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Species: Crematogaster (Orthocrema) curvispinosa   Mayr, 1862 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Crematogaster curvispinosa Mayr, 1862 PDF: 768 (w.) BRAZIL (Rio de Janeiro). Neotropic. Primary type information: Type-material: holotype (?) worker. Type-locality: Brazil: Rio de Janeiro (Novara Expd.). Type-depository: NHMW. Type notes: 1) No indication of number of specimens is given. 2) Longino, 2003a PDF: 55, refers only to holotype worker. However, Morgan & Mackay, 2017 PDF: 143, include 5 syntype workers, 2 syntype queens and 1 syntype male (queen and male are not mentioned in the original description). AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Forel, 1911e PDF: 301 (q.); Forel, 1912g PDF: 216 (m.)
Status as species: Mayr, 1863a PDF: 404; Roger, 1863b PDF: 37; Mayr, 1865 PDF: 106 (redescription); Mayr, 1870b PDF: 991 (in key); Mayr, 1887 PDF: 625; Emery, 1890b PDF: 66; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 80; Forel, 1895b PDF: 131; Forel, 1899b PDF: 83; Forel, 1907d PDF: 25; Forel, 1907h PDF: 5; Forel, 1908 PDF: 366; Forel, 1909a PDF: 259; Forel, 1911e PDF: 301; Forel, 1912g PDF: 216; Santschi, 1912e PDF: 527; Luederwaldt, 1918 PDF: 41; Emery, 1922c PDF: 134; Borgmeier, 1927c PDF: 93; Menozzi, 1927c PDF: 267; Santschi, 1929f PDF: 88; Gallardo, 1934b PDF: 30; Wheeler, 1942 PDF: 195; Kempf, 1970b PDF: 332; Kempf, 1972b PDF: 87; Brandão, 1991 PDF: 338; Bolton, 1995b: 151; Longino, 2003a PDF: 55 (redescription); Wild, 2007b PDF: 32; Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012 PDF: 258; Bezděčková et al., 2015 PDF: 116; Wetterer et al., 2016 PDF: 11; Morgan & Mackay, 2017 PDF: 136 (redescription); Pedraza & Fernández, 2019 PDF: 896.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Galapagos Islands, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Throughout Neotropics, from southern Mexico to northern Argentina, Antilles.


Natural History:

Crematogaster curvispinosa is a very common but inconspicuous ant. It is most common in brushy habitats, road edges, young second growth, and other highly disturbed areas. Colonies are small, and there is no evidence of polydomy. They are most often found nesting in narrow gauge dead stems. Nests may occur in dead grass stalks or vine stems that are only 2mm outside diameter. They also occur opportunistically in single chambers of antplants such as Cecropia, Cordia alliodora, Triplaris, and myrmecophytic melostomes.

Colonies are small, a few dozen workers at most. Ergatogynes are common, and the reproductive structure of colonies is variable. Along with workers and brood, I have collected nests that contained (1) no apparent reproductive, (2) one ergatogyne, (3) one physogastric queen, or, in one case, (4) two ergatogynes and one physogastric queen. I have never seen a nest with multiple queens, or multiple ergatogynes in the absence of a queen. In one case I collected a nest with workers, brood, and one ergatogyne and kept it alive in the laboratory for about one year. The colony was not closely monitored or cared for, but sporadic feeding and observations yielded a surprising result. After about two months I found the ergatogyne wandering alone outside the nest tube, and she soon died. What remained in the tube were some adult workers, several large larvae, some queen pupae, and one callow alate queen. There was no worker brood. Several months later there were some adult males in the nest, but my notes are incomplete regarding other contents. Nearly a year from the time of collection the nest contained 14 queens, some with ragged wing stubs but most fully alate, a few workers, and a brood pile. Thus the colony began with an ergatogyne, workers, and brood, went through a bottleneck with only workers and unmated queens (no males), then later reconstituted a colony capable of producing new queens and workers. There were no other nests of curvispinosa in the laboratory, and the laboratory was in the United States, far from the native range of curvispinosa, so contamination from other colonies or access to males from other colonies was not possible. It appears that C. curvispinosa can produce female offspring from only workers and virgin queens. This is similar to SouliŽ's (1960) observation of thelytokous parthenogenesis in C. scutellaris.

Crematogaster curvispinosa can tolerate nesting in close proximity to larger ant species. Twice I have found curvispinosa nesting in the same hollow stem with another ant species, Camponotus in one case and Dolichoderus in another, with the two nests separated by only a narrow sawdust plug. Colonies can occupy single Cecropia internodes that are sandwiched between internodes occupied by Azteca.

Workers appear to forage day and night. Isolated foragers are common on low vegetation, and they are frequent visitors at extrafloral nectaries.


Crematogaster curvispinosa appears relatively uniform over a broad range, usually with no closely related species. Only in Peru have I found what appear to be two morphospecies with the same general habitus as curvispinosa but differing in details of sculpture and pilosity.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Crematogaster curvispinosa   Longino, J. T., 2003, The Crematogaster (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) of Costa Rica., Zootaxa 151, pp. 1-150: 55-58, (download) 55-58 20256
Crematogaster curvispinosa   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 32, (download) 32 21367

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 37 times found in montane wet forest, 34 times found in tropical moist forest, 21 times found in roadside vegetation, 29 times found in tropical dry forest, 16 times found in rainforest, 13 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 10 times found in tropical wet forest, 8 times found in forest, 10 times found in 2º wet forest, 7 times found in Wet forest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 47 times beating vegetation, 33 times ex sifted leaf litter, 34 times at bait, 14 times on low vegetation, 14 times Malaise trap, 9 times nest in dead stem, 5 times in Cecropia sapling, 1 times unshaded tree, 6 times beating veg., 4 times in dead stick, 4 times ex dead twig, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 55 times Beating, 29 times Search, 33 times Malaise, 34 times Baiting, 29 times Fogging, 20 times MiniWinkler, 8 times Foggin, 5 times sweeping, 7 times Winkler, 7 times MaxiWinkler, 6 times direct collection, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1500 meters, 349 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1919-09-17 00:00:00.0 and 2021-01-21 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: syntype curvispinosa: jtl055924; syntype obscura: jtl055927; syntype of Crematogaster curvispinosa: casent0902168, casent0919699; syntype of Crematogaster curvispinosa antillana: casent0908411; syntype of Crematogaster curvispinosa kemali: casent0912766; syntype of Crematogaster curvispinosa obscura: casent0912767; syntype of Crematogaster fuliginea: casent0912765; syntype of Crematogaster sculpturata: castype00627; syntype phytoeca: jtl052356, jtl052357; syntypes antillana: jtl055925; syntypes kemali: jtl055926

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