| Genus List | Key to Species | Species list |

Dorymyrmex of Costa Rica

The genus Dorymyrmex is restricted to the New World, with centers of abundance and diversity in the subtropics (southern U.S.A., Chile, Argentina and southern Brazil). As a whole the genus prefers open habitats where there is bare soil or sparse grassy vegetation. It is tolerant of arid or highly seasonal habitats, and is rarely if ever found in weakly seasonal lowland rainforest. In Costa Rica the genus has a spotty distribution. Two species occur on the Pacific side of Costa Rica, one in the southern Pacific lowlands, and one in Guanacaste and the Central Valley. Nests are always in open or highly disturbed areas. Oddly, I have never found Dorymyrmex anywhere on the Atlantic side of Costa Rica. However, I have done little collecting there in highly disturbed habitats. I would expect to find Dorymyrmex on the Atlantic slope in urban areas, coastal zones, pastures with sandy spots, and broad sandbars along large rivers.

The taxonomy of Dorymyrmex is in a primitive state. Abundant geographic variation and shifting species boundaries bedevil attempts to establish a globally coherent taxonomy. Often discrete sympatric species can be found in local communities, but the characters separating the species are not stable over space.

There are about 87 available names in the genus, but most of those have type localities in the U.S.A. or in southern South America. There are only the following forms with type localities in Central America or northern South America:

Dorymyrmex biconis Forel 1912. COLOMBIA
Dorymyrmex pyramicus var. guyanensis Santschi 1922. FRENCH GUIANA
Dorymyrmex pyramicus var. nigra Pergande 1896. MEXICO
Dorymyrmex pyramicus var. mesonotalis Forel 1912. PANAMA

At this point I recognize two morphospecies in Costa Rica but have made no attempt to match them with published names.

Page author: John T. Longino longinoj@evergreen.edu

Date of this version: 4 November 2007.

Go to Ants of Costa Rica Homepage