Formicinae, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia
Costa Rica (Monteverde).
Minor worker: clypeus without median longitudinal keel; scapes relatively long compared to JTL-010; scapes with abundant subdecumbent setae, lacking differentiated erect setae; cheeks with projecting erect setae; sides of pronotum rounding into dorsum, dorsolateral angle very weakly developed; sides of pronotum lacking erect setae; dorsal face of propodeum longer than posterior face, dorsal face broadly rounded into posterior face; first gastral tergite with abundant erect white or clear setae, underlying pubescence very sparse, subdecumbent, not fully appressed, and not sharply differentiated from erect setae; integument of first gastral tergite strongly shining; color solid shining black.
I only have four specimens to examine. Three of them are clearly minor workers. The fourth is larger than the others and has major worker characters (allometrically larger head), but it is not very much larger than others and not very strongly differentiated. This major worker has all characters similar to minor workers, except for larger head, and it has violaceous reflections.
Similar species: JTL-010.
I know this species from only three collections, all from the Monteverde cloud forest. Two workers were foragers in the canopy of an emergent oak tree on the ridge crest behind Bill Calvert's house, one worker was a forager in the canopy of a Pouteria tree in the Reserve research area, and one worker I collected way back in 1982, during one of my first visits to Monteverde, and I don't know exactly where I got it.
These odd specimens look somewhat like a small Camponotus s.s., the main temperate zone lineage of carpenter ants. Could it be a temperate lineage extending into Central American cloud forest, similar to the distributions of oaks, Castilleja, and Stenamma? Other than those few collections from the early and mid 1980's, I have not found the species again, in spite of later collecting in the area. Does it still occur in Monteverde, or is it part of the cloud forest fauna that has disappeared following climate change?
John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.firstname.lastname@example.org
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