Pheidole capellinii

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

MCZ-ENT00020661 Pheidole lighti hal.jpg

MCZ-ENT00020661 Pheidole lighti had.jpg

Lectotype Label


This species occurs in open habitats, such as annual cropping fields, and nests in the soil.


Eguchi (2008) - This species is well characterized among Indo-Chinese species by the combination of the following characteristics: in the major and minor dorsum of head with a few thick standing hairs among very short appressed background hairs; in the major head in lateral view strongly raised at the border of frons and vertex; in the major frontal carina well developed horizontally, partly overhanging antennal scrobe; in the minor dorsum of head and dorsal and lateral faces of mesosoma punctured; in the major and minor promesonotal dome in lateral view with a conspicuous prominence or mound on its posterior slope.

The major of P. capellinii is similar to that of Pheidole planifrons, but is easily separated from the latter by the following characteristics of the latter: head in lateral view poorly raised at the border between frons and vertex; vertex and lateral faces of vertexal lobe reticulate; first gastral tergite longitudinally rugoso-punctate entirely or excluding somewhat polished posteromedian part.

Keys including this Species


Known from N. Vietnam, China, India, Thailand, Sumatra and Java.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Indonesia (type locality).
Oriental Region: India, Thailand, Vietnam.
Palaearctic Region: China.

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.

  • capellinii. Pheidole capellinii Emery, 1887b: 463 (footnote), pl. 1, fig. 14 (s.) INDONESIA (Java). Imai, Kubota, et al. 1985: 47 (k.). Senior synonym of lighti: Zhou & Zheng, 1997d: 222; of attila: Eguchi, 2001a: 7. See also: Eguchi, 2008: 11.
  • attila. Pheidole attila Forel, 1913k: 34, figs. G, H (s.w.) INDONESIA (Sumatra). Junior synonym of capellinii: Eguchi, 2001a: 7.
  • lighti. Pheidole lighti Wheeler, W.M. 1927d: 2 (s.w.) CHINA. Junior synonym of capellinii: Zhou & Zheng, 1997d: 222. See also: Wu & Wang, 1995: 100.

Type Material

Eguchi (2008) - Syntype: 1 major, “Giava” [Java, Indonesia], Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa, examined.

Pheidole lighti. Syntypes: 1 major & 4 minors, “Back Liang, China, S.F. Light”, Museum of Comparative Zoology cotype- 20661, examined.

Pheidole attila. Syntypes: 3 majors & 3 minors, Bahsoemboe, Sumatra, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, examined. Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Eguchi (2008) - Major (n=4). — HL 1.75–2.18 mm; HW 1.58–1.98 mm; CI 86–91; SL 0.78–0.86 mm; SI 44–52; FL 1.28–1.46 mm; FI 74–83. Minor (n=4). — HL 0.67–0.74 mm; HW 0.61–0.66 mm; CI 84–91; SL 0.69–0.75 mm; SI 113–121; FL 0.75–0.85 mm; FI 123–135.

Major. — Head bearing very short appressed background hairs over entire surface and a few thick standing hairs dorsally; head in lateral view highly raised at the border of frons and vertex, not or hardly impressed on vertex; frons flat or very weakly impressed medially; frons and anterior part of vertex punctured, overlain by longitudinal rugulae; posterior part of vertex and dorsal and lateral faces of vertexal lobe largely rugoso-punctate, shagreened or almost smooth; frontal carina well developed horizontally, partly overhanging antennal scrobe; median part of clypeus punctured, with a relatively weak median longitudinal carina; median and submedian processes of hypostoma inconspicuous or poorly developed; lateral processes conspicuous; outer surface of mandible (excluding area around the base) smooth or shagreened, bearing short appressed hairs; antenna with a 3-segmented club; maximal diameter of eye much longer than antennal segment X. Promesonotal dome at most with a few standing hairs, in lateral view with a conspicuous prominence on its posterior slope; humerus weakly produced laterad; the dome at the humeri usually narrower than at the bottom, but sometimes a little broader than at the bottom; propodeum without standing hairs. Petiole much longer than postpetiole (excluding helcium); postpetiole not massive. First gastral tergite weakly punctured anteriorly and shagreened to smooth posteriorly.

Minor. — Dorsum of head punctured, bearing sparse, very short appressed background hairs, and having only a few standing hairs; preoccipital carina conspicuous dorsally and laterally; median part of clypeus weakly punctured; median longitudinal carina of clypeus conspicuous to weak, or absent; antenna with a 3-segmented club; scape exceeding posterior margin of head by 1.5× length of antennal segment II or more; maximal diameter of eye almost as long as or a little shorter than antennal segment X. Dorsal and lateral faces of mesosoma punctured (punctuation weaker in posterolateral part of promesonotal dome); promesonotal dome bearing a few short and thick standing hairs dorsally, in lateral view with a conspicuous prominence or mound on its posterior slope; humerus of the dome in dorso-oblique view not or very weakly produced laterad; propodeum without standing hairs. Petiole much longer than postpetiole (excluding helcium); postpetiole not massive.


  • 2n = 20 (Indonesia) (Imai et al., 1985).


  • Eguchi, K. 2001b. A taxonomic study on Asian Pheidole (Hymenoptera, Formicidae): new synonymy, rank changes, lectotype designations and redescriptions. Insecta Koreana. 18:1-35. (page 7, Senior synonym of attila)
  • Eguchi, K. 2008. A revision of Northern Vietnamese species of the ant genus Pheidole (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Zootaxa. 1902:1-118. PDF
  • Emery, C. 1887g. Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte terza. Formiche della regione Indo-Malese e dell'Australia (continuazione e fine). [part]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. 25[=(2)(5): 449-464 (page 463, pl. 1, fig. 14 soldier described)
  • Imai, H. T.; Kubota, M.; Brown, W. L., Jr.; Ihara, M.; Tohari, M.; Pranata, R. I. 1985. Chromosome observations on tropical ants from Indonesia. Annu. Rep. Natl. Inst. Genet. Jpn. 35: 46-48 (page 47, karyotype described)
  • Zhou, S.; Zheng, Z. 1997c. A new synonym of Pheidole capellinii Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Entomotaxonomia 19(3): 222 (page 222, Senior synonym of lighti)