Pheidole capellinii

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
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.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 22.88333333° to -7.502778°.

Tropical South

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

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.




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

  • 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).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Chapman, J. W., and Capco, S. R. 1951. Check list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Asia. Monogr. Inst. Sci. Technol. Manila 1: 1-327
  • Chen Y. Q., Q. Li, Y. L. Chen, Z. X. Lu, X. Y. Zhou. 2011. Ant diversity and bio-indicators in land management of lac insect agroecosystem in Southwestern China. Biodivers. Conserv. 20: 3017-3038.
  • Chen Y., C. W. Luo, H. W. Li, Y. J. Liu, H. F. Zheng, and F. C. Yang. 2013. Investigation of ant species and distribution on Wuliang Mountain. Journal of Henan Agricultural Sciences 42(5): 118-122.
  • Chen Y., C.-W. Luo, H. W Li, Z. H. Xu, Y. J. Liu, and S. J. Zhao. 2011. The investigation of soil ant resources on the West slope of Mt Ailao. Hubei Agricultural Sciences 50(7): 1356-1359.
  • Eguchi K. 2001. A taxonomic study on Asian Pheidole (Hymenoptera, Formicidae): new synonymy, rank changes, lectotype designations and redescriptions. Insecta Koreana 18: 1-35.
  • Eguchi K. 2008. A revision of Northern Vietnamese species of the ant genus Pheidole (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Zootaxa 1902: 1-118.
  • Eguchi K., T. V. Bui, S. Yamane, H. Okido, and K. Ogata. 2004. Ant faunas of Ba Vi and Tam Dao, North Vietnam (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bull. Inst. Trop. Agr. Kyushu Univ. 27: 77-98.
  • Emery C. Formiche raccolte da Elio Modigliani in Sumatra, Engano e Mentawei. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale 40: 661-722.
  • Emery, C. "Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte terza. Formiche della regione Indo-Malese e dell'Australia (continuazione e fine)." Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria (Genova) (2) 5, no. 25 (1887): 427-473.
  • Emery, C. "Formiche raccolte da Elio Modigliani in Sumatra, Engano e Mentawei." Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria (Genova) (2) 20, no. 40 (1900): 661-722.
  • Forel A. 1913k. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse einer Forschungsreise nach Ostindien ausgeführt im Auftrage der Kgl. Preuss. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin von H. v. Buttel-Reepen. II. Ameisen aus Sumatra, Java, Malacca und Ceylon. Gesammelt von Herrn Prof. Dr. v. Buttel-Reepen in den Jahren 1911-1912. Zoologische Jahrbücher. Abteilung für Systematik, Geographie und Biologie der Tiere 36:1-148.
  • Guénard B., and R. R. Dunn. 2012. A checklist of the ants of China. Zootaxa 3558: 1-77.
  • Hu X., S. Xu, P. Peng, X. Wang, Z. Sheng, Q. Lin, and L. Lu. 2014. Study on Diversity of Family Formicidae in Major Tea Areas of Chongqing. Southwest China Journal of Agricultural Sciences 27(1): 136-141.
  • Huong N. T. T., P. V. Sang, and B. T. Viet. 2015. A preliminary study on diversity of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) at Hon Ba Nature Reserve. Environmental Scientific Conference 7: 614-620.
  • Imai H. T., M. Kubota, W. L. Brown, Jr., M. Ihara, M. Tohari, and R. I. Pranata. 1985. Chromosome observations on tropical ants from Indonesia. Annu. Rep. Natl. Inst. Genet. Jpn. 35: 46-48.
  • Jaitrong W.; Nabhitabhata, J. 2005. A list of known ant species of Thailand. The Thailand Natural History Museum Journal 1(1): 9-54.
  • Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, 2001. Report of Rapid Biodiversity Assessments at Jianfengling Nature Reserve, Southwest Hainan, 1998 and 2001. South China Forest Biodiversity Survey Report Series (Online Simplified Version): No. 3. KFBG, Hong Kong SAR, ii + 35 pp.
  • Li Q., B. D. Hoffmann, Z. X. Lu, and Y. Q. Chen. 2017. Ants show that the conservation potential of afforestation efforts in Chinese valley-type savanna is dependent upon the afforestation method. Journal of Insect Conservation DOI 10.1007/s10841-017-0005-0
  • Li Q., Y. Chen, S. Wang, Y. Zheng, Y. Zhu, and S. Wang. 2009. Diversity of ants in subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest in Pu'er City, Yunnan. Biodiversity Science 17(3): 233-239.
  • Li Q., Z. Lu, Z. Wei, M. Yanyan, and F. Ping. 2015. Communities of ground-dwelling ants in different plantation forest in arid-hot valleys of Jinsha river, Yunnan Province, China. Scientia Silvae Sinicae 51(8): 134-142.
  • Li Qiao, Chen You-qing, Guo Xiao, Duan Yan, Chen Yan-lin, and Xu Zheng-hui. 2007. Diversity of ants in differents habitats in Yuanmou arid-hot valley, Yunnan. Journal of Fujian College of Forestry 27(3): 272-277.
  • Li Z.h. 2006. List of Chinese Insects. Volume 4. Sun Yat-sen University Press
  • Lu Z., K. Li, N. Zhang, and Y. Chen. 2017. Diversity and indicator species of leaf-litter ants in Eucalyptus grandis plantations and secondary natural forests. Forest Research 29(4): 576-580
  • Lu Z., Y. Chen, Q. Li, S. Wang, C. Liu, and W. Zhang. 2012. Effect of population of Kerria yunnanensis on diversity of ground dwelling ant. Acta Ecologica Sinica 32(19): 6195-6202.
  • Lu Z., and Y. Chen. 2016. Effects of habitat on ant functional groups: a case study of Luchun County, Yunnan Province, China. Chinese Journal of Eco-Agriculture 24(5): 801-810.
  • Mathew R., and R. N. Tiwari. 2000. Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae. Pp. 251-409 in: Director; Zoological Survey of India (ed.) 2000. Fauna of of Meghalaya. Part 7. [State Fauna Series 4.] Insecta 2000. Calcutta: Zoological Survey of India, 621 pp.
  • Mohanraj P., M. Ali, and K. Veerakumari. 2010. Formicidae of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Indian Ocean: Bay of Bengal). Journal of Insect Science 10: Article 172
  • Mohanraj, P., M. Ali and K. Veenakumari. 2010. Formicidae of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Indian Ocean: Bay Of Bengal). Journal of Insect Science 10:172.
  • Ogata K. 2005. Asian ant inventory and international networks. Report on Insect inventory Project in Tropic Asia TAIIV: 145-170.
  • Pan Y.S. 2007. Systematic Study on the Ant Genera Pheidole Westwood and Aphaenogaster Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formincidae : Myrmicinae) In China. Guangxi Normal University, Guangxi, China. 73 pages.
  • Shuang Zhao. 2006. Ant of Guangdong Province (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): A taxonomic study of the ants of Guangdong (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Master's thesis in Agriculture Insects and Pest Control. Supervisor Fenglong Jia. 115 pages.
  • Song Y., Z. Xu, C. Li, N. Zhang, L. Zhang, H. Jiang, and F. Mo. 2013. An Analysis on the Ant Fauna of the Nangun river Nature Reserve in Yunnan, China. Forest Research 26(6): 773-780.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1927. Chinese ants collected by Professor S. F. Light and Professor N. Gist Gee. American Museum Novitates 255: 1-12.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1930. A list of the known Chinese ants. Peking Natural History Bulletin 5: 53-81.
  • Wu J. and Wang C. 1995. The ants of China. China Forestry Publishing House, Beijing. 214 pp.
  • Wu Z. W., X. D. Bi, X. He, Z. X. Lu, L. J. Wei, and Y. Q Chen. 2015. Impact of continuous fire disturbance on ground-dwelling ant communities in arid-hot valleys of Panzhihua, Sichuan. Journal of Yunnan University 37(3): 467-474.
  • Xu Z., Y. Du, and B. Yang. 1998. Seven species of the ant genus Pheidole Westwood newly recorded in China (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Southwest Forestry College 18: 227-235.
  • Zhou S. Y., and Z. M. Zheng. 1999. Taxonomic study of the ant genus Pheidole Westwood from Guangxi, with descriptions of three new species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica 24: 83-88.
  • Zhou S.-Y. and Zheng Z. 1999. Taxonomic study of the ant genus Pheidole Westwood from Guangxi, with descriptions of three new species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica24(1): 83-88.
  • Zryanin V. A. 2011. An eco-faunistic review of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). In: Structure and functions of soil communities of a monsoon tropical forest (Cat Tien National Park, southern Vietnam) / A.V. Tiunov (Editor). – M.: KMK Scientific Press. 2011. 277 р.101-124.