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Species: Solenopsis vinsoni   Pacheco & Mackay, 2013 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2021)

Solenopsis vinsoni Pacheco & Mackay, 2013 PDF: 348, figs 341-346, map 82 (w.q.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. Primary type information: Holotype w (MCZC), COSTA RICA, Guanacaste, Loma Barbudal, 3-vi-1989, S. B. Vinson # 12039 AntCat AntWiki
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Colombia, Costa Rica, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Nearctic, Neotropical


Longino, 1 Mar 2014: This species occurs in wet to moist forest habitats, in the leaf litter on the ground. Workers are most often encountered in Winkler and Berlese samples. Minor and major workers occasionally recruit to baits on the ground.

I have never found a nest of this species but it must be subterranean. In the Project ALAS sampling at La Selva Biological Station, collections of minor workers together with major workers were relatively frequent in Berlese samples, which incorporate soil to 15cm deep. In contrast, minor workers were common but major workers rare in Winkler samples, which sample only the surface litter.


Size small; color dirty yellow brown; mandible with basal tooth small relative to third tooth, mandibles subfalcate; clypeal carinae moderately divergent and projecting as strong clypeal teeth; compound eye circular, black, composed of several fused ommatidia; metanotal groove weakly impressed, promesonotum and dorsal face of propodeum more or less in same plane; postpetiole with pronounced anteroventral process; polymorphic, with a distinct major worker caste.


Longino, 1 Mar 2014: This species exhibits worker polymorphism. Workers vary in size, and there are strongly developed major workers with allometrically enlarged heads. Many of the large fire ants in the geminata group have strong worker polymorphism, but it is rare among other Solenopsis. The minor workers are difficult to distinguish from other small Solenopsis, but the majors are distinctive and serve to immediately identify this species.

There is strong variation in both the size and sculpture of major workers. Some have the face with pronounced, widely spaced punctures separated by smooth and shiny interspaces. Others have the face punctatorugose, finely etched over the entire surface and without smooth and shiny interspaces. Minor workers associated with these different majors (in same Berlese sample or recruiting together to bait) look identical. I have found both major worker forms together in the same Berlese sample and there are occasional intermediate forms, thus it is almost certainly intraspecific variation. It is not related to the size of major workers. Small to very large major workers can occur with either morphology.

I referred to this species as morphospecies JTL015 in previous work.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 393 times found in mature wet forest, 162 times found in montane wet forest, 10 times found in wet forest, 11 times found in tropical rainforest, some big trees, 1 times found in Puesto #13,295G,10m., 1 times found in Trampa13,341G. 10m., 1 times found in Puesto#4,214G,10m., 8 times found in mature rainforest, edge of forest near pasture and agricultural land, steep rocky terrain, 6 times found in 2nd growth wet forest, 1 times found in Trampa11,169G. 10m., ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 412 times ex sifted leaf litter, 122 times Hojarasca, 42 times at bait, 5 times Bosque Primario, Suelo, 7 times Camino toma de Agua, 4 times Cerca de M/20 y orilla de Quebrada Cantarrana, 4 times Del refugio hacia M/14, 3 times Del cruce de Cascante hacia el Ceibo, 4 times Cerca del Refugio Cascante, 4 times Muestras tomada en el transecto de Mini Winkler #2, 1 times nest in clay soil, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 395 times MiniWinkler, 78 times Berlese, 119 times Mini Winkler, 23 times Winkler, 36 times baiting, 8 times bait, 5 times search, 3 times Lure/Bait, 4 times Pitfall, 1 times Unknown, 3 times Malaise, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1520 meters, 300 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1982-01-25 and 2020-01-06

Type specimens:

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