Pheidole longiscapa

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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)

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







The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • 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)