Pheidole spathipilosa

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

Pheidole spathipilosa inbiocri001218131 p 1 high.jpg

Specimen Label

Since its description this species has subsequently been found a number of times and its distribution is now known to include Nicaragua.


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Only known from the type locality.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Costa Rica (type locality), Nicaragua.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Wilson (2003) - During intensive and independent bouts of collecting at the La Selva Biological Station, Stefan Cover and John T. Longino each found it only once. I later returned to the same spot in the forest where Cover collected the holotype nest series, and despite a close search in the vicinity failed to discover another colony. Males were present with the holotype series, on 27 March.






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

  • spathipilosa. Pheidole spathipilosa Wilson, 2003: 350, 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.


A unique species of the fallax group somewhat similar to members of the “jujuyensis complex” comprising Pheidole araneoides, Pheidole cuevasi, Pheidole durionei, Pheidole jujuyensis, Pheidole kugleri, Pheidole leonina, Pheidole leptina, Pheidole lucretii, Pheidole lupus, Pheidole paraensis, Pheidole punctithorax, Pheidole tijucana, Pheidole wallacei and Pheidole wolfringi, but easily distinguished as follows.

Major: clavate hairs present on occipital margin, as depicted; antennal scape slightly exceeds occipital corner in full-face view; widely spaced carinulae cover the outer halves of the frontal lobes and all of the posterior dorsal half of the head, including the occiput; pronotal dorsum foveolate and bearing scattered, short carinulae and rugulae; first gastral tergite weakly shagreened.

Minor: pilosity sparse, with many of the hairs along the dorsal profile of the head and body clavate; entire head and body foveolate; anterior third of first gastral tergite shagreened; occiput narrowed, with nuchal collar.

Both castes are tricolorous (see below).

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Holotype major: HW 0.94, HL 0.96, SL 0.78, EL 0.18, PW 0.54. Paratype minor: HW 0.54, HL 0.70, SL 0.92, EL 0.18, PW 0.40.

COLOR Major: tricolorous, with head and waist medium reddish brown, mesosoma and appendages light reddish brown, and gaster very dark brown.

Minor: tricolorous, with head and gaster dark reddish brown (gaster very dark), dorsum of pronotum and waist medium reddish brown, and mesosoma and appendages light reddish brown.

Pheidole spathipilosa Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Type Material

COSTA RICA: La Selva Biological Station, near Puerto Viejo, Heredia, col. Stefan Cover. Museum of Comparative Zoology


L spathipilosa, paddle-haired; see distinctive clavate hairs.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • 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., J. Coddington, and R. K. Colwell. 2002. The ant fauna of a tropical rain forest: estimating species richness three different ways. Ecology 83: 689-702.
  • 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.