Pheidole sculptior

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Pheidole sculptior
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. sculptior
Binomial name
Pheidole sculptior
Forel, 1893

Pheidole sculptior casent0908271 p 1 high.jpg

Pheidole sculptior casent0908271 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


On St. Vincent in the early 1890s, the avid collector H. H. Smith (in Forel 1893j) found sculptior to be relatively scarce but very adaptable in habitat. Ranging from sea level to 500 m, it occurred in forests, seashore thickets, and open land. Nests were in loamy soil under pieces of dead wood or stones; one was found in a piece of rotten wood. The colonies were small, in one instance noted by Smith comprising about 200 workers. On Grenada in 1995, Stefan Cover and I found a colony under a rock in a banana plantation at 300 m. On Trinidad, Cover found two other colonies under the bark of rotting logs. A male was present with one of the latter on 19 May, and a winged queen with a Puerto Rico colony collected by J. A. Torres on 26 November. (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Recorded by Kempf (1972b) from Puerto Rico, Martinique, St. Vincent, Trinidad, and Venezuela. I have confirmed series from Puerto Rico, St. Vincent, Trinidad, and Suriname. (Wilson 2003)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Barbados, Colombia, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb







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

  • sculptior. Pheidole flavens r. sculptior Forel, 1893g: 414 (s.w.q.) ANTILLES. Raised to species: Wilson, 2003: 506. Senior synonym of tayroni: Longino, 2009: 74.
  • tayrona. Pheidole tayrona Wilson, 2003: 518, figs. (s.w.) COLOMBIA. Junior synonym of sculptior: Longino, 2009: 74.

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 “flavens complex” within the larger flavens group, comprising Pheidole asperithorax, Pheidole breviscapa (=Pheidole perpusilla), Pheidole cardiella, Pheidole exigua, Pheidole flavens, Pheidole goeldii, Pheidole moerens, Pheidole mittermeieri, Pheidole nuculiceps, Pheidole pholeops, Pheidole sculptior, Pheidole striaticeps and Pheidole trinitatis differing in the following combination of traits.

Major: carinulae originating on frontal lobes and mesad to frontal carinae travel all the way to the occipital border, turning slightly away from the midline as they progress; shallow antennal scrobes present, their surfaces foveolate and opaque and bearing carinulae inside their anterior half; in dorsal-oblique view, promesonotal dorsal profile is weakly bilobous and descends posteriorly through a gentle gradient to the metanotal groove; pronotal dorsum foveolate and opaque, entirely lacking in carinulae; postpetiolar node trapezoidal viewed from above.

Minor: close to flavens, with carinulae restricted to anterior half of head, and all of head, mesosoma, and side of waist foveolate and opaque.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 0.78, HL 0.78, SL 0.42, EL 0.10, PW 0.34. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.38, HL 0.42, SL 0.36, EL 0.06, PW 0.24.

COLOR Major: mandibles and most of body light brownish yellow; gaster, antennae, and legs medium yellow.

Minor: concolorous yellow.

Pheidole sculptior Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Type Material

Longino (2009):

Lectotype major worker (here designated, as labeled by Wilson 2003) and associated paralectotype minor worker, queen: Antilles Islands, St. Vincent (H. H. Smith) [lectotype at Museum of Comparative Zoology] (lectotype examined). Wilson, 2003: 506: raised to species.

Pheidole tayrona Holotype major worker and associated paratype minor worker: Colombia, Magdalena, Tayrona Park, Pueblito to S. park boundary, 1977 (C. Kugler) Museum of Comparative Zoology (examined).


L sculptior, more engraved, presumably with reference to the more extensive sculpturing of the major head. (Wilson 2003)


  • Forel, A. 1893j. Formicides de l'Antille St. Vincent, récoltées par Mons. H. H. Smith. Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. 1893: 333-418 (page 414, soldier, worker, queen described)
  • Kempf, W. W. 1972d. A study of some Neotropical ants of genus Pheidole Westwood. I. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 15: 449–464.
  • Longino, J.T. 2009. Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole. Zootaxa 2181: 1-90. PDF
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 506, fig. major, minor described, Raised to species: new status)