Ants of Chucantí

John T. Longino
and Michael Branstetter, Department of Biology, The University of Utah
Philip Ward, Department of Entomology, The University of California, Davis

Updated 28 April 2015. Current taxon count: 175.

The Serranía de Majé is an isolated mountain range in eastern Panama, on the Pacific side of Darien Province. The highest ridges reach 1300-1400m and are covered with small areas of cloud forest on the ridge crests. The slopes, when not deforested, have evergreen wet to moist forest. The area is an expanding agricultural frontier and there is very little mature forest remaining. Some of the remaining forest, including cloud forest on the highest ridge, are protected in a private reserve owned and managed by Guido Berguido.

This region has not been well explored by entomologists. In January, 2015, we spent three days collecting ants at Chucantí. Here we provide a list of ants for the site.

Ants were collected with a combination of Winkler sifting, hand collecting, and Malaise trap. Most collecting was concentrated along a trail from the reserve lodging, at 800m elevation, to the ridge crest at 1340m. Some collecting was along the hike into the site, starting at 90m elevation in pasture. The habitat was a mix of second growth and mature moist forest around the cabins. Litter conditions were dry around the cabins, but somewhat abruptly shifted to wet, mossy cloud forest between 1200-1300m.

This work was generously supported by the National Geographic Society, Grant 9568-14.

Notable Discoveries

Two specimens of the rare genus Lenomyrmex were collected. It appears to be a new species, similar to L. wardi, but differing in a few sculptural and shape characters.

Males of Leptanilloides were collected in a Malaise trap. This is an easily overlooked ant group. The tiny subterranean workers are rarely encountered, but males in Malaise traps are relatively common in Central America.

Leptogenys volcanica is a rare cloud forest ant previously only known from Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Myrmelachista are arboreal ants that nest inside live or dead stems. Some species are specialized inhabitants of understory trees in the avocado family (Lauraceae), nesting entirely in the live stems and usually completely filling the stems of individual trees. We found a new species of Myrmelachista that was relatively common in understory Lauraceae. These relationships between Myrmelachista and Lauraceae are only found in mature evergreen forest. They are an example of a part of the biota that requires protected reserves like Chucantí to survive.

The genus Strumigenys contains a high diversity of small predaceous ants, most of which live in leaf litter and rotting wood. We found one strikingly distinct new species whose closest relative is S. minuscula, which is known from a few specimens from southern Brazil. The other significant find was two additional specimens of S. parsauga, a species previously known from a single specimen from the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica.

Species List

Most names in the species list are linked to individual specimen records on AntWeb, from which a link can be followed to the general species page. These specimens function as site-specific vouchers, whose identities may change. The species names in the list are static text on this page. Following the specimen link to AntWeb will allow one to see if the name has changed.

 Acanthognathus ocellatus
 Acromyrmex volcanus
 Acropyga exsanguis
 Adelomyrmex myops
 Anochetus diegensis
 Anochetus mayri
 Aphaenogaster phalangium
 Apterostigma spp
 Azteca spp
 Azteca alfari
 Azteca constructor
 Azteca forelii
 Azteca isthmica
 Belonopelta deletrix
 Brachymyrmex spp
 Brachymyrmex cavernicola
 Camponotus ager
 Camponotus atriceps
 Camponotus integellus
 Camponotus JTL-066
 Camponotus sericeiventris
 Camponotus simillimus
 Camponotus striatus
 Carebara reina
 Cephalotes minutus
 Cephalotes pallens
 Cerapachys JTL-013
 Cerapachys JTL-015
 Crematogaster acuta
 Crematogaster brasiliensis
 Crematogaster crinosa
 Crematogaster limata
 Crematogaster nigropilosa
 Crematogaster sotobosque
 Cyphomyrmex costatus
 Cyphomyrmex rimosus s.l.
 Cyphomyrmex salvini
 Discothyrea horni_complex
 Discothyrea humilis
 Discothyrea JTL-005
 Dolichoderus bispinosus
 Dolichoderus diversus
 Dolichoderus lamellosus
 Eciton lucanoides
 Ectatomma ruidum
 Eurhopalothrix xibalba
 Gnamptogenys horni
 Gnamptogenys JTL-002
 Gnamptogenys JTL-019
 Gnamptogenys minuta
 Gnamptogenys regularis
 Gnamptogenys tornata
 Gnamptogenys triangularis
 Hylomyrma dentiloba
 Hypoponera spp
 Hypoponera parva
 Labidus coecus
 Labidus praedator
 Lachnomyrmex haskinsi
 Lenomyrmex JTL-001
 Leptanilloides spp
 Leptogenys volcanica
 Linepithema angulatum
 Megalomyrmex longinoi
 Megalomyrmex modestus
 Megalomyrmex osadrifti
 Monomorium floricola
 Mycocepurus tardus
 Myrmelachista JTL-024
 Myrmelachista zeledoni
 Myrmicocrypta sp
 Neoponera aenescens
 Neoponera foetida
 Neoponera insignis
 Nesomyrmex wilda
 Nylanderia spp
 Octostruma amrishi
 Odontomachus bauri
 Odontomachus chelifer
 Odontomachus hastatus
 Odontomachus meinerti
 Odontomachus opaciventris
 Pachycondyla harpax
 Pheidole biconstricta
 Pheidole boliviana
 Pheidole carapuna
 Pheidole chocoensis
 Pheidole christopherseni
 Pheidole colobopsis
 Pheidole debilis
 Pheidole glomericeps
 Pheidole harrisonfordi
 Pheidole hasticeps
 Pheidole hirsuta
 Pheidole JTL-134
 Pheidole JTL-218
 Pheidole JTL-235
 Pheidole JTL-236
 Pheidole JTL-237
 Pheidole mantilla
 Pheidole multispina
 Pheidole olsoni
 Pheidole protensa
 Pheidole pugnax
 Pheidole punctatissima
 Pheidole rectispina
 Pheidole rhinomontana
 Pheidole rogeri
 Pheidole rugiceps
 Pheidole sagittaria
 Pheidole sicaria
 Pheidole simonsi
 Pheidole striaticeps
 Pheidole susannae
 Pheidole tanyscapa
 Pheidole veletis
 Pheidole vorax
 Prionopelta amabilis
 Prionopelta antillana
 Proceratium JTL-001
 Procryptocerus hylaeus
 Procryptocerus scabriusculus
 Pseudomyrmex boopis
 Pseudomyrmex cubaensis
 Pseudomyrmex elongatus
 Pseudomyrmex euryblemma
 Pseudomyrmex filiformis
 Pseudomyrmex gebellii
 Pseudomyrmex gracilis
 Pseudomyrmex laevivertex
 Pseudomyrmex oculatus
 Pseudomyrmex pallens
 Pseudomyrmex psw004
 Pseudomyrmex psw005
 Pseudomyrmex psw008
 Pseudomyrmex psw055
 Pseudomyrmex rochai
 Pseudomyrmex simplex
 Pseudoponera cauta
 Rasopone JTL-022
 Rasopone JTL-027
 Rasopone pergandei
 Rhopalothrix isthmica
 Rogeria belti
 Rogeria foreli
 Rogeria inermis
 Solenopsis spp
 Solenopsis geminata
 Stenamma spp
 Stigmatomma tropicalis
 Strumigenys aethegenys
 Strumigenys biolleyi
 Strumigenys borgmeieri
 Strumigenys brevicornis
 Strumigenys cordovensis
 Strumigenys DBB078
 Strumigenys eggersi
 Strumigenys elongata
 Strumigenys gundlachi
 Strumigenys lalassa
 Strumigenys lanuginosa
 Strumigenys louisianae
 Strumigenys parsauga
 Strumigenys precava
 Strumigenys schulzi
 Strumigenys skia
 Strumigenys subedentata
 Strumigenys zeteki
 Tapinoma spp
 Trachymyrmex cornetzi
 Trachymyrmex opulentus
 Trachymyrmex zeteki
 Tranopelta gilva
 Typhlomyrmex rogenhoferi
 Wasmannia auropunctata