Pheidole heliosa

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Pheidole heliosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. heliosa
Binomial name
Pheidole heliosa
Fischer, Hita Garcia & Peters, 2012

The type series was collected in Ivory Coast, with additional minor workers from Cameroon that were found in sifted leaf-litter.

Identification

A member of the pulchella species group.

The species most similar to Pheidole heliosa are Pheidole christinae and Pheidole pulchella, especially in color (yellow to orange). All of them share the laterally projecting hairs on the head margin anterior and posterior of eye-level, which separates them from the group of darkly colored species with laterally projecting hairs only posterior of eyelevel or completely without. Minor workers of P. christinae and P. pulchella differ from P. heliosa in shape of the promesonotum, in lateral and dorsal view (PWI: 64–70 and 64–68 versus PWI: 73–76), especially in the development of the second mesonotal process, which in dorsal view is short and narrow [christinae] or inconspicuous [pulchella] versus long and broad [heliosa]. Pheidole pulchella differs from the other two orange colored species in scape and metafemur pilosity, which is short and decumbent [pulchella] versus longer and subdecumbent to erect [christinae and heliosa]. (Fischer, Hita Garcia, & Peters 2012)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Known from Cameroon and Ivory Coast.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Ivory Coast (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.

  • heliosa. Pheidole heliosa Fischer, Hita Garcia & Peters, 2012: 29, figs. 42-47 (s.w.) IVORY COAST.

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

Diagnosis: Pheidole heliosa is the largest species in the P. pulchella group, with a long mesosoma and a wide pronotum. Color orange, major worker darker. Minor workers: head shape elongated, 1.25 times longer than wide. Occipital carina strongly developed and relatively broad. Scapes, legs and mandibles longest within the group, scape pilosity subdecumbent to suberect. Highest number of standing hairs on head and mesonotum within the group, also with laterally projecting hairs on meso- and metapleuron. Second metanotal process long and pronounced, postpetiole spheroidal in lateral view. Major worker: antennal scrobe absent, head margin with laterally projecting hairs. Promesonotal dome lower and longer than in other species of this group, in lateral view almost continuous with mesonotal processes. Propodeal spines straight, not curved posteriorly. Standing hairs abundant everywhere, including on dorsopropodeum and laterally on meso- and metapleuron.

Description

Worker

minor: Measurements (n=8): HL: 1.056–1.089 (1.074), HW: 0.778–0.822 (0.798), SL: 1.302–1.429 (1.353), MDL: 0.639–0.800 (0.685), EL: 0.167–0.200 (0.176), MFL: 1.600–1.740 (1.678), MTL: 1.381–1.476 (1.427), WL: 1.600–1.740 (1.678), PSL: 0.294–0.400 (0.324), PTH: 0.189–0.211 (0.198), PPH: 0.233–0.278 (0.249), PTL: 0.367–0.422 (0.385), PPL: 0.267–0.283 (0.276), PTW: 0.122–0.133 (0.128), PPW: 0.261–0.300 (0.273), PW: 0.567–0.611 (0.594); CI: 73–76 (74), SI: 162–174 (170), MDI: 79–99 (86), PSLI: 28–37 (30), PWI: 73–76 (74), FI: 206–213 (210), PpWI: 200–232 (214), PpLI: 129–152 (140).

Head about 1.25 times longer than wide, longest within group (CI: 73–76), sides of head posterior of eye level elongated and converging evenly towards posterior margin. Occipital carina conspicuous and broad, almost collar-like. Mandibles very long (MDI: 79–99), with strong rugulae laterally, grading to smooth masticatory margin. Clypeus smooth with short to inconspicuous lateral carinae. Face smooth, hexagonally microsculptured, malar carinae interrupted, ending posterior of eye level. Frontal carina developed but weak, ending at eye-level, space near antennal insertion surrounded by conspicuous carina. Scape long, longest within group (SI: 162–174), in full face view and when laid back, surpassing posterior margin by more than one quarter to one third of its length, with subdecumbent to suberect pilosity, about twice as long as scape diameter. Pronotum wide (PWI: 73–76), outline in lateral view elongate convex, rounded towards posterior declivity, smooth, only neck weakly punctured. Humeral area laterally with short superficial carina, in dorsal view posterior of highest point of pronotum lacking lateral process. Mesonotal processes conspicuous and well-developed, second process almost as long as first. Both processes, mesopleuron and propodeum weakly punctate. Metanotal groove relatively narrow, conspicuously impressed, dorsopropodeum with highest point immediately at metanotal groove, weakly declining towards base of spines. Propodeal spines moderately long (PSLI: 28–37), metafemur very long (FI: 206–213), and metatibial pilosity on inner edge subdecumbent, outer edge with longer suberect to subdecumbent hairs. Petiole and postpetiole smooth dorsally, weakly to superficially punctate ventrally. Postpetiole in lateral view spheroidal and widest within pulchellagroup (PpWI: 200–232). Gaster smooth, hexagonally micropunctate. Standing hairs very abundant, slender and acute, of varying lengths, on mesonotum, propodeum and waist segments relatively short, on mesosoma not restricted to dorsal surfaces, also abundant lateroventrally (best visible in oblique dorsolateral view). Color yellow to light orange.

major: Measurements (holotype): HL: 2.450, HW: 2.350, SL: 1.238 MDL: 1.300, EL: 0.267, MFL: 1.980, MTL: 1.640, WL: 2.100, PSL: 0.272, PTH: 0.422, PPH: 0.544, PTL: 0.611, PPL: 0.422, PTW: 0.311, PPW: 0.700, PW: 1.067; CI: 96, SI: 53, MDI: 55, PSLI: 11, PWI: 45, FI: 84, PeI: 29, PpI: 66, PpWI: 225, PpLI: 145.

Head longer than wide (CI: 96), mostly rugose-punctate, with short appressed to decumbent pubescence and in frontal view with several laterally projecting hairs. Median ocellus developed, small. Mandible relatively long (MDI: 55). Median part of clypeus smooth, with conspicuous median and several weak submedian carinae. Frons longitudinally rugose-punctate, spaces in between weakly punctate, rugae reaching posterior margin only at median emargination, grading from weak to superficial rugulae on posterolateral lobes. Sides of head laterally of frons rugose-reticulate, punctate, in full-face view with several standing hairs projecting beyond lateral margin. Frontal carinae inconspicuous and short, antennal scrobe absent to inconspicuous. Promesonotum, in lateral view elongated and medially raised, dorsally, antero- and dorsolaterally rugose-reticulate, mediodorsally and posterolaterally mostly smooth with few short rugae present. Humeri weakly vertically processed, sharply marginate and rugose-reticulate. Mesonotal process uniquely shaped, broadly and squarely raised above shallowly declining mesonotal declivity, marginate and partly punctate, partly rugose-reticulate, and falling steeply to a shallow, but extensively produced, medially flexed, and posteriorly marginate second mesonotal process. Metanotal groove very narrowly impressed in lateral view. Meso- and metapleuron weakly punctate, with several weak to superficial irregular rugulae, metapleural carinae very conspicuous, flange-like produced laterally. In lateral view dorsopropodeum anterior to propodeal spines almost level and about as long as spines, weakly punctate, laterodorsally very densely punctate. Propodeal spines relatively short (PSLI: 11), facing almost straight up, not curved posteriorly. Posteropropodeum punctate, partly overlain by superficial rugulae. Petiole laterodorsally and ventrally densely punctate, smooth dorsal area on peduncle laterally marginate. Postpetiole relatively wide compared to pronotal width (PpI: 66) and with strong ventral process, densely punctate, anterodorsally with short longitudinal, on highest point with interrupted longer transversal rugulae. First gastral tergite densely shagreened. Whole body with abundant, long, slender filiform standing hairs of varying lengths. Lateroventrally on pronotum and laterodorsally on propodeum with abundant suberect hairs, best visible in dorsal view. Scape with relatively short decumbent pilosity, metafemur with longer subdecumbent pilosity. Color of antennae, mesosoma, metasoma and occipital corners reddish orange, rest of head darker.

Type Material

Holotype: (major worker) IVORY COAST, vic. Abidjan, 1976, no. 10 (T. Diomande) (The Natural History Museum: CASENT0227945). Paratypes: (8 minor workers) same data as holotype (BMNH: CASENT0227946, CASENT0227947, CASENT0227948, CASENT0227949).

References

  • Fischer, G., Hita Garcia, F., & Peters, M.K. 2012. Taxonomy of the ant genus Pheidole Westwood (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Afrotropical zoogeographic region: definition of species groups and systematic revision of the Pheidole pulchella group. Zootaxa, 3232, 1-43.