A colony found in Hidalgo County, New Mexico, by Stefan Cover (unpublished field notes) was in open desert with scattered mesquite, yucca, and Ephedra, occupying a soil nest with an entrance in a grass clump. A second colony was discovered by Cover nesting in open soil near Pecos, Texas, in saline desert among growth of Limonium and Salicornia. Nests reported by Moody and Francke (1982) in western Texas were at 600 to 1700 m and variously under stones and in open soil. (Wilson 2003)
- 1 Identification
- 2 Distribution
- 3 Biology
- 4 Castes
- 5 Nomenclature
- 6 References
The major of this species can be recognized by the flattened area at the base of the scape, the long scape, the rough sculpture over the entire dorsal surface of the head, and the coarse, transverse pronotal rugae, with the intrarugal spaces shining. The petiolar notch is shallow, but broad, the hairs on the gaster are long, nearly of equal length, blunt, and widely spaced. The head of the minor is smooth and shining, the postpetiole is globular and less than twice the width of the node of the petiole. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)
See the description in the nomenclature section.
Keys including this Species
West-central Texas to southwestern New Mexico. (Wilson 2003)
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
Open, sandy, semi-desert areas.
This species nests in the soil, with the entrance surrounded by a small mound.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- sciara. Pheidole sciara Cole, 1955a: 47 (s.w.) U.S.A. See also: Wilson, 2003: 346.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
From Wilson (2003): A member of the fallax group, somewhat similar to Pheidole optiva of Mexico, distinguished as follows.
Major: in dorsal-oblique view, promesonotal dorsal profile with 3 roughly equal lobes (2 pronotal, 1 mesonotal); rugoreticulum on each side of head extends from eye to antennal fossa; central third of head dorsum, from frontal lobes to occiput, carinulate, and occipital lobes smooth; pronotal dorsum entirely carinulate; propodeal spines one third as long as and nearly vertical to basal propodeal face; postpetiole elliptical, with angulate lateral borders.
Minor: entire head, mesosoma, and waist foveolate and opaque; eyes large, Eye Length one-third Head Width.
MEASUREMENTS (mm) Paratype major: HW 1.48, HL 1.52, SL 0.86, EL 0.26, PW 0.80. Paratype minor: HW 0.62, HL 0.76, SL 0.86, EL 0.20, PW 0.40.
COLOR Major: body light reddish brown except for gaster, which is plain medium to dark brown.
Minor: body plain medium brown, appendages light to medium brown.
Figure. Upper: paratype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. Scale bars = 1 mm.
NEW MEXICO: Lordsburg, col. Arthur C. Cole, Museum of Comparative Zoology - as reported in Wilson (2003)
Gr sciara, shaded, possibly alluding to color of the types. (Wilson 2003)
- Cole, A. C., Jr. 1955a. Studies of New Mexico ants. XIV. A description of a new species of Pheidole Westwood (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Tenn. Acad. Sci. 30: 47-49 PDF (page 47, soldier, worker described)
- 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.
- Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 346, fig. major, minor described)