Cryptostigma species

Kondo, Takumasa, 2010, Taxonomic revision of the myrmecophilous, meliponiphilous and rhizophilous soft scale genus Cryptostigma Ferris (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Coccidae) 2709, Zootaxa 2709, pp. 1-72: 5

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Cryptostigma species


Association of Cryptostigma species   with ants, stingless bees and plant root systems

Most members of the genus Cryptostigma   are found internally on their host plants in hollow branches, or trunks in association with ants ( Newstead 1917, 1920; Ferris, 1922; Morrison, 1922, 1929; Laing, 1925) and rarely stingless bees ( Camargo and Pedro, 2002a, b). According to Qin and Gullan (1989), Cryptostigma   is involved with four ant subfamilies: Dolichoderinae, Formicinae, Myrmicinae and Pseudomyrmecinae   . Although Qin and Gullan’s (1989) revision of Cryptostigma   included members of the genus Myzolecanium   (i.e., M. endoeucalyptus (Qin & Gullan)   and M. magnetinsulae (Qin & Gullan)   , then included in Cryptostigma   ), these same four ant subfamilies were found to be associated with Cryptostigma   sensu stricto. Myzolecanium endoeucalyptus   is tended by ants, probably Crematogaster sp.   (Myrmicinae) or Iridomyrmex sp.   (Dolichoderinae), and M. magnetinsulae   has no ant association records ( Qin & Gullan, 1989). Species known to be associated with Cryptostigma   are: Azteca alfari cecropiae ( Morrison, 1929)   ; Azteca longiceps ( Morrison, 1929)   ; Camponotus sp.   , C. longipilis   , C. mirabilis ( Kondo & Gullan, 2004)   , C. novogrenadensis ( Morrison, 1922)   ; Crematogaster brevispinosa ( Newstead, 1920)   ; Myrmelachista sp.   ( Morrison, 1929), Myrmelachista ambigua ramulorum Wheeler ( Ferris, 1922)   ; Pseudomyrmex sericea   (as Pseudomyrma sericea   ) ( Morrison, 1929), and P. viduus ( Ward, 1999)   . Other ants found associated with Cryptostigma   are: Azteca spp.   , Azteca nigricans   , A. xanthochroa   , Crematogaster stolli   , Pseudomyrmex spp.   , Pseudomyrmex sp.   cf. fortis (unpublished data). Two of the new species are found closely associated with stingless bees ( Apidae   : Meliponini   ). One, C. melissophilum   sp. nov., is tended by the stingless bee Schwarzula coccidophila ( Camargo & Pedro, 2002b)   and the other species, C. chacoensis   sp. nov. is found inside the nests of two stingless bees, Schwarzula timida   and Plebeia sp.   (David Roubik personal communication). Two other species: C. silveirai   , comb. nov. and C. rhizophilim   sp. nov. are hypogeal in habit and are not known to be tended by hymenopterans.