Cyphomyrmex minutus Mayr , Snelling, R. R. & Longino, J. T., 1992

Snelling, R. R. & Longino, J. T., 1992, Revisionary notes on the fungus-growing ants of the genus Cyphomyrmex, rimosus-group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Attini)., Insects of Panama and Mesoamerica: selected studies., Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 479-494: 490

publication ID

13137

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/1DE47EC9-2743-242F-C098-4FAD45785179

treatment provided by

Christiana

scientific name

Cyphomyrmex minutus Mayr
status

new status

Cyphomyrmex minutus Mayr  HNS  new status

(Figs. 30.6, 30.14, 30.22, 30.24)

Cyphomyrmex minutus Mayr  HNS  , 1862:691; [[worker]].

Cyphomyrmex steinheili Forel  HNS  , 1884:368; [[worker]].

Cyphomyrmex rimosus var. comalensis Wheeler  HNS  , 1907: 719-21; [[worker]], [[queen]], [[male]]

Cyphomyrmex rimosus var. minutus  HNS  ; Wheeler, 1907:722;

Atta (Cyphomyrmex) rimosa race atrata Forel  HNS  , 1912:188-9; [[worker]], [[queen]], [[male]]. new synonymy.

Cyphomyrmex rimosus var. arnoldi Aguayo  HNS  , 1932:22 3-4; new synonymy.

Cyphomyrmex rimosus subsp. minutus var. flavidus Wheeler  HNS  , 19 36:204;. Preoccupied, NEW SYNONYMY.

Cyphomyrmex rimosus var. venezuelensis Weber  HNS  , 19 38: 188;. new synonymy.

Cyphomyrmex rimosus subsp. flavescens Weber  HNS  , 1940:411; New name for flavidus Wheeler  HNS  , 1936, not Pergande, 1895. new synonymy.

Cyphomyrmex rimosus subsp. breviscapus Weber  HNS  , 1940:412; -. new synonymy.

This is the most widespread and commonly encountered of all the species of Cyphomyrmex  HNS  . In the United States it ranges from Texas to Florida, but is abundant only from central Texas eastward. The range extends southward through Central America to northern South America and C. minutus  HNS  is common through the islands of the Caribbean. The type locality is Cuba.

Although the species generally maintains a monotonous morphological integrity, there are exceptional populations that have, not surprisingly, been named as distinctive forms. For example, specimens from Jamaica tend to possess mesosomal tubercles that are more acute than in samples from other areas. Aguayo's var. arnoldi  HNS  is based on a very dark example of this form; no types of this form are known to exist in either the AMNH or MCZ Wheeler material. Presumably, the more conspicuous tubercles mentioned in the original description led Kempf (1966) to surmise that this might prove to be C. foxi  HNS  .

Some Central American samples, ranging from Barro Colorado Island, Canal Zone, north to the State of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, have unusually short scapes in the females and workers. Generally, the apex of the scape extends beyond the occipital corner by an amount equal to, or slightly greater than, the apical breadth of the scape. In the short-scape form, equivalent to Weber's subsp. breviscapus  HNS  , the scape exceeds the occipital corner by about one-half the breadth of the scape. In general, specimens with short scapes are among the smallest C. minutus  HNS  seen (worker head width 0.50-0.55 mm), and slightly larger workers possess proportionately longer scapes.

Wheeler's var. flavidus  HNS  , because the name was preoccupied, was renamed flavescens  HNS  by Weber. This is a minor colour variant, described from Haiti. Throughout its range C. minutus  HNS  varies considerably in colour, even within a local population, and the naming of these variants is pointless.

The var. venezuelensis  HNS  was set up for specimens from the Orinoco River, Venezuela, on the basis of minor variations in the shape of the mesosomal tubercles and scape length. In our opinion these specimens are well within the range in variation shown for these features in other populations.

Aside from their slightly more prominent anterior mesosomal tubercles and darker colour, the workers in the type series of Forel's race atrata  HNS  hardly differ from most samples of C. minutus  HNS  . The cotype series, consisting of all castes, from Dibulla, Guajira, Colombia, has been examined. As is true of the workers, the female cotypes are unusually dark, but seem otherwise like their counterparts from other areas.