Pheidole diabolus

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Pheidole diabolus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. diabolus
Binomial name
Pheidole diabolus
Wilson, 2003

Pheidole diabolus inbiocri001282176 p 1 high.jpg

Specimen Label

The type colony, found on a forested mountain ridge, was nesting in a 4-cm-wide, rotten tree branch on the ground. A cache of seeds was present, as well as a male (1-4 June). (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Known from Costa Rica and Columbia.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia (type locality), Costa Rica.

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.

  • diabolus. Pheidole diabolus Wilson, 2003: 681, figs. (s.w.) COLOMBIA.

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


DIAGNOSIS Similar in various respects to Pheidole binasifera, Pheidole gravida, Pheidole mirabilis, Pheidole moseni, Pheidole nasifera, Pheidole mosenopsis, Pheidole rhinoceros and Pheidole unicornis, but strongly distinguished as follows.

Major: a sharp, upcurved horn grows from the center of the clypeus; humeri are very prominent, seen from above extending beyond the rest of the pronotum below, and in dorsal-oblique view forming a large equilateral triangle; propodeal spines more than half as long as the propodeal basal face; carinulae and rugulae on the frontal lobes give way posteriorly to a tight rugoreticulum, which then yields to a loose rugoreticulum, and next to foveolae, which finally are replaced by a smooth zone on the occiput.

Minor: all of head and meso soma and most of waist foveolate; humeri angulate; propodeal spines half as long as the propodeal basal face and curved backwards.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Holotype major: HW 1.18, HL 1.36, SL 0.54, EL 0.20, PW 0.64. Paratype minor: HW 0.52, HL 0.54, SL 0.58, EL 0.l2, PW 0.52.

COLOR Major: body and mandibles medium reddish brown; other appendages yellow.

Minor: concolorous brownish yellow.

Pheidole diabolus Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Type Material

COLOMBIA: Finca Los Guaduales, 10 km southwest of San Jose del Palmar, Rio Torito, Choco, col. Charles Kugler. Museum of Comparative Zoology


L diabolus, devil, evil spirit.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • 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
  • Smith M. A., W. Hallwachs, D. H. Janzen. 2014. Diversity and phylogenetic community structure of ants along a Costa Rican elevational gradient. Ecography 37(8): 720-731.