Cyphomyrmex vorticis

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Cyphomyrmex vorticis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Cyphomyrmex
Species: C. vorticis
Binomial name
Cyphomyrmex vorticis
Weber, 1940

Cyphomyrmex vorticis casent0281768 p 1 high.jpg

Cyphomyrmex vorticis casent0281768 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nothing is known about the biology of this species.


Kempf (1966) - The closest ally of vorticis is Cyphomyrmex salvini, differing the former from the latter in the following features: Body hairs simple, never scale-like; frontal lobes strikingly different in shape, broadly rounded cephalad, the curvature gradually decreasing caudad; the sigmoidal frontal carinae always fade out before reaching the spine-like occipital lobe; basal face of epinotum strongly and sharply carinate in its entire length; posterior mesonotal tubercles low, not tooth-like nor conical; petiole not noticeably constricted at each side just in front of postpetiolar insertion.


Known from Bolivia and Brazil (and possible from Costa Rica, as stated in the nomenclature section below).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Bolivia (type locality), Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Queens and males are undescribed but a collection of both castes may be in the USNM (see the nomenclature section below).


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

  • vorticis. Cyphomyrmex vorticis Weber, 1940a: 410 (diagnosis in key) (w.) BOLIVIA. See also: Kempf, 1966: 188.

Snelling and Longino (1992) stated the following:

Kempf (1966) reported this species only from Bolivia (Santa Helena, the type locality) and Brazil. We have seen a series of 9 workers, 2 females, and 1 male from Zent, costa rica, collected in March, 1924 by W. M. Mann (USNM). The workers agree well with Kempfs redescription, and with cotypes in the LACM, in all particulars except the pilosity. The appressed pilosity of the head and body is fine and hair-like in the cotypes and is very inconspicuous. The Zent specimens differ in having more conspicuous, though no more abundant, pilosity because the individual hairs are broad and scale-like.

Whether or not these represent a variant of C. vorticis, or an undescribed species, is uncertain. More material of both forms, as well as samples from intervening localities, must be available before the status of the Costa Rican specimens is clear. For the present they are tentatively assigned to C. vorticis.



Kempf 1966 Cyphomyrmex 1-13.jpg

Kempf (1966) - (lectotype). - Total length 3.8 mm; head length 0.88 mm; head width 0.85 mm; thorax length 1.28 mm; hind femur length 1.28 mm. Medium brown; dorsum of head, scapes, tibiae and gaster darker with ferruginous hues. Integument opaque; densely and minutely punctate-granulate.

Head (fig 1). Mandibles finely reticulate-rugulose, somewhat shining; chewing border with a broader diastema between 2nd and 3rd basal tooth. Clypeus with flattened anterior apron, the border of which is gently convex and notched in the middle; on each side it bears a prominent tooth. Frontal lobes very broadly expanded, the anterior curvature stronger than the posterior one; upper surface with a depressed circular area above the antennal socket. Frontal carinae sigmoidal, not quite reaching occipital corner, their border somewhat elevated at place of greatest constriction. Front with a feeble tumulus at frontal area, followed by a transverse shallow depression. Carinae of vertex semicircular, having as center a prominent tubercle; from there they diverge both cephalad and caudad. Occipital corners strongly dentate, tooth curving slightly upward and outward. Occiput oblique, not perpendicular. Preocular carina curving mesad above eyes. Postocular carina beginning below eye and extending backwards to the prominent supraocular tooth. Eyes with about 11-12 facets across greatest diameter. Inferior border of cheeks strongly and irregularly crested. Scapes gradually incrassate toward apex, surpassing the occipital corner by more than their maximum width. All funicular segments longer than broad, segment I as long as II and III combined.

Thorax (fig 15). Pronotum with small median, stronger lateral teeth; the latter connected with the feebly marked humeral angle by a blunt carina; antero-inferior tooth rectangular. Mesonotum with strong paired conical anterior teeth, followed by another pair of low elongate and blunt tubercles. Mesoepinotal constriction deep. Basal face of epinotum flanked by sharply carinate ridges in its entire length; space between ridges shallowly excavate. Declivous face laterally immarginate. Lateral blunt and oblique welt well developed, bearing the spiracle. Hind femora angular beneath in front of basal third, then gradually tapering toward apex; the postero-ventral border very slightly carinate.

Petiole and postpetiole (fig 15, 34). Petiolar node strikingly transverse without ridges or prominent postero-dorsal laminule. Postpetiole even broader, with a pair of low diverging tubercles near entire posterior border, separated by a shallow median depression. Gaster anteriorly sharply marginate; tergum I without an antero-median impression and a distinct lateral margination.

Pilosity inconspicuous, minute and appressed, not scale-like; more visible on appendages and sharp ridges of body where they become decumbent.

Type Material

Kempf (1966) - Workers taken by W. M. Mann at Santa Helena, Bolivia, in August 1921. A single specimen (lectotype NAW) seen.


  • Kempf, W. W. 1966 [1965]. A revision of the Neotropical fungus-growing ants of the genus Cyphomyrmex Mayr. Part II: Group of rimosus (Spinola) (Hym., Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 8: 161-200 (page 167, see also)
  • Snelling, R. R. and J. T. Longino. 1992. Revisionary notes on the fungus-growing ants of the genus Cyphomyrmex, rimosus group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Attini). Pages 479-494, English summary p. 653, Spanish summary p. 662-663 in D. Quintero and A. Aiello, editors. Insects of Panama and Mesoamerica: selected studies. Oxford University Press, Oxford. xxii + 692 p.
  • Weber, N. A. 1940b. The biology of the fungus-growing ants. Part VI. Key to Cyphomyrmex, new Attini and a new guest ant. Rev. Entomol. (Rio J.) 11: 406-427 (page 410, (diagnosis in key) worker described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Brandao, C.R.F. 1991. Adendos ao catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao neotropical (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 35: 319-412.
  • Dias N. S., R. Zanetti, M. S. Santos, J. Louzada, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2008. Interaction between forest fragments and adjacent coffee and pasture agroecosystems: responses of the ant communities (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Iheringia, Sér. Zool., Porto Alegre, 98(1): 136-142.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Fleck M. D., E. Bisognin Cantarelli, and F. Granzotto. 2015. Register of new species of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Rio Grande do Sul state. Ciencia Florestal, Santa Maria 25(2): 491-499.
  • Kempf W. W. 1966. A revision of the Neotropical fungus-growing ants of the genus Cyphomyrmex Mayr. Part II: Group of rimosus (Spinola) (Hym., Formicidae). Studia Entomologica 8: 161-200.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Mertl A. L., J. F. A. Traniello, K. Ryder Wilkie, and R. Constantino. 2012. Associations of two ecologically significant social insect taxa in the litter of an amazonian rainforest: is there a relationship between ant and termite species richness? Psyche doi:10.1155/2012/312054
  • Palacio G., E.E. and F. Fernandez. 1995. Hormigas de Colombia V: Neuvos registros. Tacaya 4:6-7
  • Santos M. S., J. N. C. Louzada, N. Dias, R. Zanetti, J. H. C. Delabie, and I. C. Nascimento. 2006. Litter ants richness (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in remnants of a semi-deciduous forest in the Atlantic rain forest, Alto do Rio Grande region, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Iheringia, Sér. Zool., Porto Alegre, 96(1): 95-101.
  • Snelling R. R., and J. T. Longino. 1992. Revisionary notes on the fungus-growing ants of the genus Cyphomyrmex, rimosus group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Attini). Pp. 479-494 in: Quintero, D.; Aiello, A. (eds.) 1992. Insects of Panama and Mesoamerica: selected studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, xxii + 692 pp.
  • Valdes-Rodriguez S., P. Chacon de Ulloa, and I. Armbrecht. 2014. Soil ant species in Gorgona Island, Colombian Pacific. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (1): 265-276.