Azteca oecocordia

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Azteca oecocordia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Azteca
Species: A. oecocordia
Binomial name
Azteca oecocordia
Longino, 2007

Azteca oecocordia casent0619166 p 1 high.jpg

Azteca oecocordia casent0619166 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

This species is only known from one small area in the Monteverde region of Costa Rica, and all collections are from Cordia alliodora. It appears to be a Cordia specialist, like A. pittieri. Its behavior appears similar to A. pittieri in all respects. Founding queens are found in Cordia nodes. Mature colonies dominate most nodes of a tree, but may coexist with Cephalotes setulifer on the same tree. Individual nodes usually contain coccoid Hemiptera on the interior walls, and the ants build small carton partitions inside the nodes. (Longino 2007)

Identification

Longino (2007) - The 5,3 palpal formula, the presence of tibial spurs, and the elongate rectangular head places A. oecocordia among the species treated in Longino (1996). The lack of conspicuous erect setae on the mandibles differentiates it from Azteca brevis and Azteca nigricans. The remaining similar species are Azteca beltii, Azteca longiceps, and Azteca pittieri. Queens of A. oecocordia differ from queens of A. beltii in the smaller size and brown color. They differ from A. pittieri in the relatively longer, more rectangular head. They differ from A. longiceps in the more triangular petiolar node, less setose hind tibia, smaller puncta on the mandible, and larger size.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Costa Rica (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

Nomenclature

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

  • oecocordia. Azteca oecocordia Longino, 2007: 41, figs. 2, 4A, 4B, 5, 6D, 9 (w.q.) COSTA RICA.

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

Description

Worker

(n=4): HLA 1.43 (1.15–1.53), HW 1.10 (0.94–1.18), SL 0.68 (0.61–0.70), CI 77 (76–82), SI 47 (46–53).

Palpal formula 5,3; middle and hind tibia with prominent pectinate apical spur; dorsal surface of mandible smooth and shiny on apical third, becoming microareolate and dull on basal two thirds, with abundant small puncta, row of puncta along masticatory margin with setae, others lacking setae; medial and lateral clypeal lobes at about same level; head elongate with weakly convex sides, strongly excavate posterior margin; in lateral profile pronotum shallowly convex, mesonotum more strongly convex and forming separate convexity that protrudes above pronotum; scape with sparse, inconspicuous erect setae, length of setae about one quarter maximum width of scape; mid and hind tibia with 1–5 erect setae, setae inconspicuous, longest about one quarter maximum width of tibia; side of head lacking erect setae; posterior margin of head with sparse short erect setae; pronotum and mesonotum with moderately abundant erect setae, propodeum with 2–3 setae at juncture of dorsal and posterior faces; color brown.

Queen

Holotype. HLA 1.62, HLB 1.58, HW 0.98, SL 0.67, EL 0.34, OC 0.07, MTSC 3.

(n=3): HLA 1.56 (1.53–1.62), HW 0.94 (0.93–0.98), SL 0.67 (0.65–0.67), CI 61 (60–61), SI 42 (42–44).

Palpal formula 5,3; middle and hind tibia with prominent pectinate apical spur; dorsal surface of mandible (excluding masticatory margin and apex) with small piligerous puncta, setae in puncta short, subdecumbent, interspaces between puncta smooth and shiny on apical third of mandible, becoming faintly microareolate on basal two thirds; medial and lateral clypeal lobes at about same level; head rectangular, posterior margin distinctly excised medially; petiolar node short, broadly triangular, blunt; posteroventral petiolar lobe shallow, evenly convex from front to back; scape with sparse erect setae, inconspicuous and only visible at certain angles, about as long as one quarter maximum width of scape; middle and hind tibia with very sparse erect setae, fine, inconspicuous, longest about as long as one fifth maximum width of tibia (MTSC 0–5), side of head with 0–1 short erect setae near mandibular insertion, lacking setae elsewhere, posterior margin of head with sparse short setae; pronotum with posterior row of erect setae, mesoscutum, scutellum and propodeum with sparse erect setae, petiolar node in profile with 2 pairs erect setae projecting above apex, posteroventral lobe with abundant short erect setae; gastral terga with very sparse erect setae; general body color uniformly brown.

Type Material

Holotype queen: Costa Rica, Prov. Puntarenas, Guacimal, rd to Monteverde, 10°14'N, 84°51'W, 5 Jul 1991, 500m (J. Longino#2988) [[[INBC|Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad]], specimen code INBIOCRI001279956].

Paratypes: same locality and date as holotype but (J. Longino#2977-s), 1 queen [INBIOCRI001279936, Museum of Comparative Zoology]; (J. Longino#2982), 2 workers [INBIOCRI001279943, INBC]; (J. Longino#2976), 2 workers [INBIOCRI001279934, National Museum of Natural History]; (J. Longino#2973), 3 workers [INBIOCRI001279932, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History]; Guacimal, rd to Monteverde, 10°13'N, 84°51'W, 400m, 5 Jul 1991 (J. Longino#3001), 2w [INBIOCRI001279971, MCZC]; same locality as holotype, Feb 1999 (J. Dunn), 1 queen, 1 worker [INBIOCRI002281961, USNM].

Etymology

The name refers to this species' habit of making its home in Cordia.

Determination Clarifications

Azteca JTL-003: morphospecies code used in Longino 1996:138.

References