Azteca oecocordia, Longino, J. T., 2007

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: 41-42

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Azteca oecocordia

new species

Azteca oecocordia   HNS   new species

Figures 2,4A,4B,5,6D,9.

Azteca   HNS   JTL-003: morphospecies code used in Longino 1996:138.

Holotype queen: Costa Rica, Prov. Puntarenas, Guacimal, rd to Monteverde , 10°14'N, 84°51'W, 5 Jul 1991, 500m (J. Longino #2988) [ INBC, specimen code INBIOCRI001279956]. GoogleMaps  

Paratypes: same locality and date as holotype but (J. Longino #2977-s), 1 queen [ INBIOCRI001279936, MCZC]; GoogleMaps   (J. Longino #2982), 2 workers [ INBIOCRI001279943, INBC]; GoogleMaps   (J. Longino #2976), 2 workers [ INBIOCRI001279934, USNM]; GoogleMaps   (J. Longino #2973), 3 workers [ INBIOCRI001279932, LACM] GoogleMaps   ; Guacimal, rd to Monteverde , 10°13'N, 84°51'W, 400m , 5 Jul 1991 (J. Longino #3001), 2w [ INBIOCRI001279971, MCZC] GoogleMaps   ; same locality as holotype, Feb 1999 (J. Dunn), 1 queen, 1 worker [ INBIOCRI002281961, USNM] GoogleMaps   .

Measurements of holotype. HLA 1.62, HLB 1.58, HW 0.98, SL 0.67, EL 0.34, OC 0.07, MTSC 3.

Diagnosis. The 5,3 palpal formula, the presence of tibial spurs, and the elongate rectangular head places A. oecocordia   HNS   among the species treated in Longino (1996). The lack of conspicuous erect setae on the mandibles differentiates it from A. brevis   HNS   and A. nigricans   HNS   . The remaining similar species are A. beltii   HNS   , A. longiceps   HNS   , and A. pittieri   HNS   . Queens of A. oecocordia   HNS   differ from queens of A. beltii   HNS   in the smaller size and brown color. They differ from A. pittieri   HNS   in the relatively longer, more rectangular head (Fig. 4B). They differ from A. longiceps   HNS   in the more triangular petiolar node, less setose hind tibia, smaller puncta on the mandible, and larger size.

Queen characters. Measurements (n=3): HLA 1.56 (1.53-1.62), HW 0.94 (0.93-0.98), SL 0.67 (0.65- 0.67), CI 61 (60-61), SI 42 (42-44).

Palpal formula 5,3; middle and hind tibia with prominent pectinate apical spur; dorsal surface of mandible (excluding masticatory margin and apex) with small piligerous puncta, setae in puncta short, subdecumbent, interspaces between puncta smooth and shiny on apical third of mandible, becoming faintly microareolate on basal two thirds; medial and lateral clypeal lobes at about same level; head rectangular, posterior margin distinctly excised medially; petiolar node short, broadly triangular, blunt; posteroventral petiolar lobe shallow, evenly convex from front to back; scape with sparse erect setae, inconspicuous and only visible at certain angles, about as long as one quarter maximum width of scape; middle and hind tibia with very sparse erect setae, fine, inconspicuous, longest about as long as one fifth maximum width of tibia (MTSC 0-5), side of head with 0-1 short erect setae near mandibular insertion, lacking setae elsewhere, posterior margin of head with sparse short setae; pronotum with posterior row of erect setae, mesoscutum, scutellum and propodeum with sparse erect setae, petiolar node in profile with 2 pairs erect setae projecting above apex, posteroventral lobe with abundant short erect setae; gastral terga with very sparse erect setae; general body color uniformly brown.

Worker characters. Measurements (n=4): HLA 1.43 (1.15-1.53), HW 1.10 (0.94-1.18), SL 0.68 (0.61- 0.70), CI 77 (76-82), SI 47 (46-53).

Palpal formula 5,3; middle and hind tibia with prominent pectinate apical spur; dorsal surface of mandible smooth and shiny on apical third, becoming microareolate and dull on basal two thirds, with abundant small puncta, row of puncta along masticatory margin with setae, others lacking setae; medial and lateral clypeal lobes at about same level; head elongate with weakly convex sides, strongly excavate posterior margin; in lateral profile pronotum shallowly convex, mesonotum more strongly convex and forming separate convexity that protrudes above pronotum; scape with sparse, inconspicuous erect setae, length of setae about one quarter maximum width of scape; mid and hind tibia with 1-5 erect setae, setae inconspicuous, longest about one quarter maximum width of tibia; side of head lacking erect setae; posterior margin of head with sparse short erect setae; pronotum and mesonotum with moderately abundant erect setae, propodeum with 2-3 setae at juncture of dorsal and posterior faces; color brown.

Etymology. The name refers to this species' habit of making its home in Cordia   .

Range. Costa Rica.

Biology. This species is only known from one small area in the Monteverde region of Costa Rica, and all collections are from Cordia alliodora   . It appears to be a Cordia   specialist, like A. pittieri   HNS   . Its behavior appears similar to A. pittieri   HNS   in all respects. Founding queens are found in Cordia   nodes. Mature colonies dominate most nodes of a tree, but may coexist with Cephalotes setulifer   HNS   on the same tree. Individual nodes usually contain coccoid Hemiptera on the interior walls, and the ants build small carton partitions inside the nodes.


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


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


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


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