Pheidole perpusilla

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Pheidole perpusilla
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. perpusilla
Binomial name
Pheidole perpusilla
Emery, 1894

Pheidole perpusilla jtlc000015321 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole perpusilla jtlc000015321 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


This species occurs in wet climate areas, from sea level to 1200m elevation. In mature forest areas it is a common species under epiphytes in the canopy, although its minute size makes it easy to overlook. It also occurs on trees in synanthropic habitats such as coffee farms and city parks. (Longino 2009)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 15.183° to -2.687467°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (type locality), Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago.

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.




MCZ-ENT00020776 Pheidole emersoni hef.jpgMCZ-ENT00020776 Pheidole emersoni hal.jpgMCZ-ENT00020776 Pheidole emersoni had.jpgMCZ-ENT00020776 Pheidole emersoni lbs.jpg
. Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.


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

  • perpusilla. Pheidole flavens subsp. perpusilla Emery, 1894c: 157 (s.w.q.) BRAZIL. Combination in P. (Decapheidole): Forel, 1912f: 237. Raised to species: Emery, 1896g: 80. Senior synonym of decem, emersoni: Wilson, 2003: 553; of breviscapa: Longino, 2009: 61..
  • breviscapa. Pheidole flavens var. breviscapa Forel, 1899c: 77 (s.) GUATEMALA. Raised to species: Wilson, 2003: 383. Junior synonym of perpusilla: Longino, 2009: 61.
  • decem. Pheidole decem Forel, 1901e: 366 (s.) TRINIDAD. Combination in P. (Decapheidole): Forel, 1912f: 237. Junior synonym of perpusilla: Wilson, 2003: 553.
  • emersoni. Pheidole (Hendecapheidole) emersoni Wheeler, W.M. 1922d: 4, fig. 2 (w.q.m.) GUYANA. Junior synonym of perpusilla: Wilson, 2003: 553.

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 member of the perpusilla group (10-segmented antenna, very small body size), distinguished within the group by the following traits.

Major: dorsum of head except for frontal triangle and mid-clypeus completely covered by longitudinal carinulae; propodeal spines short and stout, less than a third as long as the basal propodeal face anterior to them; first gastral tergite and dorsum of postpetiolar node smooth and shiny; pronotum varies from foveolate (South America) to smooth (Panama).

Minor: all of head and mesosoma foveolate and opaque.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Major (Mazaruni, Guyana): HW 0.60, HL 0.62, SL 0.26, EL 0.06, PW 0.32. Minor (syntype of synonymous emersoni): HW 0.34, HL 0.38, SL 0.28, EL 0.06, PW 0.26.

COLOR Major: most of body and appendages reddish yellow, gaster medium to dark brown.

Minor: body yellowish brown, appendages in contrasting yellow.

Pheidole perpusilla Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: major, composite of specimens from Mazaruni, Guyana, and Barro Colorado Island, Panama (latter specimen compared with syntype in Emery collection by W. L. Brown). Lower: minor, Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Type Material

Longino (2009):

Syntype major, minor worker, gyne: Brazil, Pará (Schulz).

Pheidole flavens var. breviscapa Holotype major worker: Guatemala, Retalhuleu (Stoll) Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève (examined).

Pheidole decem Forel, 1901a: 366. Syntype major worker: Trinidad.

Pheidole (Hendecapheidole) emersoni. Syntype minor worker, gyne, male: Guyana, Kartabo (Emerson).


L perpusilla, extremely small. (Wilson 2003)


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Adams B. J., S. A. Schnitzer, and S. P. Yanoviak. 2019. Connectivity explains local ant community structure in a Neotropical forest canopy: a large-scale experimental approach. Ecology 100(6): e02673.
  • Adams, R.M.M. and J.T. Longino. 2007. Nesting biology of the arboreal fungus-growing ant Cyphomyrmex cornutus and behavioral interactions with the social-parasitic ant Megalomyrmex mondabora. Insectes Sociaux 54:136-143
  • Brandao, C.R.F. 1991. Adendos ao catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao neotropical (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 35: 319-412.
  • Emery C. 1894. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. VI-XVI. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 26: 137-241.
  • Emery C. 1896. Formiche raccolte dal dott. E. Festa nei pressi del golfo di Darien. Bollettino dei Musei di Zoologia ed Anatomia Comparata della Reale Università di Torino 11(229): 1-4.
  • 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.
  • Kempf W. W. 1972. A study of some Neotropical ants of genus Pheidole Westwood. I. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Studia Entomologica 15: 449-464.
  • 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
  • Longino J. T. 2009. Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 2181: 1-90.
  • Longino J. T. 2013. Ants of Nicargua. Consulted on 18 Jan 2013.
  • Longino J. T., J. Coddington, and R. K. Colwell. 2002. The ant fauna of a tropical rain forest: estimating species richness three different ways. Ecology 83: 689-702.
  • Longino J. T., and R. K. Colwell. 2011. Density compensation, species composition, and richness of ants on a neotropical elevational gradient. Ecosphere 2(3): 16pp.
  • Longino J. et al. ADMAC project. Accessed on March 24th 2017 at
  • Wheeler W. M. 1905. The ants of the Bahamas, with a list of the known West Indian species. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 21: 79-135.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1922. A new genus and subgenus of Myrmicinae from tropical America. American Museum Novitates 46: 1-6.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1922. The ants of Trinidad. American Museum Novitates 45: 1-16.
  • Wilson, E.O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A Dominant, Hyperdiverse Genus. Harvard University Press