This species occurs in lowland to lower montane wet forest, in second growth vegetation or mature forest. Minor and major workers recruit to ground baits. Nests are in clay banks. The nest entrance is a clay turret that protrudes a few cm from the bank, with a circular or slit-shaped entrance. One or a few chambers occur at about 10 cm depth, horizontally or obliquely downward into the bank. One fully excavated colony had a single colony queen. In one case a few seeds were found in a chamber.
Minor: face shining, with patches of very faint foveolation; head rounded behind; occipital carina thin; promesonotal groove absent; lateral pronotum with sculpture similar to face; katepisternum uniformly foveate; propodeal spines short, upturned, one quarter to one third length of posterior face of propodeum; gaster smooth and shining; abundant, flexuous, erect setae on mesosomal dorsum, tibiae, and gastral dorsum; color red brown.
Major: inner hypostomal teeth distinct, closely spaced; scape base terete; face foveolate throughout, overlain with reticulate rugulae; propodeal spines about one third length of posterior face of propodeum; gastral dorsum foveolate/shagreened on anterior third, rest smooth and shiny; abundant erect setae on face, sides of head, mesosomal dorsum, tibiae, and gastral dorsum.
Measurements, minor worker: HW 0.64, HL 0.73, SL 0.95, EL 0.14, WL 0.98, PSL 0.05, PTW 0.11, PPW 0.16, CI 88, SI 147, PSLI 8, PPI 146 (n=2).
Measurements, major worker: HW 2.12, HL 2.34, SL 1.08, EL 0.27, WL 1.65, PSL 0.13, PTW 0.30, PPW 0.59, CI 91, SI 51, PSLI 6, PPI 200 (n=2).
Measurements, queen: HW 1.81, HL 1.69, SL 1.05, EL 0.36, WL 2.22, PSL 0.08, PTW 0.40, PPW 0.71, CI 107, SI 58, PSLI 5, PPI 178 (n=1).
This species is a smaller version of P. lagunculinoda. The minor worker of P. lagunculiminor has fainter sculpture on the face; the postpetiole is not enlarged and elongate (subequal in length to petiolar node, vs. almost twice as long as petiolar node in P. lagunculinoda), with shorter scapes (mean SI 147 vs. 160), and generally smaller (mean HW 0.64 vs. 0.76). The major worker of P. lagunculiminor has shorter propodeal spines (mean PSLI 6 vs. 14) and somewhat more elongate postpetiole in dorsal view, but otherwise is very similar to the major worker of P. lagunculinoda.
This species is almost certainly an allopatric sister species of Pheidole lagunculinoda, dividing north and south of the Motagua fault region of Guatemala. Within ranges there is relatively little variation in the separatory characters, and there is no indication that this is continuous geographic variation, rather than species differences.
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- lagunculiminor. Pheidole lagunculiminor Longino, 2019: 41, fig. 49 (w.q.) GUATEMALA.
- HOLOTYPE: 1 major worker, Guatemala, Izabal: 17km ESE Morales, 15.40857 -88.69701 ±54 m, 530 m, 19-May-2009, lowland wet forest, nest in clay bank (J. Longino, JTL6631) [MCZC, unique specimen identifier CASENT0610935].
- PARATYPES: major, minor worker, queen: same data as holotype [CAS, DZUP, JTLC, MCZC, USNM, UVGC].
Similar to P. lagunculinoda, but smaller.