Pheidole bergi

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Pheidole bergi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. bergi
Binomial name
Pheidole bergi
Mayr, 1887

Pheidole bergi casent0178008 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole bergi casent0178008 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Bruch (1916) describes bergi as an abundant, widespread species in Argentina. It builds conspicuous soil nests, each with a single entrance hole 2–3 cm in diameter, often surrounded by a crater or partially by a semicircle of excavated soil as much as 25 cm in diameter. A single gallery descends to a succession of 5 to 10 roughly ellipsoidal chambers, each spaced about equally apart, and reaching a depth of 40–60 cm. The colonies are aggressive, with a high proportion of majors, and exclusively insectivorous. They readily attack other colonies of their own and other ant species. (Wilson 2003)

Photo Gallery

  • Pheidole bergi colony in agricultural area, Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut Province, Argentina. October 2010. Photo by Robert Fuentalba Ojeda.


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Uruguay, and widespread through Argentina, from Jujuy and Santa Fé in the north to Rio Negro in the south. (Wilson 2003)

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -22.809943° to -42.666°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina (type locality), Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay.

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.


Association with Other Organisms

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  • This species is a host for the cestode Raillietina echinobothrida (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode secondary; indirect transmission; transmission outside nest).




Images from AntWeb

Pheidole bergi casent0178009 head 1.jpgPheidole bergi casent0178009 profile 1.jpgPheidole bergi casent0178009 dorsal 1.jpgPheidole bergi casent0178009 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0178009. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by ALWC, Alex L. Wild Collection.


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

  • bergi. Pheidole bergi Mayr, 1887: 593 (s.), 605 (w.) ARGENTINA. Senior synonym of goetschi, pulliventris, subparallela: Wilson, 2003: 269.
  • subparallela. Pheidole bergi subsp. subparallela Emery, 1906c: 145 (s.w.) URUGUAY. Junior synonym of bergi: Wilson, 2003: 269.
  • pulliventris. Pheidole bergi st. pulliventris Santschi, 1929d: 288 (s.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of bergi: Wilson, 2003: 269.
  • goetschi. Pheidole goetschi Santschi, 1939e: 314, figs. 1, 2 (s.w.) ARGENTINA. Subspecies of bergi: Kusnezov, 1952b: 67 (in key). Junior synonym of bergi: Wilson, 2003: 269.

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 medium-sized reddish brown (major) or brownish yellow (minor) member of the fallax group distinguished as follows.

Major: head subquadrate; propodeal spine moderately long and suberect; postpetiolar node from above roughly trapezoidal; mesonotal convexity prominent and symmetrical in shape in both side and dorsal-oblique views; rugoreticulum extends as a broad band from the eye to the circular carinulae of the antennal fossa; frontal lobes completely covered by longitudinal carinulae; carinulae mesad to the eye reach halfway between the eye and the occipital border.

Minor: occiput narrow, with nuchal collar; humerus smoothly rounded in dorsal-oblique view. Similar to Pheidole aenescens, Pheidole alienata, Pheidole chrysops, Pheidole cordiceps, Pheidole dentata, Pheidole dione, Pheidole eidmanni, Pheidole midas and Pheidole nitidula, differing in many details as described and illustrated.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Syntype major: HW 1.94 (Cafayate, Argentina, major has HW 1.54), HL 2.08, SL 1.12, EL 0.32, PW 0.96. Minor (Cafayate): HW 0.56, HL 0.80, SL 1.10, EL 0.16, PW 0.38.

COLOR Major: body mostly light reddish brown; terminal gastral segments medium reddish brown.

Minor: concolorous brownish yellow.

Pheidole bergi Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: major (compared with syntype major, and the left profile of the head belongs to the syntype). Lower: minor. ARGENTINA: Cafayate, Salta. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Type Material

Buenos Aires, Argentina. Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna and Museum of Comparative Zoology - as reported in Wilson (2003)


Eponymous. (Wilson 2003)


  • Bruch, C. 1916. Contribución al estudio de las hormigas de la provincia de San Luis. Rev. Mus. La Plata 23: 291–357.
  • Mayr, G. 1887. Südamerikanische Formiciden. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 37: 511-632 (page 593, 605, soldier described, worker described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 269, Senior synonym of subparallela, pulliventris goetschi, fig. major, minor described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Brandao, C.R.F. 1991. Adendos ao catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao neotropical (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 35: 319-412.
  • Bruch C. 1914. Catálogo sistemático de los formícidos argentinos. Revista del Museo de La Plata 19: 211-234.
  • Bruch C. 1916. Contribución al estudio de las hormigas de la provincia de San Luis. Revista del Museo de La Plata 23: 291-357.
  • Cheli G. H., J. C. Corley, O. Bruzzone, M. Brío, F. Martínez, N. M. Roman, and I. Ríos. 2010. The ground-dwelling arthropod community of Península Valdés in Patagonia, Argentina. Journal of Insect Science 10:50 available online:
  • Claver S., S. L. Silnik, and F. F. Campon. 2014. Response of ants to grazing disturbance at the central Monte Desert of Argentina: community descriptors and functional group scheme. J Arid Land 6(1): 117?127.
  • Claver S., and H. G. Gordon. 1993. The ant fauna (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the Nacunan Biosphere reserve. Naturalis Sao Paulo 18: 189-193.
  • Cuezzo, F. 1998. Formicidae. Chapter 42 in Morrone J.J., and S. Coscaron (dirs) Biodiversidad de artropodos argentinos: una perspectiva biotaxonomica Ediciones Sur, La Plata. Pages 452-462.
  • Emery C. 1906. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XXVI. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 37: 107-194.
  • Forel A. 1912. Formicides néotropiques. Part III. 3me sous-famille Myrmicinae (suite). Genres Cremastogaster et Pheidole. Mémoires de la Société Entomologique de Belgique. 19: 211-237.
  • Forel A. 1913. Fourmis d'Argentine, du Brésil, du Guatémala & de Cuba reçues de M. M. Bruch, Prof. v. Ihering, Mlle Baez, M. Peper et M. Rovereto. Bulletin de la Société Vaudoise des Sciences Naturelles. 49: 203-250.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Kusnezov N. 1952. El género Pheidole en la Argentina (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Acta Zoologica Lilloana 12: 5-88.
  • Kusnezov N. 1957. Die Solenopsidinen-Gattungen von Südamerika (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Zoologischer Anzeiger 158: 266-280.
  • Kusnezov N. 1978. Hormigas argentinas: clave para su identificación. Miscelánea. Instituto Miguel Lillo 61:1-147 + 28 pl.
  • Murua A. F., F. Cuezzo, and J. C. Acosta. 1999. La fauna de hormigas del Gran Bajo Oriental del departamento Valle Fertíl (San Juan, Argentina). Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina 58(3/4): 135-138.
  • Pall J. L., R. G. Kihn, L. C. Arriaga, and E. Quiran. 2011. Report of the epigean arthropod fauna in the "Laguna Don Tomas", Santa Rosa (La Pampa, Argentina). Mun. Ent. Zool. 6(2): 905-911.
  • Pignalberi C. T. 1961. Contribución al conocimiento de los formícidos de la provincia de Santa Fé. Pp. 165-173 in: Comisión Investigación Científica; Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (Argentina) 1961. Actas y trabajos del primer Congreso Sudamericano de Zoología (La Plata, 12-24 octubre 1959). Tomo III. Buenos Aires: Librart, 276 pp.
  • Pirk, G.I., F. di Pasquo and J. Lopez de Casenave. 2009. Diet of two sympatric Pheidole spp. ants in the central Monte desert: implications for seed–granivore interactions. Insectes Sociaux 56(3):277-283.
  • Quiran E., and A. Casadio. 1994. Aportes al conocimiento de las Formicidae (Hymenoptera) de La Pampa, Argentina. Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina 53: 100.
  • Santschi F. 1912. Quelques fourmis de l'Amérique australe. Revue Suisse de Zoologie 20: 519-534.
  • Santschi F. 1916. Descriptions de fourmis nouvelles d'Afrique et d'Amérique. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 84: 497-513.
  • Santschi F. 1916. Formicides sudaméricains nouveaux ou peu connus. Physis (Buenos Aires). 2: 365-399.
  • Santschi F. 1929. Nouvelles fourmis de la République Argentine et du Brésil. Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina. 107: 273-316.
  • Tizon F. R., D. V. Pelaez, and O. R. Elia. 2010. Effects of firebreaks on ant density (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in a semiarid region, Argentina. Iheringia, Sér. Zool., Porto Alegre 100(3): 216-221.
  • Vittar, F. 2008. Hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de la Mesopotamia Argentina. INSUGEO Miscelania 17(2):447-466
  • Vittar, F., and F. Cuezzo. "Hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de la provincia de Santa Fe, Argentina." Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina (versión On-line ISSN 1851-7471) 67, no. 1-2 (2008).
  • Wild, A. L. "A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Zootaxa 1622 (2007): 1-55.
  • Zolessi L. C. de, Y. P. Abenante, and M. E. de Philippi. 1988. Lista sistematica de las especies de Formicidos del Uruguay. Comun. Zool. Mus. Hist. Nat. Montev. 11: 1-9.
  • Zolessi L. C. de; Y. P. de Abenante, and M. E. Philippi. 1989. Catálogo sistemático de las especies de Formícidos del Uruguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Montevideo: ORCYT Unesco, 40 + ix pp.
  • de Zolessi, L.C., Y.P. de Abenante and M.E. Philippi. 1987. Lista sistemática de las especies de formícidos del Uruguay. Comunicaciones Zoologicas del Museo de Historia Natural de Montevideo 11(165):1-9
  • de Zolessi, L.C., Y.P. de Abenante and M.E. Phillipi. 1989. Catalago Systematico de las Especies de Formicidos del Uruguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Oficina Regional de Ciencia y Technologia de la Unesco para America Latina y el Caribe- ORCYT. Montevideo, Uruguay