Cyphomyrmex occultus, Kempf, W. W., 1964

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 : 41-43

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Cyphomyrmex occultus

n. sp.

15. Cyphomyrmex occultus   HNS   n. sp.

(Figs. 37-39)

Female (holotype). - Total length 4.0 mm; head length 0.88 mm; head width 0.72 mm; scape length 0.77 mm; eye length 0.25 mm; thorax length 1.28 mm; hind femur length 1.06 mm. Ferruginous; funiculi and legs more yellowish-brown; ocellar triangle fuscous. Integument opaque, granular; sides of head and gaster finely and sharply reticulate-punctate; antennal scrobe more coarsely reticulate-punctate and somewhat shining; dorsum of head between frontal carinae and tergum I of gaster with minute piliferous tubercles.

Head as shown in Figs. 37 and 38. Mandibles finely reticulatepunctate and vestigially striolate; chewing border with 7-8 teeth. Clypeus with the anterior border strongly convex in middle, not notched; a small tooth on each side at origin of the moderately expanded, somewhat unevenly and broadly rounded frontal lobes.

Frontal area impressed, reticulate-punctate. Posterior portion of frontal carinae gently diverging and straight. Occipital lobes prominent both in dorsal and lateral view. Preocular carina well developed, reaching the occipital lobe. Supraocular tubercle distinct. Eyes comparatively huge, their greatest diameter nearly one third of head length. Ocelli also large, the posterior ones situated on lateral face of prominent tumuli. Inferior border of head marginate. Scape in repose projecting beyond occipital angle by a distance that exceeds its maximum width. Funicular segments II-VII slightly longer than broad.

Thorax as shown in Fig. 37. Pronotum: midpronotal tubercle absent, lateral borders marginate, anterior corner bluntly tubercular, posterior corner with a prominent stout tooth; laterotergite with a large subcircular impression; antero-inferior corner subdentate. Mesonotum: Scutum dorsally flat, Mayrian furrows very shallow to vestigial in the rear. Scutellum posteriorly bluntly and weakly bidentate. Basal face of epinotum oblique, laterally carinate; epinotal teeth subtriangular, compressed. Legs long: femora slender, not noticeably incrassata towards basal third, ventral borders carinate, lacking a prominent flange on hind femora.

Pedicel as shown in Figs. 37 and 39. Petiole in dorsal view elongate, its anterior corners marked and bluntly dentate; its dorsum posteriorly with a pair of prominent teeth; posterior border without a prominent, thin, transverse laminule. Postpetiole nearly twice as broad as long, subtrapezoidal, longitudinally traversed by two pairs of carinae, the mesial pair sharp, the lateral pair blunt; dorsum deeply impressed between mesial carinae, more shallowly between mesial and lateral carinae. Gaster anterolaterally marginate; tergum I with a median longitudinal furrow, which is rather faint and fades out before reaching the midlength of the segment.

Wings slightly infumated, venation as in the other known species (see Fig. 43).

Body and appendages with very small, strongly curved, subdecumbent hairs.

Male. - I have 14 specimens of this caste, but forego a detailed diagnosis at this time. They are at once recognized by their huge eyes and elongate petiole, similar to that of the female.

Types. - 5 females (holotype and paratypes) and 8 males, taken by Fritz Plaumann at Nova Teutonia, Santa Catarina State, Brazil, in October 1960 (WWK n. 3918); 6 females (paratypes) and 6 males taken by Karol Lenko at Barueri, Sao Paulo State, on October 17 and November 14, 1958 (n. 662 and 698), more specimens of the same series in DZSP.

Discussion. - Although I personally dislike the proposition of new species based exclusively on sexual forms, 1 decided to make an exception in the case of the present species, which is unusually distinct.

On account of the reticulate-punctate and somewhat shining antennal scrobe, occultus   HNS   belongs to the olitor-subgroup. The female differs from olitor   HNS   and allies in the large eyes; in the relatively large and prominent ocelli; in the long antennal scape that noticeably surpasses the distinctly drawn out occipital lobes; in the markedly angular anterior corner of pronotum, which is also laterally marginate, its laterotergite bearing a large subcircular impression; in the slender, ventrally ecarinate femora, the hind femora not being ventrally angular nor visibly incrassate at basal third; in the elongate petiolar node that bears dorsally a pair of prominent teeth.