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Species: Dolichoderus lutosus   (Smith, 1858) 

Download Data

See Also:

Dolichoderus lutosus_cf, Dolichoderus lutosus_nr

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

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

Taxonomic history

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.


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuela
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

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)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Dolichoderus lutosus   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 24, (download) 24 21367
Dolichoderus lutosus   Forel, A., 1905, Miscellanea myrmicologiques, II (1905)., Annales de la Societe Entomologique de Belgique 49, pp. 155-185: 159, (download) 159 4001

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 10 times found in tropical dry forest, 17 times found in tropical moist forest, 12 times found in lowland wet forest, 12 times found in dry forest, 4 times found in SSO 450m, 9 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 3 times found in Entre el SHO y SSE, 8 times found in roadside vegetation, 4 times found in Sura 700m, 6 times found in tropical rainforest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 40 times beating vegetation, 9 times Malaise trap, 9 times ex sifted leaf litter, 3 times nest in hollow twig, 4 times ex Cordia alliodora, 1 times ex live stems sprawling vine, 5 times nest in twig above ground, 5 times ex dead branch above ground, 2 times stray foragers/alates, 2 times in dead stick, 4 times on low vegetation, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 34 times Fogging, 40 times Beating, 32 times search, 8 times hand collecting, 19 times hand collection, 12 times Malaise, 6 times MaxiWinkler, 5 times direct collection, 4 times Malaise trap, 3 times Baiting, 3 times MiniWinkler, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1480 meters, 230 meters average

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

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