Formicinae, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia
Costa Rica: Cordillera de Tilaran and Cordillera de Guanacaste.
Minor worker: propodeum very narrow and elongate, in cross section tectiform (tent-like, like an inverted "V"), without a distinct angle separating lateral and dorsal faces; clypeus with median longitudinal keel; mesosoma very elongate and narrow in lateral view; abundant erect setae on sides of head, mesosomal dorsum, and gaster; scapes with no erect setae or with 1-4 inconspicuous short erect setae, not much longer than subdecument pubescence; color dark brown with contrastingly bright yellow coxae.
I know this species from Monteverde and Cerro Cacao, both montane sites. In Monteverde C. albicoxis very commonly inhabits houses. John Campbell used to refer to them as "cranny ants." They can be found nesting opportunistically in cupboards, in cardboard boxes, or behind books on shelves. At Estacion Cacao in Guanacaste Conservation Area I found them in the station building, nesting under an old mattress. Like some other species of Tanaemyrmex they seem capable of very quickly occupying a nest site and just as quickly abandoning it.
I have occasionally observed them outside of houses. In the Monteverde community a pasture relict tree fell. It was medium size Ficus tree with a dense mat of epiphytes, including Clusia and other epiphytic shrubs. I found a populous C. albicoxis colony under the mat, in a well-insolated area. This nest contained a developmental abnormality - an ergatogyne - that was like a major worker but with enlarged trunk and very short, malformed wings. Elsewhere under the same epiphyte mat I found an isolated foundress queen.
In a patch of dry scrub vegetation just below Monteverde (about 1300m elevation, just below Stuckys' farm) I found a small nest in a dead knot, about 2m high.
As is typical of mmost species of "Tanaemyrmex" Camponotus, workers appear to be strictly nocturnal in their foraging behavior.
Forel, A. 1899. Biologia Centrali-Americana; or, contributions to the knowledge of the fauna and flora of Mexico and Central America. Insecta. Hymenoptera. 3 (Formicidae). London. 169 pp.
John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.firstname.lastname@example.org
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