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Species: Cryptopone gilva   (Roger, 1863) 

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See Also:

Cryptopone gilva harnedi

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2017)

Ponera gilva Roger, 1863a PDF: 170 (w.) U.S.A. Nearctic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Pachycondyla (Pseudoponera): Emery, 1901b PDF: 46; in Euponera (Trachymesopus): Emery, 1911e PDF: 86; in Trachymesopus: Kempf, 1960f: 424; in Cryptopone: Brown, 1963: 3; in Pachycondyla: MacKay & MacKay, 2010 PDF: 352.


Nearctic Region: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas
Neotropical Region: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua
Palearctic Region: Georgia

Distribution Notes:

Southeastern United States, southern Mexico to Costa Rica. Costa Rica: cloud forests of Cordillera de Tilaran, Cordillera Volcanica Central, Cordillera de Talamanca.


Longino notes: In Costa Rica, Cryptopone gilva is restricted to cloud forest habitats. For example, it is common in the ridge crest cloud forest in the Monteverde area (1400-1600m), rare around "El Aleman" at the head of the Penas Blancas Valley (900m), and absent at Casa Eladio further down the valley (800m). In Monteverde it is common under loose bark of dead wood and under epiphyte mats in the low arboreal zone: ground level to a few meters high. I often encounter lone founding queens. I find colonies in logs at a certain stage of decay, when the bark comes off in intact sheets, and there is a thin layer of decayed humus between the bark and the still hard wood. Workers are found thinly scattered in anastomosing tunnels in the humus layer. As a bark sheet is peeled away one to five workers may be revealed, which quickly disappear into holes in the wood and under adjacent bark. I have never been able to collect more than a few dozen workers from a colony, and I have never found an obvious colony center or distinct galleries with aggregations of workers and brood. Occasional larvae and pupae occur in the tunnels. The nesting behavior is very similar to that of Typhlomyrmex rogenhoferi, a species more common at lower elevations.

Specimens are occasionally taken in samples of sifted leaf litter (Winkler samples).


Longino notes, 9 Nov 2013: DNA barcoding data show all in one cluster, but a split separating two clusters. One cluster contains specimens from two sites: Guisayote in Honduras and Biotopo El Quetzal in Guatemala. The other cluster contains specimens that range from Mexico to Costa Rica.


Brown, W. L., Jr. 1963. Characters and synonymies amoung the genera of ants. Part III. Some members of the tribe Ponerini (Ponerinae, Formicidae). Breviora 190:1-10.

Forel, A. 1899. Formicidae. Biol. Cent.-Am. Hym. 3:1-160.

Kempf, W. W. 1972. Catalogo abreviado das formigas da Regiao Neotropical. Studia Entomol. 15:3-344.

Menozzi, C. 1931. Qualche nuova Formica di Costa Rica (Hym.). Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung 92:188-202.

Roger, J. 1863. Die neu aufgefuehrten Gattungen und Arten meines Formiciden-Verzeichnisses nebst Erganzung einiger frueher gegebenen Beschreibungen. Berl. Entomol. Z. 7:131-214.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 108 times found in cloud forest, 34 times found in montane wet forest, 3 times found in moist forest, 1 times found in mixed cloud forest, 3 times found in cloud forest, probably old second growth, matrix of dense bamboo and more open forest, 1 times found in riparian bottomland oak, 2 times found in cloud forest at night, 2 times found in riparian forest, 1 times found in cloud forest edge, 2 times found in cloud forest edge, near dairy farm pasture, some big trees in rocky areas, probably disturbed primary or old second growth, on a steep slope, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 103 times ex sifted leaf litter, 7 times forest litter, 5 times ex sifted leaf litter on ground, 3 times ex dead wood, 4 times rotten wood, 3 times under loose bark, 1 times Montane forest edge. Scattered workers in soft material in shaded rotten log., 1 times under moss mat, 3 times under loose bark rotten wood, 1 times ex rotten wood, 3 times ex rotten log, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 62 times MiniWinkler, 32 times search, 28 times MaxiWinkler, 22 times Berlese, 22 times Winkler, 8 times hand collecting, 8 times Mini Winkler, 5 times Hojarasca berlese, 2 times Baiting, 2 times Night MiniWinkler, 1 times Beating, ...

Elevations: collected from 20 - 2190 meters, 1482 meters average

Type specimens: Lectotype of Euponera obsoleta: casent0915270; Syntype obsoleta: jtl055922; Syntypes obsoleta: jtl055923; type of Euponera obsoleta: focol0354-1, focol0354-2; type of Ponera gilva: focol0978, focol0979

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