Azteca longiceps

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Azteca longiceps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Tribe: Leptomyrmecini
Genus: Azteca
Species: A. longiceps
Binomial name
Azteca longiceps
Emery, 1893

Azteca longiceps casent0905105 p 1 high.jpg

Azteca longiceps casent0905105 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


The taxonomy and biology of A. longiceps was reviewed in Longino (1996). Azteca longiceps is an obligate inhabitant of myrmecophytic Triplaris trees.


Longino (2007) - The 5,3 palpal formula, the presence of tibial spurs, and the elongate rectangular head places A. longiceps 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 oecocordia, and Azteca pittieri. Queens of A. longiceps 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 (Fig. 4B). They differ from A. oecocordia in the less triangular petiolar node, more setose hind tibia, larger puncta on the mandible, and smaller size.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


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.




The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • longiceps. Azteca longiceps Emery, 1893b: 144, pl. 2, figs. 64, 65 (q.) COSTA RICA.
    • Wheeler, W.M. 1942: 230 (s.w.m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1951: 193 (l.).
    • Status as species: Forel, 1899c: 119; Emery, 1913a: 33; Wheeler, W.M. 1942: 230 (redescription); Kempf, 1972a: 33; Shattuck, 1994: 21; Bolton, 1995b: 79; Longino, 1996: 138; Longino, 2007: 37 (redescription); Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012: 253.
    • Senior synonym of prorsa: Longino, 2007: 37.
  • prorsa. Azteca prorsa Wheeler, W.M. 1942: 238, pl. 56, fig. a (s.w.) GUATEMALA.
    • Status as species: Kempf, 1972a: 34; Shattuck, 1994: 24; Bolton, 1995b: 79.
    • Junior synonym of longiceps: Longino, 2007: 37.

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



Longino (2007) - (n=6): HLA 1.10 (0.94–1.19), HW 0.84 (0.75–0.92), SL 0.54 (0.50–0.58), CI 77 (74–80), SI 50 (49–54).

Palpal formula 5,3; middle and hind tibia with prominent pectinate apical spur; dorsal surface of mandible smooth and shiny on apical half or more, becoming microareolate and dull near base, with sparse 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 weakly protrudes above pronotum; scape with moderately abundant erect setae, length of setae about one half maximum width of scape; mid and hind tibia with abundant erect setae, longest about one half maximum width of tibia; side of head with 5–10 short erect setae; posterior margin of head with abundant short erect setae; pronotum, mesonotum, and propodeum with abundant erect setae; color brown.


Longino (2007) - (n=9): HLA 1.47 (1.42–1.55), HW 0.86(0.84–0.91), SL 0.58 (0.56–0.61), CI 59 (57–60), SI 40 (38–41).

Palpal formula 5,3; middle and hind tibia with prominent pectinate apical spur; dorsal surface of mandible with row of large puncta at masticatory margin, these bearing long setae, about 4 large puncta posterior to this row, lacking setae, otherwise puncta small, surface microareolate, dull; medial and lateral clypeal lobes at about same level; head rectangular, posterior margin distinctly excised medially; petiolar node short, bluntly rounded; posteroventral petiolar lobe deep, strongly convex from front to back; scape with moderately abundant erect setae, about as long as one third maximum width of scape; middle and hind tibia with moderately abundant erect setae, longest about as long as one third to one half maximum width of tibia (MTSC 10–20), side of head with 0–4 short, inconspicuous erect setae, posterior margin of head with abundant long erect setae; pronotum with posterior row of erect setae, occasionally a pair of setae on the medial area; mesoscutum, scutellum and propodeum with moderately abundant erect setae; petiolar node in profile with 2–4 pairs erect setae projecting above apex, posteroventral lobe with abundant short erect setae; gastral terga with very sparse erect setae; general body color uniformly dark brown.

Type Material

Longino (2007) - Holotype queen: Costa Rica, Alajuela (Alfaro) Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa (examined).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Emery C. 1893. Studio monografico sul genere Azteca Forel. Memorie della Reale Accademia delle Scienze dell'Istituto di Bologna (5)3: 119-152
  • Emery C. 1896. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XVII-XXV. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 28: 33-107.
  • Emery C. 1913. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Dolichoderinae. Genera Insectorum 137: 1-50.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Ibarra-Manriquez, G., and R. Dirzo. 1990. Plantas mirmecofilas arboreas de la estacion de biologia Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico. Revista de Biologia Tropical 38: 79-82.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Longino J. T. 2007. A taxonomic review of the genus Azteca (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica and a global revision of the aurita group. Zootaxa 1491: 1-63
  • Maes, J.-M. and W.P. MacKay. 1993. Catalogo de las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Nicaragua. Revista Nicaraguense de Entomologia 23.
  • Shattuck S. O. 1994. Taxonomic catalog of the ant subfamilies Aneuretinae and Dolichoderinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). University of California Publications in Entomology 112: i-xix, 1-241.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1942. Studies of Neotropical ant-plants and their ants. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 90: 1-262.