Pheidole calens

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Pheidole calens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. calens
Binomial name
Pheidole calens
Forel, 1901

Pheidole calens casent0908240 p 1 high.jpg

Pheidole calens casent0908240 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

P. calens appears to be a commensal of the large harvesting ants in the genus Pogonomyrmex. Wheeler (1901h), in his notes to Auguste Forel on the type series, reported as follows: “This feeble Pheidole was found in a number of instances inhabiting small nests within the precincts of the Pogonomyrmex colonies, either on the denuded disks or on the slopes of the gravel cones near the entrances of the agriculturals. It was seen more frequently in this association than either Dorymyrmex pyramicus or Forelius mccooki, and was not seen nesting by itself as is very frequently the case with these species.” (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Only known from the type locality.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 20.67997222° to 19.28855°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico (type locality), Panama, Peru, Venezuela.

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.

  • calens. Pheidole carbonaria r. calens Forel, 1901c: 130 (s.w.) MEXICO. Subspecies of tepicana: Emery, 1922e: 106. Raised to species: Kempf, 1972a: 188. See also: Wilson, 2003: 563.

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


From Wilson (2003): DIAGNOSIS A member of the pilifera subgroup” of the larger pilifera group, comprising Pheidole calens, Pheidole californica, Pheidole carrolli, Pheidole cavigenis, Pheidole clementensis, Pheidole creightoni, Pheidole hoplitica, Pheidole littoralis, Pheidole micula, Pheidole pilifera, Pheidole polymorpha, Pheidole rugulosa, Pheidole senex, Pheidole soritis, Pheidole tepicana and Pheidole torosa, which subgroup is distinguished by the following traits. Major: dorsal head surface extensively sculptured; occipital lobes horizontally rugulose (or, in littoralis, foveate, in carrolli, smooth, and in micula and soritis, carinulate); postpetiole from above diamond-shaped, trapezoidal, or spinose. Minor: eye medium-sized to large.

P. calens is diagnosed within this group by the following suite of traits. Major: posterior dorsal profile of head weakly concave; humerus in dorsal-oblique view prominent and sub-rectangular; mesonotal convexity prominent; petiolar node in side view thin; postpetiole from above laterally spinose.

Minor: eyes very large; propodeal spine in side view equilaterally triangular.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Syntype major: HW 1.30, HL 1.50, SL 0.64, EL 0.14, PW 0.66. Syntype minor: HW 0.56, HL 0.64, SL 0.50, EL 0.20, PW 0.34.

COLOR Major: concolorous light reddish brown.

Minor: body concolorous plain medium brown, mandibles yellow, legs light brown.

Pheidole calens Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Type Material

MEXICO: Aguascalientes (W. M. Wheeler). Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève and Museum of Comparative Zoology - as reported in Wilson (2003)




  • Emery, C. 1922c. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [part]. Genera Insectorum 174B: 95-206 (page 106, subspecies of tepicana)
  • Forel, A. 1901d. I. Fourmis mexicaines récoltées par M. le professeur W.-M. Wheeler. II. A propos de la classification des fourmis. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 45: 123-141 (page 130, soldier, worker described)
  • Kempf, W. W. 1972b. Catálogo abreviado das formigas da regia~o Neotropical. Stud. Entomol. 15: 3-344 (page 188, raised to species)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1901. The compound and mixed nests of American ants, Part II: The known cases of social symbiosis among American ants. Am. Nat. 35: 513–539.
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 563, fig. major, minor described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology
  • Fernandes, P.R. XXXX. Los hormigas del suelo en Mexico: Diversidad, distribucion e importancia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Hernandez, F. Varela and G. Castano-Meneses. 2010. Checklist, Biological Notes and Distribution of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Barranca de Metztitlán Biosphere Reserve, Hidalgo, Mexico. Sociobiology 56(2):397-434
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Vasquez Bolanos M., and J. Escoto Rocha. 2018. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Aguascalientes. Investigacion y Ciencia 24(68): 36-40.
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133
  • Wilson, E.O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A Dominant, Hyperdiverse Genus. Harvard University Press