Pheidole optiva

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Pheidole optiva
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. optiva
Binomial name
Pheidole optiva
Forel, 1901

Pheidole optiva casent0281745 p 1 high.jpg

Pheidole optiva casent0281745 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Wheeler (1901h) took the type series, which he transmitted to Forel, from large colonies nesting beneath tree-shaded stones in a ravine at Cuernavaca. Both the majors and minors were “remarkably slow” in their movements. (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Only known from the type locality.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Mexico (type locality).

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.

  • optiva. Pheidole optiva Forel, 1901c: 132 (s.w.) MEXICO. See also: Wilson, 2003: 333.

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


From Wilson (2003): A member of the fallax group, sharing some traits with Pheidole sciara but differing from it and other group members as follows.

Major: antennal scapes reaching a little less than midway between eyes and occipital corners; carinulae of dorsal head surface also reaching halfway between eye and occipital corners; dorsal head surface foveolate except for frontal triangle, mid-clypeus, and occipital border, which are smooth and shiny; pronotal dorsum and rest of mesosoma foveolate, lacking carinulae; pronotum in dorsaloblique view a single convexity peaked at humerus; propodeal spines directed posteriorly; postpetiole elliptical from above; pilosity sparse to moderate over body, and on the first gastral tergite consisting substantially of short subrecumbent hairs.

Minor: eyes medium in size, with Eye Length one-fifth Head Width; all of head, mesosoma, and waist foveolate and opaque to feebly shiny; occiput broad and concave in frontal view. MEASUREMENTS (mm) Syntype major: HW 1.12, HL 1.20, SL 0.64, EL 0.14, PW 0.60. Syntype minor: HW 0.60, HL 0.70, SL 0.68, EL 0.12, PW 0.42.

COLOR Major: body light reddish brown except for gaster, which is medium reddish brown. Minor: body medium reddish yellow except for gaster, which is dark reddish yellow.

Pheidole optiva Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Syntype Specimen Labels

Type Material

MEXICO: Cuernavaca, Morelos, col. William M. Wheeler. Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève and Museum of Comparative Zoology - as reported in Wilson (2003)


  • Forel, A. 1901d. I. Fourmis mexicaines récoltées par M. le professeur W.-M. Wheeler. II. A propos de la classification des fourmis. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 45: 123-141 (page 132, soldier, worker described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1901c. The compound and mixed nests of American ants, Part II: The known cases of social symbiosis among American ants. Am. Nat. 35: 513–539.
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 333, fig. major, minor described)