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Species: Cephalotes scutulatus   (Smith, 1867) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2022)

Cryptocerus scutulatus Smith, 1867 PDF: 524, pl. 26, fig. 3 (s.) MEXICO. Neotropic. Primary type information: Primary type material: holotype soldier. Primary type locality: Mexico: (no further data) (“in the collection of W. Wilson Saunders”). Primary type depository: OXUM. Type notes: De Andrade & Baroni Urbani, 1999 PDF: 410, report “two possible syntypes (almost certainly from the same series)” in NHMW; but Smith’s statement that type-material is in the Saunders collection (OXUM) renders this very improbable. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Wheeler, 1907b PDF: 273 (s.w.m.)
Combination in Zacryptocerus: Hespenheide, 1986: 395.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Nearctic, Neotropical

Distribution Notes:

Mexico to Panama (Bugaba), Ecuador. Costa Rica: throughout the country in wet and moist forest habitats.


Natural History:

This species prefers rainforest and moist forest habitats. Collections of workers are fairly common from treefalls and canopy fogging samples. Nests can be in live or dead stems. Kempf (1952) observed that although scutulatus had been collected in pseudobulbs of Schomburgkia tibicinis and other orchids (Skwarra 1934), Acacia cornigera (Skwarra 1934) and Tillandsia sp. (Wheeler 1942), its association with these myrmecophytes was only facultative because it also occurred frequently in dead twigs and vines.

I have the following nest collections of this species:

Small Ficus tree along stream edge. Nest in 10mm dia dead branch.

Pasture/primary forest edge. Cecropia insignis sapling. Nest in two internodes.


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.

Kempf, W. W. 1952. A synopsis of the pinelii-complex in the genus Paracryptocerus (Hym. Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 1:1-30.

Skwarra, E. 1934. Okologische Studien uber Ameisen und Ameisenpflanzen in Mexiko. Konigsberg: published by author (printer: R. Leupold), 153 pp.

Smith, F. 1867. Descriptions of new species of Cryptoceridae. Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. (3)5:523-528.

Wheeler, W. M. 1942. Studies of Neotropical ant-plants and their ants. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 90:1-262.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 5 times found in rainforest, 7 times found in 2º wet forest, 5 times found in Tropical hardwood forest, 1 times found in Pasture edge/primary forest, 2 times found in lowland rainforest, 3 times found in lowland wet forest, 2 times found in Tropical woodland, 2 times found in moist forest, 3 times found in tropical moist forest, 3 times found in tropical rain forest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 12 times beating vegetation, 1 times nest in dead branch, 4 times ex sifted leaf litter, 1 times in Cecropia insignis sapling, 2 times in fresh treefall, 3 times hollow branch, 3 times at bait, 3 times on low vegetation, 1 times foragers on treefall, 1 times ex dead twig Ficus sp., 1 times dead branch of acacia, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 11 times search, 13 times Beating, 8 times Fogging, 3 times MiniWinkler, 3 times sweeping, 3 times Baiting, 1 times hand collecting, 1 times MaxiWinkler, 1 times beating vegetation (20 minutes), 1 times beating vegetation and hand collections (2 hours).

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1240 meters, 305 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1951-05-16 00:00:00.0 and 2018-03-28 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: Holotype of Cephalotes scutulatus: casent0901460; Holotype of Cryptocerus angulosus: casent0901463; Holotype of Cryptocerus jucundus: casent0900233

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