Rasopone pluviselva, Longino, John T. & Branstetter, Michael G., 2020

Longino, John T. & Branstetter, Michael G., 2020, Phylogenomic Species Delimitation, Taxonomy, and ‘ Bird Guide’ Identification for the Neotropical Ant Genus Rasopone (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Insect Systematics and Diversity 4 (2), No. 1, pp. 1-33 : 25-26

publication ID

https://doi.org/ 10.1093/isd/ixaa004

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scientific name

Rasopone pluviselva

sp. nov.

Rasopone pluviselva New Species

( Fig. 6 View Fig ; Supp Figs. S26 and S27 [online only])

( urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:F2F28C33-1DA6-44E1-A2AF-A1A147C3D033 )

Mesoponera ferruginea: Wheeler and Wheeler, 1976: 54 (description of larva) [based on a specimen from Turrialba, Costa Rica, January 1973, received from W. L. Brown].

HOLOTYPE: 1 worker, Costa Rica, Heredia: La Selva Biological Station , 10.4171 −84.02216 ± 20 m, 50 m, 13-vi-2005, mature wet forest, ex sifted leaf litter, TEAM, AMI-1 -W-036-06 [UCR, unique specimen identifier INB0003677242 ] GoogleMaps . PARATYPES: same data as holotype except 10.41561 −84.02097 ± 20 m, 50 m, 3-ii- 2005, AMI-1 -W-023-02 [1 worker, UCD, INB0003660695 ] GoogleMaps ; 7 km SW Pto. Viejo , 10.40132 −84.03892 ± 20 m, 160 m, 3-iii-2005, AMI-2 -W-031-01 [1 worker, MCZC, INB0003667438 ] GoogleMaps ; 10.40395 −84.04011 ± 20 m, 160 m, 16-vi-2005, AMI-2 -W-042-10 [1 worker, DZUP, INB0003678004 ] GoogleMaps ; 10.40601 −84.04189 ± 20 m, 160 m, 2-ii-2007, AMI-2 -W-116-08 [1 worker, USNM, INB0003698324 ] GoogleMaps ; 11 km ESE La Virgen , 10.35 −84.05 ± 2 km, 300 m, 15-ii-2004, montane wet forest, hojarasca, ALAS, 03/WF/01/13 [1 worker, CAS, INB0003620958 ] ; 03/WF/01/20 [1 worker, UNAM, INB0003621052 ] .

Geographic range. Honduras (La Mosquitia) to Panama.


Lowland; mandible smooth and shiny to faintly striate; anterior clypeal margin truncate; side of head bare or with a few inconspicuous erect setae; petiolar node moderately tapering, scale-like; color orange. The most similar species is R. minuta ( Fig. 6 View Fig ; Supp Figs. S22 and S23 [online only]), which has longer scapes on average (mean SI 77 vs 73).

Measurements, worker: HW 0.84 (0.80–0.91, 26); HL 0.96 (0.93– 1.02, 26); SL 0.64 (0.60–0.66, 7); PTH 0.57 (0.55–0.62, 23); PTL 0.36 (0.34–0.40, 23); CI 88 (86–91, 26); SI 73 (72–74, 7); PTI 63 (60–68, 23).

Measurements, queen: HW 0.87 (0.84–0.91, 4); HL 0.98 (0.97– 0.99, 4); SL 0.65 (0.64–0.67, 2); PTH 0.59 (0.59–0.60, 3); PTL 0.37 (0.36–0.38, 3); CI 89 (86–92, 4); SI 74 (73–74, 2); PTI 62 (61–63, 3).


This species occurs in lowland wet to seasonal dry forest habitats, with records from 50 to 1100 m elevation. BOLD data associate a male from a Malaise trap in Santa Rosa National Park, a dry forest site in Costa Rica. Most specimens are workers and the occasional dealate queen in Winkler samples of forest floor litter and rotten wood. One worker was hand collected beneath a stone. An inexplicable record is a worker in a vegetation beating sample from an 1,100 m site on the Barva transect in Costa Rica. An alate queen was collected in February in a Malaise trap.


This is one of the two smallest species, the other being R. minuta . These two species have mean HW <0.9, while all other species have mean HW> 0.9. Both are lowland species. They are allopatric, R. pluviselva occurring east and south of the Sierra de Agalta in Honduras, and R. minuta occurring north and west of this range. They are extremely similar, but differ in relative scape length: R. minuta , SI 76–80 (n = 7); R. pluviselva , SI 72–74 (n = 7).

BOLD COI data unite specimens from Honduras (Las Marias), Nicaragua (Saslaya), Costa Rica (Barva transect, Santa Rosa National Park, Osa), and Panama (Barro Colorado Island). UCE data likewise unite two specimens, one from Saslaya and one from the Barva transect, and the COI sequence from these specimens is consistent with the BOLD results. We have not examined Panama specimens directly, but BOLD images of a dealate queen from the Barro Colorado Island match our concept of R. pluviselva . The COI data form four geographically structured BINs with Panama sister to Costa Rica northward, and Pacific slope Costa Rica sister to an Atlantic slope region that extends from Costa Rica to Honduras. Pacific slope Costa Rica further separates into two BINs, based on one specimen from Santa Rosa National Park and one specimen from the Osa Peninsula.


University of California, Davis


Universidade Federal do Parana, Colecao de Entomologia Pe. Jesus Santiago Moure


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


California Academy of Sciences


Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico














Rasopone pluviselva

Longino, John T. & Branstetter, Michael G. 2020

Mesoponera ferruginea:

Wheeler, G. C. 1976: 54
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