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Costa Rica to Brazil. Costa Rica: Atlantic and southern Pacific lowlands.
I know of only two Costa Rica records. Phil Ward collected workers and a dealate queen in a recent treefall at Carara Biological Reserve. David Olson collected workers during his study of Winkler and Pitfall trap sampling methods at La Selva Biological Station. I have collected the species at Barro Colorado Island in Panama. I found a nest under a bark flap on a recent treefall.
The workers from La Selva look slightly different from the Carara and Panama workers, and I used to call them a distinct morphospecies, JTL-002. On the La Selva workers, the erect setae are longer and less curved than on Carara and Panama specimens.
Fig. 1, Table 1
Wasmannia rochaiHNS occurs widely in the mainland Neotropics, from Guatemala south to Sao Paulo state in Brazil. The syntype workers from Ceara are slightly larger than workers from Panama and Costa Rica, but with similar proportions. The differences between rochaiHNS and sigmoideaHNS are subtle but consistent. Compared to sigmoideaHNS, rochaiHNS is smaller, with a relatively shorter and broader head. The propodeal spines are shorter and are directed posteriorly, instead of upturned in sigmoideaHNS. The setae on the face, mesosoma, and gaster are more curved, appearing shorter than the setae of sigmoideaHNS because of the greater curvature. They are also more clavate, swelling noticeably at the tips.
In some specimens of rochaiHNS the outer margin of the antennal scrobe is weakly defined, approaching the condition seen in affinisHNS and lutziHNS. However, the face sculpture of rochaiHNS is always much more feeble than the coarse reticulate rugose sculpture on affinisHNS and lutziHNS.
Kempf (1972) recorded the range of rochaiHNS as Panama, the Guianas, Trinidad, and six Brazilian states from Ceara south to Sao Paulo. Given the prior uncertainty of species differences among affinisHNS, lutziHNS, rochaiHNS, and sigmoideaHNS, earlier determinations should be treated cautiously pending reexamination of existing material. We have examined material from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Brazil (Amazonas, Bahia, Ceara, and Sao Paulo states).
This species appears to be rare in Costa Rica, although its superficial similarity to W. auropunctataHNS may result in its being overlooked in a sea of the latter species. Only two Costa Rican collections are known: Phil Ward collected workers and a dealate queen (PSW # 7628) in a recent treefall at Carara Biological Reserve. The senior author collected a lone dealate queen in a canopy tree at Sirena in Corcovado National Park. The species has been collected multiple times on Barro Colorado Island in Panama, where it is a relatively common part of the canopy ant fauna (Mike Kaspari pers. comm.).
Found most commonly in these habitats: 2 times found in 2º tropical rainforest, 4 times found in lowland wet forest, 1 times found in Port of entry, 1 times found in rainforest, 2 times found in montane wet forest, 1 times found in cacao plantation, 2 times found in lowland rainforest, 1 times found in PPBio Grid, L-O 06, 1 times found in tropical moist forest, 1 times found in 1¡ forest, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 5 times ex sifted leaf litter, 1 times nest under barkflap, recent treefall, 1 times recent treefall, rainforest, 2 times Malaise trap, 2 times beating vegetation, 1 times tall forest, high leaf litter decomposition.
Collected most commonly using these methods: 4 times MiniWinkler, 4 times search, 4 times Malaise, 1 times Winkler, 2 times Beating, 2 times Mini Winkler, 1 times Pitfall 06, 1 times litter sample.
Elevations: collected from 10 - 575 meters, 244 meters average