Pheidole minutula

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Pheidole minutula
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. minutula
Binomial name
Pheidole minutula
Mayr, 1878

Pheidole minutula casent0281756 p 1 high.jpg

Pheidole minutula casent0281756 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Colonies were found at Belém by Joseph Bequaert and near Manaus by myself in the swollen leaf bases of the melastome understory shrub Maieta guianensis. The species was abundant where I collected it from the swollen leaf bases of Maieta guianensis (Wilson 1984b). I was able to keep colonies alive and growing in artificial nests away from the melastomes. P. minutula may be the host of another species, Pheidole microgyna, but the status of this form is problematic (Wilson 1984b). Winged queens have been found in nests from July to September. (Wilson 2003)

At a Glance • Polygynous  



See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Widespread from Panama and Guyana to Amazonian Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador. (Wilson 2003)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (type locality), Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Peru.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Life History Traits

  • Queen number: polygynous (Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)






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

  • minutula. Pheidole minutula Mayr, 1878: 872 (s.w.) BRAZIL. Wheeler, W.M. 1942: 191 (q.m.). Senior synonym of folicola, personata: Wilson, 2003: 458.
  • folicola. Pheidole minutula r. folicola Forel, 1904e: 681 (s.w.q.m.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of minutula: Wilson, 2003: 458.
  • personata. Pheidole minutula var. personata Santschi, 1929d: 291 (s.w.) GUYANA. Junior synonym of minutula: Wilson, 2003: 458.

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


From Wilson (2003): DIAGNOSIS A very small, yellow species, found in the myrmecophyte Maieta, distinguished in the major by the relatively high, subangulate humerus seen in dorsal-oblique view, the extrusion of the humeral angles slightly beyond the lower part of the pronotum beneath when seen from above, and the parallel longitudinal carinulae covering the anterior half of the head capsule; and in both castes by the mostly smooth and shiny body surface.

Similar to Pheidole nitidicollis and Pheidole tenerescens but distinguished by its flatter promesonotal profile, much shallower occiput in full-face view, and absence of transverse carinulae on the anterior pronotal dorsum. See also the less similar arhuaca, flavifrons, and other species listed as close to arhuaca; and compare the queen to the small, possibly parasitic microgyna.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 0.76, HL 0.86, SL 0.42, EL 0.14, PW 0.40. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.44, HL 0.50, SL 0.38, EL 0.06, PW 0.26.

COLOR Major: body concolorous yellow; gaster, antennae, and legs a shade lighter. Minor: concolorous yellow.

Pheidole minutula Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Type Material

BRAZIL: Amazonas, col. James Trail. Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna- as reported in Wilson (2003)


L minutula, very small. (Wilson 2003)


  • Mayr, G. 1878 [1877]. Formiciden gesammelt in Brasilien von Professor Trail. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 27: 867-878 (page 872, soldier, worker described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1942. Studies of Neotropical ant-plants and their ants. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 90: 1-262 (page 191, queen, male described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 1984b. Tropical social parasites in the ant genus Pheidole, with an analysis of the anatomical parasitic syndrome (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Ins. Soc. 31: 316–334.
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 458, fig. major, minor described, Senior synonym of folicola)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Dejean, A., A.Quilichini, J.H.C. Delabie, J. Orivel, B. Corbara and M. Gibernau. 2004. Influence of Its Associated Ant Species on the Life History of the Myrmecophyte Cordia nodosa in French Guiana. Journal of Tropical Ecology, Vol. 20, No. 6 (Nov., 2004), pp. 701-704.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mirmecofauna de la reserva ecologica de San Felipe Bacalar
  • Santschi F. 1929. Nouvelles fourmis de la République Argentine et du Brésil. Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina. 107: 273-316.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1942. Studies of Neotropical ant-plants and their ants. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 90: 1-262.
  • Wheeler W. M., and J. C. Bequaert. 1929. Amazonian myrmecophytes and their ants. Zoologischer Anzeiger 82: 10-39.