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Species: Crematogaster minutissima

Classification:
Download Data

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2014)

2 subspecies

Crematogaster minutissima Mayr, 1870b PDF: 995 (w.q.) U.S.A. Nearctic. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Distribution:

USA, Mexico, Costa Rica.

Biology:

Natural History:

The one Costa Rican record of this species is from Santa Rosa National Park in the seasonally dry northern Pacific lowlands. I collected a series of nocturnal foragers from low vegetation in the second growth forest around the administrative headquarters. In the USA the species is known to occur in a variety of habitats across the southern and central USA, nesting in dead wood on the ground. Where there is moist leaf litter they may be collected in Winkler samples of sifted leaf litter.

Notes:

Crematogaster minutissima and its subspecies missouriensis Emery 1895 and smithi Creighton 1950 (see also Creighton 1939) are small yellow ants with short, upturned propodeal spines, promesonotal setae in three ranks decreasing in length from front to back, dorsal face of petiole subquadrate, about as wide as long, scapes just reaching margin of vertex, and tibiae lacking the extremely long setae of sumichrasti and flavosensitiva. It occurs throughout the southern United States and south to northwestern Costa Rica. Within these parameters there is variation in overall size, degree of development of the anteroventral petiolar and postpetiolar teeth, strength of punctate sculpture on katepisternum and side of petiole, and queen size. This variability is the basis for the subspecies missouriensis from the central United States and smithi from the southwestern United States. Taxonomic actions involving the two subspecies are postponed due to current research on the group by M. Deyrup (pers. comm.).

Crematogaster cubaensis and its synonym barbouri, restricted to Cuba, are similar to the population of small minutissima in Florida, but the promesonotum has a scruffy appearance, with abundant erect setae that are not clearly arranged in three ranks.

Crematogaster wardi is a parapatric version of minutissima that occurs in wet forest habitats in Costa Rica. It has longer scapes, the promesonotum is longer and flatter, the three ranks of setae on the promesonotum are more nearly equal length, the propodeal spines are longer and directed posteriorly, and the dorsal face of the petiole is distinctly longer than wide.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Longino, J. T., 2003:
Crematogaster minutissima Mayr , 1870b:995. Syntype worker, queen: "Aus Texas im Stockholmer Museum" [ NMW , label on syntype worker "Texas" "Belfrage" "Stock" ] (examined). Wheeler, W.M. 1908b:484: description of male. Wheeler, G.C. and Wheeler, J. 1960:14: description of larva. Emery, 1922:135: combination in C. (Orthocrema) .
Range
USA, Mexico, Costa Rica.
Description of worker (Costa Rica)
Color yellow orange; workers monomorphic in size.
Mandibles feebly striate on proximal half, smooth and shining with large piligerous puncta on distal half; clypeus with two longitudinal carinulae at anterior margin, anterior margin gently convex to straight; head slightly longer than wide, subquadrate, with flat posterior border; antenna with terminal two segments enlarged to form a club, third segment from end somewhat enlarged, blurring distinction between two and three-segmented club; scapes with abundant suberect flexuous setae; when scapes laid back from antennal insertions, they barely surpass margin of vertex; face smooth and shining, with a few concentric carinulae around antennal insertion; face covered with abundant, medium-length, suberect, moderately stiffened, amber setae, no appressed pubescence; in face view short setae project from lateral and posterior margins.
Promesonotum in lateral profile convex, forming an evenly curved arch; propodeal suture deep in dorsal view but partially obscured in profile by lateral carinulae that bridge the suture; propodeum with very short, weakly differentiated dorsal face and long posterior face; propodeal spines short, spiniform, upturned; pronotal dorsum with sparse longitudinal carinulae, interspaces smooth and shining; mesonotum with parallel lateral carinae that converge toward propodeal suture, continue across suture, and onto bases of propodeal spines; medial mesonotum concave, smooth and shining; posterior face of propodeum flat to concave, smooth and shining; side of pronotum smooth and shining; katepisternum and side of propodeum shining, largely smooth with traces of feeble carinulae; promesonotum with somewhat stiffened, amber, erect setae in three ranks, four across anterior pronotum (humeral pair 0.21mm, longer than medial pair), two at anterior mesonotum (0.l7mm), and two at mesonotal midlength (0.13mm); propodeal dorsum with two long setae, short inconspicuous setae sparsely scattered elsewhere on mesosomal dorsum, including on propodeal spines; tibiae with abundant short subdecumbent setae, none longer than maximum tibial width.
Petiole in side view trapezoidal, faintly microareolate, with longitudinal carinula at level of spiracle; anteroventral tooth small, rounded; dorsal face of petiole smooth and shining, subquadrate, longer than wide, with about six long amber setae along posterior border; postpetiole with small subacute anteroventral tooth, postpetiole in dorsal view subquadrate, wider than long, with emarginate posterior margin, abundant long setae; fourth abdominal tergite smooth and shining, with abundant long suberect somewhat stiffened amber setae, no appressed pubescence.
Measurements
HL 0.538, 0.535, 0.577; HW 0.538, 0.542, 0.606; HC 0.497, 0.499, 0.539; SL 0.438, 0.430, 0.483; EL 0.149, 0.142, 0.165; A11L 0.219; A11W 0.103; A10L 0.085; A10W 0.078; A09L 0.047; A09W 0.058; A08L 0.040; A08W 0.053; WL 0.570, 0.547, 0.602; SPL 0.093, 0.081, 0.104; PTH 0.141, 0.130, 0.139; PTL 0.196, 0.198, 0.193; PTW 0.163, 0.162, 0.162; PPL 0.137, 0.134, 0.135; PPW 0.190, 0.173, 0.200; CI 100, 101, 105; OI 28, 27, 29; SI 81, 80, 84; PTHI 72, 66, 72; PTWI 83, 82, 84; PPI 139, 129, 148; SPI 16, 15, 17; ACI 1.15.
Queen (Florida)
A normal queen (dorsal face of propodeum drops steeply from postscutellum and much of propodeum appears ventral to scutellum and postscutellum, Fig. 1) with general shape, sculpture, and pilosity characters of the worker; size characters as in Figures 4-5.
Biology
The one Costa Rican record of this species is from Santa Rosa National Park in the seasonally dry northern Pacific lowlands. I collected a series of nocturnal foragers from low vegetation in the second growth forest around the administrative headquarters. In the USA the species is known to occur in a variety of habitats across the southern and central USA, nesting in dead wood on the ground. Where there is moist leaf litter they may be collected in Winkler samples of sifted leaf litter.
Comments
In Costa Rica Crematogaster minutissima is uniquely characterized by the combination of (1) yellow coloration; (2) humeral setae of mesosomal dorsum long, flexuous, and longer than any other mesosomal setae; (3) relatively short propodeal spines; and (4) relatively compact promesonotum. Similar Costa Rican species are wardi and flavomicrops .
Crematogaster minutissima and its subspecies missouriensis Emery 1895 and smithi Creighton 1950 (see also Creighton 1939) are small yellow ants with short, upturned propodeal spines, promesonotal setae in three ranks decreasing in length from front to back, dorsal face of petiole subquadrate, about as wide as long, scapes just reaching margin of vertex, and tibiae lacking the extremely long setae of sumichrasti and flavosensitiva . It occurs throughout the southern United States and south to northwestern Costa Rica. Within these parameters there is variation in overall size, degree of development of the anteroventral petiolar and postpetiolar teeth, strength of punctate sculpture on katepisternum and side of petiole, and queen size. This variability is the basis for the subspecies missouriensis from the central United States and smithi from the southwestern United States. Taxonomic actions involving the two subspecies are postponed due to current research on the group by M. Deyrup (pers. comm.).
Crematogaster cubaensis and its synonym barbouri , restricted to Cuba, are similar to the population of small minutissima in Florida, but the promesonotum has a scruffy appearance, with abundant erect setae that are not clearly arranged in three ranks.
Crematogaster wardi is a parapatric version of minutissima that occurs in wet forest habitats in Costa Rica. It has longer scapes, the promesonotum is longer and flatter, the three ranks of setae on the promesonotum are more nearly equal length, the propodeal spines are longer and directed posteriorly, and the dorsal face of the petiole is distinctly longer than wide.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 2 times found in Mixed hardwood forest, 1 times found in hardwook hammock, 2 times found in Short grass prairie, 1 times found in Suburban with wide-spaced, 1 times found in tropical-temperate cloud forest, 1 times found in Bayhead/Baygall, 1 times found in pine/oak managed forest, 1 times found in riparian woodland, 1 times found in swampy riparian woodland, 1 times found in unburned myrtle oak area, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 1 times Dead bamboo stalk, 2 times Search, 2 times winkler, 1 times dead branch, 1 times Dead pine branch, 1 times in knothole, 1 times under moss on trees, 1 times Under rock, 1 times Under rock with termites

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1265 meters, 263 meters average

Type specimens: syntype minutissima: jtl055988

(-1 examples)



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