Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia
Major dorsal view (reduced, original).
Line drawings of queen, minor and major workers, dorsal view, from Kempf (1958).
Mexico to Brazil and Bolivia. Costa Rica: common in Pacific lowlands, from the Osa Peninsula to Guanacaste Province; rare in the Atlantic lowlands.
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; lateral border of propodeum denticulate; lateral profile of petiole forming a shallow convexity, not differentiated into distinct anterior and dorsal faces; gaster brightly colored, dark gray with four yellow spots; mesosoma and head red brown.
Major worker: eyes situated behind the scrobe, which terminates in front of the eye; head with complete and strongly developed cephalic disk; cephalic disk with arcuate notch anteriorly; in full face view dorsal surface of mandibles visible in notch; surface of cephalic disk almost entirely orange, smooth, and shiny; propodeum spinose.
This species prefers open, sunny habitats, including the high canopy of rainforest, secondgrowth vegetation, and isolated trees in pastures and around dwellings. It is a relatively common species, and conspicuous due to its color pattern. I most often encounter it on treetrunks and in treefalls. In spite of its commonness, I have only seen nests once. I was collecting in a canopy Ficus, and I found many nests in live branches. The nests were in the very tips of the branches, with inside diameters 5-8mm, outside diameters 15-20mm. The nest chambers were irregular, as though excavated by the ants and not preformed by the plant. Workers were very abundant in the crown of the tree, suggesting a large, polydomous colony with nests in many branches.
Cryptocerus umbraculatus Fabricius 1804:420. Type worker: "America meridionali" [Essequibo, Guyana] [ZMUC].
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.
Fabricius, J. C. 1804. Systema Piezatorum secundum ordines, genera, species, adjectis synonymis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus. Brunswick: C. Reichard, xiv + 15-439 + 30 pp.
Kempf, W. W. 1958. New studies of the ant tribe Cephalotini (Hym. Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. (n.s.)1:1-168.
John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.firstname.lastname@example.org
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