Pheidole casta

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Pheidole casta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. casta
Binomial name
Pheidole casta
Wheeler, W.M., 1908

Pheidole casta casent0104746 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole casta casent0104746 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Pheidole casta is evidently a rare species. The type colony was found in a canyon of the Rio Grande, near Langtry, nesting in soil beneath cedars. The only other Texan record (R. E. Gregg, collector) is from Cameron Co., about 20 km east of Brownsville. (Wilson 2003)

Photo Gallery

  • Pheidole casta major worker from McAllen, Texas, USA. Photo by Graham Montgomery.

Identification

See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Southern Texas. (Wilson 2003)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Castes

Worker

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • casta. Pheidole casta Wheeler, W.M. 1908e: 454, pl. 26, figs, 22, 23 (s.w.) U.S.A. See also: Wilson, 2003: 392.

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

Description

From Wilson (2003): A medium-sized, yellow member of the flavens group, whose major is characterized by its elongate head, shallow antennal scrobes, exclusively carinulate cephalic structure, conulate postpetiole, and slightly contrasting brownish spot on the center of the dorsum of the head capsule.

Similar to Pheidole mera, also of Texas, and distinguished from it by the less bulbous promesonotal profile in dorsal-oblique view, smooth occiput, and longitudinal (not oblique) orientation of the carinulae mesad to the eye.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 0.82, HL 1.14, SL 0.38, EL 0.14, PW 0.52. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.42, HL 0.48, SL 0.34, EL 0.06, PW 0.26.

COLOR Major: concolorous yellow, with a circular patch of slightly contrasting brownish yellow in center of dorsum of head.

Minor: concolorous clear yellow.

The minor worker from the Gregg colony collection has the head and mesosomal dorsum completely foveolate. Specimens from Estado Mexico (km 127, Highway 57) in the Museum of Comparative Zoology appear to belong to this species, although they are darker in color than the types (brownish yellow), and the sides of the heads of the minors are smooth and shiny.


Pheidole casta Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Type Material

TEXAS: Canyon of the Rio Grande, Langtry, Texas, col. W. M. Wheeler. Museum of Comparative Zoology and American Museum of Natural History - as reported in Wilson (2003)

References

  • Wheeler, W. M. 1908h. The ants of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. (Part I.). Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 24: 399-485 (page 454, pl. 26, figs. 22, 23 soldier, worker described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 392, fig. major, minor described)