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Species: Tapinoma litorale   Wheeler, 1905 

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Tapinoma litorale cubaense

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2018)

1 subspecies

Tapinoma litorale Wheeler, 1905c PDF: 109 (w.q.m.) BAHAMAS. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Current subspecies: nominal plus Tapinoma litorale cubaense.


   (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists)
Nearctic Region: United States
Neotropical Region: Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico

Distribution Notes:

Bahamas, USA (Florida), Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia. Costa Rica: lowland wet forests throughout the country.


Natural History:

This species occurs in lowland rainforest. It is arboreal, nesting in thin dead sticks or other small plant cavities in highly insolated microhabitats, such as forest edges or high in the canopy. For example, I observed one nest in the core of a thin, soft rotten stick. There was a small tubular chamber in the center, about 5cm long, that housed a total of 20 adult workers and one dealate queen. Most colonies I have seen have been polygynous, with multiple dealate queens in nests.


I take a broad view of litorale, to include panamense Wheeler 1934 (and its synonym canalis Wheeler 1942). There is considerable variation and there could well be multiple cryptic species.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 27 times found in tropical moist forest, 9 times found in lowland tropical rain forest, 11 times found in montane wet forest, 7 times found in lowland wet forest, 2 times found in STR 2050, 5 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 3 times found in Wet forest on karst, 4 times found in 2º wet forest, 4 times found in mesophil forest, 4 times found in lowland rainforest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 27 times beating vegetation, 22 times ex sifted leaf litter, 6 times foragers at cookie bait, 6 times at bait, 5 times litter, 2 times montane wet forest. Road edge vegetation. Tapinoma? Brachymyrmex? Nest in thin d, 1 times Pentaclethra across Surá from arboretum. Polygynous colony in dead stick in subc, 1 times Nesting in 4mm dia dead stick., 1 times nest in dead twig, 2 times nest in dead stem in canopy, 1 times nest in dead Cecropia petiole, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 27 times Beating, 17 times hand collecting, 10 times search, 20 times MiniWinkler, 13 times Nest in twig above ground, 9 times Fogging, 10 times Malaise, 7 times Winkler, 6 times Baiting, 4 times Berlese, 0 times Hollow twig, ...

Elevations: collected from 1 - 1450 meters, 337 meters average

Type specimens:

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