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Species: Azteca alfari   Emery, 1893 


Classification:
Download Data

See Also:

Azteca alfari aequalis, Azteca alfari aequilata, Azteca alfari argentina, Azteca alfari beltii, Azteca alfari cecropiae, Azteca alfari curtiscapa, Azteca alfari fumaticeps, Azteca alfari heinii, Azteca alfari langi, Azteca alfari lucida, Azteca alfari lucidula, Azteca alfari lynchi, Azteca alfari mixta, Azteca alfari ovaticeps, Azteca alfari tuberosa, Azteca alfari zonalis

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2017)

Azteca alfari Emery, 1893l: 138, pl. 2, figs. 48, 49 (s.w.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Senior synonym of Azteca breviscapa, Azteca cecropiae, Azteca curtiscapa, Azteca fumaticeps, Azteca langi, Azteca lucidula, Azteca lynchi (and its junior synonym Azteca argentina), Azteca mixta, Azteca virens and material of the unavailable name Azteca zonalis referred here: Longino, 1989b PDF: 5.
senior synonym of Azteca bicolor: Longino, 1991a PDF: 1575.
See also: Wheeler, 1942 PDF: 215; Longino, 2007 PDF: 15.
[Note: in the older literature the name of this taxon is frequently misspelled as Azteca alfaroi, for example Emery, 1896b PDF: 4; Forel, 1899h: 113.].

Distribution:


Neotropical Region: Amazonas, Argentina, Barinas, Belize, Beni, Bolivia, Brazil, Canal Zone, Canindeyú, Cartago, Chiapas, Chontales, Colima, Colombia, Cordillera, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Goiás, Gracias a Dios, Guanacaste, Guatemala, Guyana, Heredia, Honduras, Jalisco, La Paz, Limón, Madre de Dios, Magdalena, Masaya, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Michoacan, Minas Gerais, Miranda, Misiones, Nicaragua, Panama, Panamá Oeste, Para, Paraguay, Paraná, Peru, Portuguesa, Puntarenas, Región Autónoma del Atlántico Norte, Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur, Risaralda, San José, Sinaloa, Suriname, Tocantins, Trinidad and Tobago, Trujillo, Venezuela

Distribution Notes:

Central Mexico to northern Argentina. Costa Rica: widespread.

Biology:

Natural History:

The taxonomy and biology of A. alfari are reviewed in Longino (1989a, 1991b). Also see review of Azteca-Cecropia ant-plant relationship.

Azteca alfari is an obligate Cecropia ant. It is the most widespread of the Cecropia ants, extending into the subtropics at both ends of its range. Throughout the range it is the Cecropia ant most likely to be found in open or highly disturbed areas. Founding queens are frequent in Cecropia saplings. As trees grow and form multiple branches, the nests become polydomous. Workers and brood are dispersed in branch tips, and the bole and inner portions of branches are progressively abandoned (Longino 1991a). Workers vary in aggressiveness geographically and over time. Workers in young colonies are usually aggressive, but in many cases workers in mature colonies are less aggressive, retreating inside of stems on disturbance (Longino 1991a). Only when a branch is broken open will workers rush out to attack. Trees occupied by alfari often appear somewhat decrepid, with abundant leaf damage and frequently burdened with vines. The foliage of these trees hosts a diverse insect fauna, including foraging ants of other species.

Harada (1989) has described the colony structure of young colonies of alfari. Harada's study did not distinguish between alfari and ovaticeps.

The alfari group, containing alfari and ovaticeps, is a lineage that has colonized Cecropia trees independently of other obligate Cecropia ants (Ayala et al. 1996).

Literature Cited

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Azteca   Longino, J. T., 2007, A taxonomic review of the genus Azteca (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica and a global revision of the aurita group., Zootaxa 1491, pp. 1-63: 8-10, (download) 8-10 21311
Azteca alfari   Longino, J. T., 2007, A taxonomic review of the genus Azteca (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica and a global revision of the aurita group., Zootaxa 1491, pp. 1-63: 15-19, (download) 15-19 21311
Azteca alfari   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 24, (download) 24 21367
Azteca alfari   Forel, A., 1899, Biologia Centrali-Americana; or, contributions to the knowledge of the fauna and flora of Mexico and Central America. Insecta. Hymenoptera. 3 (Formicidae)., London: Unknown Publisher: 112, (download) 112 8170

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 33 times found in cerrado, 4 times found in second growth veg., 5 times found in roadside edge, 6 times found in restinga, 5 times found in tropical semideciduous forest, 2 times found in mixed tropical/temperate mesic forest, 4 times found in dry forest, 2 times found in rainforest, 3 times found in Second growth vegetation with isolated tall trees, 1 times found in subtropical moist forest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 34 times ex Cecropia, 39 times ex Cecropia pachystachya, 12 times Dry forest remnant along river. #2676-#2690 are from branch samples from Cecropi, 7 times ex Cecropia sapling, 1 times Colony in Cecropia peltata tree fallen in stream. Abundant phorid flies swarmed, 5 times in Cecropia peltata sapling, 4 times ex Cecropia peltata, 1 times Ex Cecropia obtusifolia; 10m tall tree; alate queens were in central axis of tru, 3 times ex Cecropia obtusifolia, 5 times Ticoporo Forest Reserve. Dense second growth with few larger trees. Nesting in C, 4 times Roadside vegetation. Cecropia survey, see field notes for more detailed informat, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 93 times search, 2 times Malaise, 1 times Beating.

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1310 meters, 383 meters average

Type specimens: Lectotype of Azteca alfari: casent0905089; Lectotype of Azteca alfari curtiscapa: casent0909586; Lectotype of Azteca alfari mixta: casent0909592; Lectotype of Azteca alfari cecropiae: casent0909593; Lectotype of Azteca alfaroi lucidula: casent0909594; Lectotype of Azteca bicolor: casent0905095; syntype of Azteca virens: casent0909711; syntype of Azteca alfari argentina: casent0909585; syntype of Azteca alfari fumaticeps: casent0909587; syntype of Azteca alfari lucidula zonalis: casent0911459; syntype of Azteca foreli breviscapa: casent0909631; syntype of Azteca forelii breviscapa: casent0903002; syntype of Azteca virens: casent0903003; type of Azteca alfaroi var. fumaticeps: focol0537



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