Cryptopone guianensis

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Cryptopone guianensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Cryptopone
Species: C. guianensis
Binomial name
Cryptopone guianensis
(Weber, 1939)

Cryptopone guianensis casent0249146 p 1 high.jpg Cryptopone guianensis casent0249146 d 1 high.jpg Specimen Label


The collections of this species do not allow for a clear understanding of even the most rudimentary facts about its biology.


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): Cryptopone guianensis is apparently a member of the ochracea species complex, with the conical setae on the middle tibia and the lateral depressed region on the side of the propodeum. The worker of C. guianensis could be confused with those of the other New World members of the ochracea species complex, including Cryptopone mirabilis and Cryptopone gilva, which all have conical setae on the extensor surface of the middle tibia. Cryptopone guianensis can be separated from these species by the elongate mandibles with the unusual mandibular teeth.

The male of C. guianensis could be confused with that of Neoponera oberthueri. They are approximately the same size and color, the Mayrian furrows are absent in both and the wing venation is nearly identical. Cryptopone guianensis males differ in that the propodeal spiracle of N. oberthueri is oval-shaped (circular-shaped in C. guianensis), the anterior and posterior faces of the petiole are equal in length and shape, resulting in the petiole being triangular-shaped (the apex is blunt and rounded in C. guianensis) and the subpetiolar process is well-developed with an anterior ventrally directed angle, followed by a concave region in N. oberthueri (poorly developed or a tiny angle in C. guianensis). Cryptopone guianensis males could be separated from most of the other small males, which have well developed Mayrian furrows and are generally dark brown in color.



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guyana (type locality), Panama.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


This species is found in tropical rain forest, at elevations of 5 - 150 m and in a cacao plantation. Weber (1939) reports it from high rain forest. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): Weber (1939) found a nest a few centimeters deep, which consisted of a gyne, half a dozen workers and larvae, in sandy soil. The nest was in the form of irregular chambers. Baena (1993) found a worker in a rotten log; this may possibly be the normal nesting site. Alate females were collected in March (Brasil) and July (Panamá) and a dealate female was collected in March (Costa Rica). Kempf (1958) reported that a worker and female were collected under bricks in sandy soil in disturbed sites (in front of the Franciscan Seminary and under scaffolding at a construction site), as well as on the mound of a Pheidole sp. ant nest. They have been collected in a pitfall traps between 5:00 and 10:00 and in leaf litter.

Longino (1997) states that the distinct bright orange alate queens are fairly common in Costa Rica and are collected in malaise traps, by sweeping etc. They are preyed upon by robber flies (Asilidae). The distinctive workers are only rarely collected in Berlese or Winkler samples. Longino suggests that the workers are probably largely subterranean, difficult to sample and more common than collections suggest.



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • guianensis. Wadeura guianensis Weber, 1939a: 103, figs. 5, 6 (w.q.) GUYANA. Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 369 (m.). Combination in Pachycondyla: Brown, in Bolton, 1995b: 305; in Cryptopone: Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 185. Senior synonym of haskinsi: Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 367.
  • haskinsi. Wadeura haskinsi Weber, 1939a: 104, fig. 7 (w.) PANAMA. Combination in Pachycondyla: Brown, in Bolton, 1995b: 305. Junior synonym of guianensis: Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 367. See also: Kempf, 1958e: 175.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The workers are relatively small (total length about 5.5 - 6 mm) orange-brown to ferrugineus red ants. The mandible is slender and elongated, with a large acute apical tooth and a relatively large tooth in the middle of the masticatory border. There is one tiny tooth anterior to this large medial tooth and two smaller teeth posterior to it (total of 5 teeth). The pit at the base of the mandible is apparently absent. The eyes are apparently absent although there is a slightly darker spot where the eyes would be located. The anterior medial border of the clypeus is convex and has a tiny tooth. The antennal scape fails to reach the posterior lateral corner by about the length of the first funicular segment. The malar carina and the pronotal carinae are completely absent. The mesosoma is broadly depressed at the metanotal suture and the anterior part of the side of the propodeum is depressed, apparently for the reception of the middle femur. The dorsum of the propodeum is depressed in this region when viewed from the side. The petiole is thick and triangular-shaped (in profile), distinctly narrowed dorsally with the top of the petiole being broadly rounded. The anterior face is nearly straight and the posterior face broadly rounded, the subpetiolar processes well developed and broadly rounded ventrally.

There are few erect hairs on the dorsum of the head, but hairs are present on the scape, ventral surface of the head, scattered on the dorsum of the mesosoma, dorsum of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster. Coarse erect hairs are present on the tibiae but are generally lacking on the remainder of the legs; appressed silver hairs are present on the dorsum of the head, dorsum of the mesosoma and dorsum of the gaster. The middle tibia has several conical setae on the extensor surface; the anterior and posterior tibiae are without these coarse setae. The metasternal process is poorly developed and consists of two angulate lobes.

Erect hairs are abundant on the mandibles, clypeus, ventral surface of the head, shaft of the scape, dorsum of the mesosoma, dorsum of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster, the setae on the legs are mostly suberect or appressed.

Most surfaces are dull and punctate, especially the head and dorsum of the mesosoma, the side of the mesosoma is weakly shining and the side of the petiole and gaster are moderately shining.


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The female is a small (total length 5 mm) reddish brown specimen. The mandible has five teeth, the apical is very long, the subapical is tiny, the third tooth is very large and the fourth and fifth teeth are moderate sized. The medial part of the clypeus has a sharp angle which overhangs the anteclypeus and is part of a poorly defined transverse carina, which passes across the clypeus. The eye is small (maximum diameter 0.14 mm) located less than one diameter from the anterior margin of the head (side view). The scape is narrow in the proximal half and widened in the distal half. It does not reach the posterior lateral corner of the head. The ocelli are small (maximum diameter of the medial ocellus 0.07 mm) and are located near each other (distance about 0.12 mm). The pronotal shoulder is swollen but does not form a carina. The propodeal spiracle is circular in shape; the petiole is narrow when viewed in profile, with a nearly straight anterior face, a slightly convex posterior face and a rounded apex. The subpetiolar process forms a broad rounded lobe which gradually become smaller posteriorly.

Erect hairs are sparse fine and relatively short (0.1 mm) although a few hairs on the mandibles, clypeus and ventral surface of the head are longer (up to 0.35 mm). The scapes have a few fine erect hairs. All surfaces are covered by a fine golden pubescence. Coarse setae are present on the extensor surface of the middle tibia.

The mandibles are smooth and glossy with scattered punctures, the head is densely, but finely punctate and dull, the dorsum of the mesosoma is covered with fine punctures or with coriaceous sculpture and is mostly dull, the sides of the mesosoma have poorly defined striae and are weakly shining. The sculpture on the petiole is fine and the petiole is moderately to strongly shining. The gaster is covered with fine punctures but is moderately shining. The third discoidal cell is elongated, similar to that of members of the stigma species complex.


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The male (undescribed) is a small (total length 5 mm) ferrugineous - yellow specimen. The mandibles are tiny, without teeth and with a large depression at the base. The anterior margin of the clypeus is nearly straight and the surface of the clypeus is moderately swollen (viewed from side). The head length and the head width are 0.79 mm. The eyes are moderate sized (maximum diameter 0.43 mm) located nearly one diameter from the lateral ocellus. The medial ocellus (diameter 0.12 mm) is located less than one diameter from the lateral ocellus (0.10 mm) (oblique view from above and from the side). The pronotum is slightly swollen at the shoulder, the Mayrian furrows are absent on the scutum, the entire surface is convex and the parapsidal sutures are weakly developed. The propodeal spiracle is circular-shaped.

The petiole is thick (viewed in profile) with the front face sloping at approximately 45° angle, the posterior face is broadly convex and two faces meeting slightly posterior to the midline and form a rounded surface. The subpetiolar process is poorly developed and consists of a tiny anterior angle followed by a lobe, which gradually diminishes in width posteriorly. The parameres curve inward (viewed from above or from below) the volsella is curved outwardly at the apex and the lobes of the aedeagus are without teeth and are bluntly rounded posteriorly. The subgenital plate is well developed. The wing is similar to that of the female, except the third discoidal cell is even more elongated.

Erect hairs are sparse on all surfaces, a few small hairs are located on the posterior border of the head, on the anterior margin of the clypeus, very few erect hairs on the mesosoma are separated from the thick pubescence, a few hairs are present on the apex of the petiole, as well as the subpetiolar process, some of the hairs on the ventral surface of the gaster are erect, the hairs on the legs are all appressed or slightly raised from the surface, the middle tibia is without conical setae. A fine suberect plush of pubescence is present on nearly all surfaces.

All surfaces are weakly sculptured and moderately shining.

Type Material

Guiana, Oronoque River; Panama: Barro Colorado Island; Museum of Comparative Zoology (Mackay and Mackay 2010)


The name of this species means from Guiana. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)