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Widespread in Neotropics from southern Mexico to Argentina.
Crematogaster rochai has a biology very similar to crinosa and torosa. It occurs primarily in open, seasonally dry areas, highly disturbed areas, pasture edges, and beach margins. It occasionally occurs in mangroves, although crinosa is the more common mangrove inhabitant. I have never collected it in rainforest areas.
Nests are large, polydomous, and distributed in a wide variety of plant cavities. Dead branches and knots in living trees are most often used. In Guanacaste Province in Costa Rica colonies may occupy ant acacias and may invade acacias occupied by Pseudomyrmex. I have seen workers distributed in small chambers scattered in the corky bark of Tabebuia trees (Bignoniaceae) and Erythrina trees (Fabaceae). Workers often construct small carton baffles to restrict nest entrances and small carton pavilions that shelter Homoptera on surrounding vegetation.
Foraging is primarily diurnal. Workers are generalized scavengers and they frequently visit extrafloral nectaries. Often columns of workers move between nests.
I often find cockroach egg cases scattered in the nest chambers of C. rochai, at a much higher density than in the environment generally. The nature of the relationship between cockroaches and the crinosa group would be worth investigation.
|Crematogaster rochai||REVISED STATUS||Longino, J. T., 2003, The Crematogaster (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) of Costa Rica., Zootaxa 151, pp. 1-150: 102-103, (download)||102-103||20256|
|Crematogaster rochai||Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 32, (download)||32||21367|
|Crematogaster rochai||Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 52, (download)||52||21367|
Found most commonly in these habitats: 8 times found in tropical dry forest, 10 times found in beach, 4 times found in Escarpment with xeric vegetation, dropping to flat pasture with scattered trees., 4 times found in second growth forest, 1 times found in 2nd growth dry forest, 1 times found in scrubby forest, 1 times found in scrubby riparian vegetation, 1 times found in shaded lawn, 1 times found in riparian forest, 2 times found in wet forest, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 2 times on oil palm, 2 times night walk along trail that skirts south side of estuary, looping around to road, 2 times ex ant acacia, 3 times beating vegetation, 2 times general collecting, 1 times Roadside veg., workers on dead fencepost; shade., 1 times roadside veg., many workers in small bark chambers ("riddled bark" like I saw be, 1 times recent treefall, 2 times on tree trunk, 1 times on ant acacia., 1 times Nesting in 7-12mm dead sticks., ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 9 times search, 4 times In acacia tree, 3 times Beating, 1 times Baiting, 1 times Canopy Fogging, 1 times pitfall, 1 times sweep.
Elevations: collected from 5 - 1114 meters, 224 meters average
Type specimens: rochai syntype: jtl028029; syntype malevolens: jtl055984; syntype of Crematogaster brevispinosa malevolens: casent0912755; syntype of Crematogaster rochai: casent0901464, casent0902172, casent0908402; syntypes carminis: jtl027887; syntypes convicta: jtl055887, jtl055888; syntypes fautrix: jtl055949; syntypes malevolens: jtl056052, jtl056053; syntypes subtonsa: jtl056054; tucumanensis syntype: jtl028026, jtl028027; type of Cremastogaster rochai: focol0657