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Temnothorax of Costa Rica

Bolton (2003) reorganized the large genus Leptothorax, splitting it into three genera: Leptothorax s.s., Nesomyrmex and Temnothorax. Temnothorax is a largely north temperate genus, with many species in the Palaearctic and Nearctic. A group within Temnothorax is the former genus or subgenus Macromischa, a set of species that occurs in Central America and some Caribbean islands (particularly Cuba) (Baroni Urbani 1978).

Temnothorax are not widespread or common in Costa Rica. Where they occur they are inconspicuous elements of the arboreal ant fauna. The workers are furtive and non-aggressive. They forage singly and are thinly scattered on vegetation. They nest in small plant cavities and may opportunistically nest in ant-plants such as Cecropia and Cordia. They are most often captured in sweep samples or beating samples and in canopy fogging samples. Fresh treefalls may contain scattered workers. One species (subditiva) occurs in the dry Pacific lowlands, the others are montane. None occur in lowland rainforest.

Literature Cited

Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and classification of Formicidae. Mem. Amer. Entomol. Inst. 71:1-370.

Baroni Urbani, C. 1978. Materiali per una revisione dei Leptothorax neotropicali appartenenti al sottogenere Macromischa Roger, n. comb. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Entomol. Basil. 3:395-618.

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

Date of this version: 5 September 2004.

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