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Costa Rica: upper elevation Cordillera de Tilaran, on Atlantic slope.
This species is known only from the Penas Blancas Valley. It nests in discrete globular ant gardens.
Pheidole violaceaHNS new species
Etymology L violaceaHNS, violet-colored, referring to the bluish to violaceous reflections of the minor body.
Diagnosis Major: medium brown body with bicolorous head; carinulae originating from the posterior sections of the frontal lobes curve laterally to end near the eyes; pilosity overall dense and very long; pronotal humerus comulate in dorsal-oblique view. Minor: body and head light brown with unusual local bluish reflections in certain lights.
Similar to borucaHNS of Costa Rica but that species is darker colored, lacking bluish or violaceous reflections in the minor; and the major has a foveate occiput, more extensive outward curving carinulae on the head, and rounded pronotal humeri in dorsal-oblique view.
See also the less similar aculiferaHNS (in the fallaxHNS group), prostrataHNS, and variegataHNS. Measurements (mm) Holotype major: HW 1.30, HL 1.36, SL 1.10, EL 1.02, PW 0.64. Paratype minor: HW 0.64, HL 0.80, SL 1.02, EL 0.20, PW 0.44.
Color Major: body and head concolorous medium brown, except for genae anterior to the eyes, which are yellowish brown; appendages light brown, tarsi yellow.
Minor: body and appendages concolorous light brown except tarsi, which are yellow; bluish to violaceous reflections occur over most of the body in certain angles of light, in small patches at a time.
Range Upper elevation of the Cordillera de Tilaran, on the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica (J. T. Longino 1997).
Biology Longino (1997): known only from the Penas Blancas Valley, where it nests in globular ant gardens in wet forest clearings. E.g.: "carton/soil fiorii-\ike nest on low vegetation. Polydomous, with one nest enveloping stems of shrub, second nest less than 1 m away on underside of Xanthosoma leaf. First nest was covered with small dicot seedlings, all at the cotyledon stage... A welldeveloped ant garden in front of house, with large epiphytes. Nest about half the size of a soccer ball, discrete and irregularly spherical, on stem of Urera ... I later saw more of these ant gardens, with the same PheidoleHNS and the same epiphytes." Winged queens were present in one nest 21 June 1991.
figure Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. COSTA RICA: Rio Penas Blancas, Alajuela, 950 m (J. Longino). Scale bars = 1 mm.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 4 times found in montane wet forest, 1 times found in wet forest, recent landslide, 1 times found in rainforest edge, 1 times found in regenerating pasture, 1 times found in Wet forest, 1 times found in Wet forest clearing.
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times Wet forest. Carton/soil fiorii-like nest on low vegetation. Polydomous, with on, 1 times ex antgarden, 1 times on low vegetation, 1 times Ants in recent treefall, 1 times ant garden in Psidium tree, 1 times ex ant garden, 1 times bajo de M/05.
Collected most commonly using these methods: 3 times search, 3 times Malaise, 1 times beating vegetation (3 hour period), 1 times flight intercept trap.
Elevations: collected from 500 - 950 meters, 811 meters average
Type specimens: holotype major Pheidole violacea: inbiocri001281796; paratype Pheidole violacea: inbiocri001281797, inbiocri001281798, inbiocri001281799, inbiocri001282040, inbiocri001282041, inbiocri001282053