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Species: Myrmelachista mexicana   Wheeler, 1934 


Classification:
Download Data

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2017)

Myrmelachista (Decamera) mexicana Wheeler, 1934g PDF: 200, fig. 4 (w.q.m.) MEXICO. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Myrmelachista (Hincksidris): Kempf, 1972b PDF: 149.
See also Longino, 2006A PDF: 39.

Distribution:


Neotropical Region: Alajuela, Americas, Atlántida, Central America, Colón, Costa Rica, Heredia, Honduras, Limón, Matagalpa, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Veracruz

Distribution Notes:

Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama. In Costa Rica it is known from La Selva Biological Station and Arenal National Park (Longino 2006).

Biology:

Natural History:

The types of M. mexicana were collected in hollow twigs in southern Mexico. A dealate queen at USNM was intercepted by Brownsville quarantine in an orchid stem from the Canal Zone in Panama. At La Selva Biological Station and on the Barva transect in Braulio Carrillo National Park it has been collected in several Project ALAS Malaise and canopy fogging samples, from 50 to 500m elevation.

At La Selva I found a colony in a small dead stem in the crown of a recently felled Carapa guianensis. The relict tree was somewhat isolated in low second growth vegetation, and there were abundant vines over the crown, mainly Marcgraviaceae. The colony was polygynous, with multiple dealate queens. In the field, the tiny workers looked like small Solenopsis or Monomorium floricola.

References:

Longino, J. T. (2006). A Taxonomic review of the genus Myrmelachista (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica. Zootaxa 1141:1-54.

Wheeler, W. M. (1934). Neotropical ants collected by Dr. Elisabeth Skwarra and others. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 77, 157Ð240.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Longino, J. T., 2006, A taxonomic review of the genus Myrmelachista (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica., Zootaxa 1141, pp. 1-54

Myrmelachista mexicana WheelerHNS

Myrmelachista mexicana WheelerHNS 1934:200. Syntype workers, queen, males: Mexico, Veracruz, Mirador (Skwarra #296), in hollow twigs [MCZC, USNM] (USNM syntype worker examined). Combination in M. (Hincksidris)HNS: Kempf, 1972:149.

Diagnosis

Worker with antenna 10-segmented, face shiny, HW less than 0.5mm.

Worker

Antenna 10-segmented; maxillary palpus 6-segmented; mandible, clypeus, and face smooth and shining; in full face view, sides of head with sparse, short, appressed pubescence, no erect setae; rear margin of head with longer erect setae; ventral surface of head with very sparse, very short appressed pubescence, no erect setae; hind tibia with abundant appressed to suberect setae, pilosity short, about 1/4 width of tibia; mesosoma strongly constricted at metanotal groove, hourglass-shaped; dorsal face of propodeum with faint to pronounced reticulate sculpture; petiole in side view with low, rounded node, short anterior peduncle and long posterior peduncle; bicolored, with light red brown head and mesosoma, dark brown gaster, or grading to more uniformly dark red brown coloration. Also see description of Wheeler (1934).

Measurements: HL 0.438-0.471, HW 0.389-0.423, SL 0.256-0.292, EL 0.093-0.100, CI 87-90 (n=5).

Queen

Similar to worker in meristic characters, patterns of sculpture, pilosity, coloration. Labrum short, bilobed. Also see description of Wheeler (1934).

Measurements: HL 0.570-0.599, HW 0.483-0.484, SL 0.285-0.297, EL 0.175-0.180, OW 0.032, OD 0.147-0.156, CI 81-85, OI 36-37, OcI 5-6 (n=2).

Male

See description of Wheeler (1934). Wheeler’s figure of male genitalia show similarities to zeledoniHNS, with blunt basiparamere lobe and paramere, and strongly upturned penial valve (suggesting that apodeme meets dorsal margin at right angle, like zeledoniHNS). The volsella is not visible in the illustration, suggesting it is short and downturned, like zeledoniHNS. Pygostyles are not shown, suggesting they are absent or minute.

Range

Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama. In Costa Rica it is known from La Selva Biological Station and Arenal National Park.

Biology

The types of M. mexicanaHNS were collected in hollow twigs in southern Mexico. A dealate queen at USNM was intercepted by Brownsville quarantine in an orchid stem from the Canal Zone in Panama. At La Selva Biological Station and on the Barva transect in Braulio Carrillo National Park it has been collected in several Project ALAS Malaise and canopy fogging samples, from 50 to 500m elevation.

At La Selva I found a colony in a small dead stem in the crown of a recently felled Carapa guianensis. The relict tree was somewhat isolated in low second growth vegetation, and there were abundant vines over the crown, mainly Marcgraviaceae. The colony was polygynous, with multiple dealate queens. In the field, the tiny workers looked like small SolenopsisHNS or Monomorium floricolaHNS.

Material Examined

COSTA RICA, Alajuela: Par. Nac. Arenal, La Peninsula GoogleMaps, 10°27’N, 84°45’W, 600m GoogleMaps (J. S. Noyes) GoogleMaps; Heredia: La Selva Biological Station GoogleMaps, 10°26’N, 84°01’W, 50m GoogleMaps (ALAS) GoogleMaps; same data (J. Longino, 3 collections) GoogleMaps; MEXICO, Veracruz: Mirador GoogleMaps, 19°13’N, 96°51’W (E. Skwarra) [USNM] GoogleMaps; PANAMA, Canal Zone: Canal Zone (Brownsville Quarantine) [USNM].

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 6 times found in montane wet forest, 1 times found in 2nd growth wet forest, 1 times found in relict tree in low 2nd growth veg., 3 times found in Entre SHO y SSE, 2 times found in tropical wet forest, 2 times found in Entre el SHO y SSE, 2 times found in SURA 850M, 1 times found in lowland rainforest, 1 times found in mature wet forest, 1 times found in SAT, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 2 times nest in dead stem, 2 times ex sifted leaf litter, 2 times beating veg., 1 times sifted litter, 1 times orchid stem, 1 times Malaise trap, 1 times Collecting in recent (< 1week) treefall. A large dead snag fell, bringing a lar, 1 times bajo de M/26, 1 times Ants from malaise trap set at LOC200 on 15 Oct, harvested 22 Oct..

Collected most commonly using these methods: 12 times Fogging, 9 times Malaise, 2 times search, 2 times beating, 1 times flight intercept trap, 1 times MaxiWinkler, 1 times miniWinkler, 1 times sweep net, 1 times Winkler.

Elevations: collected from 50 - 900 meters, 262 meters average

Type specimens: syntype Myrmelachista mexicana: jtlc000005279



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