Pheidole floridana

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Pheidole floridana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. floridana
Binomial name
Pheidole floridana
Emery, 1895

Pheidole floridana casent0104401 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole floridana casent0104401 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label


At Bald Point, Franklin Co., Florida, I found colonies nesting at a roadside in open sandy soil; and in Mobile, Alabama (in 1942) what was probably this species nesting beneath a whiskey bottle in a vacant lot. Winged reproductives have been found in nests during September and October. Stefan Cover (personal communication) reports that floridana “occurs in a variety of woodland habitats, nests in soil, litter, and rotten wood, and in both xeric and mesic situations. Colonies are monogynous, may contain 1000 or more ants, and are sometimes polydomous. The species is omnivorous, but does not appear to harvest seeds.” (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


P. floridana has been recorded by Stefan Cover (personal communication) from the coastal plain of North Carolina south to the Florida Keys and west to central Texas (Austin and surrounding area), thence south into Mexico. (Wilson 2003)

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


Images below provided by the Museum of Comparative Zoology and California Academy of Sciences







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

  • floridana. Pheidole flavens subsp. floridana Emery, 1895c: 293 (s.w.q.) U.S.A. Raised to species: Pergande, 1896: 883; Emery, 1896g: 77. Senior synonym of lauta: Gregg, 1959: 21. See also: Wilson, 2003: 424.
  • lauta. Pheidole lauta Wheeler, W.M. 1908e: 470 (s.w.q.m.) U.S.A. Subspecies of floridana: Creighton, 1950a: 179. Junior synonym of floridana: Gregg, 1959: 21.

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


From Wilson (2003): Nearly identical with Pheidole bilimeki and its Neotropical variants, distinguished as follows.

Major: foveolation on dorsum of head very fine; first gastral tergite smooth and shiny; humerus less prominent in dorsal-oblique view.

Minor: antennal scapes relatively short, just reaching or barely surpassing the occipital corner; first gastral tergite smooth and shiny, with at most a light shagreening at the base of the tergite.

Both castes are consistently yellow. P. floridana is very close to Pheidole bilimeki, and also to Pheidole stomachosa of Jamaica, which coexists on the island with bilimeki. P. stomachosa is distinguished from both bilimeki and floridana by the minor’s head and pronotum being smooth and shiny (q.v.).

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 0.92, HL 1.00, SL 0.44, EL 0.10, PW 0.46. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.44, HL 0.52, SL 0.42, EL 0.06, PW 0.30.

COLOR Major and minor: concolorous yellow.

Pheidole floridana Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: lectotype, major (damaged specimen; pilosity added from a fresh specimen); the upper dorsal-oblique profile of mesosoma is the lectotype, and the lower profile is a major from Sarasota, Florida. Lower: paralectotype, minor (damaged specimen; pilosity added from a fresh specimen). Scale bars = 1 mm.

Syntype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Museum of Comparative Zoology and Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa - as reported in Wilson (2003)


Named after the state of origin. (Wilson 2003)


  • Emery, C. 1895d. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der nordamerikanischen Ameisenfauna. (Schluss). Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 8: 257-360 (page 293, soldier, worker, queen described)
  • Emery, C. 1896g. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XVII-XXV. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 28: 33-107 (page 77, raised to species)
  • Gregg, R. E. 1959 [1958]. Key to the species of Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the United States. J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 66: 7-48 (page 21, senior synonym of lauta)
  • Pergande, T. 1896. Mexican Formicidae. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. (2) 5: 858-896 (page 883, raised to species)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 424, fig. major, minor described)