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Species: Solenopsis castor   Forel, 1893 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2021)

Solenopsis castor Forel, 1893j PDF: 391 (w.q.) ANTILLES. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Grenada, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):


Longino, 1 Mar 2014: In Central America this is an abundant species in the leaf litter on the forest floor. Nests can be found in small sticks and other dead wood in the leaf litter, and these nest collections show that the species is strongly polygynous. Workers and dealate queens are present in most Winkler samples.

At Santa Rosa National Park a queen-right nest was found beneath a stone in the Bosque Humedo.

It is common in lowland habitats and rare above 600m elevation.


Longino, 1 Mar 2014: Small size; brown or yellow; clypeal carinae moderately diverging, projecting as well-developed anterior teeth; eyes with 1-3 ommatidia; mandible with basal (fourth) tooth reduced relative to third; postpetiole with anteroventral process; abundant erect flexuous pilosity; smooth and shiny. Queen: relatively small eyes, not strongly kidney shaped; small subquadrate head; mandible with basal tooth small and set back from third tooth; facial punctures relatively small and sparse; ocelli small.


Longino, 1 Mar 2014: I use the name "castor" to identify a large number of worker specimens from Winkler samples from Central America. These specimens closely match the images of the S. castor lectotype. But there is abundant variation, the occurrence of cryptic species is likely, and there is undoubtedly a large number of misidentifications.

I referred to this species as morphospecies JTL005 in previous work.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Forel, A., 1893, Formicides de l'Antille St. Vincent. Récoltées par Mons. H. H. Smith., Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1893, pp. 333-418

2. Solenopsis castorHNS, n. sp.

(No. 10 f et 10 g), [[ worker ]] [[ queen ]].

[[ worker ]]. L. 1, 3 a 1, 5 mill. Un peu plus svelte que la precedente. Mandibules bien plus longues, moins coudees, plus etroites, a bord terminal oblique, arme de 4 a 5 dents pointues. Los mandibules lisses, luisantes, avec quelques points. Yeux situes comme chez la precedente, mais un peu plus petits, composes do 4 a 5 facettes peu distinctes. Tete en rectangle allonge, a cotes un peu plus convexes que chez la precedante. Epistome fortement avance an milieu en trapeze, bicarene, avec deux dents aiguees, rapprochees l'une de l'autre devant, au milieu, et en outre deux denticules presque microscopiques de chaque cote de son bord anterieur (deux fortes dents medianes] et quatro denticulos late- rales en tout). Antennes de longueur ordinaire; le scape atteint les | de la distance de sa base au bord posterieur de la tete. Les articles 3 a 5 du funicule moins de deux fois plus larges que longs. Scapes d'epaisseur ordinaire. Thorax plus etroit et plus allonge que chez la precedente. Echancrure meso-metanotale forte et plus large. Paco basale du metanotum faiblement convexe, beaucoup plus longue que la face declive. Pedicule conforme comme chez l'espece precedente, mais le n oe ud du 1 er article est plus bas (a peine plus eleve que le 2 me article), et fortement attenue a son sommet qui est situe bien plus en avant, a peu pres au tiers posterieur de la longueur de l'article. Second article aussi long que large, fortement incline en avant. Abdomen plus etroit devant, Pattes de longueur moyenne.

Sculpture et pilosite comme chez la precedente, mais les points piligeres sont un peu plus forts et les poils des tibias et des scapes sont tres obliques. Pubescence presque nulle.

D'un jaune rougeatre ou d'un rouge jaunatre; pattes et antennes d'un jaune brunatre. Tete et une bande transversale sur le 1 er segment abdominal d'un brun fonce.

[[ queen ]]. L. 2, 4 mill. Tete plus longue que large. Antennes do 11 articles. Les scapes ne sont pas eloignes d'atteindre le bord posterieur de la tete. L'epistome n'a qu'une denticule laterale distincte a cote des dents mediales. Thorax un peu plus etroit que la tete, beaucoup plus court que chez la S. corticalisHNS, long une fois et demie comme la tete (deux fois chez la S. corticalisHNS [[ queen ]]). Face basale du metanotum beaucoup plus longue que la face declive et bien separee d'elle par deux tubercules tres faibles. Pedicule comme chez l'ouvriere, mais la convexite inferieure du 1 er article n'est pas translucide et le 2 me article est bien plus large que long.

Ponctuation de la tete eparse, mais profonde et tres distincte, beaucoup plus forte que chez l'ouvriere. Du reste sculpture et pilosite comme chez l'ouvriere, mais pilosite plus abondante. Ailes manquent.

D'un brun noiratre. Mandibules et devant de la tete d'un rouge brunatre ou jaunatre. Pattes, antennes et bord ides segments abdominaux d'un jaune brunatre ou d'un brun jaunatre.

Cette espece ressemble a plusieurs autres. Sa petite femelle, les denticulos laterales de l'epistome la caracterisent cependant assez. La femelle est tout a fait differente de celle de la 8. corticalisHNS, et l'ouvriere de cette derniere espece se distingue par ses yeux plus petits, situes plus en avant, par son epistome seulement subdente et bien moins avance.

(10). Pretty common below 2000 ft.; forest or shady places. The colonies are small; under sod, stones, or logs, or in rotten wood. Apparently the formicarium consists of a single small chamber. The workers and females are sluggish; the former are sometimes found on bushes.

(10 a). Near Palmyra Estate (leeward); shady place near a stream; under sod growing on rock. The female and worker were not found together, but are apparently of the same species. Nov. 3 rd.

(10 b). Forest, Morne a Garou, 1500 ft. Oct. 29 th. Under bark of a dry log.

(10 c). Bowwood Valley, near Kingstown, Oct. 16 th, 800 ft.; second growth. Beaten from foliage.

(10 f). Hermitage Estate, Cumberland Valley, 1000 ft. Dec. 2 nd. Edge of forest; under sod on a rock. Community of probably fifty ants.

N. B. - The female was found with the workers. It is smaller than that of No. 10 a, and it seems likely that I have included two species in this number.

(10 g). Fitz-Hugh Valley (leeward), 500 ft. Nov. 4 th. Open place; under bark of rotten log. A female found alone. Seems to be the same as No. 10 f.

(10 h). Richmond Valley, 1700 ft.; near the middle of the island; open bed of stream in thick forest. Taken flying at about 3 o'clock p. m. Dec. 30 th. A female, apparently like No. 10 a.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 368 times found in mature wet forest, 156 times found in montane wet forest, 108 times found in lowland rainforest, 54 times found in rainforest, 12 times found in wet forest, 28 times found in tropical rainforest, 3 times found in SSA, 11 times found in cloud forest, primary, near ridgetop, 10 times found in wet forest canopy, 5 times found in CES (700.350 GIS), ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 468 times ex sifted leaf litter, 107 times Hojarasca, 70 times sifted litter, 17 times Cerca del Refugio Cascante, 15 times at bait, 5 times Bosque Primario, Suelo, 7 times Camino toma de Agua, 7 times Primary forest, 5 times Cerca de M/20 y orilla de Quebrada Cantarrana, 1 times Berlese, 1 times forest leaf litter, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 447 times miniWinkler, 117 times Winkler, 139 times Berlese, 114 times Mini Winkler, 14 times baiting, 11 times Lure/Bait, 5 times Search & Berles, 10 times Fogging, 1 times Berlese sample, 5 times Malaise, 4 times search, ...

Elevations: collected from 10 - 1400 meters, 169 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1982-03-31 and 2020-01-06

Type specimens: Lectotype of Solenopsis castor: casent0908819; syntype of Solenopsis castor: casent0902344

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