Pheidole fallax

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Pheidole fallax
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. fallax
Binomial name
Pheidole fallax
Mayr, 1870

MCZ-ENT00022818 Pheidole jelskii-hal.jpg

MCZ-ENT00022818 Pheidole jelskii-had.jpg

Type Label

Synonyms

Because fallax has a range enclosed by the more abundant jelskii and is so easily confused with it, natural history notes published in the past under the name of either species are generally unreliable. (Wilson 2003)

Identification

See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

A circum-Caribbean species, which I have verified from the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico), Central America, Colombia, and Venezuela. No certain records exist from the Lesser Antilles, where the closely related jelskii abounds. (Wilson 2003)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba (type locality), Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • fallax. Pheidole fallax Mayr, 1870b: 984 (s.) CUBA. Forel, 1881: 9 (w.); Goni, Zolessi & Imai, 1983: 365 (k.). Senior synonym of rubens: Forel, 1901e: 356; of britoi, columbica, fallacior, ovalis: Wilson, 2003: 290.
  • columbica. Pheidole fallax r. columbica Forel, 1886b: xliv (s.) COLOMBIA. Raised to species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 89; Forel, 1899c: 66. Subspecies of fallax: Wheeler, W.M. 1908a: 133 (in key); Emery, 1922e: 101. Junior synonym of fallax: Wilson, 2003: 290.
  • rubens. Pheidole fallax var. rubens Forel, 1899c: 66 (s.) COLOMBIA. Junior synonym of fallax: Forel, 1901e: 365.
  • fallacior. Pheidole jelskii var. fallacior Forel, 1901e: 356 (s.) VENEZUELA. Subspecies of fallax: Bolton, 1995b: 321. Junior synonym of fallax: Wilson, 2003: 290.
  • britoi. Pheidole fallax var. britoi Forel, 1912f: 221 (s.) COLOMBIA. Junior synonym of fallax: Wilson, 2003: 290.
  • ovalis. Pheidole fallax var. ovalis Forel, 1912f: 221 (s.) JAMAICA. Junior synonym of fallax: Wilson, 2003: 290.

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 fallax group, similar to Pheidole gigas, Pheidole jelskii, Pheidole obscurithorax, Pheidole puttemansi, Pheidole roushae, Pheidole tobini and Pheidole valens, and especially the very abundant and widespread Pheidole jelskii, with which it is easily confused.

Major: posterior half of dorsal surface of head primarily carinulate, with rugoreticulum extensive mesad of the eye most of the way to the occiput; pronotum transversely carinulate; anterior fourth to third of central strip of first gastral tergite shagreened; head tapered toward occiput in side view, as shown.

P. fallax differs from P. jelskii as follows and as depicted: in major, petiolar node higher and descending to peduncle by a much more concave curve, and scapes shorter (Scape Length/Head Width 0.50–0.59 as opposed to 0.60–0.70 in jelskii major); and in minor, occiput much broader and nuchal collar thinner than in jelskii.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 1.72, HL 1.84, SL 0.90, EL 0.24, PW 0.80. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.60, HL 0.72, SL 0.92, EL 0.18, PW 0.40.

COLOR Major and minor: body medium reddish brown, with gaster sometimes dark reddish brown.


Pheidole fallax Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: major (compared with lectotype); variation in hypostomal teeth shown is with specimens from Puerto Rico (4 teeth)and Cuba (3 teeth). Lower: minor (compared with paralectotype, which shares the long, thin propodeal spine depicted; the very short spine at the top is of a Panama specimen, and the medium-length spine in the middle is of a syntype of the synonymous “var. columbica”). CUBA: Soledad, Las Villas. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Type Labels

Type Material

Cuba Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna - as reported in Wilson (2003)

Etymology

L fallax, deceitful, false; allusion unknown. (Wilson 2003)

References

  • Forel, A. 1881. Die Ameisen der Antille St. Thomas. Mitt. Münch. Entomol. Ver. 5: 1-16 (page 9, worker described)
  • Forel, A. 1901j. Variétés myrmécologiques. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 45: 334-382 (page 356, senior synonym of rubens)
  • Goñi, B.; Zolessi, L. C. de; Imai, H. T. 1984 [1983]. Karyotypes of thirteen ant species from Uruguay (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Caryologia 36: 363-371 (page 365, karyotype described)
  • Mayr, G. 1870b. Neue Formiciden. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 20: 939-996 (page 984, soldier described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 290, fig. major, minor described; Senior synonym of columbica, fallacior, britoi, ovalis)