Rasopone cryptergates,

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: 22

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

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Rasopone cryptergates

New Species

Rasopone cryptergates  New Species

( Fig. 7View Fig; Supp Figs. S8View Fig and S 9View Fig [online only])

(Zoobank LSID: urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:FFE0F396-AC3E-46B5-A78F-B0786CBE44DE )

HOLOTYPE: 1 alate queen, Costa Rica, Heredia: La Selva Biological Station , 10.43748 −84.01381 ± 20 m, 50 m, 9-iii-2004, lowland rainforest, ALAS, M/25/787 [UCR, unique specimen identifier JTLC000008527]GoogleMaps  . PARATYPES: same data as holotype except 10.41745 −84.01627 ± 20 m, 50 m, 2-ii-2005, mature wet forest, ex sifted leaf litter, TEAM, AMI-1 -W-022-06 [1 worker, CAS, INB0003660648]GoogleMaps  ; 10.42519 −84.00399 ± 20 m, 50 m, 18-v-1993, light trap, ALAS, L/02/038 [1 alate queen, MCZC, INBIOCRI001276551; 1 alate queen, UCD, INBIOCRI001276552]GoogleMaps  ; 10.43333 −84.01667 ± 2 km, 50 m, 1-ix-2003, wet forest, H. A. Hespenheide [1 alate queen, USNM, JTLC000005546]GoogleMaps  .

Geographic range. Costa Rica.


Lowland; mandible striate; anterior clypeal margin truncate; side of head with a few inconspicuous short setae; posterior margin of head in face view flat, posterolateral margins subangulate; petiole nearly cuboidal. Two species are within size and geographic range of R. cryptergates  :

Rasopone costaricensis  ( Fig. 9View Fig; Supp Figs. S3View Fig and S 4View Fig [online only]): montane; petiolar node more scale-like; posterolateral margins of head more rounded.

Rasopone  MAS010 ( Fig. 7View Fig; Supp Fig. S47 [online only]): montane; side of head bare; posterolateral margins of vertex somewhat more rounded.

Measurements, worker: HW 1.07, HL 1.25, SL 0.84, PTL 0.47, PTH 0.82, CI 86, SI 79, PTI 57 (n = 1).

Measurements, queen: HW 1.16 (1.10–1.23, 9); HL 1.37 (1.28– 1.46, 9); SL 1.10 (1.06–1.13, 2); PTH 0.81 (0.76–0.92, 5); PTL 0.48 (0.44–0.55, 5); CI 85 (81–87, 9); SI 93 (92–94, 2); PTI 59 (57–60, 5).


This species occurs in lowland rainforest, from sea level to about 500 m elevation. Only one worker is known, from a Winkler sample of forest floor litter and rotten wood. Multiple alate queens are known, from Malaise traps, flight intercept traps, and light traps. One alate queen is from a Berlese sample of litter and soil; it is possible the queen was a contaminant, attracted to the light bulb of the Berlese funnel. The queen records are from the months of January, February, March, May, and September.


There has been intensive Winkler sampling at La Selva Biological Station, and workers of the smaller species R. pluviselva  occur moderately frequently in these samples, yet only one worker of R. cryptergates  has been discovered.The alate queens are the reverse, with moderately abundant queens of R. cryptergates  , and a single alate queen of R. pluviselva  . Dealate queens of R. pluviselva  occur occasionally in Winkler samples. It is possible that R. cryptergates  is more subterranean than R. pluviselva  , and workers hardly ever forage in the litter. Alternatively, R. cryptergates  may prefer open habitats such as pastures and lawns, and thus be more abundant in the agricultural landscape adjoining La Selva. Rasopone cryptergates  may produce more abundant alate queens, or queens that fly greater distances or higher above the ground. In contrast, R. pluviselva  may rely on fewer or less vagile queens that fly close to the ground, rarely being captured by Malaise or light traps.

UCE and COI data are available for the single worker specimen, placing it in a clade with three other species known only from Panama. However, the worker was associated with the queens based on morphology alone: the cuboidal shape of the petiolar node and matching size. There are currently no genetic data definitively associating the sequenced worker with the holotype queen, so future confirmation is warranted.


California Academy of Sciences


University of California, Davis


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History