Azteca sericea

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Azteca sericea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Tribe: Leptomyrmecini
Genus: Azteca
Species: A. sericea
Binomial name
Azteca sericea
(Mayr, 1866)

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Specimen Labels


Azteca sericea is known from Mexico and Guatemala, where it is associated with myrmecophytic orchids. (Longino 2007)



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Costa Rica, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico (type locality), Mexico (type locality), Suriname.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Dejain et al. (2018) found this species nesting in Aechmea bracteata, a large tank bromeliad (leaves ca. 1-m-long; inflorescences up to 1.7-m-long). Each plant forms numerous shoots, with each bearing multiple reservoirs within their leaves and a central dry cavity where ants can nest. Other ants were also found, and both the presence of ants and the ant species present was found to be correlated with changes in the aquatic macroinvertebrate communities within the plants' reservoirs. Azteca sericea was found in 13 of the 92 plants sampled. The study was carried out in an inundated forest dominated by 10-m-tall Metopium brownei (Anacardiaceae). This forest was located in southern Quintana Roo, Mexico (18.42678 N; 88.80438 W; 120 meters a.s.l).



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

  • sericea. Iridomyrmex sericeus Mayr, 1866a: 498, pl. fig. 8 (w.) MEXICO (no state data; and “St Joseph I.”).
    • Wheeler, W.M. 1942: 239 (q.).
    • Combination in Azteca: Forel, 1878: 384.
    • Junior synonym of instabilis: Mayr, 1878: 870.
    • Junior synonym of xanthochroa: Forel, 1878: 384 (footnote).
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 164; Emery, 1893b: 134 (redescription); Forel, 1899c: 109; Emery, 1913a: 34; Wheeler, W.M. 1916c: 12; Wheeler, W.M. 1942: 239; Kempf, 1972a: 34; Shattuck, 1994: 25; Bolton, 1995b: 79; Longino, 2007: 61; Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012: 253.
    • Senior synonym of mexicana: Longino, 2007: 61.
  • mexicana. Azteca instabilis var. mexicana Emery, 1896b: 3 (in text) (w.) MEXICO (no state data).
    • Subspecies of instabilis: Forel, 1899c: 107; Emery, 1913a: 33; Mann, 1922: 51; Kempf, 1972a: 32; Shattuck, 1994: 20; Bolton, 1995b: 79.
    • Junior synonym of sericea: Longino, 2007: 61.

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


Type Material

Longino (2007) - Syntype workers: Mexico, in pseudobulbs of Schomburgkia tibicinus (Heller) Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna (examined).


  • Dejean, A., A. Compin, M. Leponce, F. Azemar, C. Bonhomme, S. Talaga, L. Pelozuelo, Y. Henaut, and B. Corbara. 2018. Ants impact the composition of the aquatic macroinvertebrate communities of a myrmecophytic tank bromeliad. Comptes Rendus Biologies. 341:200-207. doi:10.1016/j.crvi.2018.02.003
  • Emery, C. 1893l. Studio monografico sul genere Azteca Forel. Mem. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna (5)3:119-152 (page 134, revived from synonymy)
  • Forel, A. 1878c. Études myrmécologiques en 1878 (première partie) avec l'anatomie du gésier des fourmis. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 15: 337-392 (page 384, combination in Azteca)
  • Longino, J.T. 2007. A taxonomic review of the genus Azteca in Costa Rica and a global revision of the aurita group. Zootaxa. 1491:1-63.
  • Mayr, G. 1866a. Myrmecologische Beiträge. Sitzungsber. Kais. Akad. Wiss. Wien Math.-Naturwiss. Cl. Abt. I 53: 484-517 (page 498, pl. fig. 8 worker described)
  • Mayr, G. 1878 [1877]. Formiciden gesammelt in Brasilien von Professor Trail. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 27: 867-878 (page 870, junior synonym of instabilis)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1942. Studies of Neotropical ant-plants and their ants. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 90: 1-262 (page 239, queen described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Fernández F., E. E. Palacio, W. P. Mackay, and E. S. MacKay. 1996. Introducción al estudio de las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Colombia. Pp. 349-412 in: Andrade M. G., G. Amat García, and F. Fernández. (eds.) 1996. Insectos de Colombia. Estudios escogidos. Bogotá: Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, 541 pp
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • 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.