Myrmelachista nigrocotea

Longino, J. T., 2006, A taxonomic review of the genus Myrmelachista (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica., Zootaxa 1141, pp. 1-54: 40-42

publication ID

21030

publication LSID

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

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/B13D0686-55EB-B267-DFC2-F8BE21099B4B

treatment provided by

Thomas

scientific name

Myrmelachista nigrocotea
status

NEW SPECIES

Myrmelachista nigrocotea  HNS  NEW SPECIES

Figures 1, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11

Holotype alate queen: Costa Rica, Prov. Alajuela, Casa Eladio, Rio Penas Blancas , 10°19’N, 84°43’W, 800m , 30 Apr 1988 (J. Longino #2044) [ INBC, specimen code JTLC000006186].GoogleMaps 

Paratypes: workers and queens, from same nest as holotype, specimen codes JTLC000006187 - JTLC000006197, distributed to INBC, MCZC, USNM, UCDC, LACM, BMNH.GoogleMaps 

Diagnosis

Worker with antenna 9-segmented, maxillary palpus 5-segmented, color yellow. Queen black; mandible punctatorugose; HW greater than 1.1mm; head relatively broad (CI 88-93); eyes relatively small (OI 23-27); much of face slightly roughened, dull, not strongly shining.

Worker

Similar to flavocotea  HNS  . Compared to flavocotea  HNS  , there is a tendency for the pilosity on the side and ventral surface of head to be shorter, the pilosity on the hind tibia to be more fully appressed, and the gastral terga to develop faintly infuscated bands, but these differences are difficult to quantify.

Measurements: HL 0.560-0.683, HW 0.520-0.660, SL 0.274-0.345, EL 0.105-0.121, CI 93-101 (n=5).

Queen

Antenna 9-segmented; maxillary palpus 6-segmented; labrum short, bilobed, not covering mouthparts; dorsal surface of mandible punctatorugose; face and clypeus roughened, becoming somewhat smoother posteriorly; clypeus often coarsely rugose; in full face view, with short erect to appressed setae on rear and side margins 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 setae, suberect to fully appressed, longer setae shorter than width of tibia; color solid black.

Measurements: HL 1.259-1.362, HW 1.135-1.223, SL 0.532-0.575, EL 0.283-0.309, OW 0.063-0.096, OD 0.227-0.267, CI 88-93, OI 23-27, OcI 5-7 (n=9).

Male

Similar to M. flavocotea  HNS  . Differing in generally heavier sclerotization, darker color, and smaller ocelli. Width of median ocellus usually less than distance between median and lateral ocellus; distance between lateral ocelli less than distance from lateral ocellus to compound eye.

Etymology

The name refers to the black color of the queen head and its frequent occurrence in the plant genus Ocotea  HNS  .

Range

Costa Rica. In Costa Rica it occurs above 500m elevation in wet forest habitats of the Cordillera Volcánica Central, Cordillera de Tilarán, and Cordillera de Guanacaste.

Biology

This species occurs in mature wet forest habitats from 500-1100m elevation, where it nests in live stems of understory Lauraceae and Meliaceae. It has a biology similar to M. flavocotea  HNS  but is more generalized in its host use. At Refugio Eladio in the Peñas Blancas Valley it occurs in Ocotea dendrodaphne  , O. atirrensis  , O. tenera  , and the undescribed species of Guarea  that is the host for M. flavoguarea  HNS  . Cerro Pedregal, across from Estación Cacao in the Guanacaste Conservation Area, has a patch of understory O. tenera  near the peak that is dominated by M. nigrocotea  HNS  . Colonies can be monogynous or polygynous with 2-4 dealate queens. Stems often contain Pseudococcidae  . Alate queens have been collected in Project ALAS Malaise traps on the Barva transect.

Material Examined

COSTA RICA, Alajuela: Refugio Eladio, Rio Penas Blancas , 10°19’N, 84°43’W, 800m (J. Longino, 24 collections)GoogleMaps  ; Guanacaste: Cerro Cacao , 10°56’N, 85°28’W, 1100m (J. Longino, 4 collections)GoogleMaps  ; same data (J. S. Noyes)GoogleMaps  ; Heredia: Casa Plastico, 17km S Pto. Viejo , 10°18’N, 84°02’W, 550m (J. Longino)GoogleMaps  ; Virgen de Socorro , 10°16’N, 84°10’W, 1000m (J. Longino)GoogleMaps  ; 16km SSE La Virgen , 10°16’N, 84°05’W, 1100m (J. Longino)GoogleMaps  ; same data (ALAS, 2 collections)GoogleMaps  ; San José: Carrillo, Braulio Carrillo Nat. Park , 10°09’N, 83°57’W, 600m (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)]