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Species: Crematogaster (Orthocrema) acuta   (Fabricius, 1804) 

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Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2022)

Formica acuta Fabricius, 1804 PDF: 411 (w.) GUYANA (Essequibo). Neotropic. Primary type information: Type-material: holotype worker. Type-locality: “Habitat in America meridionali”, (no further data). Type-depository: ZMUC. Type notes: Type-locality is given as Guyana, Essequibo by Longino, 2003a PDF: 32. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Crematogaster: Roger, 1862c PDF: 291; Mayr, 1862 PDF: 767.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Mexico to southern Brazil, Bolivia.


Natural History:

My field observations in Costa Rica, Colombia, and Venezuela suggest that this species prefers open disturbed habitats. Many collections are from roadside vegetation, pasture edges, and young second growth forest. Perfecto collected the species in an area of hurricane-flattened forest on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua. The species occurs in wet and seasonally dry climates. My highest elevational record is 1000m in Bolivia, but most records are from below 500m. Colonies are very large, but not high density, and the species is only occasionally encountered.

I have observed nests on four different occasions, and each time they have been large, polydomous colonies nesting in dead wood. One nest was in dead Piper stems, one in chambers in fence posts along a fencerow, one in dead Cecropia branches, and one in the exposed dead core of a living tree trunk. In this last example, the dead part was dry and brittle, and one section was riddled with holes and filled with workers. There were few large chambers, and the workers seemed distributed evenly, like filling the spaces of a sponge. In addition to workers there were abundant alate females scattered throughout the wood, and I found a single male. There was very little brood. I could only excavate a small portion of the dead trunk, and it looked as though the colony continued up the side of the tree and deep into the dead core.

Workers have been collected by sweeping during the day and at night, and they have been collected at tuna baits. In Peru, Davidson has observed them foraging on the ground and invading myrmecophytic Triplaris trees. When nests are disturbed workers emerge in great numbers, wave their gasters in the air, and exude copious quantities of a white frothy material from the tip of the gaster. However, they rarely bite.

Nothing is known of colony founding, but queens exhibit a morphology often associated with social parasitism.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Crematogaster acuta   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 32, (download) 32 21367
Crematogaster acuta   Longino, J. T., 2003, The Crematogaster (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) of Costa Rica., Zootaxa 151, pp. 1-150: 32-35, (download) 32-35 20256

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in roadside veg., 1 times found in roadside, pasture, 1 times found in montane rainforest, 2 times found in dry scrub veg., 2 times found in wet forest, 1 times found in farmland fencerow, 1 times found in roadside vegetation, 1 times found in grassland, 1 times found in second-growth rainforest edge, 2 times found in lowland rainforest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 5 times on low vegetation, 1 times nest in dead wood, 2 times under bark, 1 times in dead branches, 1 times ex rotten log, 1 times in dead stick, 1 times strays, 1 times nest in dead branches, 1 times morning sweeping along forest trail, 1 times in dead Cecropia branches, 1 times at tuna bait on ground, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 4 times search, 4 times direct collection, 1 times beating vegetation (15 minutes), 1 times beating vegetation (3 hours), 1 times Pitfall, 1 times sweeping, 1 times Winkler, 1 times Winkler48h, 1 times beating vegetation (2 hours), 1 times Malaise 2.

Elevations: collected from 10 - 985 meters, 336 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1911-11-11 and 2021-03-11

Type specimens: Holotype Crematogaster acuta: jtl669608; Holotype of Crematogaster quadriceps: casent0902145; syntype of Crematogaster acuta centralis: casent0912733; syntypes centralis: jtl055822; type of Crematogaster acuta centralis: focol1640-1, focol1640-2

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