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Guatemala (type locality), Costa Rica. Costa Rica: Atlantic slope to 1100m elevation.
This species occurs in wet forest. It appears to be a specialist inhabitant of mature forest canopy. Almost all of my collections have been from nests beneath epiphyte mats or strays in recent treefalls. This behavior extends to Venezuela, where I also collected it beneath epiphytes in a treefall. I have never collected it in Winkler samples or other sampling methods that focus on the ground fauna.
In Costa Rica, C. major has an allopatric or parapatric distribution with C. dixus, a Pacific slope species with similar morphology and nesting habits.
This form is based on worker specimens from an unknown locality in Guatemala. Specimens subsequently recorded by Forel (1912) under this name from the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, are probably not conspecific. The only specimens of C. majorHNS that we have seen are three cotypes from the Forel collection (MHNG). The three workers are mounted on a single card; the right-hand specimen is the best preserved of the three and is here designated as the Lecotype and has been appropriately marked and labelled.
Although similar to C. vorticisHNS and C. salvini, C. majorHNS differs from both in the shape of the prolonged portion of the occipital corners. In C. vorticisHNS and C. salviniHNS the occipital corner is distinctly spine-like, especially in lateral view; in C. majorHNS the occipital corner projects upward as a broad lobe (Fig. 30.5). The body hairs are slender and not at all scale-like in C. vorticisHNS; in both C. majorHNS and C. salviniHNS they are broadly scale-like C. majorHNS is further distinguished from C. salviniHNS, by the broader, more obtuse mesosomal tubercles (Fig. 30.13), rather than acutely conical (see Kempf, 1966, Fig. 16).
Found most commonly in these habitats: 5 times found in mature wet forest, 1 times found in mature rainforest, 2 times found in montane wet forest, 2 times found in Primary wet forest, 2 times found in rainforest, 1 times found in 2º lowland tropical rainforest, 1 times found in lowland rainforest, 1 times found in SAT, 1 times found in Sura 700 m, 1 times found in CCL 840M, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 5 times ex sifted leaf litter, 1 times nest under epiphyte mat, 1 times STR, 1 times on treefall, 1 times just into forest off SW corner lab clearing; Pentaclethra tree, first major fork, 2 times beating vegetation, 1 times 2nd growth forest. Nest under epiphyte mat in treefall., st times Virola tree felled yesterday at edge of lab clearing behind new lab. #3381-s, 1 times Strays from morning collecting; most were from a live branchfall along SHO. Dace, 1 times SHO 100, 1 times on low vegetation, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 7 times search, 5 times MiniWinkler, 5 times Fogging, 2 times Malaise, 2 times Beating, 1 times flight intercept trap, 1 times pan traps.
Elevations: collected from 50 - 1160 meters, 331 meters average
Type specimens: Lectotype of Cyphomyrmex major: casent0909379