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Species: Pheidole dossena   Wilson, 2003 


Classification:
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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2017)

Pheidole dossena Wilson, 2003A: 287, figs. (s.w.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Distribution:


Neotropical Region: Americas, Atlántida, Belize, Central America, Chiapas, Chontales, Comayagua, Costa Caribe Norte, Costa Caribe Sur, Costa Rica, Gracias a Dios, Guanacaste, Guatemala, Heredia, Honduras, Izabal, Limón, Matagalpa, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Petén, Veracruz

Distribution Notes:

Costa Rica: Atlantic lowlands (Santa Cecilia in northern Costa Rica, La Selva, Hitoy Cerere, Puerto Viejo de Limon).

Biology:

Natural History:

This species is one of the most common in the low arboreal stratum in primary wet forest at La Selva. Workers make prodigious use of loose carton, constructing extensive runways and shelters. Nests are often built in and around dead sticks, dead vine stems, palm bracts, and bark flaps. Nests are common on tree trunks among epiphyte roots. Epiphytes frequently sprout from the carton, in some instances producing discrete ant gardens. Opportunistic nesting in myrmecophytes (e.g. Cecropia, Tillandsia bulbosa) may occur (images of nest in T. bulbosa). Somewhat disheveled galleries and brood-containing carton shelters may occur abundantly in the understory, making it difficult to determine colony boundaries. The general nesting habits of this species are much like Crematogaster longispina.

In one case at La Selva, ant gardens were scattered in a Piper reachable from the bridge over the Sura, at the entrance to the arboretum. The ant gardens looked ephemeral (one was on the tip of a dead branch), and carton galleries traversed the branches. The sprouting epiphytes were mostly small aroids.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Pheidole dossenaHNS new species

Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.

etymology L dossena, clown, jester, referring to the odd head coloration.

diagnosis A member of the fallaxHNS group, similar to bergiHNS in some traits, but easily distinguished from it and other group members as follows.

Major: brownish yellow with a conspicuous circular brown spot in center of vertex, and yellow appendages. Propodeal spines thin, one-third as long as the basal propodeal face and vertical to it; petiolar node very high, tapering in side view at the apex to form a blunt point; postpetiole from above elliptical, with subangulate lateral margins; rugoreticulum extending on each side of head from eye to antennal fossa; carinulae along midline reach from vertex to occiput, and flanked on occiput by short, feeble carinulae, with rest of posterior half of dorsal head surface smooth.

Minor: propodeal spines long and thin; occiput narrowed, with nuchal collar; carinulae cross border between mesopleuron and side of propodeum.

Measurements (mm) Holotype major. HW 1.14, HL 1.22, SL 0.64, EL 0.14, PW 0.56. Paratype minor: HW 0.52, HL 0.64, SL 0.68, EL 0.12, PW 0.34.

Color Major: body and mandibles light brownish yellow, verging to light brown in a circular spot in center of vertex; appendages clear yellow.

Minor: body brownish yellow, tending to clear yellow on mesosoma and waist, with a brownish tinge on head and gaster; appendages clear yellow.

Range I have seen material from numerous localities in lowland southern Mexico (Palenque, Chiapas), Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Biology Occurs on the floor of lowland forest, nesting in rotting wood.

figure Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. COSTA RICA: La Selva Biological Station, near Puerto Viejo, Heredia (Stefan Cover). Scale bars = 1 mm.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 79 times found in mature wet forest, 51 times found in tropical rainforest, 47 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 30 times found in tropical wet forest, 7 times found in CCL 840M, 24 times found in tropical moist forest, 19 times found in 2º wet forest, 20 times found in lowland wet forest, 8 times found in SSO 350m, 9 times found in montane wet forest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 136 times ex sifted leaf litter, 64 times at bait, 61 times beating vegetation, 19 times Malaise trap, 9 times Copa de arbol, 1 times ex live stem Erythrina, 4 times beating veg., 2 times at bait on tree trunk, 1 times ex stems Myriocarpa, 1 times ex dead stick, 1 times under epiphytes, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 85 times Fogging, 125 times miniWinkler, 66 times Baiting, 65 times Beating, 21 times Search, 31 times Malaise, 11 times MaxiWinkler, 2 times Blacklight, 7 times Berlese, 4 times Pitfall, 4 times flight intercept trap, ...

Elevations: collected from 20 - 880 meters, 157 meters average

Type specimens:



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