Pheidole mendicula

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Pheidole mendicula
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. mendicula
Binomial name
Pheidole mendicula
Wheeler, W.M., 1925

MCZ-ENT00020777 Pheidole mendicula hal.jpg

MCZ-ENT00020777 Pheidole mendicula had.jpg

Type Label

P. mendicula is an adaptable species. At La Selva, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, Longino (1997) found a nest in the clay soil of a lawn surrounded by rainforest. Other sites include a second-growth forest and a rotten branch in a bamboo grove (Trinidad), and a rotten stick on the floor of terra firme rainforest (Brazil). On the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, Longino (1997) collected a worker from an extrafloral nectary of Passifolia pittieri. Winged queens have been found in nests from May to July. (Wilson 2003)

Identification

See the description in the nomenclature section.


Keys including this Species

Distribution

Besides Wheeler’s type collection in Panama, Longino (1997) has recorded mendicula from both the Atlantic and Pacific lowlands of Costa Rica; and the species has been collected widely southward to Trinidad and Amazonian Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador. (Wilson 2003)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Panama (type locality), Peru, Trinidad and Tobago.

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.

  • mendicula. Pheidole (Hendecapheidole) mendicula Wheeler, W.M. 1925d: 172, fig. 6 (s.w.m.) PANAMA. See also: Smith, M.R. 1955c: 303; Wilson, 2003: 637.

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

Description

DIAGNOSIS From Wilson (2003): A very small, reddish brown member of the tachigaliae group, which group is characterized by 11-segmented antennae, and distinguished within it as follows.

Major: occiput rugoreticulate, antennal scrobes, frontal triangle, and mid-clypeus smooth, and rest of dorsal head surface transversely carinulate; all of head and mesosoma foveolate and punctate; strong transverse ridge just breaks the surface of the pronotal profile in side view as a right-angle; posterior half of dorsal head profile in side view weakly concave; postpetiole from above trapezoidal.

Minor: all of head and mesosoma foveolate and opaque; carinulae absent mesad to eye; propodeal spines backward projecting.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Syntype major: HW 0.60, HL 0.66, SL 0.32, EL 0.08, PW 0.38. Syntype minor: HW 0.34, HL 0.34, SL 0.26, EL 0.06, PW 0.24.

COLOR Major and minor: body concolorous medium reddish brown, appendages a contrasting yellowish brown.


Pheidole mendicula Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Type Specimen Labels

Type Material

From Wilson (2003): PANAMA: Barro Coorado Island, col. William M. Wheeler. Museum of Comparative Zoology - as reported in Wilson (2003)

Etymology

L mendicula, little and beggarly, or poor, presumably alluding to the small size and reduction of antennal segmentation.

References

  • Smith, M. R. 1955d. Ants of the genus Pheidole, subgenus Hendecapheidole (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 57: 301-305 (page 303, see also)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1925e. A new guest-ant and other new Formicidae from Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Biol. Bull. (Woods Hole) 49: 150-181 (page 172, fig. 6 soldier, worker, male described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 637, fig. major, minor described)