Dacetini, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia
Above images are of holotype. Additional images: Holotype worker, scape (large), label (small, large).
Full Range: Costa Rica (type locality).
Costa Rican Range: Atlantic lowlands.
Mandibles in full-face view linear, elongate and narrow; ventral surface of petiole without spongiform tissue; leading edge of scape with freely projecting hairs, these relatively thin and strongly curved; inner margin of mandible without a tooth or distinctly enlarged denticle at or near the midlength; labral lobes short, trigger hairs at apices of lobes long; outer margins of mandibles relatively straight; mandibles thick, with inner margin convex; close to the apical fork is a small preapical tooth, followed closely by 3-5 very small denticles; ground pilosity conspicuous and abundant, particularly on head; hairs on head spoon-shaped and reclining; in profile dorsal mesosoma with only a single pair of standing hairs (in addition to those at humeri), on mesonotum; first gastral sternite smooth. Also see Bolton (2000:193).
Similar species: subedentata, cascanteae, paniaguae, gundlachi, eggersi, trieces.
Members of the genus are all predaceous, with a static pressure mode of attack (Bolton 1999).
At La Selva Biological Station, while night collecting in the arboretum, I found a nest under a barkflap at the base of a big Pithecellobium tree. I saw a worker carrying a collembolan prey item at the time of collection. Workers have been taken in Winkler and Berlese samples and a flight intercept trap at La Selva and at the 300 m site on the Barva transect in Braulio Carrillo National Park. A dealate queen was collected in a canopy fogging sample at La Selva.
Holotype worker: Costa Rica: Heredia Prov., La Selva Biological Station (10¡26'N 84¡01'W), 50 m elevation, 28.X.1991, leg. J. Longino#3152, specimen code JTLC000007866 (INBC).
10 Paratypes (workers unless indicated): same data as holotype, JTLC000007867 (MCZC), INBIOCRI001224829 (LACM), JTLC000007869 (UCDC), INBIOCRI001224828 (BMNH), JTLC000007868 (USNM); dealate queen, same locality as holotype, 11.V.2000, leg. Project ALAS FOT/49/1-40, INBIOCRI002281849 (JTLC); Costa Rica: Heredia Prov., 11 km ESE La Virgen (10¡21'N 84¡03'W), 300 m elevation, 16.II.2004, leg. Project ALAS 03/B/BV/019, INB0003624227 (JTLC); same data but 15.III.2004, 03/B/BV/049, INB0003624223 (NMW); same data but 10.IV.2004, 03/WF/02/06, INB0003621500 (CASC); same data but 13.II.2004, 03/TN/03/003, INB0003619372 (INBC).
Worker: With the characters of the P. gundlachi group, sensu Bolton (2000); inner margin of mandible evenly convex for nearly entire length; preapical mandibular dentition consisting of one small sharp tooth immediately proximal to apicodorsal tooth, followed by up to five minute denticles; eye with about 15 ommatidia; setae on leading edge of scape thicker apically but not broadly fan-shaped, first two setae (starting at base) strongly curving toward scape apex, next two strongly curving toward scape base, fifth curving toward scape apex; ground pilosity of clypeus, face, and promesonotum abundant, remiform, subdecumbent; dorsal face of propodeum and gastral dorsum lacking ground pilosity; katepisternum smooth and shiny, rest of mesosoma, head, petiole, and postpetiole punctate; metanotal groove not impressed, such that promesonotum and dorsal face of propodeum form single flat surface; gastral dorsum smooth and shiny with short, sparse basal costulae, plus variable extent of fine longitudinal striolation on basal fourth or less; pairs of stout clavate setae on sides of head at upper scrobe margin, upper face near vertex margin, pronotal humeri, mesonotum, and petiolar node; postpetiole and gaster with abundant stout clavate setae; color orange.
Measurements (holotype): ML 0.261, HL 0.506, HW 0.415, SL0.237, MeL 0.512.
Queen: Similar to worker in mandibular structure, surface sculpture, pilosity, and color; katepisternum smooth and shiny as in worker, rest of side of mesosoma punctate; gastral dorsum longitudinally striolate in basal fourth.
Measurements: ML 0.273, HL 0.522, HW 0.436, SL0.253, MeL 0.603.
Named for Nelci Oconitrillo, Project ALAS Parataxonomist from 1994 to 2001.
Longino, J. T. 2006. New species and nomenclatural changes for the Costa Rican ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecologische Nachrichten 8:131-143.
John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.email@example.com
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