Azteca linamariae

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Azteca linamariae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Azteca
Species: A. linamariae
Binomial name
Azteca linamariae
Guerrero, Delabie & Dejean, 2010

The holotype was collected in the upland Amazonian forest at the Mosiro-Itajura (Caparu) biological station in Vaupes, Colombia. This area is mainly covered by primary forest. The paratype was collected in a Malaise trap in the Parque Estadual Guajara Mirim, Rondonia state, Brazil. (Guerreo et al. 2010)

Identification

Guerreo et al. (2010) - Azteca linamariae is a member of the Azteca aurita group with the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, mesonotal dorsal region and gastral tergum and sternum covered with abundant, very thin, short, white, scale-like setae. It is the largest queen of any known species in the aurita group.

The gynes of this species are similar to those of Azteca pilosula, from which it is distinguished by hair characters. A. pilosula has long, dense, white hairs on all sides of the head and on other regions of the body, while A. linamariae has very thin, short, white, scale-like setae, as well as some emerging long hairs (like those of A. pilosula) covering the head margins and the back of the foramen magnum and promesonotal dorsum, but not the dorsum of the head, lateral margins of the mesosoma, petiole or gaster. A. linamariae is the largest known species in the group, and the gyne is much darker in color than that of A. pilosula.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Amazonian Colombia and Brazil.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Colombia (type locality).

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

Known only from the queen caste.

Nomenclature

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

  • linamariae. Azteca linamariae Guerrero, et al., 2010: 59, fig. 9 (q.) COLOMBIA.

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

The holotype and paratype differ only in the venation of the forewings. The forewings of both specimens have an r-rs cross-vein starting in the anteroinferior portion of the stigma; however, this cross-vein in the paratype is attached to Rs1 and Rs2 base veins. The holotype rrs cross-vein, on the other hand, is attached to the Rs short vein. The latter diverges in Rs1 and Rs, posteriorly; moreover the paratype has two crossveins, 1 cu-a and 2cu-a, forming a small cell, while in the holotype there is only a crossvein, 1 cu-a, and no small cell. Despite this difference in the pattern of venation of the forewing and the great distance (around 1.350 km) between the two capture sites, these two specimens undoubtedly belong to the same species. Further material collection should confirm this identification and elucidate the small differences presented here.

Description

Queen

Holotype: HLA 1.86, HLB 2.0, HW 1.84, AHW 1.18, SL 1.48, EL 0.40, OCW 0.14, CI 99, SI 80, MTSC 8.

Paratype: HLA 1.82, HLB 1.86, HW 1.82, AHW 1.16, SL 1.46, EL 0.44, OCW 0.14, CI 100, SI 80, MTSC 8.

Head: Palpal formula 4,3. Ventral surface with abundant pilosity, as well as long, very closely spaced, erect hairs covering all head margins and back of foramen magnum. Mandibles smooth and shiny, with abundant decumbent pilosity, longer hairs toward masticatory margin. Clypeal plate covered with short, abundant pilosity; medial clypeal lobe strongly convex, but projected slightly toward the front, extending well beyond lateral clypeal lobes. Head nearly rectangular, slightly diverging laterally, flat in the ventral region; posterior margin deeply excavated, sharply angled with rounded corners. Scapes a significant distance from corners of vertex with nearly erect, short hairs approximately equal to half maximum width of scapes; funiculus covered with abundant, appressed, sub-decumbent pilosity much shorter than that of scapes.

Mesosoma: Smooth and opaque, with some sparse and scattered long hairs, mainly on promesonotal dorsum, mostly appressed below propodeal spiracle. Sides of propodeum shorter than posterior region; propodeal spiracles projecting slightly outward. Middle and hind tibiae lack spurs.

Metasoma: Petiolar node triangular, with front straight and nearly as long as posterior surface; posteroventral lobe often convex, inverted, and hump-like. Gaster smooth and polished, without long hairs. Head reddish brown, mesosoma brown, gaster yellowish-brown with a highly polished and reflective surface.

Type Material

Holotype (gyne): COLOMBIA, Vaupes, Estacion Biologica Mosiro-Itajura (Caparu), Antigua Cabana, 1°4’S, 69°3’W, 60 m, Malaise trap, 18–27 mar 2003 (J. Pinzon), M.3610 – Insects of Colombia project Humboldt Institute; paratype (gyne): BRAZIL, Rondonia, Parque Estadual Guajara Mirim, 10°19’17’’S, 64°33’47’’W, #5248, Malaise trap, 28 Jan. 1998 (J.R.M. Santos) Centro de Pesquisas do Cacau.

Etymology

This name is in honor of Lina Maria Ramos, the first author’s wife, busy and active like an ant.

References