Cephalotes poinari

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Cephalotes poinari
Temporal range: middle Miocene
Mexican amber, Chiapas, Mexico
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Cephalotes
Species: C. poinari
Binomial name
Cephalotes poinari
Baroni Urbani, 1999

A fossil species known from Mexican amber.


A member of the multispinosus clade differing from all the other species of the clade, in the worker, by the CI > 155. It shares with Cephalotes hispaniolicus (the first ingroup species) the vertex without denticles and the propodeal lamellae inserted after the beginning of the basal face. C. poinari differs from hispaniolicus by the shape of the propodeal lamellae: triangular, projecting and pointed, instead of narrow and obtuse.

Key to Cephalotes Workers


This taxon was described from Mexican amber, Chiapas, Mexico (Middle Miocene).



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • poinari. †Cephalotes poinari Baroni Urbani, in De Andrade & Baroni Urbani, 1999: 296, figs. 14D, 126 (w.) MEXICAN AMBER.

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



Head broader than long. Frontal carinae not upturned above the eyes. Vertexal angles with broad, round lamella and with weakly crenulate margin. Vertexal margin concave and with a salient "neck" medially. Vertex without denticles. Eyes strongly protruding. Mandibles laterally angulate.

Mesosoma. Scapular angles absent. Anterior pronotal border straight. Pronotal sides with a strongly projecting, broad, long, anteriorly truncate, semitransparent lamella. Promesonotal suture superficially impressed. Sides of the mesonotum armed with a pair of obtuse teeth. Propodeal suture impressed. Propodeum with differentiate basal and declivous faces; sides of the basal face straight; sides of the declivous face with a broad, obtuse, semitransparent, lamellaceous triangular expansion.

Petiole with truncate anterior face. Petiolar and postpetiolar dorsum concave and bicarinate. Petiolar sides with a broad, round, semitransparent lamella medially. Postpetiolar sides anteriorly with another broad, obtuse, semitransparent lamella.

Gaster round and with a pair of broad, anterolateral lamellae.

Fore coxae angulate. Mid and hind femora angulate. Mid basitarsi flat.

Sculpture. Head minutely reticulate-punctate and with superficial foveae larger than their interspaces, diminishing in size anteriorly, rare on the frontal carinae. Ventral face of the head with the same type of sculpture as on the anterior part of the dorsum. Pronotum sculptured as the posterior part of the head dorsum but with sparser foveae. Mesonotum reticulate-punctate and with foveae larger than those on the pronotum. Basal face of the propodeum reticulate and with irregular, dense foveae. Pedicel reticulate-punctate and with rare, small foveae. Declivous face of the propodeum, pleurae, gastral tergites, sides of the first gastral sternite, remaining sternites and legs strongly reticulate. Mesopleurae with additional, thin, longitudinal rugosities. First gastral tergite longitudinally rugulose close to the articulation with the postpetiole. Centre of the first gastral sternite superficially shining.

Pilosity. Each fovea with a thin, appressed hair. Border of the vertexal angles and peduncular expansions with rare hairs of two types (1) short, slightly clubbed and (2) pointed and longer than the type (1). Posterior border of the gastral tergites and of the sternites with long, pointed hairs.

Colour. Frontal carinae, vertexal angles, pronotal lamellae, propodeal lamellae and gastral lamellae dark orange and semitransparent.

Measurements (in mm) and indices: TL 5.06; HL 1.02; HW 1.87; EL 0.18; PW 1.62; PeW 0.55; PpW 0.65; CI 183.3; PI 115.4; PPeI 294.5; PPpI 249.2.

Type Material

Holotype worker (unique) in Mexian amber GOPC No. Mex. 2-2.


This species is named after Dr. George O. Poinar, Jr. who gave us this and many more superb amber specimens for study.


  • 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 296, figs. 14D, 126 worker described)