Formicinae, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia
Additional images: worker scape (small, large).
Costa Rica: widespread in cordilleras.
Scape with macrochaetae conspicuous, long, strongly differentiated from appressed pubescence; entire body brown and with a scruffy appearance, suberect pubescence abundant on mesosoma and usually on face and first gastral tergite as well, short stubble of forward-slanting macrochaetae usually present on propodeal dorsum, macrochaetae on promesonotum abundant and of uneven lengths.
This is a widespread and variable species. It is most abundant at mid elevation sites. I have collected it in Winkler samples from Cerro Cacao in the Cordillera de Guanacaste, Monteverde in the Cordillera de Tilarán, and the Wilson Botanical Garden in the Cordillera de Talamanca. I have also collected workers in Parque Morazan, a small city park in the middle of the capitol city, San José. In wet forest areas on the Atlantic slope it seems to prefer stream and river edges; when doing field work I usually look for a streamside to take a lunch break, and on several occasions at several different stream sites I have collected workers recruiting to lunch scraps. It is otherwise absent or very rare in collections from the surrounding forest. At La Selva Biological Station it is very rare. In spite of intensive collecting at the site, using a variety of collecting methods, it has only been collected once: I found a nest under epiphtytes in an old treefall.
I have found nests under dead wood on the ground, under stones, under epiphytes, and under loose bark of rotting logs. I once found a populous nest under a stone in a very open, barren area at the edge of an old lava flow on Volcan Arenal.
I suspect this species is relatively common in open, frequently disturbed areas in mid-elevation sites. It appears rare to me because I focus my collecting efforts on forested habitats. Open, disturbed habitats extend into forested areas as thin corridors formed by streams and rivers, and this Paratrechina species follows those corridors.
Foragers can be found during the day or at night.
The amount of appressed pubescence on the face and first gastral tergite is highly variable, and may reflect multiple cryptic species.
John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.email@example.com
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