Cephalotes notatus

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Cephalotes notatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Cephalotes
Species: C. notatus
Binomial name
Cephalotes notatus
(Mayr, 1866)

De Andrade 1999 Cephalotes OCR - Copy-721 Cephalotes-notatus.jpg

Synonyms

Nothing is known about the biology of Cephalotes notatus.

Identification

A member of the angustus clade differing from its sister species, Cephalotes goeldii, in the worker, by the ventral face of the head longitudinally striate, and, in the soldier and gyne, by the foveae, irregular and more impressed. The soldier and the gyne of notatus and goeldii are very similar. Both species share synapomorphically the vertexal angles of the gynes and soldiers and the pronotal sides of the soldiers with broad, lamellaceous borders. (de Andrade and Baroni Urbani 1999)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

The biology of many Cephalotes species is not known. Ants in this genus are common in the New World tropics and subtropics and are especially abundant and diverse in the canopies of Neotropical forests. The majority of species are arboreal. Species that live in other strata inhabit smaller trees, bushes or grass stems. These noon-arboreal species, due to their accessibility, are among the better studied members of the genus. There are also species that can be found in downed wood but it is likely the wood housed the colony before it fell to the ground. Soil nests are not known for any species nor do most species appear to extensively excavate plant tissue. They nest instead in preformed cavities. Overall, ants in the genus utilize a wide range of plants. Some species are predictable in their plant use but none appear to have evolved specialized mutualisms with particular plant species.

Worker castes typically include two forms, a worker and soldier, but there are a few species that are monomorphic. The larger soldier caste typically has an enlarged head disk. In some species the head of the soldier is very different from the worker while in others these differences are less pronounced. Queens and soldiers tend to share similar head morphology. Soldiers use their heads to plug the nest entrance. This can be very effective in excluding potential intruders. Other morphological differences between the worker castes are present but these differences have not been studied as well as head moprhology.

The behavioral repertoire of Cephalotes varians has been examined in great detail (ethograms from Wilson 1976, Cole 1980 and Cole 1983). Soldiers do little else besides defend the nest. This specialized soldier behavior is presumed to be the norm for most species. An especially interesting behavior occurs when workers are dislodged from trees: they "fly" towards the tree, often grabbing the trunk well above the ground (video).

Mature nest size varies, by species, from less than a hundred to many thousands of workers. Available evidence suggests most species are monogynous. Queens may mate with multiple males.

The proventriculus of the Cephalotes is peculiar relative to other ants. The morphology of the structure suggests it serves as a powerful pump and filter. This does not appear to lead these ants to have a highly specialized diet as most species appear to be general scavengers. Foragers have been observed feeding on carrion, bird feces, extrafloral nectaries and even tending membracids. Pollen feeding has been observed in some species, and this is somewhat specialized for ants, but it is not evident that any species restricts its diet to this resource in any significant way. Evidence for pollen feeding in Cephalotes has accumulated, in part, via finding digested pollen grains seen in infrabucal pellets. It has been suggested that the morphology of the proventriculus is a specialization for processing pollen.

More research examining all aspects of the biology of Cephalotes is needed. Our present understanding of these ants is largely based on species that live in locations other than the forest canopy, which is where Cephalotes are most common and diverse.

Castes

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • notatus. Cryptocerus notatus Mayr, 1866b: 907, pl. 20, fig. 16 (q.) BRAZIL. Combination in Paracryptocerus (Harnedia): Kempf, 1958a: 140; in Zacryptocerus: Brandão, 1991: 387; in Cephalotes: De Andrade & Baroni Urbani, 1999: 717. Senior synonym of fleddermanni: Kempf, 1967e: 367.
  • fleddermanni. Paracryptocerus (Harnedia) fleddermanni Kempf, 1958a: 87, pl. 2, fig. 3; pl. 3, fig. 4; pl. 5, fig. 1 (s.w.q.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of notatus: Kempf, 1967e: 367.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Description

Worker

Kempf (1958) of synonymized fleddermanni - Total length 3.7-4.2 mm; maximum length of head 1.07-1.21 mm; maximum length of thorax 1.03-1.18 mm. Black; the following ferruginous: tip of mandibles, tip of scape, basal funicular segments, tip of thoracic and peduncular teeth, tip of femora, all tarsites; pale testaceous: frontal carinae, anterolateral gastral crests and an irregular, narrow spot just inside of the crest, on the anterolateral gastral lobes; fuscous testaceous: edge of frontal carinae, tibiae.

Head subopaque, subquadrate; its maximum length slightly exceeding the interocular width (34:3 1 ; 30:28). Clypeal and frontal sutures vestigial. Lateral borders of head slightly diverging caudad, straight, the posterior portions neither excised in front of, nor sinuate nor upturned above eyes. Occipital corners obliquely truncate, the inner corner obtuse. Occipital border gently emarginate. Dorsum of head a little convex, finely reticulate-punctate, more sparsely covered with squamiferous foveolae, which are more numerous and somewhat crowded toward the occipital border; frontal carinae flat, without conspicuous foveolae. Lower face of head longitudinally rugose, with sparse squamiferous foveolae anteromesially.

Thorax subopaque. Anterior border scarcely convex, nearly straight. Shoulders subrectangular. Lateral border of pronotum with two approximated triangular, slightly foliaceous teeth, followed by an irregularly edged foliaceous crest, which is either irregularly dentate or crenate, or exhibits another larger, yet blunt tooth; the posterior corner subrectangular. Promesonotal suture vestigial or absent. Mesonotum with a short pointed tooth, projecting from each side. Mesoepinotal suture slightly impressed laterally, absent in the middle. Lateral border of basal face of epinotum with three or four small teeth, and an additional denticle on the sides of the declivous face. The latter excavated in the middle. Dorsum of thorax finely reticulate-punctate, rather densely foveolate, especially on mesonotum, where the intervals between the crowded pits form a raised reticule of intertwining rugosities. Sides of thorax, including the laterotergites of pronotum, horizontally striato-rugose. Fore coxae with a few fine longitudinal rugosities.

Peduncular segments as in soldier, but the postpetiole is less strongly convex above, and lacks the distinct median triangular area.

Gaster subopaque, elliptical, longer than in striativentris (= pallidicephalus), strongly emarginate anteromesially, the anterolateral lobes with a narrow, transparent, thin border which does not reach backwards beyond the stigma of the first tergite, the sides of which are practically immarginate behind the spiracle. First tergite and sternite finely reticulate-punctate, the latter also with very fine and sparse longitudinal rugosities.

Standing hair on mandibles, clypeal border, funicular segments, apical border of gastral tergites and sternites II - IV, along the edge of the frontal carinae and lateral borders of head, none on the occipital corner. Squamiform, canaliculate, silvery, decumbent hair rather abundant in all foveolae of dorsum of body, more sparsely on frontal carinae, legs, lower face of head, sides of thorax, gastral sternites, where they are usually smaller and simple, not canaliculate.

de Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999) - Measurements (in mm) and indices: TL 3.66-4.56; HL 0.96-1.08; HW 1.00-1.20; EL 0.25-0.28; PW 0.85-1.06; PeW 0.47-0.53; PpW 0.52-0.61; HBaL 0.38-0.43; HBaW 0.08-0.10; CI 104.2-111; PI 113.2-117.6; PPeI 108.8-200.0; PPpI 163.5-173.8; HBal 21.0-23.2.

Soldier

Kempf (1958) of synonymized fleddermanni - Total length 5.4 mm; maximum length of head 1.64 mm; maximum length of thorax 1.46 mm. Black; the following light brown or yellowish brown: sides of head, occipital lobes, floor of cephalic disc, dorsum of thorax, tip of postpetiolar spines, tip of femora; dirty testaceous: tibiae, the four gastral maculae, the latter infuscated and the anterior pair fused to each other; ferruginous: tip of mandibles, except for the chewing border, basal funicular segments, cheeks, the four apical tarsites. Cephalic disc and pronotum with an anteromedian black band. Mesoepinotum ferruginous to infuscated discad.

Head rather shiny; surmounted by a subcircular, somewhat elongate (46:43), deeply excavated, completely marginate disc. Lateral and posterior border of disc strongly raised and upturned, concealing the floor of the disc, when head is seen in profile. Anterior border of disc curved, its sides gently convex, its posterior border evenly rounded, not truncate. Clypeal sutures invisible. Floor of disc conspicuously concave laterally and behind, having a prominent anteromedian and caudad another yet more feeble convexity. In front of the anterior bulge, the floor of the disc abruptly slopes downward to the supramandibular excision, which is at a distinctly lower level than the rest of the disc. Occipital lobes sharply marginate and crested, their lateral border convex, converging caudad, their posterior border concave, both borders forming at their junction a prominent, apically rounded tooth. Floor of disc and sides of head coarsely foveolate, the diameter of the pits more than twice as large as the diameter of the raised, highly shining intervals, which form a network with large meshes. Above the antennal scrobe the floor of the disc is semitransparent and the foveolae are transversely compressed, the intervals very distinct in the form of transverse rugosities. Lower face of head reticulate-rugose and sparsely foveolate disc ad, more or less longitudinally rugose posterolaterad.

Thorax rather shiny above, subopaque on sides and declivous face. Anterior border of pronotum straight in the middle, slightly oblique and concave laterally, the latter joining the former at a distinct very obtuse angle. Anterior corner of pronotum subdentate, the first half of the lateral borders subparallel, forming a thin, raised crest, which grades imperceptibly into the bisinuous, mesially not incised nor interrupted, but strongly crested transverse pronotal carina. Anterolateral portion of pronotum unusually excavate. Posterior half of borders of pronotum immarginatc, sinuous, strongly converging caudad, forming a right angle at the posterior corner. Promesonotal suture vestigial. Sides of mesonotum with a projecting, strongly marginate, slightly crested, obliquely truncate lobe. Mesoepinotal suture complete and impressed. Basal face of epinotum transverse, its anterior corner subdentate, its sides with a more or less triangular lobe, its posterior corner with a tooth, similar to that of striativentris (= pallidicephalus), pointing upward, but scarcely laterad, being however feeble, not stout. Declivous face somewhat excavated with a prominent, sharply marginate border on each side. Dorsum of thorax reticulate-rugose and foveolate, the bottom of the pits being finely punctate. Foveolae much smaller and less regular than those of the cephalic disc, usually inconspicuous, especially on mesonotum where more or less transverse and crowded rugosities prevail. Sides of thorax finely and sharply reticulate-punctate. Laterotergite of pronotum reticulate-rugose above, longitudinally rugose below. Pleura with few, rather vanishing rugosities: Declivous face of epinotum finely reticulate-punctate, and finely and sparsely transversely rugose. Fore coxae reticulate-punctate.

Peduncular segments irregularly rugose and foveolate above, sides and lower face finely reticulate-punctate. Petiole somewhat narrower than postpetiole, its lateral teeth pointing obliquely caudad, its anterior face obliquely truncate and submarginate above. Postpetiole with the costumary curving spines, the tip of which is strongly recurved caudad. Anterior face first vertical than curving caudad to a horizontal position, forming a triangular submarginate area dorsally on the body of the postpetiole.

Gaster elliptical, emarginate anteromesially, its anterolateral lobes marginate yet not visibly crested. Both the first tergite and sternite are opaque, finely reticulate-punctate, the latter having also very fine and sparse longitudinal rugosities.

Standing hair, as usual, on mandibles, funiculus, and on tip of gaster. A fringe of sparse, thickish hair around the anterolateral edge of the cephalic disc reaching the anterior border of the eyes. Decumbent, squamiform, usually canaliculate, always glittering, silvery hair on lower surface of head, epinotum, sides of thorax, dorsum of peduncular segments, and first gas-tral tcrgite. From each of the very large pits on cephalic disc arises a minute, thick, curved hair; similar, yet more erect, and somewhat longer hair arises from the pits on promesonotum. Simple decumbent scalelike hair on legs and gastral sternite.

de Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999) - Measurements (in mm) and indices: TL 5.02-6.32; HL 1.32-1.56; HW 1.42-1.64; EL 0.29-0.32; PW 1.40-1.64; PeW 0.54-0.60; PpW 0.60-0.68; HBaL 0.40-0.44; HBaW 0.10-0.12; CI 102.8-107.6; PI 100.0-101.4; PPeI 240.0-282.7; PPpI 225.0-241.2; HBal 25.0-27.3.

Queen

Kempf (1958) of synonymized fleddermanni - Dealate. Total length 7.5 mm; maximum length of head 1.89 mm; maximum length of thorax 2.14 mm. Black; the following orange: sides of head, occipital lobes, floor of cephalic disc, except for the large central black area, shoulders; fuscous-ferruginous: mandibles, basal funicular segments, tarsites; testaceous: tibiae, especially the extensor face; the four gastral maculae are pale yellow; all crests inside of the orange-colored parts are light brown.

Resembling the soldier, with the differences of the caste. Cephalic disc more elongate (53:43), deeply excavated, floor of disc invisible, when head is seen in profile. The posteromedian bulge of head disc scarcely distinguishable. Anterior depression behind the supramandibular excision as in soldier. Posterior ocelli removed from the occipital border. Two imaginary lines drawn from the anterior ocellus to each of the posterior ocelli form a right angle. The same eharacteristical occipital lobes as in soldier. Sculpture of head identical, except for the foveolae on floor of cephalic disc, which are more transverse, and the transverse raised rugosities more prominent, than the longitudinal ones. Thorax relatively elongate (length: width proportion 60:44). Anterior border of pronotum crenulate laterally, the anterior corner bluntly angulate and crested. Anterolateral excavation and transverse carina of pronotum similar to that of soldier. Lateral borders of pronotum straight, slightly converging caudad. Scutum and scutellum coarsely and densely reticulate-rugose, without clearly visible foveolae. Sides of basal face of epinotum with a rather rounded lobe. Posterior tooth pointing obliquely caudad, as in striativentris (= pallidicephalus). Mesopleural tooth present, not prominent. In front of this tooth the mesopleurae are vertically rugose, behind the tooth horizontally rugose. Peduncular segments as in figure, the lateral tooth of the petiole longer, more acute lacking a thin, drawn out tip, as frequently in striativentris (= pallidicephalus). Postpetiole with a middorsal triangular area as in soldier. Both the first gastral tergite and sternite opaque, finely yet sharply reticulate-punctate, the latter with dense fine longitudinal rugosities. Squamiform hair scarce or little apparent, that of gaster extremely small, visible only at high magnification, simple. Instead both on thorax, postpetiole and gastral tergite there are evenly scattered, short, standing hairs. The same also on the legs.

de Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999) - Measurements (in mm) and indices: TL 7.64-8.28; HL 1.72-1.76; HW 1.60-1.64; EL 0.32-0.36; PW 1.52-1.56; PeW 0.64; PpW 0.80-0.84; HBaL 0.56-0.57; HBaW 0.13-0.14; CI 90.9-95.3; PI 105.1-105.3; PPeI 243.7-250.0; PPpI 185.7-200.0; HBaI 22.8-25.0.

Type Material

de Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999):

Gyne. Type locality: Brazil. Type material: holotype gyne in the Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet (Kempf, 1967: 367), cannot be located at present (B. Gustafsson, personal communication 13.2.1996).

Paracryptocerus fleddermanni. Worker, soldier. Type locality: Sao Sebastiao and Alto da Serra (San Paulo, Brazil). Type material: 2 workers, 1 soldier (holotype soldier and paratype workers) from Sao Sebastiao (San Paulo, Brazil), B. Fleddermann, 1 worker (paratype), same locality, 5.2.1953, W. W. Kempf [all Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo], examined.

References

  • Brandão, C. R. F. 1991. Adendos ao catálogo abreviado das formigas da região Neotropical (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 35: 319-412 (page 387, Combination in Zacryptocerus)
  • de Andrade, M. L.; Baroni Urbani, C. 1999. Diversity and adaptation in the ant genus Cephalotes, past and present. Stuttgarter Beitrage zur Naturkunde Series B (Geolgie and Palaontologie). 271:1-889. (page 717, Combination in Cephalotes)
  • Kempf, W. W. 1958a. New studies of the ant tribe Cephalotini (Hym. Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. (n.s.) 1: 1-168 (page 140, Combination in Paracryptocerus (Harnedia))
  • Kempf, W. W. 1967e. A new revisionary note on the genus Paracryptocerus Emery (Hym. Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 10: 361-368 (page 367, Senior synonym of fleddermanni)
  • Mayr, G. 1866b. Diagnosen neuer und wenig gekannter Formiciden. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 16: 885-908 (page 907, pl. 20, fig. 16 queen described)