Cephalotes scutulatus

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Cephalotes scutulatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Cephalotes
Species: C. scutulatus
Binomial name
Cephalotes scutulatus
(Smith, F., 1867)

Cephalotes scutulatus P casent0217843.jpg

Cephalotes scutulatus D casent0217843.jpg

Specimen Label


Found in a wide range of habitats with trees including many types of moist forest (rainforest, lowland wet forest, mangrove, etc.), in Cecropia at the forest edge and in trees in pasture. It has also been found in the base of orchid specimens from Venezuelan and Colombian passing through U. S. quarantine stations.


A member of the pinelii clade distinguished by the following combination of characters: in the worker, frontal carinae strongly upturned over the eyes, pronotal and propodeal sides with a broad membranaceous border incised anteriorly, petiole and postpetiole with pointed spines, and, in the soldier and gyne, floor of the disc with superficial and not contiguous foveae, and black (not brown) dominant coloration. C. scutulatus is quite similar to Cephalotes kukulcan but is easily separated from it by the characters listed above. An interesting trait of scutulatus are the vertexal angles with broad, round, membranaceous expansions, a character it shares with the Dominican fossil Cephalotes caribicus. (de Andrade and Baroni Urbani 1999)

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico (type locality), Panama, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • angulosus. Cryptocerus angulosus Smith, F. 1867: 525, pl. 26, fig. 7 (w.) MEXICO. Wheeler, W.M. 1907a: 273 (s.m.). Senior synonym of jucundus: Emery, 1890b: 76. Junior synonym of scutulatus: Emery, 1924d: 311; Kempf, 1958d: 110.
  • scutulatus. Cryptocerus scutulatus Smith, F. 1867: 524, pl. 26, fig. 3 (s.) MEXICO. Wheeler, W.M. 1907a: 273 (s.w.m.). Combination in Paracryptocerus (Harnedia): Kempf, 1952: 26; in Zacryptocerus: Hespenheide, 1986: 395; in Cephalotes: De Andrade & Baroni Urbani, 1999: 410. Senior synonym of angulosus (and its junior synonym jucundus): Emery, 1924d: 311; Kempf, 1958a: 110.
  • jucundus. Cryptocerus jucundus Smith, F. 1876d: 606, pl. 11, fig. 2 (w.) MEXICO. Junior synonym of angulosus: Emery, 1890b: 76.

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



Kempf (1952) - Length 3.5-4.0 mm. Black; frontal carinae, occipital corners, lateral border of thorax, spines of petiole and postpetiole, anterolateral corners of first gastral tergite, knees, outer face of tibiae sordid or brownish white. Antennae and tarsi ferruginous. Head subquadrate, the maximum length subequal to the interocular width. Frontal carinae and the rounded or subangulate occipital corners membranaceous. Sides of head upturned and projecting above the eyes. Greatest diameter of eyes less than one fourth of maximum length of head.

Thorax narrower than head, somewhat longer than wide; the anterior border convex. Pronotum and epinotum with a membranaceous border on each side, each with a notch just behind its anterior corner. Mesonotum produced on each side into a short spine. Mesoepinotal suture indistinct, especially mesially. Hind femora not marginate above.

Peduncular segments with well-developed, partly membranaceous and recurved lateral spines, those on petiole being, however, distinctly narrower, more acute and less flattened than those on postpetiole. Anterior face of petiole perpendicular to the dorsal face, not impressed.

Gaster cordate-elliptical, comparatively short, the first gastral tergite with a membranaceous, evenly rounded border on the anterolateral lobes.

Opaque; finely and densely shagreened. Head, thorax and peduncle with squamiferous foveolae, which are at most vestigial on gaster. Hairs glistening white, very short, scale-like and appressed, one to each foveola on head and thorax, much smaller and denser on remainder of the body.

de Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999) - Measurements (in mm) and indices: TL 4.52-4.56; HL 1.10-1.12; HW 1.30-1.34; EL 0.32; PW 1.12-1.16; PeW 0.68-0.72; PpW 0.80; HBaL 0.40; HBaW 0.09-0.10; CI 118.2-119.6; PI 115.5-116.1; PPeI 155.5-170.6; PPpI 140.0-145.0; HBaI 22.5-25.0.


Kempf (1952) - Length 4.5-6.5 mm. Black; cephalic disc, and shoulders brownish yellow. Scapes, basal funicular segments, and tarsi ferruginous. Lateral borders of epinotum, spines of petiole and all, but a lozenge-shaped area on the disc of the first gastral tergite, sordid-white, as are also the posterior borders of the remaining gastral tergiters.

Head about as long as wide, longer than thorax. Supramandibular excision broad, not semicircular. Cephalic disc subquadrate, with rounded corners. Edge of disc and the part overlying the antennal scrobe, submembranaceous. Edge upturned, glassy, and crenulate. Median portion of disc distinctly convex. Occipital lobes turned upward apically, irregularly crenate. Sides of head not separated from the truncate occiput by a ridge or margination.

Thorax wider than long. Pronotum much wider than meso- and epinotum, the latter two subequal in width. Anterior border of pronotum slightly arched, shoulders and sides of pronotum membranaceous and crested. Transverse pronotal carina strongly crested, narrowly interrupted in the middle. Mesonotum produced on each side into a short, sharp angle. Sides of epinotum narrowly crested, except in front where it is suddenly narrowed and produced into a small rounded lobe.

Peduncular segments as in worker, but somewhat stouter, the postpetiole much wider than the petiole.

Gaster as in worker, scarcely longer than broad, bluntly pointed behind.

Subopaque; upper face of head shining. Head and thorax foveolate, the former more coarsely and much more sparsely so, especially on the concave portions of the cephalic disc. Petiole, postpetiole, gaster, and legs finely and densely shagreened. Hairs as in worker.

de Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999) - Measurements (in mm) and indices: TL 5.36-6.00; HL 1.40-1.48; HW 1.56-1.64; EL 0.32; PW 1.60-1.72; PeW 0.72-0.76; PpW 0.84-0.86; HBaL 0.40-0.44; HBaW 0.11-0.12; CI 110.8-111.4; PI 95.3-97.5; PPeI 222.2-226.3; PPpI 190.5-200.0; HBaI 27.3-27.5.


de Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999) - Head broader than long, subquadrate. Head dorsum flat to gently convex medially. Frontal carinae deeper than the rest of the head. Borders of the frontal carinae superficially and sparsely crenulate, raised anteriorly and slightly higher or in the same plane as the floor of the disc posteriorly. Vertexal angles obtuse and with broad, crenulate lamellae. Eyes visible in full dorsal view. Ocelli close to the posterior border of the head disc. Mandibles with a lateral carina.

Mesosoma. Humeral angles with a pair of obtuse, lamellaceous teeth with crenulate margins, converging posteriorly and conncetcd with thc narrow pronotal carina. Pronotal sides superficially marginate and straight posteriorly. Promesonotal suture impressed. Lower mesopleurae with a denticle. Mesonotum and scutellum flat. Propodeum with differentiate basal and declivous faces; sides of the basal face with a pair of broad, triangular or round teeth strongly converging posteriorly; declivous face narrowing posteriorly and with a superficial, lateral margin.

Petiole with oblique and slightly concave anterior border; its sides with a pair of teeth. Postpetiole broadly convex and with a pair of dorso-Iateral, large spines pointed backwards.

Gaster with broad lobes either marginate or with a narrow lamella.

Legs. Hind femora superficially angulate. Mid and hind basitarsi almost flat and constantly subequal in width.

Sculpture. Head dorsum minutely and superficially punctate, with superficial, variably clumped foveae diminishing in size anteriorly, shallower and rare on the frontal carinae, denser in smaller specimens. Ventral part of the head punctate and with sparse, shallow, irregular foveae. Pronotum with sculpture similar to the one of the head dorsum. Mesonotum and scutellum reticulate and with superimposed dense foveae of variable size, denser on the scutellum. Basal face of the propodeum and anterior fourth of its declivous face densely and irregularly foveolate. Pleurae reticulate. Propleurae with longitudinal rugosities on the center. Mesopleurae with small, slightly irregular foveae, denser on the upper part. Metapleurae with few, longitudinal rugae on the ventral border and with foveae as those of the mesopleurae only in the center. Petiole, posteriorly, and postpetiole with sculpture similar to the basal face of the propodeum but the foveae shallower. Remaining parts of the declivous face of the propodeum and anterior half of the petiole and gaster minutely reticulate. Anterior third of the first gastral tergite with thin, longitudinal rugosities or with very superficial, irregular foveae separate by irregular, thin rugosities. Posterior half of the first gastral sternite superficially shining. Legs reticulate; distal part of the femora and outer face of the tibiae with minute, irregular foveae.

Pilosity. Each fovea with an appressed, canaliculate hair. Frontal carinae, margin of the vertexal angles, mesonotum, pedicel, gaster and legs with erect, weakly clubbed hairs. Sternites with sparse, long, thin, slightly pointed hairs. Body parts without foveae with sparse, short, appressed hairs.

Colour. Black. Dorsal half of the head or at least the frontal carinae and the posterior border of the disc orange. Floor of the disc black, occasionally maculate. Pronotal sides with an orange spot extending sometimes to the dorsum. First gastral tergite with two pairs of broad, yellow-orange spots. Outer face of the tibiae dark orange to light brown.

Measurements (in mm) and indices: TL 6.32-7.48; HL 1.48-1.56; HW 1.54-1.64; EL 0.35-0.36; PW 1.56-1.60; PeW 0.67-0.72; PpW 0.89-1.00; HBaL 0.50-0.56; HBaW 0.14-0.15; CI 104.0-105.1; PI 98.7-102.5; PPeI 219.7-238.8; PPpI 160.0-175.3; HBaI 25.9-28.0.


de Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999) - Head (eyes included) 1/3 broader than long. Vertex protruding dorsally and bearing salient ocelli; vertexal angles converging towards the pair ocelli. Compound eyes broadly convex. Frontal carinae not raised, diverging backwards, not reaching the median ocellus posteriorly but almost reaching the eyes. Frons flat. Clypeus gently convex posteriorly and incised anteriorly. Mandibles short; their external face with salient carina. Antennae short. Scapes thick, twice as long as the first funicular joint; remaining funicular joints, stout and slightly thickening apically.

Mesosoma robust. Pronotum in dorsal view with the sides gently diverging backwards. Mesonotal scutum convex in side view; median Mayrian furrow almost absent Basal and declivous faces of the propodeum differentiate; basal face dorsally weakly convex, laterally unarmed and with the sides converging posteriorly; declivous face with the sides superficially carinate and converging posteriorly. Petiole narrower than the postpetiole; its anterior face concave. Petiolar sides with or without a minute pair of lateral denticles converging posteriorly. Sides of the postpetiole with another minute pair of denticles.

Gaster narrower than the mesosoma.

Wings as in the gyne.

Sculpture. Head dorsum minutely reticulate-punctate and with sparse, small, shallow, irregular foveae and wit irregular rugosities. Pronotum superficially reticulate and with sparse, shallow foveae. Basal face of the propodeum reticulate and irregularly foveolate-rugulose. Pleurae reticulate; mesopleurae with small, superficial foveae on the center; metapleurae with few, irregular, longitudinal rugosities. Pedicel and first gastral tergite reticulate; this sculpture but more superficial and slightly shining on the remaining tergites, on the sternites and on the legs.

Pilosity. Body with three types of hairs: (1) suberect, long, thin, pointed hairs dense on the head, on the mesosoma, sparse on the pedicel, on the gaster and on the legs; (2) shorter than the cephalic hairs, decumbent on the gaster and on the legs, denser on the legs; (3) short, pointed, decumbent on the funiculi.

Colour. Dark brown to black with lighter coxae, pedicel and gaster. Legs yellowish with darker proximal part of the femora.

Measurements (in mm) and indices: TL 4.68-4.72; HL 0.72-0.76; HW 0.92-0.94; EL 0.40; PW 1.08; PeW 0.37-0.38; PpW 0.41-0.46; HBaL 0.47-0.51; HBaW 0.07-0.08; CI 123.7-127.8; PI 85.0-87.0; PPeI 242.1-254.0; PPpI 200.0-229.3; HBaI 14.9-15.7.

Type Material

The following notes on F. Smith type specimens have been provided by Barry Bolton (details):

Cryptocerus angulosus Presence of the holotype in Oxford University Museum of Natural History has been confirmed by W.W. Kempf.

Cryptocerus scutulatus Presence of the holotype in Oxford University Museum of Natural History has been confirmed by W.W. Kempf.

de Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999):

Soldier. Type locality: Mexico. Type material: holotype (syntype?) soldier labelled "Mex., Cryptocerus scutulatus. Smith. Trans. Ent. Soc., Type" in Oxford University Museum of Natural History (Hymenoptera type 1 043), examined plus two possible syntypes (almost certainly from the same series), worker and soldier labelled ,,7., Mex., Collect. G. Mayr, notatus [no handwriting of Mayr], G. Mayr, Type.", in Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna, examined.

Cryptocerus angulosus. Worker. Type locality: Mexico. Type material: holotype worker labelled "Mex., Cryptocerus angulosus. Trans. Ent. Soc., Type" in Oxford University Museum of Natural History (Hymenoptera type 1 046), examined.

Cryptocerus jucundus. Worker. Type locality: Mexico. Type material: holotype worker (without head) in The Natural History Museum, examined.


  • 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 410, Combination in Cephalotes)
  • Emery, C. 1924f [1922]. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [concl.]. Genera Insectorum 174C: 207-397 (page 311, Senior synonym of angulosus (and its junior synonym jucundus))
  • Hespenheide, H.A. 1986. Mimicry of ants of the genus Zacryptocerus. J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 94: 394-408 (page 395, Combination in Zacryptocerus)
  • Kempf, W. W. 1952. A synopsis of the pinelii-complex in the genus Paracryptocerus (Hym. Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 1: 1-30 (page 26, Combination in Paracryptocerus (Harnedia))
  • Kempf, W. W. 1958a. New studies of the ant tribe Cephalotini (Hym. Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. (n.s.) 1: 1-168 (page 110, Senior synonym of angulosus (and its junior synonym jucundus))
  • Smith, F. 1867. Descriptions of new species of Cryptoceridae. Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. (3) 5: 523-528 (page 524, pl. 26, fig. 3 soldier described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1907b. A collection of ants from British Honduras. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 23: 271-277 (page 273, soldier, worker, male described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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