Lachnomyrmex laticeps

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Lachnomyrmex laticeps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Lachnomyrmex
Species: L. laticeps
Binomial name
Lachnomyrmex laticeps
Feitosa & Brandão, 2008

Lachnomyrmex laticeps jtlc000008161 profile 1.jpg

Lachnomyrmex laticeps jtlc000008161 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Feitosa and Brandão (2008) - The collections of L. laticeps were made during expeditions to 500–1100m mature wet forests in northern Costa Rica. There is a record of workers collected manually beneath a treefern trunk (Longino 2007). John Longino found a L. laticeps nest in a clay bank above a small stream, at Refugio Eladio, 800m elevation in the Peñas Blancas river valley. There was a small flask-shaped entrance structure leading to a small chamber. The chamber contained a few workers only, no brood or sexuals.

Identification

Feitosa and Brandão (2008) - Pilosity exceptionally dense on body, including the first tergite of gaster; vertexal margin of head considerably broad (HW > 0,73mm); metanotal groove shallow and broadly impressed, without a well definite posterior limit. The excessively dense body pilosity and the dorsally flat head separate this species from the related Lachnomyrmex grandis and Lachnomyrmex pilosus.

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

Very little is known about the biology of these cryptic ants. Workers are frequently found in leaf litter and soil samples processed in Winklers or Berlese extractors, but these ants are never especially abundant within samples. When a dealate gyne is found associated with workers in 1m2 samples of leaf litter, normally it is found singly, which suggests that colonies are relatively small and apparently monogynic; workers and nests are extremely difficult to spot in the field, because the workers are very slow moving and well camouflaged; if there is any leaf-litter nest structure, it is destroyed during sifting, but our impression is that they do not construct any permanent nidal structure. Species of Lachnomyrmex apparently nest within the leaf litter, inside natural cavities of the superficial soil layers, fallen logs, and rotten wood, as evidenced by the large number of soil-covered individuals collected, from information recorded in specimen label data, and from observations of collectors. Workers forage alone, in the leaf litter and in the low vegetation, occasionally among epiphytes and moss, probably preying on small soft-bodied arthropods and possibly harvesting plant exudates. (Feitosa and Brandao 2008)

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Nomenclature

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

  • laticeps. Lachnomyrmex laticeps Feitosa & Brandão, 2008: 19, figs. 6, 18 (w.) 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

Holotype. HL 0.83; HW 0.82; ML 0.30; SL 0.52; EL 0.14; WL 0.99; PSL 0.24; PL 0.42; PPL 0.21; GL 1.10; TL 3.86; CI 98; SI 63; OI 17. Workers (n=2). HL 0.77–0.83; HW 0.74–0.79; ML 0.29–0.30; SL 0.52; EL 0.12–0.13; WL 0.94–0.98; PSL 0.22–0.24; PL 0.39; PPL 0.20–0.22; GL 1.07; TL 3.69–3.78; CI 94–96; SI 66–70; OI 16.

Color reddish to dark brown, with lighter appendages. Body finely and densely covered by vermiculate rugae, somewhat longer and longitudinal on cephalic dorsum, and slightly sparser on mesopleura and lateral surfaces of propodeum; mandibles with short striae restricted to basal portion; petiole and postpetiole strongly and irregularly rugose. Pilosity extremely abundant, except by dorsal surface of propodeum; dorsum of petiolar node and postpetiole and first gastral tergite densely covered by long flexuous hairs.

Head visibly longer than broad, with vertexal margin virtually flat and considerably broad; frontal lobes rounded laterally; eyes with about seven facets on maximum diameter. Promesonotum strongly convex in profile; metanotal groove broadly impressed, without a distinct posterior limit; propodeal spines straight to discretely directed upwards; teeth of propodeal lobes well developed, surpassing propodeal spines half-length. Petiolar node elevated and subtriangular in lateral view; postpetiole dorsally convex and with sternite somewhat projected.

Type Material

Holotype worker. COSTA RICA: Heredia: 13Km NE Vara Blanca, 10º16'N 84º05'W, 15.ii.2001, R. Vargas col., no. INBIOCRI0003622583 [INBC]. Paratypes. same data as holotype, no. INBIOCRI0003622582 (1 worker) [MZSP]; same data, no. INBIOCRI0003622585 (1 worker) [INBC]. COSTA RICA: Alajuela: Peñas Blancas, Refugio Eladio, 10º19'N 84º43'W, 800m, 7.iii.2006, J. Longino col., no. JTLC000008160 (1 worker) [MZSP]; same data, no. JTLC000008161 (1 worker) [CASC]; Heredia: 16km SSE La Virgen, 1050–1150m, 10º16'N 84º05'W, 17.iii.2001, INBIO-OET-ALAS transect, no. INB0003214022 (1 worker) [USNM]; P.N. Braulio Carrillo, 10º20'N 84º02'W, 500m, 17.x.2005, TEAM-OET, no. INB0003679758 (1 worker) [BMNH].

Etymology

The name refers to the broad vertexal border of the workers head. From Latin: latus: broad, ceps: head

References

  • Feitosa, R.M. & Brandão, C.R.F. 2008. A taxonomic revision of the Neotropical myrmicine ant genus Lachnomyrmex Wheeler (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 1890, 1-49.