Pheidole pinealis

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Pheidole pinealis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. pinealis
Binomial name
Pheidole pinealis
Wheeler, W.M., 1908

Pheidole pinealis casent0103479 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole pinealis casent0103479 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

The type colony was found beneath a stone; the nest contained seed caches (Wheeler 1908). In western Texas, Moody and Francke (1982) found three colonies, variously at 1000–1200 m, nesting, respectively, beneath a stone and cow dung and in open soil. (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Known only from western Texas and a series from Guanajuato, central Mexico. (Wilson 2003)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The colonies taken in Coahuila were under stones, and no store of seeds was found. It may be recalled that the type nest of pineaJis contained many seeds. Their absence in the three colonies cited above may be due to the fact that these nests were excavated in February, a month when there is seldom much foraging activity in harvesting species.The colonies of pinealis appear to be small. The nest taken in the Sierra de la Muralla consisted of fifteen majors and thirty-three minors. Those taken near Arteaga consisted of eight majors and twenty-four minors in one nest and twenty-one majors and thirty-six minors in the other. (Creighton and Gregg 1959)






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

  • pinealis. Pheidole pinealis Wheeler, W.M. 1908e: 459, pl. 27, fig. 38 (s.w.) U.S.A. See also: Wilson, 2003: 591.

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 “bicarinata complex” of the larger pilifera group, comprising Pheidole agricola, Pheidole aurea, Pheidole barbata, Pheidole bicarinata, Pheidole centeotl, Pheidole cerebrosior, Pheidole ceres,Pheidole defecta, Pheidole gilvescens, Pheidole macclendoni, Pheidole macrops, Pheidole marcidula, Pheidole paiute, Pheidole pinealis, Pheidole xerophila, Pheidole yaqui and Pheidole yucatana, which complex is characterized by the large to very large, forward-set eyes, especially in the minor; and in the major, the occipital lobes lacking any sculpturing (except in aurea); the posterior half of the head capsule smooth and shiny; and the postpetiole seen from above oval, elliptical, or laterally angulate (cornulate in cerebrosior).

P. pinealis differs within the complex by the following combination of traits.

Major: dark spot on vertex; humerus in dorsal-oblique view right-angulate; petiole in side view tapers to a point, and from behind is deeply concave; postpetiolar lateral extension from above horn-shaped; erect pilosity of pronotum long and dense.

Minor: humerus in dorsal-oblique view feebly subangulate; postpetiole from above roughly diamond-shaped.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 1.06, HL 1.24, SL 0.52, EL 0.14, PW 0.54. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.48, HL 0.54, SL 0.46, EL 0.10, PW 0.30.

COLOR Major: head and mesosoma light brown with a slightly reddish tinge; center of head dorsum with contrasting circular dark brown spot, as illustrated; waist and gaster dark brown; appendages brownish yellow.

Minor: concolorous medium brown (brownish yellow, possibly faded, in paralectotype); appendages yellowish brown.

Pheidole pinealis Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Type Material

TEXAS: Limpio Canyon, Ft. Davis, Davis Mts., Jeff Davis Co., southwestern Texas, col. W. M. Wheeler. Museum of Comparative Zoology and American Museum of Natural History- as reported in Wilson (2003)




  • Creighton, W. S. and R. E. Gregg. 1955. New and little-known species of Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Univ. Colo. Stud. Ser. Biol. 3:1-46.
  • Moody, J. V., Francke, O. F. 1982. The ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of western Texas, Part 1: Subfamily Myrmicinae. Grad. Stud. Tex. Tech Univ. 27: 1–80.
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1908h. The ants of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. (Part I.). Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 24: 399-485 (page 459, pl. 27, fig. 38 soldier, worker described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 591, fig. major, minor described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • LeBrun E. G., R. M. Plowes, and L. E. Gilbert. 2015. Imported fire ants near the edge of their range: disturbance and moisture determine prevalence and impact of an invasive social insect. Journal of Animal Ecology,81: 884–895.
  • Moody J. V., and O. F. Francke. 1982. The Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Western Texas Part 1: Subfamily Myrmicinae. Graduate Studies Texas Tech University 27: 80 pp.
  • O'Keefe S. T., J. L. Cook, T. Dudek, D. F. Wunneburger, M. D. Guzman, R. N. Coulson, and S. B. Vinson. 2000. The Distribution of Texas Ants. The Southwestern Entomologist 22: 1-92.
  • Wheeler, G.C. and J. Wheeler. 1985. A checklist of Texas ants. Prairie Naturalist 17:49-64.
  • Wilson, E.O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A Dominant, Hyperdiverse Genus. Harvard University Press