Cyphomyrmex strigatus Mayr

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 (N. S.) 7, pp. 1-44: 14-16

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Cyphomyrmex strigatus Mayr


2. Cyphomyrmex strigatus Mayr  HNS 

(Figs. 6, 18, 26, 44)

Cyphomyrmex strigatus Mayr  HNS  , 1887: 558-559 (Worker; Brazil: Santa Catarina). - Forel, 1893: 606-607 (Female, male; Brazil, Santa Catarina: Blumenau). - Moeller (1893), 1941: 105-107, pl. 7, fig. 26 (Worker; Brazil, Santa Catarina: Blumenau; Bion.). - Forel, 1911: 295 (Brazil, Sao Paulo: Raiz da Serra). - Luederwaldt, 1626: 268 (Bion.). -? Wheeler, G C, 1948: 669-670, pl. 2, figs. 7-8 (Larvae; Panama Canal Zone).

Types. - Worker, in the Mayr collection at the "Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien". Not seen.

Worker. - Total length 2.9-3.7 mm; head length 0.75- 0.89 mm; head width 0.67-0.80 mm; thorax length 0.91-1.17 mm; hind femur length 0.72-0.98 mm. Yellowish brown to dark ferruginous. Integument, including antennal scrobe, indistinctly granulate and opaque. Differs from auritus  HNS  as follows: 1. Smaller in size. Body more compact. Hind femur distinctly shorter than thorax length. 2. Auriculate occipital lobes (Figs. 6, 44) much less protruding, usually shorter than their maximum diameter. Supraocular tooth blunt and obtuse, lacking a distinct ridge between its base and the inferior occipital angle. Funicular segments 2-8 not longer than broad. 3. Lateral pronotal tubercles blunt and stout. Mesonotal armature (Fig. 1.8) relatively low, consisting of blunt tubercles. Longitudinal ridges on basal face of epinotum blunt, without a prominent tooth on posterior corner. Femora feebly marginate on flexor face. Hind femora gently and gradually thickening from base to basal third, where they form an obtuse, at most weakly carinate, angle on flexor face. 4. Petiolar node subquadrate, occasionally somewhat transverse, its anterior corners in dorsal view rounded; longitudinal crests, on dorsum only vestigial. Postpetiole with anterior face moderately raised in vertical direction, anterior dorsal tubercles feeble, sides convex, somewhat constricted to slightly diverging behind: in dorsal view little to somewhat transverse. 5. Appressed hairs on frontal lobes, borders of frontal carinae, frontal and vertical ridges, thoracic tubercles, pedicelar tubercles and ridges, gaster, scapes and legs conspicuous and scale-like.

Female. - Total length 4.0-4.3 mm; head length 0.93- 0.96 mm; head width 0.83-0.91 mm; thorax length 1.23-1.36 min; hind femur length 0.91-1.07 mm. Characters as given for the worker, with the same differences from auritus  HNS  . Note the following: Lateral pronotal tubercles blunt and stout. Scutum and scutellum with shallower depressions and very low and blunt tuberosities. Epinotal tooth tubercular, small to vestigial. Scalelike hairs especially conspicuous on scutum and scutellum.

Male described by Forel (1893). No specimens seen.

Distribution. - This species is known to occur in southeastern Brazil, from Rio Grande do Sul to Rio de Janeiro States. The Panamanian record given by G. C. Wheeler (1949), who described the larvae, is questionable. These specimens probably belong to costatus  HNS  or a related species of the rimosus  HNS  group, possessing the same longitudinal median carinae on first gastric tergum as auritus  HNS  , strigatus  HNS  and plaumanni  HNS  .

Specimens examined. - 17 workers and 5 dealate females, as follows: Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul: Barros Cassal, IX-1960 (F. Flaumann) 1 worker (WWK); Santa Catarina State: Nova Teutonia, V1I-1959 - V1I-1961 (F. Plaumann) 5 workers, 4 females (all strays from berlesate collections) (WWK); Parana State: Rio Azul, X-1959 (F. Plaumann) 2 workers (WWK); Sao Paulo State: Raiz da Serra (on Sao Paulo-Santos Railroad (Luederwaldt) 3 workers (CTB) (DZSP), Una dos Buzios, 26-X-I963 (K. Lenko) 5 workers, 1 female (DZSP); Rio de Janeiro State: Glicerio nr. Macae, 11-1956 (C. R. Goncalves) 1 worker (CTB).

Discussion. - The drawings of the worker were based upon a Nova Teutonia specimen (VI-1960). The variation observed is negligible. The specimens from Raiz da Serra, S.P., are lighter, yellowish brown in color, and have the continuation of the preocular carinae behind eyes (inferior border of antennal scrobe) distinct and slightly carinate, the postpetiole more transverse. The single worker from Glicerio, R.J., is the smallest, and has the longitudinal carinae of first gastric tergite rather obtuse, in part only vestigial.

Bionomics. - According to Moeller (1893) this species resembles auritus  HNS  as regards the nest side and shape, and the cataleptic behavior of workers upon bting disturbed. The fungus garden, however, is of a different aspect, consisting in an irregular agglomerate of small pellets of substrate, loosely heaped one upon another, as in Apterostigma wasmanni For  HNS  . The mycelium shows the bromatia or gongylidia better differentiated than in that of auritus  HNS  (cf. Moeller's figures 25 and 26). Yet auritus  HNS  workers in artifical nests freely fed on strigatus  HNS  fungus and viceversa. The sporophore of the fungus is not known, but seems to be a basidiomycete.

Luederwaldt (1926) discovered a nest under the bark of a decaying tree. The cavity was rounded-elongate, the fungus mass dirty yellowish and irregular in aspect. The colony consisted of approximately 30 workers.