This species inhabits mature wet forest. It appears to be both arboreal and terrestrial, occurring commonly in forest floor leaf litter and in the canopy. Nests are in irregular cavities in dead wood. Wilson (2005) observed that P. nebulosa and two other species of small Pheidole (flavens and bilimeki) frequently prey on oribatid mites in the leaf litter. (Longino 2009)
Pheidole nebulosa has a highly distinctive feature in the major workers: there is a single large rounded medial tooth on the hypostomal margin and no inner hypostomal teeth. All other Central American Pheidole in the same size range and with similar sculptural features have inner hypostomal teeth.
Also see the description in the nomenclature section.
Keys including this Species
Mexico to Costa Rica.
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
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.
- nebulosa. Pheidole nebulosa Wilson, 2003: 470, figs. (s.w.) COSTA RICA. Senior synonym of scabriventris: Longino, 2009: 57.
- scabriventris. Pheidole scabriventris Wilson, 2003: 503, figs. (s.w.) MEXICO. Junior synonym of nebulosa: Longino, 2009: 57.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Longino (2009) - The only difference between the types of P. scabriventris and P. nebulosa is color. The former is red brown instead of yellow.
DIAGNOSIS Similar in various traits to Pheidole bilimeki, Pheidole chalca, Pheidole daphne, Pheidole floridana, Pheidole furtiva, Pheidole quercicola, Pheidole specularis and Pheidole stomachosa, differing as follows.
Major: bicolored, mostly yellow (see Color); hypostoma with 2 teeth only; promesonotal profile semicircular; humerus in dorsal-oblique view low and subangulate; all of mesosoma and waist and almost all of dorsal surface of head foveolate and opaque; all of first gastral tergite but the lateral margins shagreened; spaces between eyes and antennal fossae and anterior borders of head rugulose (not rugoreticulate or carinulate).
Minor: humerus in dorsal-oblique view low and subangulate; propodeal spines long, thin, and needle-like; postpetiolar node in side view suppressed; all of head and mesosoma foveolate and opaque, but gaster entirely smooth and shiny, not shagreened.
MEASUREMENTS (mm) Holotype major: HW 0.86, HL 0.92, SL 0.50, EL 0.12, PW 0.44. Paratype minor: HW 0.42, HL 0.46, SL 0.44, EL 0.06, PW 0.28.
COLOR Major: bicolored, with body and appendages medium yellow with light reddish tinge (tending to light “orange”), and with medium brown second to terminal gastral tergites.
Minor: concolorous medium yellow with slight reddish tinge.
Figure. Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. Scale bars = 1 mm.
Holotype major worker and associated paratype minor worker: Costa Rica, Heredia, La Selva Biological Station, near Puerto Viejo (Cover, Moffett, Tobin) MCZ (examined).
Pheidole scabriventris Holotype major worker and associated paratype minor worker: Mexico, Veracruz, park cañon, 2mi W Fortin, Hway 150, 6-9 Aug 1969 (S. & J. Peck) MCZ (examined).
L nebulosa, misty, cloudy, alluding to the general foveolate and shagreened body surface.
- Longino, J.T. 2009. Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole. Zootaxa 2181: 1-90. PDF
- Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 470, fig. major, minor described)