Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia
Guatemala (type locality), Costa Rica. Costa Rica: throughout the country in wet to moist habitats.
Face sublucid, with fine puncta, intervals between puncta wider than puncta diameters; propodeum not strongly tectiform (tent-like), sides broadly round into relatively broad dorsal face (propodeum tectiform in JTL-001); petiole moderately thin, scale-like in lateral profile, anterior and posterior faces weakly converging to broadly rounded dorsal face; color orange to darker red brown. Measurement data.
This tiny species, the smallest known to me, occurs in a wide variety of habitats throughout Costa Rica. It is common in the lowland rainforest of La Selva and in the cloud forest of Monteverde. Although common in mature forested habitats, it is not restricted to them; I have collected it in Parque Nacional, a small city park in the middle of San Jose! Workers were in some dead wood at the base of a tree, at the edge of a city sidewalk. The species occurs very often in Winkler samples of leaf litter from the forest floor. I rarely collect it by any other means. I once found a nest under loose bark of dead wood, and I once observed workers emerging from under loose bark to recruit to a dead tabanid.
I have seen an ergatoid male of what I assume to be this species, from La Selva Biological Station. It was an isolated specimen from a soil sample, not associated with workers. I associate it with this species due to its small size.
Ponera parva Forel 1909:244. Syntype worker: Guatemala [MCZC] (examined).
Bill Brown identified material of this species from the Osa Peninsula (JTL4Apr82/0900) as "near parva." I examined material at MCZC, a pin with scattered bits of two workers on a card, labeled "Ponera parva Type. Guatemala." They looked similar to Costa Rican material in all respects.
Forel, A. 1909. Ameisen aus Guatemala usw., Paraguay und Argentinien (Hym.). Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 1909:239-269.
John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.email@example.com
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