Cyphomyrmex foxi Ern. Andre

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 (N. S.) 8, pp. 161-200: 186-188

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Cyphomyrmex foxi Ern. Andre


10. Cyphomyrmex foxi Ern. Andre  HNS 

(Figs. 6, 14, 28, 43)

Cyphomyrmex foxi Ern. Andre  HNS  , 1892: 55-6 (Worker; Jamaica). - Wheeler, 1917: 461-2 (Female; jamaica: Newton). - Weber, 1940: 408-9, 412 (Worker; key).

Types. - Workers collected by J. W. Fox at an unknown locality in Jamaica. Place of present deposition of types unknown to me.

Worker. - Total length 3.8-4.0 mm; head length 0.95- 0.97 mm; head width 0.80-0.87 mm; thorax length 1.28-1.33 mm; hind femur length 1.17-1.23 mm. Dark reddish brown; mandibles, funiculi and tarsi yellowish brown. Integument opaque, finely and densely granulate-punctate; head, thorax and pedicel covered with dense rugae, which are predominantly longitudinal on head, sides of thorax and pedicel, but transversely arched between promesonotal armature and postpetiolar tubercles.

Head as shown in Fig. 6. Mandibles densely punctatestriolate. Anterior apron of clypeus flat, prominent, anterior border strongly convex and feebly notched in the middle. Lateral teeth of clypeus acute but hidden in full-face view under tip of frontal lobes. The latter moderately expanded laterad, their maximum width scarcely matching the interocular width, exposing part of the cheeks in full-face view. Frontal carinae nearly straight and diverging caudad, reaching tip of prominent occipital spines. Front with a broad but shallow transverse impression between laterally carinate frontal area and semicircular carinae on vertex. Preocular carina gently curving mesad above eyes, visible in full-face view. Postocular carina feebler, reaching from posteroinferior orbit of eye to tip of occipital spine, bisected by the prominent supraocular tooth. Eyes with approximately 10 facets across greatest diameter. Inferior border of cheeks sharply marginate. Scape in repose surpassing apex of occipital spine by a distance equalling twice its maximum diameter. All funicular segments longer than broad, segment I shorter than II and III combined.

Thorax as shown in Fig. 14. Midpronotal teeth short but acute; lateral ones long and spine-like, projecting, obliquely laterad and upward, longer than the pair of stout, conical, anterior mesonotal spines. Lateral border of pronotal disc vestigially carinate. Antero-inferior pronotal corner subrectangular. Posterior pair of mesonotal spines subequal to midpronotal ones. Mesoepinotal constriction broad but rather shallow. Basal face of epinotum with a pair of longitudinal sharp carinae, which in profile form two succeeding obtuse teeth; infradental lamella of posterior tooth descending halfways down the declivous face. Oblique welt on sides of epinotum rather prominent. Hind femora (Fig. 43) moderately angulate in front of basal third; posteroventral border vestigially carinate.

Pedicel as shown in Figs.. 14 and 28. Petiolar node with convex sides, lacking a postero-dorsal salient laminule. Postpetiole much broader, bearing postero-dorsally a prominent, stout and bluntly tipped pair of tubercles. Tergum I of gaster with a very short and feeble antero-median groove, the lateral margination at best vestigial.

Pilosity simple, not scale-like, hairs recurved to appressed.

Female. - This caste was described by Wheeler (1917: 461-2) as follows:

"The female, hitherto undescribed, is represented by a single, dealated individual. It measures 3.4 mm. and closely resembles the worker in color, sculpture, and pilosity and in the structure of the head. The spines on the humeri of the pronotum are long and stout. The mesonotum is flattened above, as broad as long, with a pair of low longitudinal welts anteriorly and expanded postero-lateral borders, bluntly dentate anteriorly and posteriorly. The scutellum is bluntly bidentate and projecting. The epinotum is abruptly declivous, without distinct base and declivity, and with a pair of longitudinal ridges terminating behind in large, blunt, compressed teeth. Between these ridges the surface is transversely rugose. The petiole is small and similar to that of the worker, the postpetiole very large, broader than long, subrectangular when seem from above, with two short, blunt, longitudinal ridges, terminating in large blunt projections behind and separated by a deep concavity. The gaster is broadly oval, hardly longer than broad, rounded above, on the sides and behind, without longitudinal ridges and with a distinct median longitudinal groove at the base". Male unknown.

Specimens examined: 6 workers, taken at Newton, Jamaica, at an altitude of 3000 ft, C.T. Brues leg., January 1912 (WWK).

Discussion. - This striking species, which is restricted to the Island of Jamaica in the Caribbean Sea, on account of the larger size and the salient spinulation of occiput and thorax, resembles the continental species vorticis  HNS  and salvini  HNS  . The moderately expanded frontal carinae, the prominent clypeal lobe, the very long lateral pronotal spines, the raised paired tubercles on postpetiole, the densely rugose integument of head, thorax and pedicel set foxi  HNS  at once apart from its closest relatives.

Note. - In a footnote to his key to the species of Cyphomyrmex  HNS  , Weber (1940: 412) states his well founded suspicion that rimosus var. arnoldi Aguayo  HNS  might be identical with the present species.