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Species: Dolichoderus lutosus   (Smith, 1858) 

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See Also:

Dolichoderus lutosus_cf, Dolichoderus lutosus nigriventris, Dolichoderus lutosus ruficauda

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2015)

Formica lutosa Smith, 1858a PDF: 42 (w.) BRAZIL. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Mann, 1916 PDF: 468 (q.m.).
Combination in Dolichoderus: Mayr, 1886c PDF: 356; in Dolichoderus (Hypoclinea): Emery, 1894d PDF: 228; in Hypoclinea: Kempf, 1972b PDF: 120; in Dolichoderus: Shattuck, 1992c PDF: 77.
Senior synonym of Dolichoderus cingulata: Mayr, 1886c PDF: 356.
Senior synonym of Dolichoderus nigriventris and material of the nomen nudum Dolichoderus ruficauda referred here: MacKay, 1993b PDF: 74.


Mexico south to Bolivia and southern Brazil. Costa Rica: widespread.


Natural History:

From MacKay 1993:

This is a common species, found in disturbed habitats (especially coffee plantations) as well as virgin forest up to 800 meters in elevation. It is common in riparian sites. Nests are found in hollow, dead twigs in trees or in abandoned arboreal termite nests or in spines of Acacia bursaria (Wheeler, 1936, 1942; pers. obs.). It is commonly intercepted in quarantine on orchids, in pseudobulbs and in banana debris. These ants are not aggressive when the nest is disturbed, they escape very rapidly into the leaf litter. Sexuals are commonly collected in light traps. Stray sexuals have been collected in Jan. (Panama), Jan., Mar. and May (Brasil), May and June (Mexico), and July (Guiana).[MacKay Literature Cited]

This is by far the most common species in Costa Rica. They are most abundant in highly insolated areas such as roadsides, scrubby vegetation, and the high canopy. Nests are almost always in narrow guage dead stems, often simple stem fragments lodged in vegetation. They occasionally restrict nest openings with small amounts of carton construction, covering the ends of hollow sticks and leaving a small entrance hole. They are opportunistic nesters in myrmecophytes, particularly Cordia alliodora and Triplaris. In these cases they usually nest in dead branches low in the crown, away from the resident colony of dominant plant ants (e.g., Azteca pittieri, Pseudomyrmex viduus).

When held with forceps, workers produce a white, somewhat foamy substance that quickly spreads onto the forceps. They do not have the strong odor typical of other dolichoderines.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Forel, A., 1893:
[[ worker ]]. Differe des types bresiliens par son abdomen d'un noir luisant a peine brunatre, n'ayant que deux petites taches a la base et l'extremite d'un roux jaunatre. La ponctuation de l'abdomen est aussi plus forte et plus abondante. La tete et le thorax sont d'un jaune rougeatre plus vif. L'ecaille est distinctement acuminee comme l'indique Smith, ce qui n'etait pas le cas des individus de de Mayr ( var. cingulatus, Mayr ).
(60). Very rare. The only specimens seen were beaten from foliage. Forest near a stream.
(60 a). Forest near Chateaubelais (leeward), 250 ft.; close to open land. Jan. 26 th. Four workers, beaten from foliage. I searched vainly in the vicinity for the nest.

Wild, A. L., 2007:
Canindeyú , Cordillera, San Pedro (ALWC, INBP, LACM). Literature records: “Paraguay” (s. loc.) (Emery 1894b).

Forel, A., 1905:
- Las Trincheras.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 17 times found in tropical moist forest, 6 times found in tropical dry forest, 12 times found in lowland wet forest, 4 times found in SSO 450m, 9 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 3 times found in Entre el SHO y SSE, 4 times found in Sura 700m, 5 times found in 2º wet forest, 1 times found in CCL 840M, 1 times found in lowland tropical rain forest, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 34 times Fogging, 36 times Beating, 26 times search, 7 times hand collecting, 12 times Malaise, 4 times MaxiWinkler, 3 times Flight Intercept Trap, 3 times MiniWinkler, 2 times Blacklight, 2 times Baiting, 1 times Berlese, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1480 meters, 217 meters average

Type specimens: syntype of Dolichoderus lutosus: casent0902953, casent0902954; syntype of Dolichoderus lutosus nigriventris: casent0909470; syntype of Hypoclinea cingulata: casent0915567

(-1 examples)

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