Formicinae, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia
Additional images: minor worker, dorsal view of gaster (reduced, original).
Cuba, Florida, Mexico to Colombia. Costa Rica: throughout the country to about 1200m elevation.
Minor worker: Propodeum lacking spines or tubercles of any kind; propodeum somewhat box-like, dorsal and lateral faces flat or nearly flat and meeting at an approximate right angle; dorsal face of propodeum subrectangular; first gastral tergite with dense appressed pubescence that nearly covers the integument; usually bicolored, with red head and mesosoma, darker brown gaster; erect setae on first gastral tergite relatively long; side of mesosoma sublucid; mesosomal profile relatively strongly arched.
Similar species: senex, brettesi, textor.
This widespread species is one of the most common second growth ants in the Neotropics. In Costa Rica it is very common in all lowland habitats, and persists as a common species in open areas at higher elevations. It can occur in both mature forest and in highly disturbed areas. Foragers are diurnal.
Nests occur in highly insolated areas such as upper forest canopy, open scrubby or second growth vegetation, roadsides, and agricultural land. The species is an opportunistic cavity nester. Nests are in dead branches, ranging from narrow vine stems to relatively large branches. In surveys of myrmecophytes such as Cecropia and Cordia alliodora, nests often occur in saplings or dead branches or portions of plants not occupied by the dominant plant ants.
This species is morphologically and behaviorly very similar to senex. The two species seem to differ in the degree of habitat disturbance they prefer. senex is relatively more common in mature forested habitats, while C. planatus dominates in open areas subject to higher disturbance rates.
Roger, J. 1863. Die neu aufgefuehrten Gattungen und Arten meines Formiciden-Verzeichnisses, nebst Ergaenzung einiger frueher gegeben Beschreibungen. Berl. Entomol. Z. 7:131-214.
John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.firstname.lastname@example.org
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