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Species: Cephalotes varians   (Smith, 1876) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2018)

Cryptocerus varians Smith, 1876d PDF: 606, pl. 11, fig. 6 (w.) CUBA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Cryptocerus (Cyathocephalus): Emery, 1915g PDF: 192; in Cryptocerus (Cyathomyrmex): Wheeler, 1937b PDF: 459; in Paracryptocerus (Cyathomyrmex): Smith, 1951c: 825; in Zacryptocerus: Smith, 1979: 1403; in Cephalotes: De Andrade & Baroni Urbani, 1999: 457.
See also: Wilson, 1976b PDF: 354.


Nearctic Region: Florida, North America, United States
Neotropical Region: Americas, Bahamas, Camagüey, Caribbean, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guantánamo, Holguín, Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago

Distribution Notes:

Incomplete list
USA: Florida. Considered native in Fisher & Cover (2007).
Caribbean: Bahamas, Cuba (type locality)


There is some question as to whether the Florida population of C. varians is native (e.g. Deyrup et al., 1988; Deyrup et al., 2000)or introduced (e.g. Wittenborn & Jeschke, 2011). The species is otherwise known only from the Bahamas and Cuba (De Andrade & Baroni Urbani, 1999). Deyrup et al. (2000)refrained from classifying C. varians as introduced to Florida, arguing that the species may have been transported in floating trees, and dislodged mangroves in particular. Non-native Cephalotes species, including the widespread C. pusillus (Klug), are occasionally intercepted at US ports of entry.


De Andrade, M.L. & Baroni Urbani, C. (1999) Diversity and adaptation in the ant genus Cephalotes, past and present. Stuttg. Beitr. Naturkd. Ser. B (Geol. Palaontol.), 271, 1-889.

Deyrup, M., Carlin, N., Trager, J. & Umphrey, G. (1988) A review of the ants of the Florida Keys. Florida Entomol., 71, 163-176.

Deyrup, M., Davis, L. & Cover, S. (2000) Exotic ants in Florida. Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc., 126, 293-326.

Wittenborn, D. & Jeschke, J. (2011) Characteristics of exotic ants in North America. NeoBiota, 10, 47-64.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 11 times found in Mangrove swamp, 1 times found in tropical dry forest, 1 times found in dry thorn scrub, 1 times found in karst forest.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times nest in small bamboo, 1 times hand collections, 1 times ex dead twig Cassia, 1 times litter.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 37 times Nest in twig above ground, 11 times Dead twig above ground, 2 times search, 0 times hand collected, 0 times In twig, 1 times Winkler, 1 times Ground nest.

Elevations: collected from 1 - 409 meters, 24 meters average

Type specimens: syntype of Cephalotes varians: casent0900251

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