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Species: Atta colombica   Guérin-Méneville, 1844 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Atta colombica Guérin-Méneville, 1844a PDF: 422 (w.) COLOMBIA. Neotropic. Primary type information: Primary type material: holotype (?) worker. Primary type locality: Colombia: (no further data). Primary type depository: MNHN. Type notes: 1) No indication of number of specimens is given. 2) Borgmeier, 1959b PDF: 346, cites Colombia: Santa Marta as type-locality. 3) According to Horn & Kahle, 1935: 99, Guérin’s Hymenoptera material was split between MNHN, MSNG, and ZSBS, but some are also present in NNML. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Forel, 1913m PDF: 239 (m.); Borgmeier, 1959b PDF: 348 (q.); Wheeler, 1949 PDF: 681 (l.).
Combination in Oecodoma: Smith, 1858a PDF: 184; Mayr, 1863a PDF: 438.
Combination in Atta: Roger, 1863b PDF: 35.
Subspecies of Atta lebasii: Emery, 1890c PDF: 55.
Subspecies of Atta cephalotes: Emery, 1913c PDF: 258.
Status as species: Smith, 1858a PDF: 184; Roger, 1863b PDF: 35; Mayr, 1863a PDF: 437; Mayr, 1865 PDF: 81; Forel, 1885a PDF: 362; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 152; Emery, 1894l PDF: 58; Forel, 1899b PDF: 33; Forel, 1908c PDF: 40; Forel, 1908 PDF: 348; Forel, 1912f PDF: 179; Forel, 1913m PDF: 239; Forel, 1914e PDF: 10; Wheeler, 1923d PDF: 5; Emery, 1924f PDF: 353; Wheeler, 1925a PDF: 36; Menozzi, 1927c PDF: 268; Weber, 1938b PDF: 205; Borgmeier, 1939 PDF: 422 (in list); Weber, 1941b PDF: 127; Gonçalves, 1942 PDF: 346; Borgmeier, 1950d PDF: 259; Weber, 1958a PDF: 11; Borgmeier, 1959b PDF: 345 (redescription); Kempf, 1972b PDF: 26; Cherrett & Cherrett, 1989 PDF: 53; Bolton, 1995b: 75; Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012 PDF: 257; Fernández et al., 2015 PDF: 137 (redescription); Guénard & Economo, 2015 10.11646/zootaxa.4040.2.8: 227; Fernández & Serna, 2019 PDF: 842.
// Distribution


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

Distribution Notes:

Guatemala to Colombia.


Natural History:

Atta colombica can be locally abundant in Costa Rica but does not have the ubiquity of A. cephalotes. It is common in the southern Pacific lowlands and I have also found it to be common around Volcan Arenal. I have not found it in other parts of Costa Rica where I have collected. Around Sirena in Corcovado National Park both A. colombica and A. cephalotes were abundant when I worked there in the early 1980's.

Atta colombica has conspicuous refuse dumps on the surface, where spent fungus substrate is deposited. These are often large conical mounds off to the side of the main soil mounds. Lines of workers can be seen carrying grayish white pellets from the nest and dropping them from a single high point, such that a regular conical mound forms below. This is in contrast to the behavior of A. cephalotes, which has subterranean refuse dumps.


The spelling of the name as "columbica" in Bolton's catalog is an error (Bolton, pers. com.).

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 7 times found in rainforest, 3 times found in tropical rainforest, some big trees, 1 times found in road edge in wet forest, 2 times found in montane wet forest, in matrix of pasture and forest, probabl old 2nd growth, 1 times found in farm, 2 times found in montane wet forest, near streams, 1 times found in Secondgrowth forest edge and pasture, 1 times found in banana plantation, 1 times found in dry forest.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 5 times at bait, 3 times roadside, 1 times nest in soil, 2 times beating veg., 1 times under rock, 2 times in bush, 1 times ground forager(s), 1 times strays on vegetation, 1 times on mango, 1 times on ground, 1 times on Calathea lutea, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 5 times baiting, 4 times search, 2 times beating, 1 times hand collecting.

Elevations: collected from 10 - 950 meters, 275 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1902-08-05 00:00:00.0 and 2015-07-13 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: paratype of Atta colombica: focol0675; syntype of Atta colombica tonsipes: casent0912491; syntype of Atta cephalotes erecta: casent0912490; type of Atta lebasii: focol0674

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