Cephalotes umbraculatus

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Cephalotes umbraculatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Cephalotes
Species: C. umbraculatus
Binomial name
Cephalotes umbraculatus
(Fabricius, 1804)

Cephalotes umbraculatus P casent0900238.jpg

Cephalotes umbraculatus D casent0900238.jpg

Specimen Label


A forest species that also can be found in disturbed habitats such as roadside vegetation.


The only member of the umbraculatus clade characterised by the autapomorphies given in the clade description. In the worker, in the soldier and in the gyne, the combination of a three-segmented antennal club together with a transverse brown strip on the first gastral tergite should easily differentiate it from all the other species of the genus. Umbraculatus is normally yellowish to light brown, but there are darker specimens with a dark brown gastral spot or strip. (de Andrade and Baroni Urbani 1999)

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Bolivia, Brazil (type locality), Colombia (type locality), Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


DaRocha et al. (2015) studied the diversity of ants found in bromeliads of a single large tree of Erythrina, a common cocoa shade tree, at an agricultural research center in Ilhéus, Brazil. Forty-seven species of ants were found in 36 of 52 the bromeliads examined. Bromeliads with suspended soil and those that were larger had higher ant diversity. Cephalotes umbraculatus was found in 5 different bromeliads but was associated with twigs and bark cavities, rather than suspended soil or litter, of the plants.



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

  • umbraculatus. Cryptocerus umbraculatus Fabricius, 1804: 420 (w.) CENTRAL AMERICA.
    • Klug, 1824: 211 (q.); Emery, 1890b: 72 (s.); Forel, 1899c: 51 (m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1954b: 157 (l.).
    • Combination in Paracryptocerus (Harnedia): Smith, M.R. 1949c: 20;
    • combination in Zacryptocerus: Hespenheide, 1986: 395;
    • combination in Cephalotes: De Andrade & Baroni Urbani, 1999: 368.
    • Status as species: Klug, 1824: 211; Mayr, 1863: 406; Roger, 1863b: 38; Emery, 1890b: 72; Dalla Torre, 1893: 144; Forel, 1899c: 51; Mann, 1916: 449; Wheeler, W.M. 1922c: 11; Wheeler, W.M. 1923a: 4; Borgmeier, 1937b: 244; Smith, M.R. 1949c: 20; Kempf, 1958a: 142 (redescription); Kempf, 1959a: 98; Bolton, 1995b: 427; De Andrade & Baroni Urbani, 1999: 368 (redescription).
    • Senior synonym of elegans, flavomaculatus, quadriguttatus: Emery, 1890b: 72; Kempf, 1958a: 142.
  • quadriguttatus. Cryptocerus quadriguttatus Guérin-Méneville, 1844a: 425 (w.) COLOMBIA. Junior synonym of umbraculatus: Emery, 1890b: 72.
  • elegans. Cryptocerus elegans Smith, F. 1853: 222, pl. 19, fig. 3 (w.) COLOMBIA. Junior synonym of umbraculatus: Emery, 1890b: 72.
  • flavomaculatus. Cryptocerus flavomaculatus Mayr, 1862: 757 (q.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of umbraculatus: Emery, 1890b: 72.

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



Kempf (1958) - Total length 5.3-6.2 mm; maximum length of head 1.43-1.68 mm; maximum length of thorax 1.57-1.82 mm. Basic color ochraceous in variable shades, the gaster with four light spots. Frequently the gaster, more seldom the thorax, are more or less heavily infuscated, the former may be entirely black, except for the light spots on the corners. Very rarely the entire insect is fuscous, including the gastral spots. Frontal carinae pellucid. Lateral portion of occipital border with a pellucid, crenulate crest. Vertex often with a pair of denticles. Lateral border of head very strongly upturned above eyes, forming on the inside on each side of dorsum of head, a deeply excavate longitudinal furrow. Scapular corner distinct, yet included in the foliaceus lateral pronotal crest, which contains also a stronger, foliaceous, projecting tooth, being slightly recurved at its apex. Sides of mesonotum usually with a minute foliaceous denticle. Mesoepinotal suture usually impressed. Lateral border of epinotum with a narrow, foliaceous, crenulate or even serrate crest. Hind femora, as seen in profile, angulate and dentate above near the middle. Petiole much longer than deep without a distinctly raised anterior face above the thoracic insertion. Lateral appendages of peduncular segments with foliaceous, often crenulate or serrate crests. Gaster between cordate and circular, remarkably short and broad, the anterolateral crests pellucid and prominent. Standing hair only on apex of gaster. Scalelike hair in foveolae of head, thorax and peduncle canaliculate and conspicuous, minute and fine on first gastral tergite.

de Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999) - Measurements (in mm) and indices: TL 5.73-6.44; HL 1.32-1.44; HW 1.68-1.86; EL 0.34-0.35; PW 1.36-1.52; PeW 0.76-0.84; PpW 0.80-0.88; HBaL 0.67-0.72; HBaW 0.18-0.22; CI 127.3-129.2; PI 122.4-123.5; PPeI 178.9-180.9; PPpI 170.0-172.7; HBal 29.0-30.5.


Kempf (1958) - Total length 7.6-8.0 mm; maximum length of head 2.32-2.46 mm; maximum length of thorax 2.18-2.42 mm. Color as in worker. Cephalic disc always broader than long, its lateral border upturned, the anterior portion of floor of disc shiny, the mesial portions subopaque, the posterior border scarcely raised and bidentate. Occipital lobes with crenulate and crested borders, a small carinule starting on the posterior corner running upwards to the border of the disc. Thorax broadest at the level of the sharply crested transverse pronotal carinae, the broadly expanded pronotum forming at this point a subacute angle. Sides of mesonotum with a small, crested, recurved, angulate lobe. Lateral border of basal face of epinotum finely crested, with a strong tooth on the posterior corner, which is strongly raised and upturned. Declivous face with the lateral borders beset with a foliaceous crest. Hind femora, peduncular segments and gaster similar to those of worker.

de Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999) - Measurements (in mm) and indices: TL 7.60-7.80; HL 1.92-1.96; HW 2.52-2.56; EL 0.37-0.38; PW 2.48-2.60; PeW 0.92-0.99; PpW 1.00; HBaL 0.72; HBaW 0.24; CI 128.6-133.3; PI 96.9-103.2; PPeI 250.5-282.6; PPpI 248.0-260.0; HBaI 33.3.


Kempf (1958) - length 10.0-11.0 mm; maximum length of head 2.64-2.71 mm; maximum length of thorax 3.18-3.25 mm. Resembling the soldier with the differences of the caste. Cephalic disc distinctly elongate and oval, excavate only above the frontal antennal scrobe, the rest moderately convex. Ocelli not far removed from the posterior border of disc. Borders of occipital lobes sharply crested and crenulate. Basal face of epinotum with a strong, diverging tooth on each of the posterior corners. Femora fusiform, not angulate above. Wings subhyaline, the apical half tinted with brownish, and the veins dark-brown. Venation of fore wing of the usual type, a transverse cubital vein (or vein r-m) being present.

Wings: fore wings with R +Sc superficially connected with a marked pterostigma. 2r marked, Rsf5 connected with R1. Distal parts of A, Cu-A and Mf4 vestigial. Hind wings with R, M+CuA, M and 1A marked; CuA, M and distal part of 1A vestigial.

de Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999) - Measurements (in mm) and indices: TL 11.32-11.86; HI, 2.24-2.36; HW 2.48-2.72; EL 0.44; PW 2.44-2.60; PeW 0.84-1.00; PpW 1.16-1.20; HBaL 0.96-104; HBaW 0.34; CI 110.7-115; PI 101.6-104.6; PPeI 260.0-290.5; PPpI 210.3-216.7; HBaI 32.7-35.4.


de Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999) - Head almost 1/3 broader than long (eyes included and mandibles excluded). Vertexal margin prolonging backwards as a "neck" and gently convex in full face view. Vertexal angles with superficially crenulate carina prolonging to the internal border of the eyes. Ocelli broad and protruding on the vertex. Eyes broadly convex, in the middle of the sides of the head, long one third of head length (mandibles included). Frontal carinae diverging backwards, interrupted at the level of the first ocellus. Frons flat. Clypeus medially convex. Mandibles slender, laterally carinate. Scapes thick, twice longer than the first funicular joint; remaining funicular joints thickening from the base to the apex.

Mesosoma. Scapular angles long and well visible in dorsal view; pronotal sides parallel and bearing a crenulate carina; posterior part of the propleurae with a broad, concave dorsoventral sulcus hidden in dorsal view by the pronotal carina. Promesonotal suture deeply impressed and anteriorly marked by a thin pronotal carina. Mesonotum little convex in side view; pair Mayrian furrows broad and deeply impressed and median Mayrian furrow absent. Scutellum convex, its sides converging posteriorly. Propodeum with differentiate basal and declivous faces; basal face with a thin lateral lamina, slightly declivous, its sides converging posteriorly and laterally.

Petiole narrower than postpetiole, concave and declivous on the middle; its anterior border with a small denticle on each side; its sides moderately convex. Postpetiole dorsally little convex; its sides with a pair of small, obtuse denticles anteriorly.

Gaster heart-shaped.

Wings as in the gyne.

Sculpture. Head and mesosoma deeply reticulate and with irregular, deep foveae more regular on the mesonotum. Pedicel, gaster and femora reticulate, the reticulation more impressed on the first gastral tergite and on the femora. Remaining legs parts punctate only. Declivous face of the propodeum and propleural sulci almost shining.

Pilosity. Head, mesosoma, postpetiolar and gastral sternites, coxae and ventral face of the femora covered by long, sparse, suberect hairs, rare on the dorsum of the gastral tergites, absent on the dorsum of the pedicel, of the femora and on the tibiae. Funiculi densely covered by thin, short, decumbent hairs, similar but thinner, sparser and slightly longer, subdecumbent hairs on the sides of the pedicel, appressed on the gastral tergites and sternites, on the dorsal face of the femora and on the tibiae and on the gaster.

Colour. Head and mesosoma black with lighter pedicel and first gastral segments; mandibles, antennae, legs and remaining gastral segments yellow.

Measurements (in mm) and indices: TL 5.68-6.12; HL 0.92-0.96; HW 1.04-1.08; EL 0.40; PW 1.04-1.08; PeW 0.42-0.44; PpW 0.54-0.52; HBaL 0.82-0.88; HBaW 0.12; CI 108.3-117.4; PI 96.1-100.0; PPeI 236.4-257.1; PPpI 200.0-240.0; HBaI 13.6-14.6.

Type Material

de Andrade and Baroni Urbani (1999):

Worker. Original description. Type locality: "in America meridionali", actually Essequibo ( Guyana). Type material: Holotype worker in Zoologisk Museum, University of Copenhagen, (ZIMSEN, 1964: 427) (examined), labelled "Essequibo, Smidt, Mus. J. Lund, Cryptocerus umbraculatus Fabr."

Cryptocerus quadriguttatus. Worker. Type localities: Colombia, Bolivia. Type material: not available for the present study.

Cryptocerus elegans. Worker. Type localities: Colombia and Santarem (Brazil). Type material: two syntype workers in Oxford University Museum of Natural History (Kempf, 1959: 98), one syntype worker from Egas (= Tefe) , Brazil, in The Natural History Museum, examined.

Cryptocerus flavomaculatus. Gyne. Type locality: Brazil. Type material: not available for the present study.


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