Pheidole porcula

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

Pheidole porcula casent0104784 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole porcula casent0104784 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Near San Angelo, Texas, Stefan Cover (unpublished notes) found a nest in a grassy flat, in clayey soil beneath a rock. Moody and Francke (1982) found numerous colonies in western Texas at 100–1700 m, nesting variously under stones, logs, cow dung, and under wood and fragments of metal, as well as in open soil. (Wilson 2003)

Identification

The form of the scape easily separates this species from most of the others. It is wide near the base, and flattened or even concave on the upper surface. The scape progressively narrows towards the apex. The scapes of the major extend about two-thirds the length of the head. The posterior lateral lobes are usually moderately smooth and shining, but they are occasionally punctate. The propodeal spines are small, but well formed. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)

Also see the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Chisos Mts. of the Big Bend of southwestern Texas to the vicinity of Abilene and San Angelo, central Texas; probably also occurs in upland Chihuahua. (Wilson 2003)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Habitat

Cypress and oak forests, grasslands, up to 1450 meters in elevation. They are apparently most common in semi-arid habitats. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)

Biology

These ants nest under stones, in very rocky loam. They can be aggressive when the nest is disturbed, and the minors, and especially the majors, can bite. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)

Caste

Minor

Nomenclature

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

  • porcula. Pheidole crassicornis subsp. porcula Wheeler, W.M. 1908e: 466, pl. 27, fig. 35 (s.w.) U.S.A. Taber & Cokendolpher, 1988: 95 (k.). Raised to species: Creighton, 1950a: 187. See also: Wilson, 2003: 159.

Type Material

TEXAS: Chisos Mts., Big Bend of southwestern Texas, col. O. W. Williams. Museum of Comparative Zoology and American Museum of Natural History - as reported in Wilson (2003) Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Description

From Wilson (2003): A member of the crassicornis group close to Pheidole crassicornis, Pheidole diversipilosa, Pheidole tetra and Pheidole vallicola, differing from these species in the following combination of traits.

Major: yellow; rugoreticulum on head stretches from frontal carinae obliquely upward posterior to level of eye but does not reach the eye; pilosity dense, in full-face view fringing the head and on the first gastral tergite forming a very short, uniform felt; humerus subangulate; postpetiole from above oval, not angulate; scape at widest part of basal portion is 2x widest part of distal portion; pronotum smooth and shiny except for anterior fringe, which is carinulate.

Minor: posterior half of head completely smooth and shiny, pronotum sparsely foveolate, feebly shiny; propodeal spines reduced to denticles.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 1.58, HL 1.60, SL 0.92, EL 0.20, PW 0.78. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.60, HL 0.74, SL 0.84, EL 0.12, PW 0.40.

COLOR Major: concolorous yellow.

Minor: concolorous light reddish brown.


Pheidole porcula Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Karyotype

  • 2n = 20, karyotype = 20M (USA) (Taber & Cokendolpher, 1988).

Etymology

L porcula, little pig-like. (Wilson 2003)

References

  • Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 187, raised to species)
  • Mackay, W. P. and E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY.
  • 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.
  • Taber, S. W.; Cokendolpher, J. C. 1988. Karyotypes of a dozen ant species from the southwestern U.S.A. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Caryologia 41: 93-102 (page 95, karyotype described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1908h. The ants of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. (Part I.). Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 24: 399-485 (page 466, pl.27, fig. 35 soldier, worker described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 159, fig. major, minor described)