Pheidole diversipilosa

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Pheidole diversipilosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. diversipilosa
Binomial name
Pheidole diversipilosa
Wheeler, W.M., 1908

Pheidole diversipilosa casent0102874 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole diversipilosa casent0102874 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

According to Stefan Cover (personal communication), diversipilosa is common at mid-elevations (1050–1900 m), favoring oak-pine-juniper forests, especially those in creek valleys, where it nests under rocks and in open soil. Colonies have single queens and large populations, which can exceed 1000 workers. Seed caches have been found in some nests. (Wilson 2003)


The majors of this species are easily recognized by the short (less than 0.05 mm), erect hairs on the dorsum of the gaster. The scape of the major is flattened near the base, but the width is less than the width of the scape near the apex. The scape extends slightly more than ½ the distance to the posterior lateral corner. The anterior half of the head has coarse, reticulated rugae, the posterior half of the head, and the tops of the posterior lateral lobes, are smooth and glossy. The posterior half of the mesonotum is enlarged and swollen, the propodeal spines are well developed, but thick. The lateral connules on the postpetiole are absent. The minor worker has most surfaces punctate, with shining areas in the middle of the head, dorsum and side of the pronotum, and the gaster. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)

Also see the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Southwestern Texas to the mountains of southern and central Arizona. (Wilson 2003)

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 40.4097° to 28.43333333°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.

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.


Oak forests, alligator juniper, Chihuahua pine forests. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)


Brood is found in nests in April, sexuals in June. Nests appear to be monogynous, even though the nests are very large. Foragers are attracted to tuna baits. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)

Association with Other Organisms

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  • This species is a host for the phorid fly Apocephalus orthocladus (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).

Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Life History Traits

  • Queen number: monogynous (Mackay & Mackay, 2002)




Images from AntWeb

Pheidole diversipilosa casent0104396 head 1.jpgPheidole diversipilosa casent0104396 profile 1.jpgPheidole diversipilosa casent0104396 dorsal 1.jpgPheidole diversipilosa casent0104396 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0104396. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by ABS, Lake Placid, FL, USA.
Pheidole diversipilosa casent0102875 head 1.jpgPheidole diversipilosa casent0102875 profile 1.jpgPheidole diversipilosa casent0102875 dorsal 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0102875. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


MCZ-ENT00020685 Pheidole crassicornis-hef.jpgMCZ-ENT00020685 Pheidole crassicornis-hal.jpgMCZ-ENT00020685 Pheidole crassicornis-had.jpgMCZ-ENT00020685 Pheidole crassicornis-lbs.jpg
. Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Images from AntWeb

Pheidole diversipilosa casent0104395 head 1.jpgPheidole diversipilosa casent0104395 profile 1.jpgPheidole diversipilosa casent0104395 dorsal 1.jpgPheidole diversipilosa casent0104395 label 1.jpg
Worker (major/soldier). Specimen code casent0104395. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by ABS, Lake Placid, FL, USA.


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

  • diversipilosa. Pheidole crassicornis var. diversipilosa Wheeler, W.M. 1908e: 467 (s.w.q.) U.S.A. Junior synonym of crassicornis: Creighton, 1950a: 175; Gregg, 1959: 20. Revived from synonymy and raised to species: Naves, 1985: 61. See also: Wilson, 2003: 153.

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


From Wilson (2003): Very close to Pheidole crassicornis from which it differs in the major by abundant pilosity on the mesosoma and gaster, and Pheidole tetra, from which it differs in the major by the much shorter pilosity on the first gastral tergite and by sparseness or absence of pilosity on the waist and occiput.

Also resembles Pheidole pilosior and Pheidole porcula in various traits as depicted.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 1.26, HL 1.34, SL 0.66, EL 0.20, PW 0.66. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.66, HL 0.74, SL 0.76, EL 0.16, PW 0.46.

COLOR Major and minor: body medium reddish brown, appendages light reddish brown.

Pheidole diversipilosa Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Syntype Specimen Labels

Type Material

TEXAS: Ft. Davis, southwestern Texas, col. W. M. Wheeler., Museum of Comparative Zoology - as reported in Wilson (2003)


L diversipilosa, different (variable) hair, alluding to the major. (Wilson 2003)


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Cover S. P., and R. A. Johnson. 20011. Checklist of Arizona Ants. Downloaded on January 7th at
  • Deyrup M. 2016. Ants of Florida: identification and natural history. CRC Press, 423 pages.
  • Deyrup, M. 2003. An updated list of Florida ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Florida Entomologist 86(1):43-48.
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at
  • Kay, A. 2002. Applying Optimal Foraging Theory to Assess Nutrient Availability Ratios for Ants. Ecology 83(7):1935-1944
  • LaBrun, E.G. and D.H. Feener Jr. 2007. When trade-offs interact: balance of terror enforces dominance discovery trade-off in a local ant assemblage. Journal of Animal Ecology 76:58-64
  • LeBrun, E.G. 2005. Who Is the Top Dog in Ant Communities? Resources, Parasitoids, and Multiple Competitive Hierarchies. Oecologia 142(4):643-652
  • Mackay W. P. and Mackay, E. E. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 400 pp.
  • McDonald D. L., D. R. Hoffpauir, and J. L. Cook. 2016. Survey yields seven new Texas county records and documents further spread of Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. Southwestern Entomologist, 41(4): 913-920.
  • Naves M. A. 1985. A monograph of the genus Pheidole in Florida, USA (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insecta Mundi 1: 53-90
  • O'Keefe S. T., J. L. Cook, T. Dudek, D. F. Wunneburger, M. D. Guzman, R. N. Coulson, and S. B. Vinson. 2000. The Distribution of Texas Ants. The Southwestern Entomologist 22: 1-92.
  • Wilkinson, E.B. and D.H. Feener Jr. 2007. Habitat Complexity Modifies Ant-Parasitoid Interactions: Implications for Community Dynamics and the Role of Disturbance. Oecologia 152(1):151-161
  • Wilson, E.O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A Dominant, Hyperdiverse Genus. Harvard University Press
  • Zettler J. A., M. D. Taylor, C. R. Allen, and T. P. Spira. 2004. Consequences of Forest Clear-Cuts for Native and Nonindigenous Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 97(3): 513-518.