Cyphomyrmex salvini Forel

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: 190-192

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Cyphomyrmex salvini Forel


12. Cyphomyrmex salvini Forel  HNS 

(Figs. 3, 16, 36, 40)

Cyphomyrmex rimosus salvini Forel  HNS  , 1899: 40, pl. 3, fig. 2 (Female; Panama: Bugaba). - Wheeler. 1907: 724 (Worker, male; Costa Rica: Port Union). - Forel, 1908: 43 (Costa Rica: Isla de Cocos). - Weber, 1940: 412 (Worker, female, male; key).

Cyphomyrmex salvini  HNS  : Weber, 1958: 261 (Worker).

Cyphomyrmex acutus Weber  HNS  , 1940: 409 (Worker; Panama C. Z.: Barro Colorado Island). - Weber, 1941: 107-8 (Bion.). - NOV. SYN.

Cyphomyrmex salvini acutus Weber  HNS  , 1958: 261 (Worker).

Type. - A lone dealate female, collected by Champion at Bugaba, Panama, presumably deposited in the British Museum (Natural History); not seen. Types of acutus  HNS  in the Weber collection (NAW); not seen.

Worker. - Total length 3.3-3.8 mm; head length 0.80- 0.93 mm; head width 0.69-0.83 mm; thorax length 1.07-1.28 mm; hind femur length 1.01-1.17 mm. Close to the preceding vorticis  HNS  , with the following differences:

Head (Fig. 3): Frontal lobes somewhat pointed cephalad, nearly straight and strongly diverging laterad, conspicuously rounded caudad. Frontal carinae either reach (as in rimosus  HNS  ) or do not reach (as in vorticis  HNS  ) the occipital lobe. Occiput rather perpendicular than oblique. Funicular segment 1 shorter than II and III combined.

Thorax (Fig. 16): Antero-inferior corner of pronotum forming an obtuse angle. Posterior mesonotal tubercles conical, although rather low, but not welt-like. Pair of longitudinal carinae on basal face of epinotum blunt, usually confined to the anterior half; when extending over posterior half then only vestigial. Oblique welt on sides of epinotum usually not well developed. Hind femur shown in Fig. 40.

Petiolar node (Fig. 36) more strongly constricted behind, just in front of postpetiolar insertion. Median and lateral impressions in front of posterior border of postpetiole deeper, the paired tubercles, which separate these impressions, stronger.

Body hairs conspicuous, squamous, either appressed or recurved as on scapes and ventral borders of head and on legs. Female. - This caste was described by Forel as follows: "Long 3.7 millim. Lobe anterieur des aretes frontales fort grand, plus grand que chez le C. rimosus  HNS  . Angles posterieurs de la tete prolonges en oreilles recourbees plus longues que chez le C. strigatus  HNS  , mais bien plus courtes que chez le C. auritus  HNS  . Le borel median des aretes frontales forme deux aretes qui bordent l'epistome et l'aire frontale en forme de triangle. Chaque ocelle est place sur une elevation; celle des deux lateraux se prolonge en arete arquee vers Tangle posterieur de la tete. Le pronotum' a devant, en haut, de chaque cote une forte dent triangulaire. Le mesonotum a devant, en haut, au milieu, un disque arrondi et borde; au milieu, en arriere de ee disque, deux aretes longitudinal tres obtuses, de cote un large feston. Le proscutellum a un feston de cote. Le scutellum est profondement echancre et bidente. Le metanotum a deux tres petites dents. Les deux noeuds du pedicule rectangulaires, plus larges que longs, le 2me beaucoup plus large. Abdomen tres convexe, a peine subborde, sans trace d'elevations ni de depressions a sa surface. Mat. Microscopiquement rabcteux; finement tuberculeux et rugueux. Tout le corps couvert, comme chez le C. rimosus  HNS  , i. sp., d'une pubescence espacee, courte, epaisse, brillante et squameuse. D'un brun roussatre ferugineux. Tete et abdomen bruns fonces. - Differe du C. rimosus  HNS  para ses oreilles et ses aretes beaucoup plus fortes".

Male described by Wheeler (1907); see below under championi  HNS  .

Distribution. - So far, salvini  HNS  is known to occur in Panama and Costa Rica, also on the, oceanic Isla de Cocos, off the west coast of Costa Rica, where it may have been imported (Forel, 1908: 43).

Specimens examined: 18 workers, 1 male, as follows: Panama Canal Zone: Barro Colorado Island, date unknown, W. M. Wheeler leg. n. 737, 3 workers (identified as acutus  HNS  by Weber); same locality, January 1960, W. L. Brown & E. S. McCluskey leg. (M-66) 6 workers (WWK). - Panama: Cerro Campana, 800-950 m, January 17, 1960, G. B. Fairchild and W. L. Brown, Jr. leg. (B-85 and B-95) 5 workers (WWK). - Costa Rica: San Jose, date unknown, H. Schmidt leg. 1 worker (CTB); Port Limon, March 25, 1905, J. C. Paulmier leg. 3 workers, 1 male (MCZ).

Discussion. - Although resembling rather closely vorticis  HNS  , from which it was already differentiated above, salvini  HNS  presents an even more intimate relationship with rimosus  HNS  , already shown by the fact that up to recently it had been considered just as a race of the latter. The larger size, the prominent tooth-like occipital corners, the salient supraocular teeth, the conical or spine-like mesonotal projections, the strongly developed ridges and impressions on head, the longer legs are the chief features that separate salvini  HNS  from rimosus  HNS  .

Attention is called to the fact that only the lone female from Panama, described by Forel (1899), is a type specimen (holotype). The association of the worker caste to this female, proposed by Wheeler (1907), although merely founded upon the similarity of differential characters, seems quite tenable.

Wheeler's workers from Port Limon, Costa Rica, both in the Wheeler and Forel collection, bear erroneously type labels. Moreover, the Forel collection, according to Weber (1958), contains another worker specimen lacking a locality label. Weber suspects that this is a syntype. However, inasmuch as Forel, in the original description of salvini  HNS  , does not mention any worker specimens accompanying the female, it is quite improbable that this is a type. To the contrary, I rather believe that this worker is the specimen from Cocos Island mentioned by Forel in 1908.

In a revisionary note, Prof. Weber (1958) raised salvini  HNS  to full specific category and reduced his own acutus  HNS  to a subspecies of salvini  HNS  . While I fully agree with the former step, I have come to the conclusion that acutus  HNS  is nothing but a straight synonym of salvini  HNS  . All the specimens coming from the type locality of acutus  HNS  , i. e. Barro Colorado Island, agree completely with the Port Limon specimens, which are the digms for the worker caste of salvini  HNS  .

Bionomics. - Very little is known of salvini  HNS  in this regard. So far, no record of the nest structure and fungus garden has been published. Weber's (1941: 107-8) observations refer to stray workers on Barro Colorado Island. One of them carried a piece of substrate in its mandibles. Although this material could not be examined more closely because the ant dropped it while being picked up, it looked like the type of substrate used by the mycelium growers, not by the yeast cultivators. Incidentally, Weber turns this surmise into a condition for the definite separation of salvini  HNS  from rimosus  HNS  (a yeast cultivator), which to me looks like asking too much. Fore nobody doubts about the specific distinction among the mycelium growers in spite of the possibility that all or most of them cultivate the same kind of fungus.