Azteca nanogyna, Longino, J. T., 2007

Longino, J. T., 2007, A taxonomic review of the genus Azteca (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica and a global revision of the aurita group., Zootaxa 1491, pp. 1-63: 57

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Azteca nanogyna

new species

Azteca nanogyna  HNS  new species

Figures 4A,9.

Holotype queen: Costa Rica, Prov. Guanacaste, Estacion Maritza, Guanacaste Conservation Area , 10°58'N, 85°30'W, 600m , 23 Feb 2003 (J. S. Noyes) [ INBC, specimen code JTLC000004288]GoogleMaps 

Measurements of holotype. HLA 0.86, HLB 0.91, HW 0.64, SL 0.58, EL 0.22, OC 0.04, MTSC 6 (very fine, short).

Diagnosis. Azteca nanogyna  HNS  is a member of the A. aurita  HNS  group and has the smallest queen of any known species in the genus.

Queen characters. Palpal formula 4,3; middle and hind tibia lacking apical spur; dorsal surface of mandible smooth and shiny, pubescent; medial clypeal lobe strongly convex and protruding, extending well beyond lateral clypeal lobes; head subrectangular, somewhat swollen between ocellar region and compound eye, posterior margin a smoothly rounded excavation; petiolar node bluntly triangular; posteroventral petiolar lobe very low, very shallowly convex, ending posteriorly in a somewhat abrupt shelf, rising steeply to tergosternal suture, leaving small posterior rim on sternite; entire body covered with uniform vestiture of sparse, white, suberect pubescence; scape, all margins of head, legs, petiole, and first gastral tergum with evenly distributed short, white, erect setae emerging above pubescence, similar but sparser setae on mesosomal dorsum; body dark brown becoming lighter brown on mandibles, legs; body with smooth, highly polished and reflective surface.

Etymology. The name refers to the small size of the queen.

Range. Costa Rica.

Biology. The single specimen was collected in tropical moist forest. John Noyes collected the specimen using a screened sweep net.

Comments. This is by far the smallest queen known in the genus Azteca  HNS  . The color and narrow head clearly ally it with A. lanuginosa  HNS  and A. schimperi  HNS  .


Costa Rica, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio)