Azteca pilosula

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Azteca pilosula
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Azteca
Species: A. pilosula
Binomial name
Azteca pilosula
Forel, 1899

Azteca pilosula casent0909597 p 1 high.jpg

Azteca pilosula casent0909597 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Synonyms

Azteca pilosula nests in large exposed carton nests. The Tonduz collection from Costa Rican was an “arboreal nest,” and Forel's Colombian collection was from a large carton nest. In Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica I found a large carton nest on a horizontal log over a trail. Workers from this nest were tending scale insects on the spathe of a nearby aroid. (Longino 2007)

Identification

A member of the Azteca aurita group. See the group page and keys for identification.

Longino (2007) - Tonduz's Costa Rican collection was most likely a single nest series, the queens of which were described as A. pilosula and the workers as Azteca lacrymosa. Forel later synonymized both under Azteca aurita. However, A. pilosula and A. aurita are distinct. The queen of A. pilosula has short, white, dense setae on all head margins, appendages, and dorsa of mesosoma, petiole, and gaster. Azteca aurita has similar short dense pilosity on the appendages and anterior head, but lacks it on the posterior and posterolateral margins of head and the dorsa of mesosoma, petiole, and gaster.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Costa Rica (type locality), Panama.

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

Queen

Nomenclature

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

  • lacrymosa. Azteca lacrymosa Forel, 1899c: 116 (s.w.) COSTA RICA. Junior synonym of aurita: Forel, 1906d: 237; of pilosula: Longino, 2007: 57.
  • pilosula. Azteca aurita r. pilosula Forel, 1899c: 115, pl. 4, fig. 15 (q.) COSTA RICA. Junior synonym of aurita: Forel, 1912h: 54. Revived from synonymy, raised to species and senior synonym of lacrymosa: Longino, 2007: 57.

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

Description

Worker

Longino (2007) - (n=2): HLA 1.35 (1.26–1.45), HW 1.39 (1.26–1.52), SL 1.07 (0.92–1.22), CI 103 (100–105), SI 79 (73–84).

Palpal formula 4,3; middle and hind tibia lacking apical spur; mandible strongly flattened, apical tooth much longer than penultimate tooth, dorsal surface with longitudinal, finely acicular sculpture, dull; medial clypeal lobe strongly convex and protruding, extending well beyond lateral clypeal lobes; head with moderately convex sides, subangulate posterolateral margins, posterior margin in the form of a shallow "V;" in lateral profile pronotum gently sloping and weakly convex, mesonotum more strongly convex and with profile asymmetrical, with highest point shifted forward, long sloping posterior face dropping to depressed basal face of propodeum; scape, tibiae, and mesosoma with dense white pubescence but no erect setae; side of head with no erect setae, posterior margin with sparse, very short erect setae grading into white pubescence; petiolar node with rim of white pubescence, about 6 longer erect setae on anterior face and apex, posteroventral margin with dense erect pubescence; head clear orange brown, mesosoma, legs, and gaster darker red brown.

Queen

Longino (2007) - (n=2): HLA 1.32 (1.31–1.34), HW 1.19 (1.18–1.19), SL 1.27 (1.24–1.30), CI 90 (89–90), SI 96 (92–99).

Palpal formula 4,3; middle and hind tibia lacking apical spur; mandible strongly flattened, apical tooth much longer than penultimate tooth, dorsal surface shiny, smooth basally, with elongate puncta and grooves near masticatory margin, densely covered with suberect setae; medial clypeal lobe strongly convex and protruding, extending well beyond lateral clypeal lobes; head quadrate, sides flat and diverging posteriorly, posterior margin strongly angulate laterally, deeply excavate medially; petiolar node short, broadly triangular; posteroventral petiolar lobe very low, hardly developed; almost entire body —scape, flagellum, mandible, margins and dorsum of head, mesosoma, legs, petiole, and gaster—covered with uniform vestiture of short, dense, white pilosity, somewhat sparser on gastral terga; entire body orange, with smooth, highly polished and reflective surface.

Type Material

Longino (2007) - Syntype queens: Costa Rica (Tonduz); and Panama, Bugaba (Champion) Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, Museum of Comparative Zoology (examined, 1 MHNG Costa Rican queen here designated LECTOTYPE).

References