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Species: Cephalotes multispinosus   (Norton, 1868) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2021)

Cryptocerus multispinosus Norton, 1868a PDF: 72, pl. 2, fig. 11 (s.w.) MEXICO. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Paracryptocerus: Kempf, 1951 PDF: 224.
Combination in Zacryptocerus: Hespenheide, 1986: 395.
Senior synonym of Cephalotes gibbosus: Emery, 1892c PDF: 167.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama (Andrade and Baroni Urbani 1999, Hunt 1983). Costa Rica: common throughout the lowlands, both dry and wet forest habitats, but as yet unknown from the Osa Peninsula. One old record from Alajuela.


Natural History:

This species can be found in wet forest and dry forest habitats. Workers can be found commonly in recent treefalls. It seems to nest exclusively in live stems, and also occurs as an opportunistic inhabitant of ant-plants. I have found nests in the canopies of Licania sp., Hieronyma oblonga, and Coussapoa; in domatia of Cordia alliodora; and in Cecropia saplings. Coccoidea may occur inside the nests.

Norton (1868) wrote

This is the most common species of Cryptocerus [=Cephalotes] in the environs of Cordova, where it lives in the trunk of certain trees, especially those of Croton sanguiferum, Cedrela odorata, Spondias chilias. These ants show little vivacity, remaining stationary a good part of the day at the entrance of the holes which conduct to their nest. In the middle of the day one sees them running about fallen trunks, without apparent order or aim. When one attempts to seize them, they elevate the abdomen while running, after the manner ascribed to another kind of ant, the Crematogaster montezumia.


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.

Emery, C. 1890. Studii sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 22:38-80.

Hunt, J. H. 1983. Foraging and morphology in ants: the role of vertebrate predators as agents of natural selection. pp 83-104 in P. Jaisson (ed.), Social insects in the tropics. Univ. Paris.

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

Norton, E. 1868. Notes on Mexican ants. Am. Nat. 2:57-72.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 10 times found in montane wet forest, 3 times found in wet forest, 1 times found in 2nd growth wet forest, 2 times found in roadside vegetation, 1 times found in La Selva, 1 times found in LOC, 2 times found in tropical dry forest, 2 times found in lowland rainforest, 2 times found in rainforest edge, 2 times found in dry forest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times ex live stems Cordia alliodora, 1 times mature forest, 1 times strays from treetrunks., 2 times on low vegetation, 1 times nest in live stem, 1 times ex Cecropia sapling, 1 times these ants collected by Henry Hespenheide around Jack Ewel's Huertos project pl, 1 times strays collected around tree base in center of Atta colombica nest, 1 times strays, 1 times STR, 1 times Sobre Vegetacion, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 8 times Search, 6 times Foggin, 4 times Malaise, 1 times MiniWinkler, 1 times mostly beating vegetation, some hand collections from treefall, 1 times Sweeping, 1 times Beating, 1 times Fogging.

Elevations: collected from 10 - 845 meters, 286 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1963-08-01 and 2015-07-14

Type specimens: Holotype of Cryptocerus gibbosus: casent0900241; syntype of Cephalotes multispinosus: casent0904901, casent0904902

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