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Species: Linepithema dispertitum   (Forel, 1885) 


Classification:
Download Data

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2017)

Iridomyrmex dispertitus Forel, 1885a PDF: 351 (w.m.) GUATEMALA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Wild, 2007A PDF: 44 (m.).
Combination in Linepithema: Shattuck, 1992a PDF: 16.

Distribution:


Nearctic Region: Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Hidalgo, México, Zacatecas
Neotropical Region: Americas, Baja Verapaz, Bolivia, Brazil, Caribbean, Central America, Chiapas, Chimaltenango, Chiriquí, Colombia, Cortés, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jalisco, La Libertad, Mexico, Morelos, Nicaragua, Nueva Segovia, Panama, Puntarenas, Sacatepéquez, San José, Santiago, Sololá, South America, Trinidad and Tobago, Veracruz

Distribution Notes:

Northern Mexico to Panama, with an isolated population above 2400 meters in the Cordillera Central of Hispaniola.

Biology:

Natural History:

From Wild 2007:

Linepithema dispertitum is primarily a montane forest ant but has been recorded across a broad range of habitats. This species has been collected from 130 to over 3,000 meters in elevation, with more than 90% of records across the range of L. dispertitum being from above 1,000 meters. Where habitat information has been recorded, 15 collections are from montane pine forest, five from montane rain forest, three from oak woodland, two from coffee plantations, and one each from tropical dry forest and rainforest.

Unlike the largely arboreal and closely related L. iniquum, L. dispertitum is more frequently found nesting in soil or rotting wood. 28 nest records are from under stones, nine are from rotting wood, eight are from orchids, two are from moss on a tree trunk, and one is from under bark. Several of the orchid records were overland port-of-entry intercepts of full colonies with dealate queens into the United States from southern Mexico, suggesting the potential of this species to spread beyond its native range. Alate males have been recorded in April and June in Veracruz, Mexico, in November in Guatemala, in January in El Salvador, and in July and September in the Dominican Republic.

Linepithema dispertitum is probably monogynous in some populations. Of ten nest excavations that I conducted in Guatemala and in the Dominican Republic, four nests contained a single dealate queen, and the remainder uncovered no queens. Molecular genetic data will be needed to confirm monogyny, and given the extensive interpopulation variation in male morphology it is possible that mating system and colony structure vary correspondingly.

I observed Pseudacteon sp. phorid flies attacking L. dispertitum at nest excavations in Baja Verapaz and Solol‡, Guatemala. The flies appeared within a few minutes as I broke into the ant nests. Voucher specimens of the phorids were identified by Brian Brown and have been deposited at LACM.

In the Dominican Republic, L. dispertitum appears to be confined to a single population inhabiting pine forests above 2400 meters on Pico Duarte and neighboring mountains in the Cordillera Central. In these areas, L. dispertitum is abundant and apparently found to the exclusion of most other ant species.

In Costa Rica there is only one record of L. dispertitum. Phil Ward collected it 4k E San Gerardo, 9¡28ÕN 83¡34ÕW, 2150m.

References:

Wild, A. L. 2007. Taxonomic Revision of the Ant Genus Linepithema (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, USA.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 4 times found in montane rainforest, 4 times found in cloud forest, 3 times found in pine forest, 4 times found in Port of entry, 4 times found in montane pine forest fragment, with some Quercus, Cupressus, and various Neotropi, 4 times found in agricultural zone, 3 times found in montane pine-oak forest, open, E facing ridgetop. Collections from ridge S of Ll, 3 times found in tillandsia streptophylla, 3 times found in oak woodland, scattered juniper, 1 times found in mesophyll forest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 3 times ex rotten log, 3 times nest under rock, 1 times in epiphytes, old treefall, 3 times beating vegetation, 1 times tending Coccoidea *on pine gall, 2 times Linepithema nest in rotting pine log on ground., 1 times ex moss on tree trunk, 2 times under stone, 2 times on low vegetation, 1 times nest under stone, with males, 1 times nest under rock with queen, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 3 times search, 4 times pitfall, 3 times beating, 1 times 1900hr, dusk, 1 times baiting.

Elevations: collected from 130 - 3094 meters, 1890 meters average

Type specimens: Lectotype of Linepithema dispertitum: casent0909564; paralectotype of Iridomyrmex dispertitus: casent0915575



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