Myrmelachista lauroatlantica

Longino, J. T., 2006, A taxonomic review of the genus Myrmelachista (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica., Zootaxa 1141, pp. 1-54: 28-31

publication ID

21030

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:323B9B2C-F6AE-40B5-982B-4BBEA5317786

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/98554666-663B-849C-2FEA-87F5B51481B2

treatment provided by

Thomas

scientific name

Myrmelachista lauroatlantica
status

NEW SPECIES

Myrmelachista lauroatlantica  HNS  NEW SPECIES

Figures 4, 7, 8, 9

Holotype queen: Costa Rica, Prov. Limón, Casa Verde, Tortuguero , 10°35’N, 83°31’W, 5m , 24 Jun 1988 (J. Longino #2136) [ INBC, specimen code JTLC000006207].GoogleMaps 

Paratypes: workers and queens, from same nest as holotype, specimen codes JTLC000006208 - JTLC000006212, distributed to MCZC, USNM, UCDC, LACM, BMNH.GoogleMaps 

Diagnosis

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.

Worker

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

Measurements: 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).

Queen

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.

Measurements: 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).

Male

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.

Etymology

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

Range

Costa Rica. In Costa Rica it occurs in the Atlantic lowlands.

Biology

This species occurs in mature rainforest habitats in the Atlantic lowlands. It is a specialist inhabitant of live stems of Lauraceae, similar to M. flavocotea  HNS  . 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  HNS  . 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  HNS  (probably dendrodaphne  or atirrensis  ) in Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve.

Material Examined

COSTA RICA, Cartago: CATIE, nr. Turrialba , 9°54’N, 83°39’W, 550m (J. Longino, 6 collections)GoogleMaps  ; Limón: Tortuguero , 10°35’N, 83°31’W, 5-50m (J. Longino, 17 collections)GoogleMaps  ; Hitoy Cerere Biol. Reserve , 9°40’N, 83°02’W, 100m (J. Longino)GoogleMaps  .

INBC

Costa Rica, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio)

MCZC

USA, Massachusetts, Cambridge, Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology

USNM

USA, Washington D.C., National Museum of Natural History, [formerly, United States National Museum]

UCDC

USA, California, Davis, University of California, R.M. Bohart Museum of Entomology

LACM

USA, California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History

BMNH

United Kingdom, London, The Natural History Museum [formerly British Museum (Natural History)]