Wasmannia iheringi Forel,

Longino, J. T. & Fernández, F., 2007, Taxonomic review of the genus Wasmannia., Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Homage to E. O. Wilson - 50 years of contributions. (Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80), pp. 271-289: 279

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Wasmannia iheringi Forel


Wasmannia iheringi Forel  HNS 

Wasmannia iheringi Forel  HNS  , 1908: 359. Syntype worker, queen: Brazil, Sao Paulo (v. Ihering) [ MHNG] (examined)  .


Prior to this report W. iheringi  HNS  was known only from the type specimens. Forel ’ s description and specimen labels indicate the specimens were collected in Sao Paulo by von Ihering. The types also bear a pencil label with “ 2265. ” Luederwaldt (1926) referred to W. iheringi  HNS  , stating “ Mr. E. Garbe found in Espirito Santo a small nest, constructed of fine carton [“ serragem fina ”], on a leaf of Cecropia. N. 2.265. ” Given the match of the collection numbers We assume these represent a single collection. We also presume Luederwaldt ’ s data are more accurate than Forel ’ s. Kempf (1972) lists only the type locality for the range of W. iheringi  HNS  , suggesting it remained known only from the types at the time of his Neotropical catalogue.

Surprisingly, this species has been discovered in Costa Rica, where it inhabits the canopy of lowland rainforest on the Atlantic slope. Morphologically the Costa Rican specimens are identical to the types. It has been collected at La Selva Biological Station, at 500 m elevation on the Barva Transect, and at the old Carrillo station at 600 m in Braulio Carrillo National Park. The quantitative sampling by the ALAS project shows it to be a moderately abundant component of the arboreal fauna (Table 2).

One nest has been observed, at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. The nest was on the undersurface of a single leaf of a fuzzy-leaved Guarea growing along a stream. A 2 cm long felt-like carton roof covered a portion of the leaf between two veins. The nest contained 27 adult workers, one dealate queen, four adult males, and brood of various sizes. This observation is similar to Garbe ’ s collection from southeastern Brazil, suggesting a specialized nesting behavior that is the same in both Costa Rica and southeastern Brazil.

On another occasion at La Selva the species was observed in a patch of old second growth forest comprised of medium to large trees over abandoned cacao. A small patch was being felled for an experiment at La Selva and collecting was carried out in these newly-felled trees. A dense aggregation of workers and two dealate queens were found on a branch of a felled Coussapoa, suggesting that colonies can be polygynous.

Alate queens were collected at blacklights at La Selva in October 1991  .

We have also examined workers in Erwin ’ s fogging samples from Tambopata, Peru. The species is now known from three widely separated localities, but it is unknown whether these are disjunct populations or a result of undersampling in intervening regions.


Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle