The nests of praeusta found by Forel at Barranquilla and Dibulla had a unique structure. The nest entrance of each was a convoluted slit surrounded by a narrow elevated earthen wall, 2 cm high off the level of the surrounding soil, 4 to 6 cm in diameter, and turning outward toward the upper rim, and overall “resembling the calyx of a large monopetalous flower.” Forel did not comment on the matter, but the praeusta entrance and superstructure are remarkably similar to the fortified cerumen nest entrances of some meliponine bees. (Wilson 2003)
See the description in the nomenclature section.
Keys including this Species
Known only from the two localities listed above in Colombia, as well as at the Rancho de Volador, near Dibulla, also in Colombia. (Wilson 2003)
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.
- praeusta. Pheidole praeusta Roger, 1863a: 197 (s.) COLOMBIA. Forel, 1901e: 361 (w.). See also: Wilson, 2003: 340.
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 a complex of Pheidole species, with giant majors and short bristly hair, in the larger fallax group comprising Pheidole astur, Pheidole oxyops, Pheidole praeusta and Pheidole trageri; praeusta is distinguished among them by the following combination of traits.
Major: rugoreticulum lacking on head; carinulae immediately next to the midline of the dorsal surface of the head reach the occiput; occipital lobes smooth and shiny; mesonotal convexity prominent; propodeal spines small, thin, and vertical to the basal propodeal face; postpetiolar node seen from above elliptical, with angulate lateral margins; anterior and lateral margins of pronotal dorsum transversely carinulate; propodeum completely carinulate.
Minor: occiput narrowed somewhat, with nuchal collar; dorsal margin of petiolar node bidentate in rear view; propodeal spine reduced to denticle; pronotum entirely smooth and shiny.
MEASUREMENTS (mm) Holotype major (Mus. National Hist. Nat. Paris): HW 2.34, HL 2.78, SL 1.10, EL 0.30, PW 0.92. Minor (Barranquilla, Colombia): HW 0.60, HL 0.78, SL 0.96, EL 0.16, PW 0.42.
COLOR Major: concolorous reddish yellow (“orange”).
Minor: body reddish brown except for gaster, which is dark brown.
Figure. Upper: major. Lower: minor. COLOMBIA: Barranquilla, col. Auguste Forel. Major compared with holotype major in Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris; the specimen is labeled “Island, Colombia, 1820” and lacks the waist and gaster. Scale bars = 1 mm.
Island, Colombia, 1820. Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle - as reported in Wilson (2003)
- Forel, A. 1901j. Variétés myrmécologiques. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 45: 334-382 (page 361, worker described)
- Roger, J. 1863a. Die neu aufgeführten Gattungen und Arten meines Formiciden-Verzeichnisses nebst Ergänzung einiger früher gegebenen Beschreibungen. Berl. Entomol. Z. 7: 131-214 (page 197, soldier described)
- Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 340, fig. major, minor described)