontal lobes curve inward slightly, toward midline. Minor: dark brown; eye large, elliptical; pilosity sparse; in dorsal-oblique view humerus and mesonotal convexity subangulate; head mostly foveolate, and promesonotum smooth and shiny.
Measurements (mm) Holotype major: HW 0.78, HL 0.94, SL 0.42, EL 0.14, PW 0.40. Paratype minor: HW 0.46, HL 0.50, SL 0.40, EL 0.14, PW 0.28.
Color Major: body, mandibles, and scapes dark brown; funiculus and legs medium brown.
Minor: body mostly dark brown; anterior one-fourth of head capsule, and appendages, medium brown.
Range Cloud forest in Costa Rica, 1200-1600 m (Longino 1997).
biology According to Longino (1997), monteverdensisHNS is a dominant ant in cloud-forest leaf litter, but drops out abruptly below 900 m. Nests have been found in pieces of rotting wood in the leaf litter, and one in the clasping petiole of a non-myrmecophytic Piper. A seed cache was discovered in the latter nest.
Figure Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. COSTA RICA: Monteverde, 1400 m (Stefan Cover). Scale bars = 1 mm.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 158 times found in cloud forest, 99 times found in montane wet forest, 15 times found in cloud forest, probably old second growth, matrix of dense bamboo and more open forest, 16 times found in wet forest, 15 times found in cloud forest, old second growth forest, 8 times found in cloud forest, mature but probably disturbed, some big trees, bordering road on steep slope, 5 times found in oak cloud forest, ridgetop, 3 times found in cloud forest, old second growth, riparian, 3 times found in moist forest, 2 times found in Montane forest, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 109 times ex sifted litter from forest floor, 47 times ex sifted leaf litter, 28 times Hojarasca, 17 times ex sifted leaf litter on ground, 22 times at bait, 14 times pan trap, 9 times Hojarasca, en bosque paralelo al sendero gradiente fuerte y al lado de paredon, 10 times beating veg., 6 times Hojarasca, mature forest, dropping, 8 times Hojarasca, bosque, 1 times in dead wood on ground, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 150 times Winkler, 74 times Mini Winkler, 24 times miniWinkler, 18 times baiting, 15 times Pan Trap, 10 times Berlese, 10 times beating, 7 times bait, 7 times flight intercept trap, 5 times maxiWinkler, 3 times search, ...
Elevations: collected from 1220 - 2170 meters, 1539 meters average