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Species: Acromyrmex volcanus   Wheeler, 1937 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2021)

Acromyrmex octospinosus subsp. volcanus Wheeler, 1937c PDF: 73 (s.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Raised to species: Wetterer, 1993: 66.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Costa Rica, Nicaragua.


Natural History:

Acromyrmex volcanus is common in mature wet forest on the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica, occurring from sea level to about 1000m elevation. It is one of the most common and conspicuous attines in lowland primary forest, giving way to Atta in second growth and more open habitats.

At La Selva Biological Station, A. volcanus workers forage on the ground but nests are arboreal. When I first encountered the species in 1985, I was mystified by the large workers cutting fallen flowers on the forest floor and carrying them up tree trunks. Later, while climbing a tall Pentaclethra tree at La Selva, I was standing in the first major fork, 20m above the forest floor, when Acromyrmex workers suddenly appeared around my feet. I found a basketball-sized nest, with a large fungus garden, embedded in the accumulated canopy soil beneath the epiphyte layer in the fork. Subsequent observations by Wetterer and others have repeatedly confirmed the arboreal nesting habits at La Selva, but at elevations above 500m A. volcanus nests at ground level (Wetterer, pers. comm.). Wetterer (1993) reports quantitative data on the foraging and nesting ecology of A. volcanus at La Selva.


Wetterer, J. K. 1993. Foraging and nesting ecology of a Costa Rican leaf-cutting ant, Acromyrmex volcanus. Psyche 100:65-76.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 13 times found in montane wet forest, 4 times found in tropical wet forest, 3 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 4 times found in lowland rainforest, 4 times found in wet forest, 3 times found in mature wet forest, 1 times found in Primary forest at river edge, 2 times found in rainforest, 1 times found in tropical rainforest, 1 times found in La Selva, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 3 times strays, 1 times ground nest, 2 times column on ground, 1 times Workers carrying cut leaves, 2 times Sobre Vegetacion, 1 times on tree trunk, 2 times nocturnal strays, 1 times nest under epiphytes in canopy, 1 times harvesting carrion bait, 2 times ex sifted leaf litter, 1 times at bait, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 13 times search, 10 times Malaise, 3 times hand collecting, 2 times flight intercept trap, 2 times Foggin, 1 times Foso, 1 times Baiting, 2 times Sweeping, 1 times Fogging, 1 times miniWinkler, 1 times observation, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1610 meters, 416 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1980-09-20 and 2020-02-15

Type specimens:

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