Pheidole jamaicensis

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

Pheidole jamaicensis jtlc000015838 p 1 high.jpg

Pheidole jamaicensis jtlc000015838 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Collecting on Jamaica by Jack Longino resulted in finding this ant in numerous habitats and nest sites. Collections were made in lowland second growth, wet forest on karst, and cloud forest. Nests were found beneath epiphytes, in rotten wood on the ground, and under stones. Multiple collections in the Dominican Republic by W. L. Brown in 1975 were from diverse habitats: evergreen forest, coffee plantation, limestone, ravine, and mixed hardwood-pine forest. (Longino and Cox 2009)


Exhibiting a slightly different but consistent combination of characters that distinguish them from other Pheidole bilimeki-like forms. The minor worker scapes are long, like Pheidole anastasii. Minor and major workers are uniformly dark red brown. The following can be helpful in separating bilimeki-like Phediole (Longino and Cox 2009):


  • Scape relatively short (SI 95–108, lower cloud of points in Fig. 1); posterior margin of vertex somewhat flattened; color usually brown, yellow in northern parts of range . . . . . Pheidole bilimeki
  • Scape relatively long (SI typically 103–125, upper cloud of points in Fig. 1); posterior margin of vertex more rounded (Fig. 2 B, C, E); color brown or yellow . . . . . 2


  • Color clear yellow orange (gray brown in one population on Caribbean coast of Panama); typically nesting in live plant cavities in wet forest understory . . . . . Pheidole anastasii
  • Color red brown to nearly black; typically nesting in open, disturbed habitats . . . . . 3


  • Scapes relatively shorter (SI 108–114, see Fig. 1) (major worker with face uniformly red brown) . . . . . Pheidole jamaicensis
  • Scapes relatively longer (SI 114–125, see Fig. 1) (major worker with face bicolored, dark red brown anteriorly, yellow posteriorly) . . . . . Pheidole punctatissima

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 21.606641° to 17.77385°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica (type locality).

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.



Images from AntWeb

Pheidole jamaicensis casent0636785 h 1 high.jpgPheidole jamaicensis casent0636785 p 1 high.jpgPheidole jamaicensis casent0636785 d 1 high.jpgPheidole jamaicensis casent0636785 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0636785. Photographer Brianna Bartholomew, uploaded by University of Utah. Owned by MCZC.


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

  • jamaicensis. Pheidole punctatissima subsp. jamaicensis Wheeler, W.M. 1908b: 161 (s.w.) JAMAICA. Junior synonym of bilimeki: Wilson, 2003: 378. Revived from synonymy and raised to species: Longino & Cox, 2009: 41.

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


Longino and Cox (2009) - Pheidole anastasii, Pheidole bilimeki, Pheidole jamaicensis and Pheidole punctatissima share the following traits:

Minor worker: head width (not including eyes) 0.38 to 0.55mm; scape length 0.40 to 0.60mm; scape index (100 * scape length / head width) 95 to 125; face and mesosoma uniformly foveolate; promesonotal groove very weakly or not at all impressed; with short upturned propodeal spines; postpetiole broad and low, somewhat flattened, lower than petiolar node; first gastral tergite with anterior third to entire surface shagreened; pilosity on mesosomal dorsum sparse and stiff; pilosity on hind tibia fully appressed and short.

Major worker: head width 0.74 to 1.09mm; scape length 0.44 to 0.63mm; scape index 50 to 68; face largely foveolate rugose, with variable extent smooth and shiny posteriorly; hypostomal margin with two closely-spaced medial teeth; first gastral tergite with anterior third to entire surface shagreened.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Alayo D. P. 1974. Introduccion al estudio de los Himenopteros de Cuba. Superfamilia Formicoidea. Academia de Ciencias de Cuba. Instituto de Zoologia. Serie Biologica no.53: 58 pp. La Habana.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Longino J. T., and D. J. Cox. 2009. Pheidole bilimeki reconsidered (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 1985: 34-42.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1908. The ants of Jamaica. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 24: 159-163.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1917. Jamaican ants collected by Prof. C. T. Brues. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 61: 457-471.
  • Wheeler W. M., and W. M. Mann. 1914. The ants of Haiti. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 33: 1-61.
  • Wheeler, William Morton. 1911. Additions to the Ant-Fauna of Jamaica. Bulletin American Museum of Natural History. 30:21-29.