Dacetini, Myrmicinae, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia
Additional images: worker mandible (small, large).
Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil (type locality). In Costa Rica: Atlantic lowlands.
Differs from lanuginosa in having a second preapical tooth on mandible; smaller eyes composed of fewer than 10 facets; basal costae of gaster coarse rather than fine; smaller size and relatively shorter mandibles. See also Bolton (2000:520).
Head length 0.556mm, mandible length 0.314, head width 0.448, CI 81, MI 56 (n=1).
Brown and Wilson (1959) summarize the genus as follows:
"Widespread in tropics and warm temperate areas. Primarily forest-dwelling; some species occur in grassland and arid scrub. ... Nests mostly in soil and rotting wood; a few species live in arboreal plant cavities in tropical rain forest. Foraging hypogaeic to epigaeic-arboreal. Food: most species are collembolan feeders; a few are polyphagous predators or occasionally feed on sugary substances..."
Members of the genus are all predaceous, with a kinetic mode of attack (Bolton 1999).
cosmostela occurs in lowland wet forest, in leaf litter/soil on the forest floor. At La Selva Biological Station it is an infrequent species in Winkler and Berlese samples.
Bolton, B. 1999. Ant genera of the tribe Dacetonini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Nat. Hist. 33:1639-1689.
Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini, with a revision of the Strumigenys species of the Malagasy Region by Brian L. Fisher, and a revision of the Austral epopostrumiform genera by Steven O. Shattuck. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 65:1-1028.
Brown, W. L., Jr., Wilson, E. O. 1959. The evolution of the dacetine ants. Quarterly Review of Biology 34:278-294.
John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.email@example.com
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