Myrmelachista lauroatlantica

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Myrmelachista lauroatlantica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Myrmelachistini
Genus: Myrmelachista
Species: M. lauroatlantica
Binomial name
Myrmelachista lauroatlantica
Longino, 2006

Myrmelachista lauroatlantica jtlc000002653 p 1 high.jpg

A inhabitant of live stems of Lauraceae in Atlantic lowland rainforests of Costa Rica.


Longino (2006) - Worker with antenna 9-segmented, maxillary palpus 5-segmented, color yellow. Queen black; in full face view, with abundant long erect setae projecting from rear margin and sides of head. Obligate inhabitant of Lauraceae.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 10.58333333° to 9.666666667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Costa Rica (type locality).

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 (2006) - This species occurs in mature rainforest habitats in the Atlantic lowlands. It is a specialist inhabitant of live stems of Lauraceae, similar to Myrmelachista flavocotea. In the forests around the community of Tortuguero on the north Atlantic coast understory Ocotea dendrodaphne and Licaria sp. are common, and nearly all are inhabited by M. lauroatlantica. I dissected numerous small plants with colonies, many of which were monogynous but some of which were polygynous. One small Licaria contained 25 dealate queens, along with workers, brood, and an adult male. One contained a cluster of 3 dealate queens in a colony with abundant workers and brood. A large Licaria tree that had fallen over and produced sucker shoots along its length was packed with a large polygynous colony, with clusters of dealate queens in many chambers. In a forest patch at C.A.T.I.E. near Turrialba colonies were common in O. dendrodaphne and O. atirrensis. A monogynous colony was found in an understory Ocotea (probably dendrodaphne or atirrensis) in Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve.






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

  • lauroatlantica. Myrmelachista lauroatlantica Longino, 2006a: 28, figs. 4, 7, 8, 9 (w.q.m.) COSTA RICA.

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



HL 0.450–0.588, HW 0.422–0.579, SL 0.217–0.295, EL 0.080–0.130, CI 94–100 (n=5).

Same as Myrmelachista flavocotea except for color of the gaster, which has faint posterior bands of infuscation on the tergites.


HL 0.874–1.08, HW 0.763–0.930, SL 0.380–0.434, EL 0.231–0.286, OW 0.048–0.073, OD 0.170–0.227, CI 83–89, OI 29–33, OcI 5–8 (n=11).

Antenna 9-segmented; maxillary palpus 5-segmented; labrum short, bilobed, not covering mouthparts; dorsal surface of mandible punctate to coarsely punctatorugose; clypeus with large piligerous puncta; malar spaces with variable extent of weak punctatorugose sculpturing, grading to smooth and shining posteriorly; in full face view, with abundant long erect setae projecting from rear margin and sides of head; ventral surface of head with abundant short erect setae; scapes with abundant erect to suberect setae, longer setae subequal to width of scape; outer surface of hind tibia with abundant erect to subdecumbent setae, longer setae shorter than width of tibia; color solid black.


Antenna 10-segmented; maxillary palpus 5 or 6-segmented; pygostyles nearly absent (tiny remnants visible at high magnification); basiparamere lobe pronounced, with broad base, about half the length of the paramere; paramere also with broad base; cuspis small, rectangular, with minute apical denticles; digitus evenly curved downward and tapering to blunt point; apodeme of penial valve curving into dorsal margin at obtuse angle.

Type Material

Holotype queen: Costa Rica, Prov. Limón, Casa Verde, Tortuguero, 10°35’N, 83°31’W, 5m, 24 Jun 1988 (J. Longino#2136) Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, specimen code JTLC000006207. Paratypes: workers and queens, from same nest as holotype, specimen codes JTLC000006208-JTLC000006212, distributed to Museum of Comparative Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, University of California, Davis, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, The Natural History Museum.


The name refers to its association with plants in the family Lauraceae and its geographic distribution in the Atlantic lowlands.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Longino J. T. 2006. A taxonomic review of the genus Myrmelachista (hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica. Zootaxa 1141: 1-54
  • Longino J. et al. ADMAC project. Accessed on March 24th 2017 at