Azteca quadraticeps

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

Azteca quadraticeps jtlc000005714 p 1 high.jpg

Azteca quadraticeps jtlc000005714 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

This species is known only from queens. They have been collected in lowland to mid-elevation (700m) rainforest in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica. A queen has also been collected in Nicaragua from a flight trap placed in a pasture adjacent to a moist tropical forest.

Identification

Longino (2007) - Queen with the same characters as Azteca flavigaster, differing only in the larger size. It differs from Azteca velox in the more quadrate head shape, less narrowed anteriorly and with less rounded sides.

Azteca quadraticeps is in a cluster of species that are difficult to distinguish: A. flavigaster, Azteca nigra, Azteca sericeasur, and A. velox. It is likely that the workers of A. quadraticeps have been collected and either left unidentified or misidentified. One possibility is that A. quadraticeps is an Atlantic slope version of A. flavigaster, and Atlantic slope worker co`llections identified as A. flavigaster are A. quadraticeps. Other possibilities are that A. quadraticeps workers masquerade as A. velox, A. nigra, or smaller workers of A. sericeasur.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

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.

  • quadraticeps. Azteca quadraticeps Longino, 2007: 45, figs. 3, 4A, 5, 6A, 6B, 8 (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

Queen

Holotype: HLA 1.84, HLB 1.81, HW 1.72, AHW 1.28, SL 1.19, EL 0.46, OC 0.09, MTSC 33.

(n=6): HLA 1.78 (1.70–1.84), HW 1.71 (1.62–1.79), SL 1.16 (1.11–1.19), CI 96 (93–98), SI 65 (64–66).

Palpal formula 6,4; ocelli small; middle and hind tibia with prominent pectinate apical spur; dorsal surface of mandible with small piligerous puncta, setae in puncta short, subdecumbent, interspaces between puncta smooth and shiny on apical half of mandible, gradually becoming faintly microareolate at base; medial and lateral clypeal lobes at about same level; head subquadrate, posterior margin not strongly cordate, very shallowly excavate; petiolar node tall, strongly compressed into thin scale at apex; posteroventral petiolar lobe evenly convex from front to back; scape with abundant erect setae, about as long as one half maximum width of scape; middle and hind tibia with abundant erect setae, longest of these about as long as one third maximum width of tibia (MTSC 25–35); sides of head without erect setae; posterior margin of head with erect setae; pronotum with erect setae on posterior margin; mesoscutum, scutellum, and propodeum with abundant erect setae; petiolar node with rim of erect pubescence and sparse longer erect setae, 1–2 pairs of erect setae extending above apex in profile, posterior border of sternal lobe of petiole with uniform layer of short erect setae; gastral terga with sparse long erect setae; most of face dark brown, with lighter orange coloration restricted to anterior malar area near mandibular insertions and antennal fossa.

Type Material

Holotype alate queen: Costa Rica, Prov. Limón, Tortuguero, 10°32'N, 83°31'W, 5m, 1 Jul 1985 (J. Longino# 0389-s). Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, specimen code JTLC000005714.

Paratypes: same data as holotype; 1 alate queen. JTLC000005715, Museum of Comparative Zoology, 1 alate queen JTLC000009450, National Museum of Natural History.

Etymology

The name refers to the somewhat quadrate shape of the head. Its close relative, Azteca velox, has more rounded sides of the head.

References