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Species: Cylindromyrmex whymperi

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2014)

Holcoponera whymperi Cameron, 1891: 92, fig. (w.) ECUADOR. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Combination in Cylindromyrmex: Forel, 1892f PDF: 256.
Junior synonym of Cylindromyrmex striatus: Emery, 1901b PDF: 54.
Revived from synonymy and senior synonym of Cylindromyrmex schmidti, Cylindromyrmex tibialis, Cylindromyrmex williamsi: De Andrade, 1998A PDF: 596.


Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Galapagos, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, southern Brazil (Brazil record questionable; see Andrade 1998).


Natural History:

The ants of this genus are rarely collected, and very little is known about them. Cylindromyrmex species nest in cavities in sound or rotten wood, under bark, in hollow stems, or in termite galleries (Brown 1975, Andrade 1998).

At La Selva I collected fragments of dead workers from a dead Piper stem, in mature forest understory.

Dr. Bruno Gobin sent me specimens to identify. The material he sent included workers and a dealate queen. He stated "We collected them from a forager raid of about 100 workers in Rincon de la Vieja (along the Volcano trail, not far beyond the suspension bridge). Unfortunately, we could not see what they were raiding, but in the lab they readily recuited to some termites." These results were later published (Goben et al. 2001), along with a description of a novel exocrine gland. The abstract follows:

Workers of the ant Cylindromyrmex whymperi display mass trail recruitment. Bioassays show that the trail pheromone originates from a unique gland between abdominal sternites 6 and 7. The gland has a hitherto unknown structural organization. Upon leaving the secretory cell, the duct cell widens to form a sclerotized pear-shaped reservoir chamber, lined with multiple duct cells. Each duct thus forms a miniature reservoir for the secretions of each single secretory cell, a novel structural arrangement in exocrine glands of social Hymenoptera.


Andrade (2001) confirmed many of the above identifications.


Andrade, M. L. de 1998. Fossil and extant species of Cylindromyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Revue Suisse de Zoologie 105:581-664.

Andrade, M. L. de 2001. A remarkable Dominican amber species of Cylindromyrmex with Brazilian affinities and additions to the generic revision (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). BeitrŠge zur Entomologie 51:51-63.

Bolton, B. 1994. Identification Guide to the Ant Genera of the World. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Brown, W. L., Jr. 1975. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. V. Ponerinae, tribes Platythyreini, Cerapachyini, Cylindromyrmecini, Acanthostichini, and Aenictogitini. Search Agri., Entomol. (Ithaca) 5:1-115.

Cameron, P. 1891. Appendix. Hymenoptera, Formicidae (pp. 89-95). In Whymper, E. Travels Amongst the Great Andes of the Equator: 147 pp. London.

Gobin, B., O. RŸppell, A. Hartmann, H. Jungnickel, E. D. Morgan, J. Billen 2001. A new type of exocrine gland and its function in mass recruitment in the ant Cylindromyrmex whymperi (Formicidae, Cerapachyinae). Naturwissenschaften 88:395Ð399.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in lowland rainforest, 1 times found in montane wet forest, 1 times found in rainforest, 1 times found in rainforest clearing, 1 times found in tropical dry forest

Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 2 times search, 1 times Aspirador; en tronco podrido, 1 times Malaise

Elevations: collected from 50 - 1160 meters, 580 meters average

Type specimens: Holotype of Cylindromyrmex whymperi: casent0903676; syntype schmidti: jtl021478

(-1 examples)

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