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Species: Cephalotes minutus   (Fabricius, 1804) 

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Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Cryptocerus minutus Fabricius, 1804 PDF: 420 (w.) GUYANA. Neotropic. Primary type information: Primary type material: 2 syntype workers. Primary type locality: “America meridionali”: (no further data) (Mus. Smidt. Mus. Dom. Sehestedt). Primary type depository: ZMUC. Type notes: De Andrade & Baroni Urbani, 1999 PDF: 194, add that the holotype is labelled: “Essequibo Smidt Mus. Dom. Sehestedt”; the type-locality is therefore Guyana: Essequibo. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Paracryptocerus: Kempf, 1951 PDF: 169.
Combination in Zacryptocerus: Kugler, 1978a: 474.
Status as species: Klug, 1824 PDF: 203; Guérin-Méneville, 1844a PDF: 426; Smith, 1853 PDF: 221; Smith, 1858a PDF: 190; Smith, 1862d PDF: 409; Mayr, 1862 PDF: 764; Smith, 1862b PDF: 35; Mayr, 1863a PDF: 406; Roger, 1863b PDF: 38; Mayr, 1884 PDF: 38; Emery, 1890b PDF: 68; Emery, 1890c PDF: 74; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 143; Emery, 1894l PDF: 59; Forel, 1895b PDF: 134; Forel, 1899b PDF: 50; Forel, 1899j: 273; Forel, 1905e PDF: 158; Wheeler, 1905c PDF: 128; Forel, 1906d PDF: 234; Forel, 1907h PDF: 3; Forel, 1908a PDF: 69; Wheeler, 1908a PDF: 144; Forel, 1909a PDF: 257; Forel, 1911g PDF: 260; Forel, 1912f PDF: 201; Bruch, 1914 PDF: 218; Crawley, 1916b PDF: 371; Mann, 1916 PDF: 450; Luederwaldt, 1918 PDF: 41; Wheeler, 1918b PDF: 26; Mann, 1922 PDF: 34; Emery, 1924f PDF: 307; Borgmeier, 1927c PDF: 116; Menozzi, 1927c PDF: 268; Wheeler, 1933a: 63; Wheeler, 1942 PDF: 209; Kempf, 1951 PDF: 169 (redescription); Kempf, 1958a: 60; Kempf, 1958d PDF: 110; Kempf, 1961b PDF: 514; Kempf, 1972b PDF: 178; Brandão, 1991 PDF: 387; Bolton, 1995b: 426; De Andrade & Baroni Urbani, 1999 PDF: 194 (redescription); Wild, 2007b PDF: 32; Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012 PDF: 257; Bezděčková et al., 2015 PDF: 116; Sandoval-Gómez & Sánchez-Restrepo, 2019 PDF: 912; Oliveira et al., 2021 10.1590/1806-9665-RBENT-2021-0028 PDF: 42 (in list).
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Nearctic, Neotropical

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: 21 times found in rainforest, 18 times found in tropical moist forest, 11 times found in rainforest edge, 15 times found in 2º wet forest, 12 times found in lowland wet forest, 5 times found in mature wet forest, 4 times found in tropical dry forest, 2 times found in mixed tropical/temperate mesic forest, 4 times found in 2nd growth rainforest, 5 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 38 times beating vegetation, 22 times on low vegetation, 13 times Malaise trap, 12 times ex sifted leaf litter, 8 times strays, 2 times in dead stick, 8 times nest in twig above ground, 2 times nest in dead stem, 6 times at bait, 1 times on ant acacia., 2 times nest in dead stick, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 31 times search, 40 times Beating, 15 times Fogging, 11 times direct collection, 14 times Malaise, 8 times MiniWinkler, 3 times beating vegetation (3 hours), 6 times Baiting, 4 times MaxiWinkler, 4 times beating low vegetation, 1 times hand collecting, ...

Elevations: collected from 2 - 1067 meters, 254 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1891-01-01 00:00:00.0 and 2021-02-09 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: Holotype of Cryptocerus cognatus: casent0900240; Holotype of Cryptocerus exiguus: casent0901461; Nontype: casent0745140, casent0745141

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