Cyphomyrmex

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Cyphomyrmex
Temporal range: 20.43–0 Ma Miocene – Recent
Cyphomyrmex minutus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Cyphomyrmex
Mayr, 1862
Type species
Cyphomyrmex minutus
Diversity
23 species
2 fossil species
(Species Checklist, Species by Country)

Cyphomyrmex minutus casent0103832 profile 1.jpg

Cyphomyrmex minutus

Cyphomyrmex minutus casent0103832 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Synonyms

A genus of fungus growing ants.


At a Glance • Fungus Grower  

Photo Gallery

  • A nest of Cyphomyrmex sp. from Iquitos, Peru. Photo by Minsoo Dong.

Identification

Schultz et al (2002), Mackay and Serna (2010) - Cyphomyrmex workers and females are easily recognized, as the frontal carinae form a shield on the dorsum of the head, which covers most of the head. The mesosoma has a series of pairs of blunt tubercles in nearly all species. The first opisthogastral tergum lacks tubercles. Most surfaces are dull and without sculpture; the hairs are mostly limited to appressed, often scale-like setae that are nearly always restricted to the gaster and the head.

The genus is divided into two species complexes, the strigatus complex (Kempf 1964) and the rimosus complex (Kempf 1965; Snelling and Longino 1992). Workers of the strigatus complex can be recognized by the closed antennal scrobe (sometimes with poorly defined margins), mandibles with six or more teeth, and with a single medial pronotal tubercle (apparently a fusion of two tubercles). The species group is confined to South America. The workers of the rimosus complex have an open antennal scrobe (anteriorly), with the preocular carina curved mesially in front of the eye, and not directed to the posterior corner of the head, the mandibles have five teeth, and the pronotum lacks medial tubercles, or has a pair of tubercles. Species in the rimosus group range from the United States to South American.

Cyphomyrmex longiscapus, Cyphomyrmex costatus and Cyphomyrmex wheeleri are considered to be part of the rimosus group but share some morphological features with the strigatus complex.

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Keys including this Genus

 

Keys to Species in this Genus

Distribution

Mackay and Serna (2010) - Cyphomyrmex has two centers of species richness: the rimosus group at about 10° north (Mayhe-Nunes and Jaffe 1998), whereas the majority of the species of the strigatus group is restricted to 20° and 30° south (Sanhudo et al. 2007). The strigatus group lacks species with wide distributions (Mayhe-Nunes and Jaffe 1998) as is found in the rimosus complex.

Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps

Species by Region

Number of species within biogeographic regions, along with the total number of species for each region.

Afrotropical Region Australasian Region Indo-Australian Region Malagasy Region Nearctic Region Neotropical Region Oriental Region Palaearctic Region
Species 0 0 0 0 4 24 0 0
Total Species 2841 1736 3045 932 835 4379 1741 2862

Fossils

Fossils are known from: Dominican amber, Dominican Republic (Burdigalian, Early Miocene), Mexican amber, Chiapas, Mexico (Middle Miocene).

Biology

Schultz et al (2002), Mackay and Serna (2010) - Most species nest in the soil, in rotten logs and stumps, or in hollow dead twigs. This genus also nests under bark, under moss, and within epiphytic pseudobulbs (Snelling and Longino 1992). Colonies are small, probably not exceeding 500 workers (Snelling and Longino 1992). All Cyphomyrmex species cultivate badisiomycete fungi in the tribe Leucocoprineae. In the rimosus group, most species grow fungi in a yeast form (small masses of unicellular fungal cells) rather than in the multicellular mycelial form typical for all other attine ant gardens (Schultz et a1. 2002; Schultz and Brady 2008). Cyphomyrmex longiscapus, Cyphomyrmex costatus and Cyphomyrmex wheeleri are considered to be part of the rimosus group but share some morphological features with the strigatus complex. They are also the only species in the rimosus group that are known to cultivate mycelium gardens, whereas, so far as is known, all other rimosus group species cultivate yeast gardens.

Longino (1986) reports an unidentified species of Cyphomyrmex living in ant gardens. However, it is likely a secondary resident or opportunistic species rather than a true ant-garden taxon.

Association with Other Organisms

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Species Uncertain

An unknown species of Cyphomyrmex is a host for the diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. (www.diapriid.org) (potential host).

All Associate Records for Genus

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Taxon Relationship Associate Type Associate Taxon Associate Relationship Locality Source Notes
Cyphomyrmex cornutus host ant Megalomyrmex mondabora xenobiont Costa Rica Adams et al., 2015
Cyphomyrmex costatus host ant Megalomyrmex mondaboroides xenobiont Panama Adams et al., 2015
Cyphomyrmex costatus host ant Megalomyrmex silvestrii xenobiont Panama Adams et al., 2015
Cyphomyrmex minutus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. 1 parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex minutus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. 5 parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex minutus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria spp. parasite Puerto Rico Fernández-Marín et al., 2006
Cyphomyrmex rimosus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. 1 parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex rimosus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. 2 parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex rimosus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. 3 parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex rimosus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. 4 parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex rimosus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria spp. parasite Panama Fernández-Marín et al., 2006 at least 4 species of ''Acanthopria'' involved
Cyphomyrmex rimosus host diapriid wasp Mimopriella sp. parasite Panama Fernández-Marín et al., 2006
Cyphomyrmex rimosus host diapriid wasp Mimopriella sp. parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex salvini host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex transversus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. 1 parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex transversus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. 2 parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex transversus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. 3 parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex transversus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. 4 parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex transversus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. 5 parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex transversus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. 6 parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex transversus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. 7 parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Cyphomyrmex transversus host diapriid wasp Acanthopria sp. 8 parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest

Flight Period

All Flight Records for Genus

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Taxon Month Source Notes
Cyphomyrmex costatus Feb Mar Apr Sep Dec Kaspari et al., 2001
Cyphomyrmex minutus May antkeeping.info
Cyphomyrmex rimosus Apr May Jun Jul antkeeping.info

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: <500, usually far fewer (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Compound colony type: not parasitic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Nest site: hypogaeic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Diet class: herbivore (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging stratum: subterranean/leaf litter (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging behaviour: solitary (Greer et al., 2021)

Castes

Morphology

Worker Morphology

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 • Eyes: 11-100 ommatidia • Pronotal Spines: absent • Mesonotal Spines: absent • Propodeal Spines: absent; dentiform • Petiolar Spines: absent • Caste: none or weak • Sting: absent • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: absent

Karyotype

All Karyotype Records for Genus

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Taxon Haploid Diploid Karyotype Locality Source Notes
Cyphomyrmex cornutus 22 10M+12SM French Guiana Mariano et al., 2011
Cyphomyrmex costatus 20 20M Panama Murakami et al., 1998
Cyphomyrmex rimosus 32 28M+4A Panama Murakami et al., 1998
Cyphomyrmex transversus 12 24 14M+6SM+4A French Guiana Aguiar et al., 2020
Cyphomyrmex transversus 21 42 28M+14SM Brazil Cardoso &amp; Cristiano, 2021

Phylogeny

Myrmicinae
Myrmicini
Pogonomyrmecini
Stenammini
Solenopsidini
Attini

Ochetomyrmex  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Tranopelta  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Diaphoromyrma  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Lachnomyrmex  (16 species, 0 fossil species)

Blepharidatta  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Allomerus  (8 species, 0 fossil species)

Wasmannia  (11 species, 0 fossil species)

Pheidole  (1,294 species, 7 fossil species)

Cephalotes  (123 species, 16 fossil species)

Procryptocerus  (44 species, 0 fossil species)

Strumigenys  (879 species, 4 fossil species)

Phalacromyrmex  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Pilotrochus  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Protalaridris  (7 species, 0 fossil species)

Rhopalothrix  (19 species, 0 fossil species)

Basiceros  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Octostruma  (35 species, 0 fossil species)

Eurhopalothrix  (54 species, 0 fossil species)

Talaridris  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Acanthognathus  (7 species, 1 fossil species)

Daceton  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Lenomyrmex  (7 species, 0 fossil species)

Microdaceton  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Orectognathus  (29 species, 0 fossil species)

Colobostruma  (16 species, 0 fossil species)

Epopostruma  (20 species, 0 fossil species)

Mesostruma  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Paleoattina

Apterostigma  (44 species, 2 fossil species)

Mycocepurus  (6 species, 0 fossil species)

Myrmicocrypta  (31 species, 0 fossil species)

Neoattina

Cyatta  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Kalathomyrmex  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetarotes  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetosoritis  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

some Cyphomyrmex  (23 species, 2 fossil species)

some Cyphomyrmex

Paramycetophylax  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetophylax  (21 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetagroicus  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetomoellerius  (31 species, 1 fossil species)

Sericomyrmex  (11 species, 0 fossil species)

Xerolitor  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Paratrachymyrmex  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Trachymyrmex  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Amoimyrmex  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Atta  (20 species, 1 fossil species)

some Acromyrmex  (56 species, 0 fossil species)

some Acromyrmex

Pseudoatta  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Crematogastrini

Rostromyrmex  (1 species, 6 fossil species)

Cardiocondyla  (90 species, 0 fossil species)

Ocymyrmex  (34 species, 0 fossil species)

Nesomyrmex  (84 species, 2 fossil species)

Xenomyrmex  (5 species, 0 fossil species)

Terataner  (14 species, 0 fossil species)

Atopomyrmex  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Cataulacus  (65 species, 3 fossil species)

Carebara  (249 species, 9 fossil species)

Diplomorium  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Melissotarsus  (4 species, 1 fossil species)

Rhopalomastix  (14 species, 0 fossil species)

Calyptomyrmex  (38 species, 0 fossil species)

Strongylognathus  (27 species, 0 fossil species), Tetramorium  (598 species, 2 fossil species)

Cyphoidris  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Dicroaspis  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Aretidris  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Vollenhovia  (83 species, 3 fossil species)

Dacetinops  (7 species, 0 fossil species)

Indomyrma  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Crematogaster  (783 species, 3 fossil species)

Meranoplus  (91 species, 0 fossil species)

Lophomyrmex  (13 species, 0 fossil species)

Adlerzia  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Recurvidris  (12 species, 0 fossil species)

Stereomyrmex  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Trichomyrmex  (29 species, 0 fossil species)

Eutetramorium  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Royidris  (15 species, 0 fossil species)

Malagidris  (6 species, 0 fossil species)

Vitsika  (16 species, 0 fossil species)

Huberia  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Podomyrma  (62 species, 1 fossil species)

Liomyrmex  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Metapone  (31 species, 0 fossil species)

Kartidris  (6 species, 0 fossil species)

Mayriella  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Tetheamyrma  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Dacatria  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Proatta  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Dilobocondyla  (22 species, 0 fossil species)

Secostruma  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Acanthomyrmex  (19 species, 0 fossil species)

Myrmecina  (106 species, 0 fossil species)

Perissomyrmex  (6 species, 0 fossil species)

Pristomyrmex  (61 species, 3 fossil species)

some Lordomyrma  (36 species, 0 fossil species)

Propodilobus  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Lasiomyrma  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

some Lordomyrma

Ancyridris  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

some Lordomyrma

Paratopula  (12 species, 0 fossil species)

Poecilomyrma  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Romblonella  (10 species, 0 fossil species)

Rotastruma  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Gauromyrmex  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Vombisidris  (19 species, 0 fossil species)

Temnothorax  (512 species, 7 fossil species)

Harpagoxenus  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Formicoxenus  (8 species, 0 fossil species)

Leptothorax  (20 species, 0 fossil species)

See Phylogeny of Myrmicinae for details.

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • CYPHOMYRMEX [Myrmicinae: Attini]
    • Cyphomyrmex Mayr, 1862: 690. Type-species: Cyphomyrmex minutus, by monotypy.
    • [Type-species not Cryptocerus rimosus, unjustified subsequent designation by Wheeler, W.M. 1911f: 161. Type-species not Meranoplus difformis, unjustified subsequent designation by Emery, 1924d: 340.]
    • Cyphomyrmex junior synonym of Cataulacus: Roger, 1863b: 39.
    • Cyphomyrmex revived from synonymy: Mayr, 1863: 406.
    • Cyphomyrmex subgenus of Atta: Forel, 1912e: 188.
    • Cyphomyrmex revived status as genus: Emery, 1913b: 251.
    • Cyphomyrmex senior synonym of Cyphomannia: Kempf, 1962b: 29; Kempf, 1972a: 92.

References