Pheidole acamata

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

Pheidole acamata jtlc000016315 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole acamata jtlc000016315 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

This species occurs in wet forest habitats from sea level to 1000m elevation. It can be locally abundant. It is an epigaeic forager, common at baits, and often recruiting major workers along with minor workers. Workers are also collected in Winkler or Berlese samples. The nest is unknown. (Longino 2009)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Nicaragua and Mexico (Chiapas).

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 17.5155524° to 12.240962°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.





Images from AntWeb

Pheidole acamata jtlc000016314 head 1.jpgPheidole acamata jtlc000016314 profile 1.jpgPheidole acamata jtlc000016314 dorsal 1.jpgPheidole acamata jtlc000016314 profile 2.jpgPheidole acamata jtlc000016314 label 1.jpg
Paratype Pheidole acamataWorker. Specimen code jtlc000016314. Photographer J. Russ, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MCZC.


Images from AntWeb

Pheidole acamata jtlc000016315 head 2.jpg
Paratype Pheidole acamataWorker (major/soldier). Specimen code jtlc000016315. Photographer J. Russ, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MCZC.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • acamata. Pheidole acamata Wilson, 2003: 258, figs. (s.w.) NICARAGUA.

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

Longino (2009) - Throughout Central America a group of Pheidole share a distinctive character of the major worker: the gaster is covered with a plush layer of short, subdecumbent pubescence and any longer erect setae are absent or restricted to a few near the postpetiolar insertion. This contrasts with the rest of the body, which has a more "normal" condition, with abundant long suberect setae on the tibiae and mesosomal dorsum. In most Pheidole the general level of pilosity is similar over the body: if setae are sparse they are sparse throughout; if they are abundant they are abundant throughout, including the gastral dorsum.

Three named species are known to be in this complex, all described as new by Wilson (2003): Pheidole acamata, Pheidole potosiana, and Pheidole psilogaster. Additional collections of this complex from Costa Rica and southern Mexico allow some comments on character variation. Across all material the major workers are very uniform in habitus and there are no consistent differences in pilosity or sculpture that differentiate the three species. Thus, at this time the majors of the three species cannot be identified without associated minor workers. Two of the species, P. potosiana and P. psilogaster, have minor workers with smooth and shiny faces. The minor worker of P. acamata has a densely and uniformly foveolate face. The minor worker of P. potosiana has the dominant sculpture of the pronotum foveolate, with variable degrees of shiny patches and rugulae. The minor worker of P. psilogaster has the pronotum entirely smooth and shiny or largely smooth with some development of transverse rugulae anterodorsally. The three species show both broad and local patterns of sympatry.

The types of P. acamata from the Atlantic coastal lowlands of Nicaragua are identical to numerous collections from sites in the lowlands of northern Chiapas State, Mexico. The face and pronotum have reticulate rugae overlaying the foveolate sculpture, weak on the face and stronger on the pronotum, and the color is orange yellow. A population from one site in Chiapas near Salto de Agua is somewhat different: the minor workers have a duskier coloration and the reticulate rugulation on face and pronotum are much reduced to absent. These characters are more like P. potosiana. The two species are sympatric at Salto de Agua and are very similar there, differing only in the presence or absence of foveolate sculpture on the face.

Relatively few collections of P. potosiana have been examined. The types are from the state of San Luis Potosí, Mexico. The minor workers are uniformly red brown. The pronotum is largely foveolate, with smooth shiny patches on the side and dorsum. Collections from northern Chiapas lowlands are identical to the types or with the pronotum more uniformly foveolate, with shiny patches reduced to absent. A collection from Santa Rosa National Park in Costa Rica, in the dry forest of the northwestern lowlands, is nearly identical to the types, differing only in a somewhat darker brown coloration and slightly more developed transverse rugulae on the anterior pronotum. A few minor workers from further south in Costa Rica's Pacific lowlands are tentatively identified as P. potosiana.

Pheidole psilogaster, as here interpreted, shows considerable geographic variation in color of the body and sculpture of the pronotum. The types of P. psilogaster from Veracruz State, Mexico are nearly identical to material from the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica. The coloration is dark red brown and the pronotum is completely smooth and shining. Collections from the Osa Peninsula, on the southwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and from the northern Chiapas lowlands are yellow orange and the pronotum has faint rugulae and sometimes traces of faint foveolate sculpture overlaying the generally smooth and shining surface. Minor workers in this complex can be very similar to other species outside of the complex. For example, in the northern Chiapas lowlands Pheidole acamata and Pheidole erethizon, both very common, have currently indistinguishable minor workers.



A member of the fallax group, similar to Pheidole nubicola, Pheidole cockerelli, Pheidole dione, Pheidole hyatti, Pheidole midas nd Pheidole potosiana, distinguished by the following combination of traits.

Major: small; yellow; dorsum of first gastral tergite covered by uniform layer of short, subappressed hairs; scape short of the occipital corner by twice its maximum width; a thin corridor of rugoreticulum extending from the eye to the circular carinulae of the antennal fossa; anterior dorsum of the pronotum rugoreticulate, with the rear of the pronotal dorsum bearing broken rugulae and the rest of the promesonotal dorsum shiny or subopaque.

Minor: all of the head, mesosoma, and waist foveolate and opaque; anterior half of the median strip of the first gastral tergite shagreened and opaque; occiput considerably narrowed but lacking a nuchal collar.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Holotype major: HW 0.98, HL 1.04, SL 0.76, EL 0.18, PW 0.52. Paratype minor: HW 0.54, HL 0.60, SL 0.72, EL 0.12, PW 0.38.

COLOR Major: concolorous reddish yellow.

Minor: concolorous dark yellow.

Pheidole acamata Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Paratype Specimen Labels

Type Material

NICARAGUA: Kukra River, col. Ivette Perfecto. Museum of Comparative Zoology


Gr acamata, untiring, ceaseless.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology
  • Longino J. T. 2013. Ants of Nicargua. Consulted on 18 Jan 2013.
  • Longino J. T. L., and M. G. Branstetter. 2018. The truncated bell: an enigmatic but pervasive elevational diversity pattern in Middle American ants. Ecography 41: 1-12.
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133