Pheidole polymorpha

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Pheidole polymorpha
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. polymorpha
Binomial name
Pheidole polymorpha
Wilson, 2003

Collected in upland desert. Comment by Stefan Cover (personal communication): “A very interesting beast; it is like Pheidole artemisia (=Pheidole pilifera) or Pheidole cavigenis on steroids.” (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Known only from the type locality and from Chapulco, Puebla, Mexico. (Wilson 2003)

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.

  • polymorpha. Pheidole polymorpha Wilson, 2003: 592, figs. (s.w.) MEXICO.

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


DIAGNOSIS A member of the “pilifera complex” of the larger pilifera group, comprising Pheidole calens, Pheidole californica, Pheidole carrolli, Pheidole cavigenis, Pheidole clementensis, Pheidole creightoni, Pheidole hoplitica, Pheidole littoralis, Pheidole micula, Pheidole pilifera, Pheidole polymorpha, Pheidole rugulosa, Pheidole senex, Pheidole soritis, Pheidole tepicana and Pheidole torosa, which complex is distinguished by the following traits. Major: dorsal head surface extensively sculptured; occipital lobes transversely rugulose (or, in carrolli smooth, in littoralis foveate, and in micula and soritis carinulate); postpetiole from above diamond-shaped, trapezoidal, or spinose. Minor: eye medium-sized to large.

P. polymorpha is distinguished within the complex by the following combination of traits. Worker caste trimorphic, with major, supermajor, and minor.

Major: humerus very pronounced and subtriangular in shape in dorsal-oblique view; propodeal spines stout and vertical to the basal propodeal face; postpetiole from above with sharp right-angular margins; pilosity, long and dense.

Minor: all of mesosoma and almost all of the dorsal head surface foveolate and opaque.

Both major and minor: dorsal margin of petiole seen from behind strongly convex.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Holotype major: HW 1.34, HL 1.46, SL 0.62, EL 0.20, PW 0.60. Paratype minor: HW 0.54, HL 0.60, SL 0.56, EL 0.14, PW 0.38.

COLOR Major and minor: brownish yellow.

Pheidole polymorpha Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: holotype, major; partial head in full-face view of paratype, supermajor. Lower: paratype, minor. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Type Material

From Wilson (2003): MEXICO: Highway 57, km 127, Estado México, col. Cornell University Field Party, 1965. Museum of Comparative Zoology


Gr polymorpha, many forms, referring to the coexistence of major and supermajor castes.