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Species: Cephalotes varians   (Smith, 1876) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2020)

Cryptocerus varians Smith, 1876d PDF: 606, pl. 11, fig. 6 (w.) CUBA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Zacryptocerus: Smith, 1979: 1403.
See also: Wilson, 1976b PDF: 354.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Bahamas, Cuba, United States
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Nearctic, Neotropical

Distribution Notes:

Incomplete list
USA: Florida. Considered native in Fisher & Cover (2007).
Caribbean: Bahamas, Cuba (type locality)


There is some question as to whether the Florida population of C. varians is native (e.g. Deyrup et al., 1988; Deyrup et al., 2000)or introduced (e.g. Wittenborn & Jeschke, 2011). The species is otherwise known only from the Bahamas and Cuba (De Andrade & Baroni Urbani, 1999). Deyrup et al. (2000)refrained from classifying C. varians as introduced to Florida, arguing that the species may have been transported in floating trees, and dislodged mangroves in particular. Non-native Cephalotes species, including the widespread C. pusillus (Klug), are occasionally intercepted at US ports of entry.


De Andrade, M.L. & Baroni Urbani, C. (1999) Diversity and adaptation in the ant genus Cephalotes, past and present. Stuttg. Beitr. Naturkd. Ser. B (Geol. Palaontol.), 271, 1-889.

Deyrup, M., Carlin, N., Trager, J. & Umphrey, G. (1988) A review of the ants of the Florida Keys. Florida Entomol., 71, 163-176.

Deyrup, M., Davis, L. & Cover, S. (2000) Exotic ants in Florida. Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc., 126, 293-326.

Wittenborn, D. & Jeschke, J. (2011) Characteristics of exotic ants in North America. NeoBiota, 10, 47-64.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 11 times found in Mangrove swamp, 1 times found in dry thorn scrub, 1 times found in tropical dry forest, 1 times found in karst forest.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 38 times nest in twig above ground, 11 times dead twig above ground, 1 times nest in small bamboo, 1 times hand collections, 1 times ex dead twig Cassia, 1 times litter, 1 times in twig, 1 times ground nest.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 2 times search, 1 times hand collected, 1 times hand collected|aspirator, 1 times Winkler.

Elevations: collected from 1 - 409 meters, 24 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1927-11-30 and 2015-04-15

Type specimens: syntype of Cephalotes varians: casent0900251

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