Cephalotes cordiventris (Santschi 1931)

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker dorsal view

major face view

major lateral view

Major dorsal view (reduced, original).


Costa Rica, Panama. Costa Rica: Pacific lowlands, from Osa Peninsula to Guanacaste Province.


Minor worker: eyes situated behind the scrobe, which terminates in front of the eye; lateral border of head convex and upturned above eye, without a rounded excision; frontal carinae concolorous with face; lateral margins of promesonotum with a thin lamina or crest, not dentate or lobed; dorsal and posterior faces of propodeum differentiated; dorsal and anterior faces of petiole differentiated; posterior propodeal spines longer than anterior spines; lateral margin of propodeum with two spines (what forms the third, anterolateral tooth in basalis is reduced to an obtuse or right angle corner in cordiventris); posterior face of propodeum usually lacking rugosities.

Major worker: eyes situated behind the scrobe, which terminates in front of the eye; head lacking a cephalic disk; propodeum with lateral spines, lacking foliaceous crest; in dorsal view, pronotum less than twice as wide as propodeum; anterior face of pronotum shiny; mandibles with differentiated lateral face that is flat to concave, and with dorsally projecting tubercle where dorsal surface meets frontal carina (with mandibles closed); first gastral tergite almost all smooth, shiny, and dark, with glittered appearance only weakly developed at anterolateral and posterior margins.

Similar species: basalis.

Natural History

Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999) report several collections of this species from Guanacaste Province. I have collected the species several times in the Osa Peninsula region. These have been scattered workers in tree canopies and treefalls. In one case workers, queens, and males were running on branches in a treefall, suggesting a disrupted nest.

Cornaby (1974) observed this species feeding at carrion (identified as Paracryptocerus sp. by Cornaby; reidentified as cordiventris by Andrade and Baroni Urbani, 1999).

Type Data

Cryptocerus multispinus var. cordiventris Santschi 1931:274. Syntype worker and soldier: Canal Zone, Panama (Bierig) [NHMB].

Partial Synonymy

Paracryptocerus multispinus Emery: Kempf (1951).

Cephalotes cordiventris Santschi: Andrade and Baroni Urbani 1999.

Kempf synonymized this species with multispinus. Roy Snelling, in a personal communication to Andrade and Baroni Urbani, showed that cordiventris and multispinus were distinct, and suggested that multispinus was a junior synonym of basalis. Andrade and Baroni Urbani concurred and made these taxonomic changes in their revision. Thus, ants identified as multispinus during the past 50 years have been a mix of cordiventris and basalis.

Literature Cited

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.

Cornaby, B. W. 1974. Carrion reduction by animals in contrasting tropical habitats. Biotropica 6:51-63.

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

Santschi, F. 1931. Fourmis de Cuba et de Panama. Rev. Entomol. (Rio J.) 1:265-282.

Page author:

John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.longinoj@evergreen.edu

Date of this version: 27 June 2000
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