This species is a montane cloud forest specialist. In the tropics ant abundance declines dramatically between 1500m and 2000m and ants are very difficult to find above 2000m. Pheidole boltoni occurs in a narrow band at the very upper edge of ants’ natural occurrence. Several nests have been collected under epiphyte mats in recent branch and treefalls. One nest (the types of P. humida) was collected in a rotten log. (Longino 2009)
- 1 Identification
- 2 Distribution
- 3 Biology
- 4 Castes
- 5 Nomenclature
- 6 References
- 7 References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics
See the description in the nomenclature section.
Keys including this Species
- Key to New World Pheidole Species Groups
- Key to Pheidole punctatissima group
- Key to Pheidole tristis group
Latitudinal Distribution Pattern
Latitudinal Range: 10.2° to 9.5534501°.
- Source: AntMaps
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 Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.
- boltoni. Pheidole boltoni Wilson, 2003: 666, figs. (s.w.) COSTA RICA. Senior synonym of humida: Longino, 2009: 17.
- humida. Pheidole humida Wilson, 2003: 614, figs. (s.w.) COSTA RICA. Junior synonym of boltoni: Longino, 2009: 17.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
DIAGNOSIS A small, bicolorous species belonging to an ambiguous cluster composing the “carapuna complex” (Pheidole boltoni, Pheidole carapuna, Pheidole cornicula, Pheidole cuprina, Pheidole eriophora, Pheidole jivaro, Pheidole manuana) close to the flavens group. All are relatively small in size, with the major possessing a reduced mesonotal convexity and cephalic sculpturing, composed in turn entirely of longitudinal carinulae that extend to or close to the occipital border viewed in full face. All also have a minor with a broad, concave occiput, which lacks a nuchal collar. Among these species, P. boltoni is distinguished as follows.
Major: relatively flat profile of the promesonotum in dorsal-oblique view; eye set well forward so that its anterior margin is the same distance from the anterior genal border as the Eye Length; small, obtuse-angulate mesonotal convexity; and smooth, shiny occiput, postpetiolar node, and first gastral tergite.
MEASUREMENTS (mm) Holotype major: HW 1.06, HL 1.06, SL 0.62, EL 0.18, PW 0.48. Paratype minor: HW 0.60, HL 0.60, SL 0.60, EL 0.12, PW 0.34.
COLOR Major: head dark reddish yellow, rest of body light reddish brown, legs dark yellow.
Minor: concolorous dark yellow.
Figure. Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. Scale bars = 1 mm.
Pheidole boltoni Wilson, 2003: 666, figs. Holotype major worker and associated paratype minor worker: Costa Rica, Heredia, 8km N Volcan Barba, 10°12'N 84°06'W, 1830m, 4-14 Jul 1986 (Longino #1329) Museum of Comparative Zoology (examined).
Pheidole humida Wilson, 2003: 614, figs. Holotype major worker and associated paratype minor worker: Costa Rica, Puntarenas, Monteverde, 1550m, 20 May 1979 (P. S. Ward #3450) (MCZ) (examined).
Named in honor of the distinguished British ant systematist Barry Bolton.
- Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 666, fig. major, minor described)
- Blanchard, B.D., Nakamura, A., Cao, M., Chen, S.T., Moreau, C.S. 2020. Spine and dine: A key defensive trait promotes ecological success in spiny ants. Ecology and Evolution 10, 5852–5863 (doi:10.1002/ECE3.6322).
- Longino, J.T. 2009. Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole. Zootaxa 2181: 1-90. PDF
References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics
- Longino J. T. 2009. Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 2181: 1-90.
- 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.
- Longino J. et al. ADMAC project. Accessed on March 24th 2017 at https://sites.google.com/site/admacsite/