Pheidole funki

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Pheidole funki
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. funki
Binomial name
Pheidole funki
LaPolla, 2005

The single specimen known for this species was collected in a leaf litter sample extracted in a mini-Winkler. The leaf litter sample was collected in old growth lowland rainforest. Other species in the scrobifera-group are known to be soil and rotting wood nesting species. Pheidole scrobifera has been observed foraging at night. Another scrobifera-group species from Costa Rica, Pheidole simonsi, has been found with seed caches in their nests, but they are not restricted to granivory, as workers readily recruited to different kinds of baits (Wilson 2003). Other than being collected from leaf litter, nothing is known of P. funki’s biology. (LaPolla and Cover 2005)

Identification

LaPolla and Cover (2005) - Major worker. 12-segmented antennae; antennal scrobes present; overall color reddish brown; in full-face view, thick rugoreticulae cover head; scrobes long, roughly “S” shaped.

This species clearly belongs to the scrobifera-group as defined by Wilson (2003). P. funki possesses 12-segmented antennae coupled with distinct scrobes. It is only the second species of the group to be found in South America. Pheidole peckorum is known from a single locality in Ecuador. One species is found in Cuba (Pheidole cubaensis), while the reminder of species are known only from Central America.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Guyana (type locality).

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.

  • funki. Pheidole funki LaPolla, in LaPolla & Cover, 2005: 366, fig. 1 (s.) GUYANA.

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

Description

Holotype major. TL: 2.29; HL: 0.798; HW: 0.783; SL: 0.391; ML: 0.673; PW: 0.391; GL: 0.814; CI: 98; SI: 50.

Major. Matching general characteristics of the scrobifera-group as defined by Wilson (2003). Head: Reddish-brown, darker anteriorly and along mandibular margins; in full-face view, thick rugoreticulae stretch from frontal lobes toward the posterior margin, though not reaching posterior margin; posterior comers with many foveolae as rugoreticulae fail to reach posterior margin; covered in scattered erect hairs; scrobes long, loosely “S” shaped; scapes reach posterior end of scrobes; scapes with many suberect to erect hairs; posterior margin concave medially. Ventral side of head relatively free of rugoreticulae, except anterioventrally toward mandibles. Mesosoma and Gaster: Reddish-brown, legs lighter; covered in foveolae; erect hairs largely on dorsum, with scattered hairs placed laterally; pronotal dorsum with slight rugulae; mesonotal convexity slightly developed; propodeal spines at near right angles to propodeum; in dorsal view, postpetiole roughly diamond-shaped; gaster shining, darker than head and mesosoma, with erect hairs throughout.

Type Material

Holotype.- Major worker, GUYANA: Iwokrarna Forest Reserve, Whitewater Camp, elev. 60 m, 58°50.992' W, 4°43.89' N, 5 November 2002 (J.S. LaPolla et al.) (Centre for the Study of Biological Diversity).

Etymology

Named in honor of Vicki A. Funk, botanist (USNM), who has worked tirelessly to promote the discovery, documentation, and conservation of the Guiana Shield's biological diversity.

References