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Species: Tapinoma litorale   Wheeler, 1905 

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See Also:

Tapinoma litorale cubaense, Tapinoma litorale cubaensis

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2016)

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.


Nearctic Region: Florida
Neotropical Region: Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, 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: 9 times found in lowland tropical rain forest, 2 times found in STR 2050, 10 times found in montane wet forest, 3 times found in Wet forest on karst, 2 times found in mature moist transitional forest, 3 times found in wet forest canopy, 1 times found in CCL 400, 3 times found in CCL 840M, 1 times found in secondary transitional forest, 2 times found in mature secondary broadleaf forest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 6 times foragers at cookie bait, 1 times Pentaclethra across SurĂ¡ from arboretum. Polygynous colony in dead stick in subc, 2 times montane wet forest. Road edge vegetation. Tapinoma? Brachymyrmex? Nest in thin d, 1 times Wooded ravine. Nesting in 4mm dia dead stick., 1 times nest in dead twig, 1 times in thin dead twigs, 1 times in rotten dry wood, 1 times ex hollow twig, 1 times Primary wet forest. Nest in thin dead stick lodged in ant garden in canopy. See, 1 times nest in twig, 1 times nest in small twig, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 17 times hand collecting, 7 times search, 14 times Nest in twig above ground, 9 times Fogging, 10 times Malaise, 3 times Nest in saw grass stalk, 3 times Berlese, 0 times Hollow twig, 2 times Winkler, 0 times In twig, big cypress surango, 0 times Knot hole, ...

Elevations: collected from 1 - 1300 meters, 307 meters average

Type specimens:

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