Key to New World Pheidole Social Parasites

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This key is based on: Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

This is a queen based key.

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1

  • Queen antenna 10-segmented, with a 1-segmented club (parasite of P. nitidula of Argentina; placed provisionally in fallax group) . . . . . Pheidole argentina
Pheidole argentina Wilson 2003.jpg
  • Antenna 9- to 12-segmented, with a 3-segmented club . . . . . 2

2

return to couplet #1

  • Mandibles of queen reduced to tiny appendages, which are toothless, tapered to a blunt point at the end and only 0.06-0.07 mm long; male brachypterous and pupiform (parasite of P. nitidula of Argentina; placed provisionally in fallax group) . . . . . Pheidole acutidens
Pheidole acutidens casent0913258 p 1 high.jpg
Pheidole acutidens Wilson 2003.jpg

3

return to couplet #2

  • Sides of postpetiole expanded into hornlike extensions that make the postpetiole as a whole 3X broader than the petiole when viewed from above (parasite of P. ceres in Colorado; placed in pilifera group) . . . . . Pheidole elecebra
Pheidole elecebra casent0103151 profile 1.jpg
Pheidole elecebra Wilson 2003.jpg
  • Postpetiole normal in aspect, only 2X broader than petiole or less . . . . . 4

4

return to couplet #3

  • Occipital corners of queen's head angulate (parasite of P. pilifera in Colorado, Nebraska, and Nevada; placed provisionally in pilifera group); small numbers of parasite minors and majors sometimes appear among host workers . . . . . Pheidole inquilina
Pheidole inquilina casent0103145 profile 1.jpg
  • Occipital corners of queen's head smoothly rounded . . . . . 5

5

return to couplet #4

  • Petiolar node in side view angulate at summit, its sides foveolate, crossed by longitudinal carinulae, and opaque (parasite of P. obscurior in Argentina; placed in fallax group) . . . . . Pheidole kusnezovi
Pheidole kusnezovi, Wilson 2003.jpg
  • Petiolar node in side view angulate at summit, its sides smooth and shining (likely parasite of P. minutula in Guyana, either temporary or permanent, but status uncertain; placed inflavens group) . . . . . Pheidole microgyna
Pheidole microgyna Wilson 2003.jpg