Mycetophylax occultus

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Mycetophylax occultus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Mycetophylax
Species: M. occultus
Binomial name
Mycetophylax occultus
(Kempf, 1964)

This species is only known from reproductives.


See the description section below.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (type locality).

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.

  • occultus. Cyphomyrmex occultus Kempf, 1964d: 41, figs. 37-39 (q.m.) BRAZIL.
    • Combination in Mycetophylax: Sosa-Calvo et al., 2017: 9.

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


On account of the reticulate-punctate and somewhat shining antennal scrobe, occultus belongs to the olitor-subgroup. The female differs from Mycetophylax olitor and allies in the large eyes; in the relatively large and prominent ocelli; in the long antennal scape that noticeably surpasses the distinctly drawn out occipital lobes; in the markedly angular anterior corner of pronotum, which is also laterally marginate, its laterotergite bearing a large subcircular impression; in the slender, ventrally ecarinate femora, the hind femora not being ventrally angular nor visibly incrassate at basal third; in the elongate petiolar node that bears dorsally a pair of prominent teeth.



Kempf 1964 Cyphomyrmex d.jpg

(holotype) Total length 4.0 mm; head length 0.88 mm; head width 0.72 mm; scape length 0.77 mm; eye length 0.25 mm; thorax length 1.28 mm; hind femur length 1.06 mm. Ferruginous; funiculi and legs more yellowish-brown; ocellar triangle fuscous. Integument opaque, granular; sides of head and gaster finely and sharply reticulate-punctate; antennal scrobe more coarsely reticulate-punctate and somewhat shining; dorsum of head between frontal carinae and tergum I of gaster with minute piliferous tubercles.

Head (fig 37, 38). Mandibles finely reticulate-punctate and vestigially striolate; chewing border with 7-8 teeth. Clypeus with the anterior border strongly convex in middle, not notched; a small tooth on each side at origin of the moderately expanded, somewhat unevenly and broadly rounded frontal lobes. Frontal area impressed, reticulate-punctate. Posterior portion of frontal carinae gently diverging and straight. Occipital lobes prominent both in dorsal and lateral view. Preocular carina well developed, reaching the occipital lobe. Supraocular tubercle distinct. Eyes comparatively huge, their greatest diameter nearly one third of head length. Ocelli also large, the posterior ones situated on lateral face of prominent tumuli. Inferior border of head marginate. Scape in repose projecting beyond occipital angle by a distance that exceeds its maximum width. Funicular segments II-VII slightly longer than broad.

Thorax (fig 37). Pronotum: midpronotal tubercle absent, lateral borders marginate, anterior corner bluntly tubercular, posterior corner with a prominent stout tooth; latero-tergite with a large subcircular impression; antero-inferior corner subdentate. Mesonotum: Scutum dorsally flat, Mayrian furrows very shallow to vestigial in the rear. Scutellum posteriorly bluntly and weakly bidentate. Basal face of epinotum oblique, laterally carinate; epinotal teeth subtriangular, compressed. Legs long: femora slender, not noticeably incrassate towards basal third, ventral borders carinate, lacking a prominent flange on hind femora.

Pedicel (fig 37, 39). Petiole in dorsal view elongate, its anterior corners marked and bluntly dentate; its dorsum posteriorly with a pair of prominent teeth; posterior border without a prominent, thin, transverse laminule. Postpetiole nearly twice as broad as long, subtrapezoidal, longitudinally traversed by two pairs of carinae, the mesial pair sharp, the lateral pair blunt; dorsum deeply impressed between mesial carinae, more shallowly between mesial and lateral carinae. Gaster antero-laterally marginate; tergum I with a median longitudinal furrow, which is rather faint and fades out before reaching the midlength of the segment.

Wings slightly infumated, venation as in the other known species (fig 43).

Body and appendages with very small, strongly curved, subdecumbent hairs.


I have 14 specimens of this caste, but forego a detailed diagnosis at this time. They are at once recognized by their huge eyes and elongate petiole, similar to that of the female.

Type Material

5 females (holotype and paratypes) and 8 males, taken by Fritz Plaumann at Nova Teutônia, Santa Catarina State, Brazil, in October 1960 (WWK n. 3918); 6 females (paratypes) and 6 males taken by Karol Lenko at Barueri, São Paulo State, on October 17 and November 14, 1958 (n. 662 and 698), more specimens of the same series in DZSP.


  • Kempf, W. W. 1964d. A revision of the Neotropical fungus-growing ants of the genus Cyphomyrmex Mayr. Part I: Group of strigatus Mayr (Hym., Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 7: 1-44 (page 41, figs. 37-39 queen, male described)
  • Sosa-Calvo, J., JesÏovnik, A., Vasconcelos, H.L., Bacci, M. Jr., Schultz, T.R. 2017. Rediscovery of the enigmatic fungus-farming ant "Mycetosoritis" asper Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Implications for taxonomy, phylogeny, and the evolution of agriculture in ants. PLoS ONE 12: e0176498 (DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0176498).

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Kempf W. W. 1964. A revision of the Neotropical fungus-growing ants of the genus Cyphomyrmex Mayr. Part I: Group of strigatus Mayr (Hym., Formicidae). Studia Entomologica 7: 1-44.
  • Kempf W. W. 1978. A preliminary zoogeographical analysis of a regional ant fauna in Latin America. 114. Studia Entomologica 20: 43-62.
  • Ulyssea M.A., C. E. Cereto, F. B. Rosumek, R. R. Silva, and B. C. Lopes. 2011. Updated list of ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) recorded in Santa Catarina State, southern Brazil, with a discussion of research advances and priorities. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 55(4): 603-–611.