Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2014)
Nicaragua south to Colombia, Guyana, Suriname (type locality); Puerto Rico. Costa Rica: Atlantic and southern Pacific lowlands.
Generally occurs in open, highly disturbed areas; generalized forager; nests in ground.
Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)
Wilson, E. O.:
Pheidole cocciphaga Borgmeier 1934: 99.
Etymology l Gr cocciphaga , eater of coecum, or scale insect.
diagnosis A slender, small-headed member of the diligens group distinguished by the following combination of traits. Major: head small relative to body and with a "crown" on the occiput of dense foveae and tuft of erect to suberect medium-length hair; antennal scape exceeding the occipital corner by over 2X the scape's maximum width.
Minor: head elliptical in full-face view, with nuchal collar; antennal scape exceeds occipital border by half its own length.
measurements (mm) Lectotype major: HW 0.88, HL 0.92, SL 0.92, EL 0.20, PW 0.50.
Paralectotype minor: HW 0.54, HL 0.70, SL 0.94, EL 0.16, PW 0.40.
color Major: light reddish brown.
Minor: brownish yellow.
The color varies in both castes to dark brown.
Range I have verified records of this unusual species from Nicaragua (Kukra River), Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, and Puerto Rico (Guanica). In addition, Longino (1997) reports it from southwestern and northeastern Costa Rica. Because it occurs at least occasionally in disturbed habitats (see below), the population in Puerto Rico may be an adventive carried accidentally by human commerce.
Biology In Costa Rica, Longino (1997) found cocciphaga in mature rainforest at La Selva, near Puerto Viejo, and on vegetated land close to the beach at Llorona, Corcovado National Park. One of the latter colonies was on a vegetated rock island separated from the nearby mainland by a shallow marine channel.
Figure Upper: lectotype, major. Lower: paralectotype, minor. SURINAME: Paramaribo. Scale bars = 1 mm.
Specimen Habitat Summary
Found most commonly in these habitats: 12 times found in montane wet forest, 4 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 1 times found in SSA 3400, 2 times found in mature wet forest, 1 times found in wet forest/lab clearing, 2 times found in lowland rainforest, 1 times found in coastal dry scrub, 1 times found in second growth forest, 1 times found in grassy clearing/rain forest edge
Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 5 times Malaise, 3 times miniWinkler, 7 times Sweeping, 1 times Lure/Bait, 3 times search, 2 times baiting, 1 times maxiWinkler, 1 times bait
Elevations: collected from 10 - 550 meters, 160 meters average
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