Naves (1985) reports metallescens as common in Florida, preferring to nest in the shade of trees. Nests are in the soil, surrounded by small craters of excavated earth, and comprising small chambers connected by a central vertical gallery to a depth of up to 40 cm. Each colony has a single queen. The minor workers, often accompanied by majors, collect small grass seeds and scavenge for dead arthropods. In Texas, Stefan Cover found the species in similar habitats, nesting variously in the soil and in rotting logs. (Wilson 2003)
- 1 Identification
- 2 Distribution
- 3 Biology
- 4 Castes
- 5 Nomenclature
- 6 References
- 7 References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics
The minors of this species can be easily recognized, as they have abundant bluish or purple reflections, which are especially obvious on the head. The majors rarely have bluish reflections, and are relatively small (about 2 mm total length), with short scapes (extend about 1/2 the length of the head), and the entire dorsum of the head is covered with rugae, and is granulose between the rugae. Only the tops of the posterior lateral lobes are smooth and shining. The lateral connules on the postpetiole are well developed, but blunt and rounded. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)
Also see the description in the nomenclature section.
Keys including this Species
From central Florida through the Gulf States to Oklahoma and southern Texas. (Wilson 2003)
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 Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.
- metallescens. Pheidole metallescens Emery, 1895c: 294 (w.) U.S.A. Wheeler, W.M. 1908e: 476 (s.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1960b: 12 (l.). Senior synonym of splendidula: Wilson, 2003: 453.
- splendidula. Pheidole metallescens subsp. splendidula Wheeler, W.M. 1908e: 474, pl. 26, figs. 20, 21 (s.w.q.m.) U.S.A. Junior synonym of metallescens: Wilson, 2003: 453.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Major: reddish brown; occiput rugoreticulate, with the reticulum extending partway anteriorly down the side of the head to near the eye, and another, small patch of rugoreticulum occurs between the eye and antennal fossa on each side; humerus prominent, subangulate from above and lobate in dorsal-oblique view; propodeal spine long and thin; postpetiole wide and elliptical from above, and with subangulate anterior ventral margin.
Minor: body blackish with bluish reflections; often most of mesosoma foveolate and opaque.
Minors of some series have entirely foveate heads and may represent a distinct species.
MEASUREMENTS (mm) Major (Archbold Station, Florida): HW 0.84, HL 0.94, SL 0.42, EL 0.12, PW 0.44. Minor (Archbold Station): HW 0.42, HL 0.46, SL 0.40, EL 0.10, PW 0.26.
COLOR Major: bicolored, with head and appendages light reddish brown, and rest of body medium to dark brown.
Minor: body concolorous blackish brown, with metallic bluish reflections; central parts of femora and tibiae medium brown; distal and proximal portions brownish yellow.
Figure. Upper: major. Lower: minor. FLORIDA: Archbold Station, near Sebring, Highlands Co. Scale bars = 1 mm.
St. George (Cape or Island), Florida, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa - as reported in Wilson (2003)
L metallescens, metallic, alluding to the gun-metal blue reflections from the body of the minor. (Wilson 2003)
- Mackay, W. P. and E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY.
- Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 453, fig. major, minor described, page 453, Senior synonym of splendidula)
- Emery, C. 1895d. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der nordamerikanischen Ameisenfauna. (Schluss). Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 8: 257-360 (page 294, worker described)
- Ipser, R.M., Brinkman, M.A., Gardner, W.A., Peeler, H.B. 2004. A survey of ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Georgia. Florida Entomologist 87: 253-260.
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- Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1960b. Supplementary studies on the larvae of the Myrmicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 62: 1-32 (page 12, larva described)
- Wheeler, W. M. 1908h. The ants of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. (Part I.). Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 24: 399-485 (page 476, soldier described)
References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics
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