Azteca bequaerti

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Azteca bequaerti
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Azteca
Species: A. bequaerti
Binomial name
Azteca bequaerti
Wheeler, W.M. & Bequaert, 1929

Azteca bequaerti jtlc000008454 p 1 high.jpg

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Specimen Labels

Identification

Wheeler and Bequaert (1929) - This species is puzzling. The specimens cannot be referred to Azteca duckei because the female is very different. Forel's description of the female Azteca olitrix is more nearly applicable to Azteca bequaerti but the former is larger (8 mm) and its petiole has a translucent lobe on the ventral side. Nothing is said about the petiolar node, which if it terminated in a conspicuous point, would probably have been noticed by Forel. The species Azteca trailii, Azteca ulei, Azteca duckei Azteca duroiae, Azteca minor and Azteca bequaerti are all very closely related and much more material of them will have to be studied before their exact status as species can be determined. One is not even sure that the maxima workers of all of these forms have been seen. Apparently the females furnish more reliable characters for identification than the workers in the genus Azteca.

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (type locality), Peru.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

All known Azteca species are arboreal, nesting in living or dead wood, or external carton nests. Some species exhibit obligate associations with myrmecophytes, especially of the genus Cecropia (see Chapter 14 of The Ants). Feeding habits are generalized with foraging occurring both arboreally and on the ground.

Castes

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • bequaerti. Azteca bequaerti Wheeler, W.M. & Bequaert, 1929: 35 (w.q.) BRAZIL.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Description

Worker

Length 2-3.5 mm.

Allied to Azteca olitrix and Azteca duckei. Head of the large worker slightly longer than broad, shaped much as in olitrix, with the sides of its posterior three-fifths straight and subparallel and those of the anterior two-fifths curved and converging anteriorly; the posterior border rather deeply concave. In the smaller worker the head is more elongate. Mandibles convex, 8-toothed. Clypeus feebly bisinuate. Eyes just in front of the middle of the head. Antennal scapes even in the large worker extending clearly beyond the posterior corners of the head. All the funicular joints longer than broad, though the penultimate joint is very nearly as broad as long. Thorax shaped much as in A. traili, but the mesonotum more convex. Mesoepinotal impression distinct but shallow; epinotum low, the base and declivity straight and subequal in profile, forming a large obtuse angle, the two surfaces not very clearly separated except laterally where the spiracles mark their junction. Petiole resembling that of A. duckei, the node in profile being rather high, angular and pointed, with straight anterior and posterior surfaces, the latter nearly twice as long as the former; the ventral surface of the segment with a rounded, dependent, somewhat translucent lobe.

Shining; mandibles finely and superficially shagreened and with a few coarse, scattered punctures.

Hairs grayish, rather bristly, erect, moderately abundant on the body, femora and tibiae, somewhat shorter on the legs. Pubescence fine, rather abundant, uniformly distributed on the body.

Sordid or grayish brown, posterior portion of head, thoracic dorsum and middle portion of each gastric segment darker brown. Mandibles reddish; cheeks, sides of' clypeus and tarsi yellowish; antennae, femora and tibiae brown.

Queen

Length 7-7.5 mm.

Head subrectangular, about one-fifth longer than broad, somewhat narrowed in front of the eyes, with rather deeply excised posterior border. Mandibles convex. Antennal scapes not reaching the posterior corners of the head by about twice their greatest diameter; the four penultimate funicular joints distinctly broader than long. Thorax rather slender, narrowed anteriorly; mesonotum one-fourth longer than broad; epinotum rounded but not convex, without distinct base and declivity. Petiolar node in profile high, erect, cuneate and pointed; from behind half again as high as broad, rapidly narrowed to a blunt point above; the ventral portion of the segment with a thick, obtusely angular projection. Gaster elongate elliptical.

Shining, rather sharply and minutely shagreened; mandibles glossy, very finely striated and coarsely and sparsely punctate.

Pilosity and pubescence yellowish, much as in the worker, though the hairs are more abundant on the thorax; pubescence most conspicuous on the head.

Head and thorax dark brown; mandibles deep reddish brown; clypeus, except a large brown spot in the middle, cheeks, antennae, tarsi, wing-insertions and in some specimens also the scutellum and middle of epinotum dull yellow; tips of antennal scapes infuscated. Petiole and gaster yellow; the dorsal segments each with a dark brown transverse band. This is lacking on the first segment in some specimens and occasionally the band on the second segment may be notched anteriorly or broken into two spots. Wings distinctly and uniformly infuscated, with dark brown stigma and somewhat paler brown veins.

Type Material

Described from two lots of workers and females taken September 4 at Vista Allegre (type locality) and July 15 at Para, both in the foliar pouches of Tococa formicaria Martius.

References

  • Wheeler, W. M.; Bequaert, J. C. 1929. Amazonian myrmecophytes and their ants. Zool. Anz. 82: 10-39 (page 35, worker, queen described)