Myrmelachista meganaranja

Longino, J. T., 2006, A taxonomic review of the genus Myrmelachista (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica., Zootaxa 1141, pp. 1-54: 36-38

publication ID

21030

publication LSID

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

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/EE491EF6-4CD4-0F62-578F-F76CC8D79F78

treatment provided by

Thomas

scientific name

Myrmelachista meganaranja
status

NEW SPECIES

Myrmelachista meganaranja  HNS  NEW SPECIES

Figures 1, 6, 12, 13

Holotype alate queen: Costa Rica, Prov. Puntarenas, Wilson Botanical Garden, 4km S San Vito , 8°47’N, 82°58’W, 1200m , 23 Mar 1990 (J. Longino #2623) [ INBC, specimen code JTLC000006225].GoogleMaps 

Paratypes: workers and queens, from same nest as holotype, specimen codes JTLC000006226 - JTLC000006230, distributed to MCZC, USNM, UCDC, LACM, BMNH.GoogleMaps 

Diagnosis

Worker with antenna 9-segmented, maxillary palpus 6-segmented, color yellow orange. Queen with orange head, HW 1.28-1.36mm. Male with pygostyles present, basiparamere lobes and parameres very long and thin, digitus broadening apically to paddle-shaped apex.

Worker

Antenna 9-segmented; maxillary palpus 6-segmented; dorsal surface of mandible coarsely punctatorugose; clypeus and face smooth and shining; in full face view, with abundant short subdecumbent setae projecting from rear margin and sides of head; ventral surface of head with abundant short subdecumbent setae, occasional longer setae; scapes with abundant erect to subdecumbent setae, longer setae subequal to width of scape; outer surface of hind tibia with abundant subdecumbent short setae, occasional longer erect setae about 2/3 width of tibia; color uniformly orange.

Measurements: HL 0.830-0.970, HW 0.824-0.991, SL 0.457-0.527, EL 0.149-0.159, CI 99-102 (n=5).

Queen

Antenna 9-segmented; maxillary palpus 6-segmented; labrum short, bilobed, not covering mouthparts; dorsal surface of mandible with dense, large, piligerous puncta; face and clypeus smooth and shining, with some larger puncta on anterior malar spaces; in full face view, with abundant short subdecumbent setae projecting from rear margin and sides of head; ventral surface of head with abundant somewhat longer appressed to suberect 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 about 1/2 to 2/3 width of tibia; color orange with infuscated bands on gastral terga.

Measurements: HL 1.450-1.509, HW 1.277-1.358, SL 0.646-0.673, EL 0.315-0.326, OW 0.092-0.094, OD 0.185-0.203, CI 88-90, OI 24-25, OcI 6-6 (n=2).

Male

Antenna 10-segmented; maxillary palpus 6-segmented; pygostyles small but present, distinctly sclerotized, setose; basiparamere lobe and paramere very elongate, thin; cuspis a thin spiniform processed fused to inner surface of paramere, distant from digitus; digitus elongate, paddle-shaped, broadening distally; apodeme of penial valve curving into dorsal margin at obtuse angle; ocelli relatively large.

Etymology

The name refers to the large size and orange coloration of the workers.

Range

Costa Rica. In Costa Rica it occurs in the southern highlands, at Wilson Botanical Gardens near San Vito and at Las Alturas.

Biology

This species occurs in mature wet forest in the southern highlands of Costa Rica. At Wilson Botanical Gardens it occurs in a variety of plant species, nesting in live stems. I found a large aggregation of workers in the terminal two internodes of a Cecropia insignis  sapling. A nest in a 2-3m tall Ocotea  HNS  contained only workers, brood, and males, even though I entirely dissected the tree. A 10m tall Guarea rhopalocarpa  tree contained a colony scattered in live stems throughout the crown. All the shoot tips contained cavities excavated by beetle larvae prior to entrance by ants. Many of the branches contained alate queens. The nests contained Pseudococcidae  on the inner stem walls.

Material Examined

COSTA RICA, Puntarenas: Wilson Botanical Garden, 4km S San Vito , 8°47’N, 82°58’W, 1200m (J. Longino, 3 collections)GoogleMaps  ; same data (G. Hewson)GoogleMaps  ; 5km SW Las Alturas , 8°55’N, 82°52’W, 1240m (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)]