Pheidole hirtula

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Pheidole hirtula
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. hirtula
Binomial name
Pheidole hirtula
Forel, 1899

Pheidole hirtula casent0217903 p 1 high.jpg

Pheidole hirtula casent0217903 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Creighton (1958) reports that mature colonies are very large, with numerous majors, and occasionally dominate the immediate surrounding area to the exclusion of other ant species. Winged reproductives are found in the nests from April to at least September, and nuptial flights evidently occur in late August into early September. According to Barry Pullen, the size variation of the workers is continuous, but with sharp modes marking the minor, major, and supermajor castes. (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


According to Creighton (1958), who studied hirtula closely, the species occurs between 1070 and 2310 m, with most colonies concentrated at 1500–2100 m, from northern Chihuahua southward through Coahuila, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas to Hidalgo, Querétaro, and Jalisco. Barry E. Pullen (personal communication) reports the species as common in the suburbs of Mexico City. (Wilson 2003)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Mexico (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Association with Other Organisms

This species is a host for the eucharitid wasp Orasema tolteca (a parasite) (Mann, 1914; Baker et al., 2019; Universal Chalcidoidea Database) (primary host).






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

  • hirtula. Pheidole vasliti var. hirtula Forel, 1899c: 65 (s.w.) MEXICO. Wheeler, W.M. 1909b: 232 (q.). Raised to species and senior synonym of acolhua: Creighton, 1958: 211. See also: Wilson, 2003: 578.
  • acolhua. Pheidole (Cardiopheidole) vasliti var. acolhua Wheeler, W.M. 1914b: 48 (s.w.q.m.) MEXICO. Junior synonym of hirtula: Creighton, 1958: 211.

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


From Wilson (2003): DIAGNOSIS A large trimorphic species (major, supermajor, minor) placed in the pilifera group because of the 2-toothed hypostoma but with other traits conforming to the fallax group. Very close to Pheidole obtusospinosa, distinguished most readily in the supermajor, as illustrated, by the rounded foveae of the rear half of the dorsum of the head, with the interspaces smooth and shiny. This form is considered by Ward (1999) to be a likely geographic subspecies of obtusopilosa rather than a full species.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) All from near Chapulco, Puebla. Supermajor: HW 2.60, HL 2.40, SL 1.18, EL 0.32, PW 1.34. Major: HW 1.52, HL 1.60, SL 1.10, EL 0.24, PW 0.82. inor: HW 0.66, HL 0.86, SL 1.04, EL 0.20, PW 0.48.

COLOR Supermajor, major, and minor: head and appendages light reddish brown to plain medium brown, rest of body medium brown.

Pheidole hirtula Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Supermajor, head. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Syntype Specimen Labels

Type Material

MEXICO: km 275, Highway 150 northeast of Chapulco, Puebla. Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève - as reported in Wilson (2003)


L hirtula, little hairy one. (Wilson 2003)


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Creighton W. S. 1958. A revisionary study of Pheidole vasliti Pergande (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society 65: 203-212.
  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology
  • Fernandes, P.R. XXXX. Los hormigas del suelo en Mexico: Diversidad, distribucion e importancia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Rivers, A., M. Barbercheck, B. Govaerts, and N. Verhulst. 2016. Conservation agriculture affects arthropod community composition in a rainfed maize-wheat system in central Mexico. Applied Soil Ecology 100: 81-90.
  • Vasquez Bolanos M., and J. Escoto Rocha. 2018. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Aguascalientes. Investigacion y Ciencia 24(68): 36-40.
  • Vasquez-Bolanos M. 2011. Checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Mexico. Dugesiana 18(1): 95-133.
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133
  • Wheeler W. M. 1914. Ants collected by W. M. Mann in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 22: 37-61.
  • Wilson, E.O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A Dominant, Hyperdiverse Genus. Harvard University Press