Crematogaster abstinens

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Crematogaster abstinens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Crematogaster
Species: C. abstinens
Binomial name
Crematogaster abstinens
Forel, 1899

Crematogaster abstinens casent0603551 profile 1.jpg

Crematogaster abstinens casent0603551 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Crematogaster abstinens occurs in wet or dry forest habitats, but is more common in the latter. I have never collected this species myself and have no first-hand knowledge of its biology. It has been taking by sweeping on Barro Colorado Island, and by sweeping at night in Brazil (Mato Grosso). Ward collected ground foragers in Bolivia. (Longino 2003)


This is a wide ranging, variable species. See notes in the nomenclature section below.

Longino (2003) - The combination of (1) shiny face, (2) subquadrate dorsal face of petiole, (3) appressed tibial pilosity, (4) very wide postpetiole, and (5) abundant short stiff setae on face that curve toward the median axis uniquely characterize this species. Crematogaster obscurata is somewhat similar but has a punctate face.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Guyana, Mexico, Panama (type locality), 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.

  • abstinens. Crematogaster abstinens Forel, 1899c: 85 (w.) PANAMA. Combination in C. (Orthocrema): Emery, 1922e: 133. Senior synonym of chacoana, erici, ornatipilis, suturalis: Longino, 2003a: 30.
  • suturalis. Crematogaster abstinens var. suturalis Forel, 1912f: 216 (w.) VENEZUELA. Combination in C. (Orthocrema): Emery, 1922e: 133. Junior synonym of abstinens: Longino, 2003a: 30.
  • ornatipilis. Crematogaster ornatipilis Wheeler, W.M. 1918b: 25 (w.) GUYANA. Combination in C. (Orthocrema): Emery, 1922e: 135. Junior synonym of abstinens: Longino, 2003a: 30.
  • erici. Crematogaster (Orthocrema) quadriformis st. erici Santschi, 1929d: 291 (w.) ARGENTINA. Junior synonym of abstinens: Longino, 2003a: 30.
  • chacoana. Crematogaster (Orthocrema) abstinens st. chacoana Santschi, 1933e: 111, fig. 6 (w.) ARGENTINA. Junior synonym of abstinens: Longino, 2003a: 30.

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

Longino (2003) - I was able to compare directly the types of abstinens, Crematogaster pygmaea, and Crematogaster suturalis with material that Bill and Emma Mackay collected in Colombia. They were all essentially identical. I examined the types of Wheeler's Crematogaster ornatipilis prior to having additional material for comparison, but my notes and drawings are a close match to the Colombian material, and Wheeler himself considered the species close to abstinens. The Bolivian material that I have for current examination was collected by Phil Ward after my examination of the types of Crematogaster chacoana and Crematogaster erici, both from Argentina. My museum notes for chacoana and erici describe specimens that were more robust and more heavily punctate than abstinens from northern South America, thus matching the Bolivian specimens. Until more is known of character variation in South America, I am treating the more punctate forms as geographic variants of a broadly defined polytypic abstinens.

Quinet, Hamidi, et al. (2009) - Crematogaster pygmaea, revived from synonymy.



Longino (2003) - HL 0.561, 0.519, 0.648; HW 0.630, 0.567, 0.740; HC 0.594, 0.535, 0.700; SL 0.424, 0.398, 0.503; EL 0.152, 0.149, 0.201; A11L 0.217; A11W 0.102; A10L 0.094; A10W 0.092; A09L 0.048; A09W 0.072; A08L 0.041; A08W 0.057; WL 0.620, 0.570, 0.782; SPL 0.109, 0.100, 0.139; PTH 0.123, 0.114, 0.151; PTL 0.154, 0.187, 0.282; PTW 0.207, 0.177, 0.256; PPL 0.137, 0.126, 0.160; PPW 0.208, 0.175, 0.260; CI 112, 109, 114; OI 27, 29, 31; SI 76, 77, 78; PTHI 80, 61, 54; PTWI 134, 95, 91; PPI 152, 139, 163; SPI 18, 18, 18; ACI 1.02.

Color red brown.

Head subquadrate, flattened to weakly emarginate posteriorly; mandibles shiny, smooth, with coarse elongate piligerous puncta; face smooth and highly polished medially, punctate on malar space and between antennal insertion and eye, with a few concentric rugulae around antennal insertion; scapes with abundant long subdecumbent pubescence, lacking differentiated long, erect setae; antennal club 2-segmented; anterior border of clypeus shallowly convex; clypeus shiny, smooth medially, with longitudinal rugulae laterally; face with dense stubble of 40-50 short, flattened, amber setae; face setae distinctly curved or slanted toward median axis; ventral surface of head smooth and shiny with sparse suberect to subdecumbent pilosity.

In lateral view, dorsal profile of pronotum, mesonotum, and propodeum forming a continuous curve; dorsal and posterior faces of propodeum in same plane, sloping to petiolar insertion; propodeal spines projecting posterodorsally; propodeal spiracle relatively large; pronotal dorsum largely smooth and shining with faint longitudinal carinulae; mesonotal dorsum with weak, longitudinal carinulae laterally, smooth and shiny medially; propodeal suture strongly impressed medially but less visible in side view because lateral mesonotal carinulae continue onto dorsal face of propodeum; mesonotal carinulae usually have slight tooth at propodeal suture; long flat posterodorsal face of propodeum punctate anteriorly, smooth and shiny posteriorly; propodeal spines short, thin, and sharp; side of pronotum and dorsolateral propodeum smooth and shining; katepisternum and ventrolateral propodeum punctate; promesonotum with about 15 straight, stiff setae of subequal length, those on humeri longest, approximately 0.17 mm long; propodeal spine with one seta at base, subequal in length to spine; legs with sparse, appressed to subdecumbent pilosity and no erect setae.

Petiole in side view trapezoidal; side densely punctate; lacking anteroventral tooth or angle; dorsal face short, wider than long, with convex sides, widest at midlength, faintly microareolate or smooth and shining; posterolateral tubercles low, not at all elevated above posterodorsal margin of tergite, each with a long, stiff seta; postpetiole in dorsal view much wider than long, with slight posterior emargination; anterolateral margins of postpetiolar node dropping abruptly to short, cylindrical neck of helcium; ventral margin of postpetiole with small rounded lobe, lacking sharp anteroventral tooth; dorsum and sides of postpetiole with microareolate sculpture and with 6-8 stiff setae; fourth abdominal tergite with very faint, areolate microsculpture, shiny, with about 50 stiff erect setae evenly dispersed over surface.

A Bolivian collection is generally more robust and more heavily sculptured. The mandibles are striate rather than smooth, the face punctation extends posteriorly along medial border of eye, and the mesosoma is generally more punctate throughout.

Type Material

Longino (2003) - Crematogaster abstinens Forel 1899:85. Syntype worker: Panama, Peña Blanca (Champion) [label: V. de Chiriquí, 2-3000ft, Champion] Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève (examined).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Fernández F., E. E. Palacio, W. P. Mackay, and E. S. MacKay. 1996. Introducción al estudio de las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Colombia. Pp. 349-412 in: Andrade M. G., G. Amat García, and F. Fernández. (eds.) 1996. Insectos de Colombia. Estudios escogidos. Bogotá: Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, 541 pp
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Forel A. 1904. Fourmis du Musée de Bruxelles. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 48: 168-177.
  • Forel A. 1905. Miscellanea myrmécologiques II (1905). Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 49: 155-185.
  • Forel A. 1912. Formicides néotropiques. Part III. 3me sous-famille Myrmicinae (suite). Genres Cremastogaster et Pheidole. Mémoires de la Société Entomologique de Belgique. 19: 211-237.
  • Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
  • Gallardo A. 1934. Las hormigas de la República Argentina. Subfamilia Mirmicinas, segunda sección Eumyrmicinae, tribu Crematogastrini (Forel), género Crematogaster Lund. Anales del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Buenos Aires 38: 1-84.
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  • INBio Collection (via Gbif)
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Longino, J.T. 2003. The Crematogaster (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) of Costa Rica. Zootaxa 151:1-150
  • Neves F. S., K. S. Queiroz-Dantas, W. D. da Rocha, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2013. Ants of Three Adjacent Habitats of a Transition Region Between the Cerrado and Caatinga Biomes: The Effects of Heterogeneity and Variation in Canopy Cover. Neotrop Entomol 42: 258–268.
  • Pires de Prado L., R. M. Feitosa, S. Pinzon Triana, J. A. Munoz Gutierrez, G. X. Rousseau, R. Alves Silva, G. M. Siqueira, C. L. Caldas dos Santos, F. Veras Silva, T. Sanches Ranzani da Silva, A. Casadei-Ferreira, R. Rosa da Silva, and J. Andrade-Silva. 2019. An overview of the ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the state of Maranhao, Brazil. Pap. Avulsos Zool. 59: e20195938.
  • Santschi F. 1929. Nouvelles fourmis de la République Argentine et du Brésil. Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina. 107: 273-316.
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