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Species: Solenopsis picea   Emery, 1896 


Classification:
Download Data

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2017)

Solenopsis picea Emery, 1896g PDF: 89 (w.q.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Distribution:


Neotropical Region: Alajuela, Americas, Argentina, Atlántida, Baja Verapaz, Belize, Boaco, Bolivia, Brazil, Caribbean, Cartago, Cayo, Ceará, Central America, Chiapas, Coclé, Colombia, Comayagua, Costa Caribe Sur, Costa Rica, Cuba, Gracias a Dios, Guanacaste, Guatemala, Guyana, Heredia, Honduras, Limón, Matagalpa, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraná, Peru, Puerto Rico, Puntarenas, San José, South America

Distribution Notes:

Widespread in the Neotropica, from Mexico to Argentina according to Pacheco and Mackay 2013.

Biology:

Longino, 1 Mar 2014: This is one of the most abundant Solenopsis species in Costa Rica. It does not occur in cloud forest, but is common in mid to lower elevation wet and moist forest. I have collected it in many localities throughout the Atlantic slope (to about 1000m), in moist forest areas near Monteverde, in the "bosque humedo" of Santa Rosa National Park, at La Alturas in the Cordillera de Talamanca, and in San Jose city parks. It is rare or absent in the wet forests of the southern Pacific lowlands, although I did collect it in the town plaza of Sierpe.

Solenopsis picea is most abundant in second growth forest or other altered habitats where there are trees, but it also occurs with some frequency in mature forest. It is arboreal, nesting in dead sticks, under epiphytes, and opportunistically in any arboreal cavity. Colonies are enormous, polydomous, and abundantly polygynous. They are spread throughout the vegetation and it is difficult to delimit colony boundaries. I have found dead sticks packed with abundant queens, some alate and some dealate, suggesting adoption of daughter queens into the colony.

In several ways workers are intermediate between fire ants and the tiny diplorhoptrum of leaf litter and soil. They are somewhat polymorphic, with considerable variation in worker size, but no really large soldiers. They are intermediate in size, with the smallest workers difficult to distinguish from small black diplorhoptrum of the leaf litter. They have small compound eyes, composed of five or more ommatidia. Diplorhoptrum usually have fewer, and fire ants usually have more.

Workers are omnivorous foragers, harvesting dead arthropods and recruiting to baits. Workers extend their foraging onto the ground and into the leaf litter, because they often occur in Winkler samples of sifted litter.

At La Selva Biological Station, S. picea is very common in the lab clearing. Masses of these tiny black ants are perennially found on the blacklight sheet, recruiting to dead insects that accumulate there.

Identification:

Longino, 1 Mar 2014: Size small; color black; scapes long; compound eye with at least 5 ommatidia; propodeal spiracle large; petiolar node thin and scale-like; weakly polymorphic.

Comments:

Longino, 1 Mar 2014: Pacheco and Mackay 2013 synonymized S. picea reducta under S. picea. I examined syntypes of reducta at DEIC in 1990 and concluded it was one of the small castor-like Solenopsis, with short, widely-divergent clypeal teeth.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Emery, C., 1896, Studi sulle formiche della fauna Neotropica., Bollettino della Societa Entomologica Italiana 28, pp. 33-107

S. piceaHNS n. sp.

[[ worker ]] Bruno scuro, con l'addome quasi nero, mandibole, antenne e zampe piu chiare, ginocchi e tarsi giallo testaceo; altri esemplari sono ferruginei con l'addome piceo; tutta levigata e lucida, con punti piligeri minutissimi, i peli fini e mediocremente numerosi, quelli delle zampe e degli scapi meno lunghi. I lati del capo sono debolmente arcuati, gli angoli posteriori fortemente ritondati, ii margine posteriore quasi diritto; gli occhi sono piccoli e contano 3 4 faccette nel massimo diametro; in tutto hanno 8 - 10 faccette indistintamente limitate; i denti del clipeo sono piccoli, ma acuti e distanti l'uno dall'altro circa la meta dello spazio che li separa dall'angolo anteriore corrispondente del capo; lateralmente ad essi, il margine forma un angolo ottuso. Lo scapo ripiegato indietro dista dal margine posteriore del capo per la lunghezza circa del 1 ° articolo del flagello; gli articoli seguenti sono piu corti che larghi, l'ultimo meno di 3 volte lungo quanto il precedente. Sul profilo del torace, la sutura mesometanotale e fortemente impressa, il metanoto e fortemente convesso, senza angolo distinto. Yeduto di profilo, il l. ° segmento del peduncolo e piu alto del seguente, il suo nodo e subtriangolare, massiccio, preceduto da picciuolo, il cui contorno dorsale e lungo quasi quanto il declivio anteriore del nodo e forma con esso un angolo distinto; il 2. ° nodo e alquanto inclinato in avanti; entrambi i nodi sono piu larghi che lunghi, il 2. ° appena piu largo del 1. ° L. 1 1 / 3 — 1 4 / 5 mm.

[[ queen ]] Colore come nella [[ queen ]], i punti piligeri sono, come di solito, molto piu grossi, i peli piu lunghi. I denti del clipeo sono piu grandi. Il metanoto discende, sul profilo, con linea appena debolmente arcuata. Il peduncolo e piu robusto, il 2. ° segmento notevolmente piu largo del 1. ° Ali leggermente cineree. L. 3 3 / 4 mm.

Jimenez, Costa Rica. — La [[ worker ]] e molto vicina a S. tenuis MayrHNS, dalla quale differisce principalmente per la colorazione piu scura e i nodi del peduncolo piu larghi.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 306 times found in montane wet forest, 282 times found in mature wet forest, 20 times found in Entre SHO y SSE, 10 times found in Sura 700m, 14 times found in La Selva, 10 times found in CCL 400M, 10 times found in SSO 350m, 11 times found in CCL 840M, 32 times found in lowland rainforest, 10 times found in SURA 850M, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 305 times ex sifted leaf litter, 45 times Hojarasca, 26 times Sobre Vegetacion, 15 times Sura, 9 times Malaise trap, 1 times La Selva, 8 times beating veg., 1 times Witheringia asterotricha stems, 6 times beating vegetation, 5 times at bait, 1 times in WItheringia asterotricha stems, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 193 times Fogging, 295 times MiniWinkler, 166 times Malaise, 72 times Berlese, 54 times Foggin, 35 times search, 40 times Mini Winkler, 34 times flight intercept trap, 26 times Sweeping, 21 times Winkler, 14 times Beating, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1680 meters, 215 meters average

Type specimens: Lectotype of Solenopsis angulata nigelloides: casent0908812; Lectotype of Solenopsis picea: casent0904627; syntype of Solenopsis angulata nigelloides: casent0905910; syntype of Solenopsis picea subadpressa: casent0908843; type of Solenopsis picea subsp. reducta: focol0282-1, focol0282-2, focol0282-3; Type of unavailable quadrinomial: Solenopsis angulata carettei ardua: casent0913876



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