Pheidole hortensis

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Pheidole hortensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. hortensis
Binomial name
Pheidole hortensis
Forel, 1913

Pheidole hortensis casent0179654 p 1 high.jpg

Pheidole hortensis casent0179654 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

This species inhabits not only well-developed forests but also drier and shrubby vegetation. The species usually nests in rotting twigs and wood blocks on the ground, and stores up a number of tiny seeds in its nest (Eg96-BOR-062; Eg97-BOR-378, 448, 470). I have never encountered colonies containing more than one dealate queen. (Eguchi 2001)


Eguchi (2001) - P. hortensis is closely related to Pheidole maculifrons, Pheidole tenebricosa, Pheidole clypeocornis, Pheidole kikutai and Pheidole rugifera. All these are well recognisable among Indo-Chinese and Indo-Malayan congeners in having the following exceptional characteristics: masticatory margin of mandible bearing two denticles just in front of basal angle in the major (this condition is seen in only Pheidole fantasia except the above six species); ventral faces of midcoxa and hindcoxa distinctly reticulate (this condition is seen in only Pheidole aristotelis except the above six species). The following characteristics are also shared among the six species: frontal carina of the major horizontal, and (narrowly) overhanging antennal scrobe; hypostoma of the major bearing a median process. P. maculifrons is easily distinguished from the other five species collected from Borneo by having frons very weakly rugose longitudinally, vertex almost smooth and shining, dorsum of occipital lobe weakly reticulate, and alitrunk smooth and shining (one syntype major of P. maculifrons, labelled as “Holotype, MCZ, 22884”, was examined; close relationship between P. hortensis and P. maculifrons has already been suggested in Wheeler's original description). P. hortensis is distinguished from remainder of the five Bornean species as follows: in P. tenebricosa head and alitrunk of the minor punctured; in P. clypeocorniseach lateral part of clypeus of the major developed into a horn; in P. kikutai occipital carina of the minor complete; in P. rugifera head and alitrunk of the minor punctured, and outer face of mandible of the major with rugulae which run from its base toward masticatory margin.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 4.594166667° to -7.709722°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Indonesia (type locality), Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore.
Oriental Region: Thailand.

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.








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

  • hortensis. Pheidole hortensis Forel, 1913k: 38, fig. J (s.w.q.m.) INDONESIA (Java). Imai, Kubota, et al. 1985: 47 (k.). See also: Eguchi, 2001b: 61.

Type Material

Eguchi (2001) - Major, minor, queen and male (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève). Type locality: Java. Nine syntypes (2 majors, 3 minors, 1 queen and 3 males) were examined. Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Eguchi 2001. Figure 20.

Eguchi (2001) - Major (n=9): TL 1.8-2.6 mm, HL 0.87-1.15 mm, HW 0.77-1.05 mm, SL 0.38-0.48 mm, FL 0.46-0.62 mm, CI 85-95, SI 45-53, FI 55-63. Head broadest at about 3/5-2/3 distance of head (as measured from the mid-point of a transverse line spanning the anteriormost and posteriormost projecting points, respectively) (Fig. 20A), in profile weakly impressed on vertex (Fig. 20B). Hypostoma bearing a median process, which is sometimes much reduced compared with the process just mesal to each mandibular insertion (arrows in Fig. 20C). Clypeus without a median longitudinal carina, with anterior margin very weakly concave medially; each lateral part of clypeus weakly produced dorsally, but not well developed into a horn as seen in P. clypeocornis sp. nov. Eye situated at about 1/3 distance of head; distance between mandibular insertion and anterior margin of eye 1.5-1.8 times as long as maximal diameter of eye. Frontal carina horizontal, extending backward to about 3/5~2/3 distance of head (Fig. 20A). Antennal scrobe narrowly overhung by frontal carina. Antenna with 3-segmented club; antennal scape extending backward to ½-3/5 distance of head; terminal segment 1.1-1.3 times as long as preceding two segments together. Masticatory margin of mandible with apical and preapical teeth, and two denticles in front of basal angle. Promesonotum forming a high dome, without a distinct prominence on its posterior declivity (Fig. 20E); each dorsolateral portion of the dome roundly and strongly produced outward (Fig. 20D). Mesopleuron divided by a weak transverse impression into upper and lower parts. Propodeal spine triangular or elongate-triangular, 1.5-2 times as long as diameter of propodeal spiracle. Petiole 1.6-1.8 times as long as postpetiole (excluding helcium); petiolar node in posterior view not, or slightly, emarginate at apex. Postpetiole 1.5-1.8 times as broad as petiolar node.

Dorsum of head excluding occipital lobe longitudinally rugose, with interspaces smooth and shining (rarely punctured very weakly); dorsal and dorsolateral faces of occipital lobe reticulate, with enclosures smooth and shining (rarely punctured very weakly); outer face of mandible rugose only laterally near its base; dorsum of promesonotal dome smooth and shining with several transverse rugulae; upper part of mesopleuron weakly punctured; lower part of mesopleuron smooth and shining; propodeum smooth and shining, or weakly punctured in part; ventral faces of midcoxa and hindcoxa distinctly reticulate over the surface; lateral face of petiole slightly punctured; dorsum of petiole, and postpetiole and gaster smooth and shining. Outer face of mandible sparsely covered with very short appressed hairs ( < 0.03 mm in length), which are (much) shorter than distance between piligerous punctures; submarginal zone of masticatory margin of mandible with a row of longer appressed hairs. Body yellowish-brown, reddish-brown or brown, with darker mandibles, clypeus and gaster (sometimes promesonotum also darker), or blackish-brown with lighter mandibles, waist and gaster; legs a little lighter than alitrunk.

Minor Measurements and indices (n=9): TL 1.3-1.7 mm, HL 0.41-0.50 mm, HW 0.39-0.48 mm, SL 0.35-0.47 mm, AL 0.52-0.65 mm, FL 0.36-0.48 mm, CI 93-97, SI 91-103, FI 92-101. Head in full-face view almost flat posteriorly (Fig. 20F); occipital carina almost absent dorsally on head. Clypeus without a median longitudinal carina, with anterior margin in full-face view slightly convex or truncate medially. Eye situated just in front of midlength of head; distance between mandibular insertion and anterior margin of eye 0.7-0.8 times as long as maximal diameter of eye. Frontal carina rarely present as an evanescent rugula extending beyond midlength of head. Antennal scrobe present only around antennal insertion. Antenna with 3-segmented club; scape extending beyond posterior border of head by its 1/5 length; terminal segment 1.1-1.2 times as long as preceding two segments together. Promesonotal dome without any prominence on its posterior declivity (Fig. 20G). Mesopleuron sometimes with an inconspicuous transverse impression. Propodeal spine ca. 1.5 times as long as diameter of propodeal spiracle. Petiole 1.5-1.6 times as long as postpetiole (excluding helcium); petiolar node in posterior view not emarginate at apex. Postpetiole ca. 1.7 times as broad as petiolar node.

Clypeus smooth and shining; remainder of head largely smooth and shining, or weakly rugosoreticulate between eye and antennal insertion; promesonotum smooth and shining; remainder of alitrunk punctured at least partly; lateral face of petiole weakly punctured; dorsum of petiole, and postpetiole and gaster smooth and shining. Body light yellowish-brown, yellowish-brown or light brown, sometimes with a little darker head and gaster.


  • 2n = 20 (Indonesia) (Imai et al., 1985).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Chapman, J. W., and Capco, S. R. 1951. Check list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Asia. Monogr. Inst. Sci. Technol. Manila 1: 1-327
  • Eguchi K. 2001. A revision of the Bornean species of the ant genus Pheidole (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Tropics Monograph Series 2: 1-154.
  • Eguchi K. 2003. A study on the male genitalia of some Asian species of Pheidole (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae). Sociobiology 41: 317-355.
  • Eguchi K., and S. Yamane. 2003. Species diversity of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in a lowland rainforest, northwestern Borneo. New Entomol. 52(1,2): 49-59.
  • Forel A. 1913. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse einer Forschungsreise nach Ostindien ausgeführt im Auftrage der Kgl. Preuss. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin von H. v. Buttel-Reepen. II. Ameisen aus Sumatra, Java, Malacca und Ceylon. Gesammelt von Herrn Prof. Dr. v. Buttel-Reepen in den Jahren 1911-1912. Zoologische Jahrbücher. Abteilung für Systematik, Geographie und Biologie der Tiere 36:1-148.
  • Hashimoto Y., Y. Morimoto, E. S. Widodo, and M. Mohamed. 2006. Vertical distribution pattern of ants in a Bornean tropical rainforest (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 47(3): 697- 710.
  • Hashimoto Y., Y. Morimoto, and M. Mohamed. 2003. Species List of Ground and Leaf Litter Ants Collected in Lower Kinabatangan. Pp 13-18. In Lower Kinabatangan Scientific Expedition 2002, 176 pp. ISBN-13: 983-2369-11-8
  • Imai H. T., M. Kubota, W. L. Brown, Jr., M. Ihara, M. Tohari, and R. I. Pranata. 1985. Chromosome observations on tropical ants from Indonesia. Annu. Rep. Natl. Inst. Genet. Jpn. 35: 46-48.
  • Ito, F.; Yamane, S.; Eguchi, K.; Noerdjito, W. A.; Kahono, S.; Tsuji, K.; Ohkawara, K.; Yamauchi, K.; Nishida, T.; Nakamura, K. 2001. Ant species diversity in the Bogor Botanic Garden, West Java, Indonesia, with descriptions of two new species of the genus Leptanilla (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Tropics 10:379-404.
  • Jaitrong W., and T. Ting-Nga. 2005. Ant fauna of Peninsular Botanical Garden (Khao Chong), Trang Province, Southern Thailand (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The Thailand Natural History Museum Journal 1(2): 137-147.
  • Jaitrong W.; Nabhitabhata, J. 2005. A list of known ant species of Thailand. The Thailand Natural History Museum Journal 1(1): 9-54.
  • Kishimoto-Yamata K., F. Hyodo, M. Matsuoka, Y. Hashimoto, M. Kon, T. Ochi, S. Yamane, R. Ishii, and T. Itioka. 2012. Effects of remnant primary forests on ant and dung beetle species diversity in a secondary forest in Sarawak, Malaysia. Journal of Insect Conservation DOI 10.1007/s10841-012-9544-6
  • Pfeiffer M.; Mezger, D.; Hosoishi, S.; Bakhtiar, E. Y.; Kohout, R. J. 2011. The Formicidae of Borneo (Insecta: Hymenoptera): a preliminary species list. Asian Myrmecology 4:9-58
  • Wheeler W. M. 1937. Additions to the ant-fauna of Krakatau and Verlaten Island. Treubia 16: 21-24.
  • Yamane S. 2013. A Review of the ant fauna of the Krakatau Islands, Indonesia. Bull. Kitakyushu Mus. Nat. Hist. Hum. Hist. Ser: A, 11: 1-66