Pheidole polita

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

MCZ-ENT00009089 Pheidole wheeleri hal.jpg

MCZ-ENT00009089 Pheidole wheeleri had.jpg

Specimen Label


At Cuzco Amazónico, Peru, Stefan Cover and John E. Tobin found a dense population of this species in a large clearing filled with logging detritus. (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Rio Beni, Bolivia (polita types); Rio Madeira, Rondônia, Brazil (wheeleri types); and Cuzco Amazónico, near Puerto Maldonado, Madre de Dios, Peru. (Wilson 2003)

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -2.687467° to -2.687467°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Bolivia (type locality), Brazil, Peru.

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.



Association with Other Organisms

  • This species is a associate (details unknown) for the encyrtid wasp Holcencyrtus wheeleri (a associate (details unknown)) (Quevillon, 2018).



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

  • polita. Pheidole fabricator var. polita Emery, 1894c: 155 (s.w.) BOLIVIA. Raised to species and senior synonym of wheeleri: Wilson, 2003: 734.
  • wheeleri. Pheidole (Pheidole) wheeleri Mann, 1916: 431, pl. 3, fig. 23 (s.w.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of polita: Wilson, 2003: 734.

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


DIAGNOSIS From Wilson (2003): A shiny, reddish or brownish yellow member of the tristis group, somewhat similar to Pheidole balzani, Pheidole fabricator, Pheidole nigella and Pheidole tristis but immediately distinguishable from these and other species in the group by the following traits.

Major and minor: body mostly smooth and shiny, reddish brown; humeri very prominently angulate, in major seen from above extending well beyond the lower sides of the pronotum; hind tibiae greatly swollen.

Major: occipital border in full-face view very broadly and moderately concave.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Major (polita lectotype): HW 1.20, HL 1.20, SL 0.62, EL 0.12, PW 0.62. Minor (polita paralectotype): HW 0.64, HL 0.66, SL 0.60, EL 0.08, PW 0.40.

COLOR Major (polita lectotype): body brownish yellow, appendages dark yellow (wheeleri types are medium to light reddish brown, appendages a lighter shade of reddish brown).

Minor: concolorous yellowish brown (wheeleri types have body medium reddish brown, appendages yellowish to reddish brown.

Pheidole polita Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: major (syntype of synonymous wheeleri). Lower: minor (syntype of synonymous wheeleri). Hind tibia shown in both castes. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Type Material

Rio Beni, Bolivia, Luigi Balzan. Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa - as reported in Wilson (2003)


L polita, smooth, polished. (Wilson 2003)


  • Emery, C. 1894d. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. VI-XVI. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 26: 137-241 (page 155, soldier, worker described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 734, fig. major, minor described, Raised to species: new status, Senior synonym of wheeleri)
  • Santschi, F. 1916d. Rectifications à la nomenclature de quelques Formicides (Hym.). Bull. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 1916: 242-243 (page 242, replacement name; concordia Santschi, 1916)
  • Viehmeyer, H. 1914d. Mayr's Gattung Ischnomyrmex (Hym.) nebst Beschreibung einiger neuer Arten aus anderen Gattungen. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 37: 601-612 (page 606, soldier, worker described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Emery C. 1894. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. VI-XVI. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 26: 137-241.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Kusnezov N. 1953. La fauna mirmecológica de Bolivia. Folia Universitaria. Cochabamba 6: 211-229.
  • Mann W. M. 1916. The Stanford Expedition to Brazil, 1911, John C. Branner, Director. The ants of Brazil. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 60: 399-490
  • da Silva de Oliveira A. B., and F. A. Schmidt. 2019. Ant assemblages of Brazil nut trees Bertholletia excelsa in forest and pasture habitats in the Southwestern Brazilian Amazon. Biodiversity and Conservation 28(2): 329-344.