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Species: Cephalotes cristatus   (Emery, 1890) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2022)

Cryptocerus cristatus Emery, 1890c PDF: 72, pl. 9, fig. 2 (s.w.q.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. Primary type information: Primary type material: syntype soldiers, syntype workers, syntype queens (numbers not stated). Primary type locality: Costa Rica: Alajuela, and Jiménez, 1889 (A. Alfaro). Primary type depositories: MHNG, MSNG. Type notes: De Andrade & Baroni Urbani, 1999 PDF: 330, report as syntypes 2 soldiers, 7 workers, 4 queens. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

[Also described as new by Emery, 1894l PDF: 60.]
Combination in Paracryptocerus: Kempf, 1951 PDF: 216.
Combination in Zacryptocerus: Hespenheide, 1986: 395.
Combination in Cephalotes: Baroni Urbani, 1998b: 325.
// Distribution


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

Distribution Notes:

Mexico to Costa Rica, Colombia. Costa Rica: widespread in Atlantic lowlands, Central Valley, Cordillera de Tilaran (Pacific slope near Monteverde).


Natural History:

This species inhabits the canopy of wet to moist forest. I most often encounter it as workers on treetrunks, in recent treefalls, and in canopy fogging samples. The few nest collections I have seen are all from live stems. One was at La Selva Biological Station, from a patch of old secondgrowth forest that was being felled for a research project. The nest was in the live stems of a broken branch. The stems had very soft pith. I did not identify the branch, but I think it was a legume. A second nest collection was from near Rara Avis, from a Cecropia sapling internode. A third nest was from moist forest below Monteverde, in live stems of the ant-plant Triplaris melaenodendron. This tree had not only the cristatus nest, but also nests of Crematogaster, Camponotus, and Pseudomyrmex.

Given the common occurrence of workers in the crowns of many species of trees, it is clear that cristatus is not a specialist on ant-plants or any particular plant species. It is a generalist occupant of live stems, and can be found opportunistically using ant-plants.


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.

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

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 19 times found in montane wet forest, 11 times found in tropical moist forest, 11 times found in lowland rainforest, 1 times found in 2nd growth rainforest, 3 times found in wet broadleaf forest, 3 times found in CES 400, 4 times found in rainforest, 6 times found in 2º wet forest, 1 times found in Tower, 5 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 26 times beating vegetation, 9 times Malaise trap, 1 times ex live stems recently felled tree, 1 times nest in hollow vine, 5 times ex sifted leaf litter, 4 times Sobre Vegetacion, 2 times foragers, 2 times Copa de arbol, 2 times at bait, 1 times on low vegetation, 1 times foragers on tree trunk, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 17 times search, 26 times Beating, 21 times Malaise, 13 times Fogging, 5 times hand collecting, 5 times MiniWinkler, 4 times Sweeping, 3 times Foggin, 2 times Baiting, 1 times beating vegetation (2 hours), 2 times Malaise trap, ...

Elevations: collected from 18 - 1150 meters, 305 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1959-02-06 00:00:00.0 and 2016-07-03 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: syntype of Cephalotes cristatus: casent0904907, casent0904908; type of Cryptocerus cristatus: focol2148, focol2149

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