Cyphomyrmex vallensis Kusnezov

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: 34

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Cyphomyrmex vallensis Kusnezov


10. Cyphomyrmex vallensis Kusnezov  HNS 

Cyphomyrmex daguerrei  HNS  vallense (sic!) Kusnezov, 1949: 437, 450-451, Pl. 2. figs. 12-15 (Worker; Argentina, Tucuman: Tafi del Valle).

Cyphomyrmex vallense  HNS  Kusnezov, 1957: II (Key).

Types. - Seven workers, taken in Tafi del Valle, on the road to Santa Maria, Tucuman Province. The type locality is 2000 m above sea-level, its climate is temperate and relatively humid. The types appear to be lost, as stated above in the introduction.

Discussion. - The status of the present form is beset with problems that have no easy solution, without recourse to the types, is still available. 1 believe that Kusnezov was right when promoting vallensis  HNS  (Kusnezov constantly spells vallense!) to full species level. As a matter of fact, daguerrei  HNS  is a significantly larger species with more undulated, mutually more approximated frontal carinae, scarcely prominent occipital lobe, longer scapes, armed epinotum, to mention just a few of the more obvious characters (cf. figs. 8 and 22). C. vallensis  HNS  is of smaller size, has more prominent occipital lobes, more broadly expanded frontal carinae which are scarcely constricted behind the frontal lobes. Its epinotum is unarmed and the scape does not project beyond the occipital lobes. It might be closely related with nemei  HNS  , but in this form the postpetiole is extremely broad. The aberrant form, mentioned under lectus  HNS  on a following page, might fall under this name. Indeed, this form includes a specimen from Tucuman (Kusnezov leg., n. 2339), which agrees in general characters with vallensis  HNS  , but its lateral pronotal teeth are very low and the postpetiole is not cupuliform but broader. Short of settling all these doubts, I leave vallensis  HNS  as a species inquirenda.