Pheidole rugiceps

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Pheidole rugiceps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. rugiceps
Binomial name
Pheidole rugiceps
Wilson, 2003

Pheidole rugiceps inbiocri002279971 p 1 high.jpg

Specimen Label

Nests in pieces of rotting wood on floor of mature wet forest (in Costa Rica, E. O. Wilson, unpublished and J. T. Longino (1997); and in Cuzco Amazonico, Peru, Stefan Cover). Winged queens were found in a nest at Tingo Maria, Huanuco, Peru, during 9-12 March by W. L. Brown and W. Sherbrooke. (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Widespread in Costa Rica (Longino 1997), also recorded from Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Trinidad, and Amazonian Peru. (Wilson 2003)

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 18.6417° to -4.1°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica (type locality), Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, 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.







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

  • rugiceps. Pheidole rugiceps Wilson, 2003: 620, figs. (s.w.) COSTA RICA.

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


DIAGNOSIS Major: dorsal surface of the head except for c1ypeus and frontal triangle completely carinulate and foveolate; sides of the mesosoma and waist foveolate; gaster smooth and shiny; postpetiolar node laterally angulate.

Minor: head other than c1ypeus and frontal triangle, all of mesosoma, and sides of waist foveolate; occiput narrowed but lacking nuchal collar.

Longino (1997) describes the considerable geographic variation he found within Costa Rica as follows: "the shiny patch on dorsum of promesonotum is most developed on Atlantic slope specimens, is reduced on some Pacific slope specimens (Carara at 500 m, Rancho Quemado on the Osa), and absent on many Pacific slope specimens (Corcovado, Manuel Antonio, Carara at 30 m). Correlated with the reduction of the dorsal shiny spot is a change in color from dark brown to orange." I have placed light reddish brown specimens from the Arima Valley, Trinidad (600- 700 m), light reddish brown specimens from Tingo Maria, Huanuco, Amazonian Peru, and reddish yellow ("orange") specimens from Cuzco Amaz6nico, Madre de Dios, further south in Amazonian Peru, as more far flung geographic variants of the same species.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Holotype major: HW 0.90, HL 0.92, SL 0.64, EL 0.14, PW 0.42. Paratype minor: HW 0.44, HL 0.54, SL 0.64, EL 0.10, PW 0.28.

COLOR Major: type series are dark, almost blackish brown, with a contrasting medium yellow fringe on the anterior rim of the head capsule, as shown; appendages plain medium to brownish yellow.

Minor: in type series, body dark brown except for slightly contrasting narrow anterior strip on the head capsule; scape and legs except tarsi light brown; funiculi and tarsi brownish yellow. Geographic variation that departs from these color patterns is described in the Diagnosis above.

Pheidole rugiceps Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: holotype, major. Above the mesosoma of the holotype is shown the outline of a paratype mesosoma, to illustrate variation in the propodeal angle within the same nest series. Lower: paratype, minor. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Type Material

COST A RICA: La Selva Biological Station, near Puerto Viejo, Heredia, col. E. O. Wilson. Museum of Comparative Zoology


L rugiceps, wrinkle- or crease-headed, denoting the completely carinulate surface of the head.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Achury R., P. Chacon de Ulloa, and A. M. Arcila. 2008. Ant composition and competitive interactions with Wasmannia auropunctata in Tropical Dry Forest fragments. Revista Colombiana de Entomología 34 (2): 209-216.
  • Ahuatzin D. A., E. J. Corro, A. Aguirre Jaimes, J. E. Valenzuela Gonzalez, R. Machado Feitosa, M. Cezar Ribeiro, J. Carlos Lopez Acosta, R. Coates, W. Dattilo. 2019. Forest cover drives leaf litter ant diversity in primary rainforest remnants within human-modified tropical landscapes. Biodiversity and Conservation 28(5): 1091-1107.
  • Branstetter M. G. and L. Sáenz. 2012. Las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Guatemala. Pp. 221-268 in: Cano E. B. and J. C. Schuster. (eds.) 2012. Biodiversidad de Guatemala. Volumen 2. Guatemala: Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, iv + 328 pp
  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology
  • Donoso D. A. 2014. Assembly mechanisms shaping tropical litter ant communities. Ecography 37 doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2013.00253.x
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Kaspari M., D. Donoso, J. A. Lucas, T. Zumbusch, and A. D. Kay. 2012. Using nutritional ecology to predict community structure: a field test in Neotropical ants. Ecosphere 3(11): art.93.
  • Lapolla, J.S., T. Suman, J. Soso-Calvo and T.R. Schultz. 2006. Leaf litter ant diversity in Guyana. Biodiversity and Conservation 16:491–510
  • Longino J. T. L., and M. G. Branstetter. 2018. The truncated bell: an enigmatic but pervasive elevational diversity pattern in Middle American ants. Ecography 41: 1-12.
  • 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
  • Smith M. A., W. Hallwachs, D. H. Janzen. 2014. Diversity and phylogenetic community structure of ants along a Costa Rican elevational gradient. Ecography 37(8): 720-731.
  • Yanoviak S. P., and M. Kaspari. 2000. Community structure and the habitat templet: ants in the tropical forest canopy and litter. Oikos 89: 259-266.