J. T. Longino (1997): “This species occurs in mature moist to wet forest. It nests in the soil, with a main nest chamber about 10 cm deep. When workers excavate soil from the nest, they often form a characteristic flat arena around the nest entrance, surrounded by a palisade-like ring of soil. Their nests contain seed caches, and the majors have massive heads, which suggest granivory as a major component of the diet. They are not restricted to granivory, however, since workers readily recruit to baits of several kinds.” I found simonsi nests of the kind just described in bare stretches of clay-soil paths through mature forest at the La Selva Biological Station.
See the description in the nomenclature section.
Keys including this Species
Both Atlantic and Pacific slopes of Costa Rica to 800 m (Longino 1997).
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.
- simonsi. Pheidole simonsi Wilson, 2003: 630, figs. (s.w.) COSTA RICA.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
DIAGNOSIS Distinguished within Pheidole generally by the following set of character states.
Major: scrobes extend halfway up the head capsule; entire rear third of head dorsum, including occiput, rugoreticulate, but central third devoid of any sculpturing except scattered foveolae; postpetiolar node rugoreticulate; ventral profile of first gastral tergite lined with dense semierect hairs of uniform length.
Minor: propodeal spines very long, thin, and needle-like; body almost completely devoid of any sculpturing, instead smooth and shiny everywhere. The minor is very close to ‘’Pheidole thrasys’’, differing in the slightly broader occiput, rudimentary nuchal collar, and brown tarsi.
MEASUREMENTS (mm) Holotype major: HW 1.34, HL 1.60, SL 0.58, EL 0.14, PW 0.78. Paratype minor: HW 0.66, HL 0.70, SL 0.66, EL 0.14, PW 0.44.
COLOR Major: head and mesosoma medium reddish brown, waist and mandibles plain dark brown, gaster black, antennae and legs medium brown.
Minor: head, waist, gaster, and femora dark, almost blackish brown; mandibles, mesosoma, and rest of leg segments medium brown.
Figure. Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. Scale bars = 1 mm.
COSTA RICA: La Selva Biological Station, near Puerto Viejo, Heredia, col. Stefan Cover. Museum of Comparative Zoology
Named in honor of my friend, the late Howard Simon, former managing editor of the Washington Post, Curator of the Nieman Fellows, and fellow entomologist.
- Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 630, fig. major, minor described)