Pheidole asperithorax

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Pheidole asperithorax
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. asperithorax
Binomial name
Pheidole asperithorax
Emery, 1894

Pheidole asperithorax jtlc000016323 p 1 high.jpg

Pheidole asperithorax jtlc000016323 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

At Cuzco Amazónico, near Puerto Maldonado, Peru, Stefan Cover (unpublished collection notes) found three colonies of asperithorax in terra firme and seasonally flooded rainforest, nesting respectively in a rotten log, under the bark of an understory tree, and in a small rotten branch hanging in understory vegetation. (Wilson 2003)

Identification

See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

In addition to the types, I have seen series from Mato Grosso, Brazil, and near Puerto Maldonado, Tambopata, in the Peruvian Amazon. (Wilson 2003)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Bolivia (type locality), Brazil, Peru.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

DaRocha et al. (2015) studied the diversity of ants found in bromeliads of a single large tree of Erythrina, a common cocoa shade tree, at an agricultural research center in Ilhéus, Brazil. Forty-seven species of ants were found in 36 of 52 the bromeliads examined. Bromeliads with suspended soil and those that were larger had higher ant diversity. Pheidole asperithorax was found in 8 different bromeliads but it was not clear if this ant was associated with twigs and cavities or the suspended soil or litter of the plants.

Castes

Worker

Minor

Major

Nomenclature

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

  • asperithorax. Pheidole minutula var. asperithorax Emery, 1894c: 160 (s.w.) BOLIVIA. Subspecies of flavens: Emery, 1896g: 77. Raised to species: Wilson, 2003: 374.

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

Description

From Wilson (2003): A member of the “flavens complex” within the larger flavens group, including Pheidole breviscapa (now a junior synonym of Pheidole perpusilla), Pheidole exigua, Pheidole flavens, Pheidole nuculiceps, Pheidole orbica and Pheidole sculptior, as well as the less similar Pheidole nitidicollis and species placed close to it (see under Pheidole nitidicollis), and differing by the following combination of traits.

Major: humerus a prominent lobe that rises well above the rest of the promesonotum behind it in dorsal-oblique view; entire dorsal surface of the head, including occiput, all of clypeus, and frontal triangle, covered by parallel longitudinal carinulae; all of pronotal dorsum covered by transverse carinulae; most of dorsal head surface, the promesonotal dorsum, mesopleuron, propodeum, and sides of waist foveolate and opaque, with rest of body smooth and shiny; postpetiolar node from above forming a half-circle; propodeal spines short.

Minor: carinulae present on head anterior to level of eye; dorsum of postpetiolar node and all of gaster smooth and shiny, but all the rest of head and body foveolate and opaque.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 0.94, HL 0.96, SL 0.52, EL 0.10, PW 0.50. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.48, HL 0.54, SL 0.44, EL 0.10, PW 0.32.

COLOR Major: concolorous medium reddish yellow. Minor: light reddish yellow.


Pheidole asperithorax Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: lectotype, major. Lower: paralectotype, minor. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Type Material

BOLIVIA: Salinas, Rio Beni. Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa - as reported in Wilson (2003)

Etymology

L asperithorax, rough thorax, presumably with reference to the liberal amount of sculpturing on the mesosoma. (Wilson 2003)

References

  • DaRocha, W. D., S. P. Ribeiro, F. S. Neves, G. W. Fernandes, M. Leponce, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2015. How does bromeliad distribution structure the arboreal ant assemblage (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on a single tree in a Brazilian Atlantic forest agroecosystem? Myrmecological News. 21:83-92.
  • Emery, C. 1894d. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. VI-XVI. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 26: 137-241 (page 160, soldier, worker described)
  • Emery, C. 1896g. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XVII-XXV. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 28: 33-107 (page 77, subspecies of flavens)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 374, Raised to species: new status; major, minor described)