Crematogaster jardinero

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Crematogaster jardinero
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Crematogaster
Species: C. jardinero
Binomial name
Crematogaster jardinero
Longino, 2003

Crematogaster jardinero jtlc000001395 p 1 high.jpg

Crematogaster jardinero jtlc000001395 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen labels

The species name, spanish for gardener, alludes to this ant being an arboreally nester that live in ant gardens.

At a Glance • Ant garden  


Longino (2003) - Crematogaster jardinero is uniquely characterized by the combination of (1) shiny face with erect setae, (2) subquadrate dorsal face of petiole, (3) erect tibial pilosity, (4) dark coloration, (5) short posteriorly directed propodeal spines, and (6) lack of anteroventral propodeal process. It can be confused with Crematogaster limata and relatives but differs in the more subquadrate, less tapering dorsal face of the petiole. The general abitus of the workers and the small shiny queen with posteriorly produced propodeum suggest a closer relationship to Crematogaster distans, Crematogaster acuta, and other species with “acuta-like” queens.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 10.99261° to 1.45°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.


Longino (2003) - Crematogaster jardinero is an ant garden inhabitant that occurs in primary wet forest on the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica. The most extensive observations of this species are from work I carried out with Operation Raleigh in 1985, at a 500m site in the Zona Protectora of Braulio Carrillo National Park. While working in the canopy I discovered an “archipelago” of ant gardens. A larger central garden was in an Inga longispica crown (Fabaceae), and a constellation of smaller gardens was scattered in the same crown and an adjacent crown of Dipholis crotonoides (Sapotaceae). The large nest in the Inga was moss covered, and looked like the oldest one. All gardens sprouted a diverse assemblage of epiphytes. The most abundant species was an aroid with thick, white, fleshy roots, which seemed to form the scaffolding of most of the nests. There were about 20 epiphyte species total, including Piperaceae, Gesneriaceae, Bromeliaceae, and Orchidaceae. When gardens were removed, the tree stems beneath them were densely clustered with scale insects. No scale insects were visible on any exposed stems; they only occurred where sheltered by the carton material of the gardens.

I dissected ten gardens, including the large central garden, and failed to find any concentrated area of brood or a physogastric queen. Curiously, after I finished the dissections and had returned to camp, I found a physogastric queen and one attending worker on my clothing. I presume she crawled or was shaken onto my clothing during the dissection, and I cannot say from which garden she came. However, the presence of this single physogastric queen after dissections of ten gardens suggests monogyny. Workers, brood, males, and alate queens were dispersed evenly throughout the matrix of each garden. The fact that the larvae were highly dispersed could indicate that they feed on something produced by the garden itself, rather than relying on an external food source that is harvested and delivered to them by workers. The arrangement was reminiscent of nests of the Attini, where larvae are evenly distributed in fungus gardens, rather than the more typical concentration of brood in discrete piles.

The Crematogaster were tolerant of other ant species on their gardens. Small nests of Tapinoma and Pseudomyrmex were found in dead sticks lodged in the garden epiphytes. A second colony of this species was collected by Bill Haber at Laguna Poco Sol. This site is in the Cordillera de Tilarán, about 60km west of the Braulio Carrillo site, at a similar elevation. He collected a small ant garden and delivered it to me in a plastic bag. I found a similar assemblage of epiphytes, and a similarly even dispersion of workers, brood, and alate queens in the nest.

Other collections of the species are from a mixed collection of foraging workers from another site in Braulio Carrillo National Park, where trees were being felled along a road cut, and an old collection from Hamburg Farm, a lowland rainforest site in Limon Province. The latter were collected by F. Nevermann and deposited in the MCZ at Harvard.



Images from AntWeb

Crematogaster jardinero jtlc000001402 h 1 high.jpgCrematogaster jardinero jtlc000001402 p 1 high.jpgCrematogaster jardinero jtlc000001402 p 4 high.jpgCrematogaster jardinero jtlc000001402 d 1 high.jpgCrematogaster jardinero jtlc000001402 l 1 high.jpg
Holotype jardineroWorker. Specimen code jtlc000001402. Photographer C. Richart, uploaded by University of Utah.
Crematogaster jardinero casent0628105 h 1 high.jpgCrematogaster jardinero casent0628105 p 1 high.jpgCrematogaster jardinero casent0628105 d 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0628105. Photographer C. Richart, uploaded by University of Utah. Owned by JTLC.
Crematogaster jardinero jtlc000002071 p 1 high.jpgCrematogaster jardinero jtlc000002071 d 1 high.jpg
Specimen code jtlc000002071. .


Images from AntWeb

Crematogaster jardinero casent0628103 h 1 high.jpgCrematogaster jardinero casent0628103 p 1 high.jpgCrematogaster jardinero casent0628103 p 2 high.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0628103. Photographer C. Richart, uploaded by University of Utah. Owned by JTLC.


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

  • jardinero. Crematogaster jardinero Longino, 2003a: 75 (w.q.) COSTA RICA.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 7 paratype workers, 8 paratype queens.
    • Type-locality: holotype Costa Rica: Prov. Heredia, 22 km. N Volcan Barva, 10°20’N, 84°04’W, 500 m., 12.iii.1985, JTL0195 (J. Longino); paratypes with same data.
    • Type-depositories: INBC (holotype); BMNH, INBC, LACM, MCZC, MHNG, NHMB, UCDC, USNM (paratypes).
    • Distribution: Costa Rica.

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



Holotype: HL 0.691, HW 0.727, HC 0.663, SL 0.592, EL 0.154, WL 0.802, SPL 0.144, PTH 0.181, PTL 0.246, PTW 0.196, PPL 0.171, PPW 0.208, CI 105, OI 22, SI 86, PTHI 74, PTWI 80, PPI 122, SPI 18.

Other specimens: HL 0.683, 0.641, 0.717; HW 0.716, 0.692, 0.783; HC 0.666, 0.627, 0.698; SL 0.590, 0.557, 0.629; EL 0.147, 0.152, 0.175; A11L 0.260; A11W 0.111; A10L 0.097; A10W 0.098; A09L 0.069; A09W 0.075; A08L 0.058; A08W 0.056; WL 0.788, 0.758, 0.829; SPL 0.108, 0.098, 0.141; PTH 0.173, 0.169, 0.180; PTL 0.240, 0.233, 0.255; PTW 0.205, 0.192, 0.216; PPL 0.182, 0.172, 0.164; PPW 0.214, 0.205, 0.219; CI 105, 108, 109; OI 22, 24, 24; SI 86, 87, 88; PTHI 72, 73, 71; PTWI 85, 82, 85; PPI 118, 119, 134; SPI 14, 13, 17; ACI 0.24.

Color dark red brown to black.

Mandibles striate, shiny; clypeus emarginate anteriorly, flat, shiny; face smooth and shiny; scapes clavate, with apical third distinctly wider than basal two thirds, with abundant long erect setae, longest erect setae longer than width of scape; terminal three segments of antenna enlarged, especially apical two, thus intermediate between a two and three-segmented club; face with abundant long erect amber setae; in full face view abundant setae projecting from posterior margin of head but not from sides.

In lateral view, pronotum rising steeply, curving into flat and more gently sloping posterodorsal face, which smoothly joins flat mesonotal dorsum, which slopes downward to propodeal suture, mesonotum very slightly produced, such that promesonotal suture visible as a very faint impression; propodeal suture broad and shallow, v-shaped; dorsal and posterior faces of propodeum distinct; propodeal spines broad-based but abruptly narrowing to short, narrowly acute spines; side of pronotum and dorsolateral propodeum smooth and shiny; katepisternum and ventrolateral propodeum with faint areolate rugose sculpture, sublucid; promesonotal dorsum and dorsal face of propodeum with faint irregular areolate rugose sculpture and etchings, sublucid, rugulae more pronounced on mesonotum than propodeum; posterior face of propodeum smooth and shiny; pronotum and mesonotum each with an anterior row of long, flexuous, erect, amber setae, pronotal row usually of four setae and mesonotal row usually of two; femora with sparse, long, subdecumbent setae; tibiae with similar subdecumbent setae and several pairs of long erect setae that are longer than width of tibia.

Petiole in side view trapezoidal, with microareolate sculpture; anteroventral tooth well-developed, triangular, acute; dorsal face rectangular, slightly longer than wide, smooth and shiny, with pair of long setae on posterior margin; portion of petiole posterior to dorsal face relatively well developed, forming a distinct cylindrical collar; postpetiole with no ventral tooth; postpetiole in dorsal view subquadrate/globular, about as wide as long, slightly wider anteriorly than posteriorly, posterior margin flat to very weakly convex, dorsum convex; fourth abdominal tergite smooth and shiny; postpetiole and fourth abdominal tergite with abundant long erect flexuous amber setae.


In lateral profile dorsal face of propodeum sloping obliquely from postscutellum, such that most of propodeum is posterior to scutellum (in contrast to normal queens, in which dorsal face of propodeum drops steeply from postscutellum and much of propodeum appears ventral to scutellum and postscutellum); entire body (head, mesosoma, petiole, postpetiole, fourth abdominal tergite, appendages) polished, very smooth and shiny; mandible smooth and shiny; anterior margin of clypeus emarginate; clypeus flat; antennal club three-segmented; scapes clavate as in worker, with abundant long erect setae; face, mesonotum, scutellum, posterior face of petiole, postpetiole, fourth abdominal tergite, femora, and tibiae with moderately abundant long erect amber to whitish setae; dorsal face of pronotum perpendicular, at right angle to anterior collar, but not recessed beneath mesonotum as in raptor, and with anterolateral gibbosities; propodeal spines very long, narrow, parallel-sided, with blunt tips; petiole similar in form to worker but with shorter dorsal face, dorsal face about as wide as long, slightly wider anteriorly than posteriorly; postpetiole with no ventral tooth; postpetiolar dorsum trapezoidal, wider than long, wider anteriorly than posteriorly, with hint of posterior emargination and median sulcus, when viewed at certain angles; size characters as in Figures.

Type Material

Holotype worker. Costa Rica, Prov. Heredia, 22km N Volcan Barva, 500m, 10°20'N, 84°04'W, 12 Mar 1985 (Longino, collection code JTL0195) Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, specimen code JTLC000001402. Paratypes. One alate queen, same data as holotype INBC, specimen code JTLC000001394; one each worker and one alate queen, same data The Natural History Museum, specimen code JTLC000001395; University of California, Davis, specimen code JTLC000001396]; Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, specimen code JTLC000001397; Museum of Comparative Zoology, specimen code JTLC000001398; Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, specimen code JTLC000001399; Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel, specimen code JTLC000001400; National Museum of Natural History, specimen code JTLC000001401.


This species is named after the Spanish word for gardener, in reference to its construction of ant gardens.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • INBio Collection (via Gbif)
  • Longino, J.T. 2003. The Crematogaster (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) of Costa Rica. Zootaxa 151:1-150