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Species: Cephalotes varians   (Smith, 1876) 

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See Also:

Cephalotes varians jamaicensis, Cephalotes varians marginatus

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2016)

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.


Region: Florida, United States
Region: Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago
Region: Florida Keys

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.

Taxon Page Author History

On 2012-06-14 13:48:02 Eli Sarnat modified References
On 2012-06-14 13:47:48 Eli Sarnat modified References
On 2012-06-14 13:47:00 Eli Sarnat modified Biology

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in dry thorn scrub, 1 times found in karst forest

Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 2 times search, 2 times aspirating, 0 times hand collected, 0 times In twig, 1 times Winkler

Elevations: collected from 3 - 409 meters, 126 meters average

Type specimens: syntype of Cephalotes varians: casent0900251

(-1 examples)

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