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Species: Dolichoderus validus   (Kempf, 1959) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2021)

Monacis validus Kempf, 1959c: 244, pl. 1, fig. 5; pl. 2, fig. 9; pl. 3, fig. 7; pl. 5, fig. 4 (w.q.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

MacKay, 1993b PDF: 104 (m).
Combination in Dolichoderus: Shattuck, 1992c PDF: 77.
// Distribution


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

Distribution Notes:

Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia. Costa Rica: Atlantic lowlands. It has a parapatric distribution with D. curvilobus, which occurs in the Pacific lowlands and two mid-elevation Atlantic slope sites.


Natural History:

From MacKay 1993:

Swain (1977) reported extensively on the biology of this species. Nests are completely different than those of D. bispinosus. They are arboreal, 1.5 - 6 meters above the surface, constructed of coarse plant fibers (3 cm long) woven together like burlap. These ants apparently never nest in termite nests. They build shelters to enclose membracids. This species is probably monogynous; a nest contained 2,200 workers. They are aggressive when defending the nest. Nectar is the principal food source. They tend membracids and coccids, and visit extrafloral nectaries of plants including Inga edulis. They also collect bird droppings, insect fragments, seeds and unidentified material. They have a crepuscular foraging rhythm. Flights occur at dawn.[MacKay Literature Cited]

At La Selva Biological Station Phil DeVries found a large carton nest suspended from the thin branches of Rinorea (Violac.) tree. I collected the entire nest into a plastic bag, which was no easy task because these ants are incredibly aggressive. I placed the nest in a freezer for a day and then dissected it. In addition to workers and brood there were many males and alate queens. I never found the colony queen but the dissection was cursory enough that she could have been lost among the debris. The center of the nest contained what appeared to be an old euglossine bee tube. I encountered many tiny white cocoons in the nest, scattered and attached to the carton. One contained an adult beetle, but I have not succeeded in identifying it. I saw no other inquilines. I estimated the colony size to be 11800 workers, based on the wet weight of the entire sample, and weights of 10 subsamples for which number of ants was counted.

Images of nest (click here). Images of another very similar nest can be found under curvilobus.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 4 times found in wet forest, 2 times found in Sura 700m, 6 times found in montane wet forest, 2 times found in Primary forest at river edge, 2 times found in mature wet forest, 2 times found in rainforest edge, 3 times found in ridgetop cloud forest, 3 times found in tropical wet forest, 1 times found in La Selva, 1 times found in rainforest stream edge, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times carton nest on low vegetation, 7 times beating veg., 5 times at bait, 4 times Sobre Vegetacion, 3 times beating vegetation, 2 times on low vegetation, 2 times foragers, 1 times carton nest in vegetation, 1 times strays, 1 times Solanum adherens foliage, 1 times ex carton nest, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 10 times beating, 2 times Fogging, 5 times search, 5 times Malaise, 5 times baiting, 4 times Sweeping, 3 times flight intercept trap, 1 times beating vegetation (3 hour period), 2 times Blacklight, 1 times beating vegetation (3 hours).

Elevations: collected from 30 - 1070 meters, 279 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1981-10-22 and 2015-07-13

Type specimens:

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