Pheidole deceptrix

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Pheidole deceptrix
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. deceptrix
Binomial name
Pheidole deceptrix
Forel, 1899

Pheidole deceptrix jtlc000015315 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole deceptrix jtlc000015315 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Pheidole deceptrix is a montane specialist, ocurring in cloud forest habitats from 1300–2750m elevation. Nests are in the soil and under stones. Foragers, including major workers, come to baits on the forest floor, and workers are collected in Berlese and Winkler samples. Alate queens were collected 11 July 2007, at Cerro Huitepec in Chiapas. Males remain unknown. (Longino 2009)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Belize, Guatemala (type locality), Honduras, Mexico.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb






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

  • deceptrix. Pheidole deceptrix Forel, 1899c: 66, pl. 3, fig. 20 (s.) GUATEMALA. Senior synonym of chiapasana, variceps: Longino, 2009: 25. See also: Wilson, 2003: 679.
  • chiapasana. Pheidole chiapasana Wilson, 2003: 273, figs. (s.w.) MEXICO. Junior synonym of deceptrix: Longino, 2009: 25.
  • variceps. Pheidole variceps Wilson, 2003: 775, figs. (s.w.) MEXICO. Junior synonym of deceptrix: Longino, 2009: 25.

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

Longino (2009) - The type major worker of P. deceptrix has the median and rear portion of the face with shallow foveolate sculpture overlain with sparse rugulae, and the postpetiole in dorsal view is trapezoidal. The associated minor worker has the face and mesosoma uniformly and densely foveolate. The type major worker of P. variceps has similar sculpture on the face but it fades posteriorly, leaving the vertex lobes smooth and shiny. The postpetiole in dorsal view is more transverse, with more acutely angulate sides. The minor worker has the face and mesosoma with a mix of smooth shiny areas and patches of faint foveolate sculpture. However, multiple collections from additional localities show continuous variation between these two forms. The variation is geographically structured, such that multiple collections from the same site show little variation compared to differences among sites. I interpret this as one polytypic species with slightly different forms in different mountain ranges.


From Wilson (2003): DIAGNOSIS A medium-sized, brown species of uncertain affinities, distinguished as follows.

Major: head somewhat elongate, with a deep occipital cleft and subangulate comers, as illustrated, and dorsal surface longitudinally carinulate and foveolate except for occipital lobes, frontal triangle, and mid-clypeus; rugoreticulum extends from eye to antennal fossa on each side of head; all of mesosoma and sides of waist foveolate and opaque; propodeal spines thin; postpetiole seen from above elliptical and with angulate sides.

Minor: occiput not narrowed, yet possesses nuchal collar; all of head except frontal triangle and mid-clypeus and all of mesosoma foveolate and opaque; humeri in dorsal-oblique view subangulate; propodeal spines thin.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 1.46, HL 1.62, SL 0.80, EL 0.20, PW 0.66. Minor in type series: HW 0.64, HL 0.74, SL 0.76, EL 0.12, PW 0.42.

COLOR Major: concolorous medium brown except for funiculus, which is yellowish brown.

Minor: body medium brown, appendages light to yellowish brown.

Pheidole deceptrix Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: lectotype, major. Lower: minor, not described by Forel but attached to lectotype major and evidently part of the type series. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Lectotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Longino (2009):

Lectotype major worker (here designated, as labeled by Wilson 2003) and associated paralectotype minor worker: Guatemala, Baja Verapaz, Purulha (Champion) Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève (examined).

Pheidole chiapasana Holotype major worker and associated paratype minor worker: Mexico, Chiapas, 5km E Rayón, 17°13'N 92°58'W, 1700m, 23 Dec 1991 (P. S. Ward #11581-12) Museum of Comparative Zoology (examined).

Pheidole variceps Holotype major worker and associated paratype minor worker: Mexico, Chiapas, 6km SE San Cristobal de las Casas, 10 Aug 1978 (J. Rawlins) Museum of Comparative Zoology (examined).


L deceptrix, deceiver, allusion unknown. (Wilson 2003)