Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia
Image of intercaste, showing enlarged, multifaceted eye (click here).
Costa Rica: occurs in wet forest habitats throughout the country, including cloud forest, montane forest, and lowland rainforest. Very common at mid to upper elevations; rare in the lowlands.
Face densely punctate, intervals between puncta subequal to puncta diameter; propodeum tectiform (tent-like), sides strongly sloping to narrow dorsal face; petiole moderately thin, scale-like in lateral profile, anterior and posterior faces converging to rounded summit; color orange.Measurement data.
This species occurs in leaf litter on the forest floor, and under epiphytes in old treefalls. In the Monteverde cloud forest it is a common species, right up to the windswept elfin forest at the ridge crest. It occurs in nearly every Winkler sample of forest floor leaf litter, and can be found by searching under epiphyte mats in old treefalls. It occasionally occurs in the soil under epiphytes high in the canopy (one Winkler sample). It is less common at lower elevations, but occurs occasionally in Winkler and Berlese samples from La Selva, Carara, and the Osa Peninsula. Mike Kaspari has collected the species at Wilson Botanical Garden.
Bill Brown identified material of this species as "foeda group." foeda (Forel 1893) was named from Saint Vincent in the West Indies. It has been reported from St. Vincent, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Mona, Mexico (Morelos), and Guatemala (Kempf 1972). I have Jamaican material of foeda in my collection, and I cannot distinguish it from the Costa Rican species I here call JTL-001. inexorata (Wheeler 1903), from Texas, is also in this complex.
I examined types of gracilicornis Menozzi 1931 and ignigera Menozzi 1927 at DEIC, but before I had much knowledge of Hypoponera. My only notes are that the two looked the same to me, both "orange, long-headed Hypoponera." Both were collected by Schmidt from Vara Blanca and "San Jose." These types are probably this species, because the species is readily encountered by hand collecting under epiphytes in cloud forest areas. Schmidt collected extensively in cloud forest habitats. Kempf (1972) lists inexorata from Costa Rica. I would guess that collections of JTL-001 have been identified as inexorata in the past.
Forel, A. 1893. Formicides de l'Antille St. Vincent, recoltees par Mons. H. H. Smith. Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. 1893:333-418.
Kempf, W. W. 1972. Catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical. Stud. Entomol. 15:3-344.
Menozzi, C. 1927. Formiche raccolte dal Sig. H. Schmidt nei dintorni di San Jose di Costa Rica. Entomol. Mitt. 16:266-277, 336-345.
Menozzi, C. 1931. Qualche nuova formica di Costa Rica (Hym.). Stett. Entomol. Ztg. 92:188-202.
Wheeler, W. M. 1903. A decad of Texan Formicidae. Psyche (Camb.) 10:93-111.
John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.email@example.com
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