Cryptopone mirabilis

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Cryptopone mirabilis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Cryptopone
Species: C. mirabilis
Binomial name
Cryptopone mirabilis
(Mackay, W.P. & Mackay, E.E., 2010)

Little is known about the biology of this species.


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): Cryptopone mirabilis is an easily recognized species as it is the only one in the genus with the following combination of characteristics: well developed conical setae on the middle tibia, yellow in color and with a smooth and glossy integument. Pachycondyla mirabilis can be separated from other members in the ochracea species complex as the integument of Cryptopone guianensis, Cryptopone holmgreni and Cryptopone gilva is dull or only weakly shining. Other shiny species of New World Pachycondyla (Neoponera carbonaria, Neoponera commutata, Neoponera laevigata, and Neoponera marginata) are all black.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Bolivia (type locality), Brazil.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Cryptopone mirabilis occurs in mature montane rainforest, between 550 - 650 meters elevation. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): One worker was collected under a stone.


Known only from the worker caste.


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

  • mirabilis. Pachycondyla mirabilis Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 466, figs. 5, 161, 586-588 (w.) BOLIVIA. Combination in Cryptopone: Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 185.

Taxonomic Notes

Jack Longino (15 Oct 2015) suggests that this species is a junior synonym of Centromyrmex brachycola. He examined the holotype from the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. The type series was collected by Mann from Bolivia, Rosario on Lake Rocagua. Kempf (1966) reviewed the Neotropical Centromyrmex. Under C. brachycola he discussed the Rosario series collected by Mann, parts of which are in multiple collections (including Kempf's). Kempf referred to Mann's own account of finding this colony in a termite mound (Mann 1934:189).

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



The worker is a relatively small (total length 7 mm) yellow shiny ant. The masticatory border of the mandible has approximately 15 small teeth. The eye is completely absent or is indicated only by a small depressed area. The scapes are short and fail to reach the posterior border by approximately the first two funicular segments. The scape is noticeably widened toward the apex. The posterior border of the head is distinctly concave. The malar carinae and pronotal carinae are completely absent. The mesosoma is constricted in the region near the metanotal suture and slightly depressed in this region, but the metanotal suture is barely marked on the dorsum of the mesosoma. All of the femora are swollen, especially that of the middle leg. The petiole is broad when viewed in profile, with the anterior and posterior faces being nearly parallel, the posterior face is rounded into the dorsal face, which is approximately the same length as that of the anterior face. The subpetiolar process is angulate and well developed. The ventral surface of the petiole has a sharp process anteriorly, which broadens posteriorly. The petiole is elongated when viewed from below.

Erect hairs are present, but short on the mandibles, long on the clypeus and dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, the hairs on the scapes are fine, abundant and erect or suberect, the dorsum of the mesosoma, petiole and all surfaces of the gaster have erect and suberect hairs. The tibia of the middle leg also has coarse setae on the outer surface.

All surfaces, including the mandibles, are smooth and glossy.

The ant is a concolorous golden yellow with the mandibular teeth and the area of the frons being slightly darker in color.

Type Material

Bolivia, Rosario. Holotype worker (Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History), 2 paratype workers (William and Emma Mackay Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History)


From Latin, mirabilis, meaning wonderful or strange, referring to the smooth and polished integument of this unusual species.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Mackay, W.P. and E.E. MacKay. 2010. The systematics and biology of the New World ants of the genus Pachycondyla (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press Lewiston, NY