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Species: Cephalotes minutus   (Fabricius, 1804) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2016)

Cryptocerus minutus Fabricius, 1804 PDF: 420 (w.) CENTRAL AMERICA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history


Neotropical Region: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela

Distribution Notes:

Mainland Neotropics from Mexico to Argentina (Andrade and Baroni Urbani 1999). Costa Rica: common throughout the lowlands, both dry and wet forest habitats.


Natural History:

This is one of the most common species of Cephalotes. It is extremely generalized in its habitat preferences and can be found in the canopy of primary rainforest, in secondgrowth vegetation of all ages, in tropical dry forest, in scrubby roadside vegetation, and in mangroves. It appears to nest exclusively in dead stems; I have never found a nest in a live stem. I have seen nests in dead stems of all sizes, down to 3mm diameter. I sometimes find nests with no queen, which suggests that the species can be polydomous. When I do find queens, they are founding alone, or occur as the single queen in nests, suggesting monogyny.

For one nest I made a count of the entire contents. The nest was in a dead stem, outside dia. 5mm, inside dia. 3.5mm, 52cm long. There were 146 adult minors, 27 adult majors (majors and minors grade into each other to some extent), 16 callows, 57 pupae, 15 semipupae, and 30 larger larvae. The larvae were amber-colored; the semipupae were white.


Andrade, M. L. de, and C. Baroni Urbani. 1999. Diversity and adaptation in the ant genus Cephalotes, past and present (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Stuttgarter Beitrage zur Naturkunde Serie B (Geologie und Palaontologie) 271:1-889.

Fabricius, J. C. 1804. Systema Piezatorum secundum ordines, genera, species, adjectis synonymis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus. Brunswick: C. Reichard, xiv + 15-439 + 30 pp.

Kempf, W. W. 1951. A taxonomic study on the ant tribe Cephalotini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Entomol. (Rio J.) 22:1-244.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55

minutus (FabriciusHNS 1804).

Alto Paraguay, Amambay, Canindeyú, Central, Concepción, Cordillera, Ñeembucú, San Pedro (ALWC, IFML, INBP, LACM, MHNG). Literature records: Caaguazú, Central, Cordillera, “Paraguay” (s. loc.) (Forel, 1909a, de Andrade & Baroni-Urbani 1999).

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 18 times found in tropical moist forest, 15 times found in 2º wet forest, 12 times found in lowland wet forest, 4 times found in mature wet forest, 7 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, Agricultural Land times found in Disturbed, 5 times found in tropical wet forest, 1 times found in tropical dry forest, 4 times found in tropical rainforest, 1 times found in La Selva, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 36 times beating vegetation, 12 times Malaise trap, 12 times ex sifted leaf litter, 6 times at bait, 1 times on ant acacia., 1 times Floodplain of Río Cerere. Tall swollen-thorn acacia trees (Acacia ruddiae) occur, 1 times nest in dead stem, 1 times treefall, dead stick, 1 times Second growth vegetation (Cecropia, Heliconia, low shrubby trees) near primary f, 1 times Pasture and low second growth vegetation, at wet forest edge. Lantana, Clibadium, 2 times general collecting, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 28 times search, 36 times Beating, 15 times Fogging, 14 times Malaise, 8 times MiniWinkler, 6 times Baiting, 1 times hand collecting, 4 times MaxiWinkler, 3 times Red de golpeo, 0 times On fig tree, 2 times nest in hollow twig, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1067 meters, 224 meters average

Type specimens: Holotype of Cryptocerus cognatus: casent0900240; Holotype of Cryptocerus exiguus: casent0901461

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