Azteca alfari Emery

Longino, J. T., 2007, A taxonomic review of the genus Azteca (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica and a global revision of the aurita group., Zootaxa 1491, pp. 1-63: 15-19

publication ID

21311

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:C31A1226-724D-4D1A-8471-E6BB441EE3EF

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/286C127D-DB3B-B161-52DF-B0CB3F32C029

treatment provided by

Thomas

scientific name

Azteca alfari Emery
status

 

Azteca alfari Emery  HNS  1893

Figures 2,4A,5,6C,7.

Azteca alfari Emery  HNS  1893:338. Lectotype worker: Jiménez, Atlantic slope , Costa Rica (Alfaro) [ MCSN]  (examined). Description of queen: Emery 1896b:4 [as alfaroi  HNS  ].

Azteca bicolor Emery  HNS  1893:341. Lectotype queen: Brazil, Matto Grosso (Germain) [ MCSN]  (examined). Synonymy by Longino 1991b:1575.

Azteca alfaroi race lucidula Forel  HNS  1899:113. Lectotype queen: Trinidad (Urich) [ MHNG]  (examined). Synonymy by Longino 1989a:5.

Azteca virens Forel  HNS  1899:115. Syntype workers: Brazil, Amazonas, Pará ( Göldi) [ MCZC]  (examined). Synonymy by Longino 1989a:5.

Azteca alfari subsp. cecropiae Forel  HNS  1906:240. Lectotype worker: Brazil, Amazonas, Manaus (Huber) [ MHNG]  (examined). Description of queen, male: Forel 1908b:387. Synonymy by Longino 1989a:5.

Azteca alfari var. mixta Forel  HNS  1908b:386. Lectotype queen: San Bernardino , Paraguay (Fiebrig) [ MHNG]  (examined). Synonymy by Longino 1989a:6.

Azteca alfaroi var. fumaticeps Forel  HNS  1909:250. Syntype workers: Mexico, Buenaventura (Ross) [ MHNG]  (examined). Description of queen: Wheeler 1942:218. Synonymy by Longino 1989a:7.

Azteca alfari var. curtiscapa Forel  HNS  1912:51. Lectotype queen: Panama (Christophersen) [ MHNG]  (examined). Synonymy by Longino 1989a:7.

Azteca foreli race breviscapa Forel  HNS  1912:51 [first available use of Azteca foreli race championi var. breviscapa Forel  HNS  1899:112. Syntype workers: Costa Rica (Tonduz) [ MCZC, USNM]  (examined). Synonymy by Longino 1989a:7.

Azteca alfari var. argentina Forel  HNS  1914:287. Syntype workers: Argentina, Misiones, Santa Ana (Bruch) [ MHNG]  (examined). Description of major worker and queen: Gallardo 1916:115. Synonymy by Longino 1989a:7.

Azteca lynchi Brethes  HNS  1914:93. Syntype worker(s): Bolivia ( Arribálzaga)  . Subspecies of A. alfari  HNS  : Gallardo 1916:118. Synonymy by Longino 1989a:7.

Azteca alfari var. langi Wheeler  HNS  1942:218. Syntype workers, queens, males: Guyana, Kamakusa (Lang) [ MCZC]  (examined). Synonymy by Longino 1989a:7.

Azteca alfari subsp. lucidula var. zonalis Wheeler  HNS  1942:222 (unavailable name). Workers, queens: Panama, Corozal , 21.xi.1911 (Wheeler) [ MCZC]  (examined). Identification as A. alfari  HNS  : Longino 1989a:7.

Queen characters. Measurements (n=21): HLA 1.62 (1.51-1.69), HW 1.32 (1.26-1.43), SL 0.76 (0.71- 0.85), CI 83 (80-86), SI 47 (45-51).

Palpal formula 5,3; middle and hind tibia with prominent pectinate apical spur; dorsal surface of mandible largely smooth, with sparse small piligerous puncta, setae in puncta short, larger puncta with long setae near masticatory margin; medial and lateral clypeal lobes at about same level (medial lobe not projecting anteriorly); head weakly quadrate; petiolar node acute, triangular, neither strongly flattened nor bluntly rounded; posteroventral petiolar lobe well-developed, evenly convex; scape and tibia lacking setae, sides of head lacking setae, posterior margin of head with abundant curved setae, pronotum with posterior row of curved setae, mesoscutum with sparse setae, scutellum and propodeum with more abundant setae, petiolar node with cluster of erect setae, third abdominal tergum with abundant erect setae, fourth and fifth abdominal terga with 0-6 erect setae exclusive of posterior row; color light red brown to black.

Worker characters. Measurements (n=13): HLA 0.99 (0.80-1.24), HW 0.88 (0.72-1.07), SL 0.60 (0.53- 0.72), CI 91 (86-94), SI 62 (58-69).

Palpal formula 5,3; middle and hind tibia with prominent pectinate apical spur; dorsal surface of mandible largely smooth, with sparse small piligerous puncta, setae in puncta short, larger puncta with long setae near masticatory margin; medial and lateral clypeal lobes at about same level, medial lobe at most weakly projecting beyond lateral lobes; head with convex sides, strongly cordate posterior margin; mesosoma in lateral profile with promesonotum forming a continuous convexity or mesonotum somewhat elevated above pronotum; posterior mesonotum drops gradually to narrow metanotal groove such that posterior mesonotum, metanotal groove, and dorsal face of propodeum form a broad, shallow V (dorsal face of propodeum and broad metanotal groove do not form flat, step-like junction with posterior mesonotum); scape and tibia lacking setae, sides of head lacking setae, posterior margin of head with sparse to abundant erect setae, pronotum, mesonotum, and dorsal face of propodeum with conspicuous erect setae, mesonotum usually with about 8 erect setae of relatively uniform length (range 2-17; contrast with A. ovaticeps  HNS  ); color brown to yellow.

Similar species. Azteca alfari  HNS  is most similar to A. ovaticeps  HNS  (Longino 1989a). See differentiating characters in key and under A. ovaticeps  HNS  . Workers of A. alfari  HNS  may also be confused with workers of A. forelii  HNS  . Mandibles of A. alfari  HNS  workers are smooth and shiny; mandibles of A. forelii  HNS  workers are roughened and dull.

Range. Central Mexico to northern Argentina.

Biology. The taxonomy and biology of A. alfari  HNS  are reviewed in Longino (1989a, 1991b).

Azteca alfari  HNS  is an obligate Cecropia  ant. It is the most widespread of the Cecropia  ants, extending into the subtropics at both ends of its range. Throughout the range it is the Cecropia  ant most likely to be found in open or highly disturbed areas. Founding queens are frequent in Cecropia  saplings. As trees grow and form multiple branches, the nests become polydomous. Workers and brood are dispersed in branch tips, and the bole and inner portions of branches are progressively abandoned (Longino 1991a). Workers vary in aggressiveness geographically and over time. Workers in young colonies are usually aggressive, but in many cases workers in mature colonies are less aggressive, retreating inside of stems on disturbance (Longino 1991a).

Material examined. See Longino (1989a).

MCSN

Italy, Genova, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale "Giacomo Doria"

MHNG

Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle

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]

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Insecta

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Formicidae

Genus

Azteca