Pheidole longiscapa

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Pheidole longiscapa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. longiscapa
Binomial name
Pheidole longiscapa
Forel, 1901

MCZ-ENT00020696 Pheidole longiscapa hal.jpg

MCZ-ENT00020696 Pheidole longiscapa had.jpg

Type Label


Pheidole longiscapa is a somewhat variable, weedy species that occurs from Nicaragua to Colombia, and eastward to French Guiana (Longino, 2019). In Costa Rica, Longino (1997) found this species in mature rainforest at La Selva, near Puerto Viejo, and on vegetated land close to the beach at Llorona, Corcovado National Park. One of the latter colonies was on a vegetated rock island separated from the nearby mainland by a shallow marine channel. (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


I have verified records of this unusual species from Nicaragua (Kukra River), Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, and Puerto Rico (Guanica). In addition, Longino (1997) reports it from southwestern and northeastern Costa Rica. Because it occurs at least occasionally in disturbed habitats, the population in Puerto Rico may be an adventive carried accidentally by human commerce. (Wilson 2003)

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 17.99° to -4.21°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Greater Antilles, Guyana, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Suriname (type locality), Venezuela (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 cocciphaga casent0625349 h 1 high.jpgPheidole cocciphaga casent0625349 p 1 high.jpgPheidole cocciphaga casent0625349 d 1 high.jpgPheidole cocciphaga casent0625349 p 4 high.jpgPheidole cocciphaga casent0625349 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0625349. Photographer Jeremy Pilllow, uploaded by University of Utah. Owned by JTLC.


Images from AntWeb

Pheidole cocciphaga casent0625352 h 1 high.jpgPheidole cocciphaga casent0625352 p 1 high.jpgPheidole cocciphaga casent0625352 d 1 high.jpgPheidole cocciphaga casent0625352 p 4 high.jpgPheidole cocciphaga casent0625352 l 1 high.jpg
Worker (major/soldier). Specimen code casent0625352. Photographer Jeremy Pilllow, uploaded by University of Utah. Owned by JTLC.


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

  • longiscapa. Pheidole longiscapa Forel, 1901e: 358 (s.w.m.) VENEZUELA.
    • Senior synonym of martensis: Wilson, 2003: 205.
    • Senior synonym of cocciphaga: Longino, 2019: 44.
  • martensis. Pheidole longiscapa r. martensis Forel, 1914c: 615 (s.w.) COLOMBIA.
    • Junior synonym of longiscapa: Wilson, 2003: 205.
  • cocciphaga. Pheidole cocciphaga Borgmeier, 1934: 99, fig. 3 (s.w.q.) SURINAM.
    • Status as species: Wilson, 2003: 181.
    • Junior synonym of longiscapa: Longino, 2019: 44.

Taxonomic Notes

The synonymy of P. cocciphaga is based on measurements, Borgmeier's description and figure, and Wilson's figures (Longino, 2019). Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.


From Wilson (2003): A small, yellow member of the diligens group whose major is notable for its long propodeal spines, very sparse pilosity, mostly smooth and shiny body surface (but with partially shagreened first gastral segment), and small patch of rugoreticulum mesad to each eye. Similar to Pheidole triconstricta but with bilobous (not trilobous) promesonotal profile in dorsal-oblique view and in other details of body form and sculpture. See also Pheidole diligens and Pheidole radoszkowskii.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 0.96, HL 0.90, SL 0.80, EL 0.14, PW 0.48. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.52, HL 0.64, SL 0.84, EL 0.12, PW 0.34.

COLOR Major: concolorous yellow, with the head and mesosoma a shade darker than the waist, gaster, and appendages.

Minor: concolorous yellow.

P. cocciphaga

From Wilson (2003): A slender, small-headed member of the diligens group distinguished by the following combination of traits.

Major: head small relative to body and with a “crown” on the occiput of dense foveae and tuft of erect to suberect medium-length hair; antennal scape exceeding the occipital corner by over 2X the scape’s maximum width.

Minor: head elliptical in full-face view, with nuchal collar; antennal scape exceeds occipital border by half its own length.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 0.88, HL 0.92, SL 0.92, EL 0.20, PW 0.50. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.54, HL 0.70, SL 0.94, EL 0.16, PW 0.40.

COLOR Major: light reddish brown.

Minor: brownish yellow.

The color varies in both castes to dark brown.

Pheidole longiscapa Wilson 2003.jpg

P. longiscapa. Upper: lectotype, major. Lower: paralectotype, minor. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Lectotype Specimen Labels
Pheidole cocciphaga Wilson 2003.jpg

P. cocciphaga. Upper: lectotype, major. Lower: paralectotype, minor. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Type Material

BRAZIL: Belém, Pará. Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève - as reported in Wilson (2003)

P. cocciphaga: SURINAME: Paramaribo. Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo - as reported in Wilson (2003)


L lemur, ghost, shade of the departed, possibly alluding to the pale color of both castes. (Wilson 2003)

P. cocciphaga: L Gr cocciphaga, eater of coccum, or scale insect. (Wilson 2003)


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Borgmeier T. 1934. Contribuição para o conhecimento da fauna mirmecológica dos cafezais de Paramaribo, Guiana Holandesa (Hym. Formicidae). Archivos do Instituto de Biologia Vegetal (Rio de Janeiro) 1: 93-111.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Forel A. 1901. Variétés myrmécologiques. Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique 45: 334-382.
  • Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
  • Garcia M. A. The vulnerability of leaflitter ants to forest disturbances in the islands of Puerto Rico, Greater Antilles. Novitates Caribaea 13: 74-91.
  • Jacobs J. M., J. T. Longino, and F. J. Joyce. 2011. Ants of the Islas Murciélago: an inventory of the ants on tropical dry forest islands in northwest Costa Rica. Tropical Conservation Science 4(2): 149-171.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • LaPolla, J.S. and S.P. Cover. 2005. New species of Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Guyana, with a list of species known from the country. Tranactions of the American Entomological Society 131(3-4):365-374
  • Lapolla, J. S., and S. P. Cover. "New species of Pheidole (Hymenoptera : Formicidae) from Guyana, with a list of species known from the country." Transactions of the American Entomological Society 131, no. 3-4 (2005): 365-374.
  • Longino J. T. 2013. Ants of Nicargua. Consulted on 18 Jan 2013.
  • Longino J. T. 2019. Pheidole (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Middle American wet forest. Zootaxa 4599: 1-126
  • Longino J. T. L., and M. G. Branstetter. 2018. The truncated bell: an enigmatic but pervasive elevational diversity pattern in Middle American ants. Ecography 41: 1-12.
  • Longino J. et al. ADMAC project. Accessed on March 24th 2017 at
  • Torres, Juan A. and Roy R. Snelling. 1997. Biogeography of Puerto Rican ants: a non-equilibrium case?. Biodiversity and Conservation 6:1103-1121.
  • Ulyssea M. A., L. P. Prado, C. R. F. Brandao. 2015. Type specimens of the traditional Myrmicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) ant tribes deposited in the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil: Adelomyrmecini, Basicerotini, Blepharidattini, Crematogastrini, Formicoxenini, Lenomyrmecini, Myrmicini, Phalacromyrmecini, Pheidolini, Stegomyrmecini, Stenammini and Tetramoriini. Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo 55(12): 175-204.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1928. Mermis parasitism and intercastes among ants. Journal of Experimental Biology 50: 165-237.
  • Wilson, E.O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A Dominant, Hyperdiverse Genus. Harvard University Press