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Species: Temnothorax salvini   (Forel, 1899) 

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See Also:

Temnothorax salvini obscurior

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2018)

1 subspecies

Macromischa salvini Forel, 1899B: 57, pl. 3, fig. 18 (w.) PANAMA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Current subspecies: nominal plus Temnothorax salvini obscurior (unresolved junior homonym).


   (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists)
Neotropical Region: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama

Distribution Notes:

Southern Mexico to Panama. Costa Rica: Cordillera de Talamanca and Cordillera Volcanica Central.


This species is a montane specialist. One of the INBio parataxonomists, A. Picado, collected a worker at 2400m on Cerro Gemelos in the C. de Talamanca. The ALAS project collected abundant workers at the 2000m site on the Barva Transect in Braulio Carrillo National Park. It was one of the most abundant species there (in a place where ants in general were rarely seen). The lowest elevation record in Costa Rica is 1800m on the Barva Transect. The LLAMA project has found this species to be a common cloud forest inhabitant throughout Central America. The lowest elevation record so far is 1200m at a site in Honduras.

In Costa Rica I collected the species nesting in the base of a bromeliad in an old treefall, in the live stems of an epiphytic Araliaceae in a treefall, and under an epiphyte mat in the same treefall. The latter two collections both contained single dealate queens and most of the nest contents were examined, suggesting that the species is monogynous. Elsewhere in Central America I have collected it in dead or live stems. Nests may lack a queen, suggesting polydomy. In the Cordillera de Chiapas it was an abundant arboreal ant with populous colonies. On opening nests, workers were relatively aggressive and stung, leaving a moderate but lasting pain.


Identification in Costa Rica: antennae 12-segmented; petiolar peduncle longer than node; dorsal profile of mesosoma forming an unbroken, somewhat flat convexity; face and mesosoma coarely rugose; face and mesosoma black; petiole, postpetiole, and anterior portion of fourth abdominal tergite contrastingly brown; face and dorsal mesosoma with abundant flexuous pilosity.


There is considerable geographic variation in length of propodeal spines, coloration, and degree of development of anteroventral petiolar tooth.


Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 45 times found in cloud forest, 18 times found in montane wet forest, 7 times found in mesophil forest, 5 times found in 2º mixed hardwood forest, 1 times found in low 2nd growth veg., 5 times found in mixed hardwood forest, 2 times found in montane wet forest treefall, 4 times found in oak cloud forest, 1 times found in mature wet forest, 3 times found in Liquidambar 2nd growth forest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 56 times beating vegetation, 20 times ex sifted leaf litter, 1 times ex live stem, 1 times nest in dead stem, 1 times under epiphytes, 2 times ex dead twig, 3 times nest in dead stick, 3 times Sobre Vegetacion, 1 times ex live stem Araliaceae, 2 times beating veg., 2 times at bait, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 58 times Beating, 15 times search, 15 times Malaise, 15 times MiniWinkler, 3 times Sweeping, 2 times Baiting, 2 times Flight Intercept Trap, 3 times MaxiWinkler, 2 times Winkler, 1 times pan trap, 1 times beating vegetation, ...

Elevations: collected from 1200 - 2400 meters, 1679 meters average

Type specimens: syntype of Temnothorax salvini: casent0901796, casent0908989

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