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Species: Pachycondyla curvinodis   Forel, 1899 

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Neoponera curvinodis

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2017)

Pachycondyla villosa r. curvinodis Forel, 1899B: 15, pl. 1, fig. 12 (w.) GUATEMALA. AntCat AntWiki HOL


Notes by J. Longino, 8 Feb 2014:

Fernandes et al. [Fernandes, I. O., M. L. D. Oliveira, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2014. Description of two new species in the Neotropical Pachycondyla foetida complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae) and taxonomic notes on the genus. Myrmecological News 19:133-163.] review the foetida complex. Treatment of Pachycondyla bugabensis, dismarginata, foetida, insignis, lineaticeps, solisi, theresiae, and villosa seem fine. I disagree with some aspects of Pachycondyla bactronica, curvinodis, and inversa, with respect to their occurrence in Central America.

Pachycondyla bactronica Fernandes et al. 2014: Fernandes et al. describe this as a new species, with type locality in Bahia, Brazil. The geographic range is reported as Costa Rica to southern Brazil. A record from Zent, Costa Rica is reported (Zent is in the Atlantic lowlands). The species looks the same as curvinodis to me. In the worker key, couplet 4 separates species by "anterior face of petiole clearly concave" vs. "anterior face of petiole straight, vertical, or slightly curved at apex." Pachycondyla curvinodis and inversa fall in the first group, bactronica and villosa in the second. But the figures show the anterior face of the petiole of bactronica being concave, in spite of its placement near villosa in the worker key. SL is 2.06-3.26 (n=108), which matches my Central American material of curvinodis (SL around 3mm). I suspect that if I saw the Zent material I would identify it as curvinodis.

Pachycondyla curvinodis Forel 1899: This species was based on syntypes from Guatemala and Panama. A lectotype has not been designated. Mackay and Mackay report the geographic range being Nicaragua south to Peru, and east to Venezuela (neglecting the fact that the type locality includes Guatemala). They report SL of curvinodis as 3.2mm. Fernandes et al. describe curvinodis as a smaller ant, with SL 2.63-2.70 (n=182 specimens). In the key they report the geographic range as Nicaragua to southern Brazil, but in the species account they report it as Mexico to southern Brazil. I have material of what I identify as curvinodis from 19 collections and 15 localities distributed from southern Mexico (Chiapas) to Panama. The degree of curvature of the anterior face of the petiole is highly variable, from shallow to deep. The size is always larger than the sizes reported in Fernandes, et al., with SL around 3mm.

Pachycondyla inversa (Smith 1858): The type locality is Ecuador. Mackay and Mackay report this species from southern Mexico to southern Brazil, and claim that it is nearly indistinguishable from curvinodis. Fernandes et al. report the same geographic range but only examined material from South America. They describe it as a relatively small ant, SL 2.30-2.38 (n=164).

I see no evidence that there are two separate species, curvinodis and inversa, in Central America. Fernandes et al. differentiate curvinodis and inversa by characters that appear highly intraspecifically variable to me, at least in Central America. Until further evidence, I will continue to use the name curvinodis for a species widespread in Central America, and I will consider bactronica and inversa to be South American species not known from Central America.

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