Pheidole spininodis

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Pheidole spininodis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species group: tristis
Species: P. spininodis
Binomial name
Pheidole spininodis
Mayr, 1887

Pheidole spininodis casent0178059 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


In the central Argentina province of San Luis, Bruch (1916) found “var. pencosensis” in dry scrub, nesting in soil of varying grain and hardness, and once beneath dried cow dung. The nest entrances were circular and surrounded by semicircular banks of excavated earth, and galleries and chambers descended to about 30 cm. (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


From Wilson (2003): Widespread in northern and central Argentina (Bruch 1916; Kempf 1972b), and also recorded from Rio Grande Do Sul (synonymous P. spielbergi).

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -22.809943° to -42.666°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina (type locality), Brazil, Paraguay.

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.

  • spininodis. Pheidole spininodis Mayr, 1887: 591 (s.), 605 (w.) ARGENTINA. Goni, Zolessi & Imai, 1983: 365 (k.). Senior synonym of hohenlohei: Emery, 1906c: 146 (in text); of bruta, lucifuga, pencosensis, solaris, spielbergi: Wilson, 2003: 756.
  • hohenlohei. Pheidole hohenlohei Emery, 1888c: 354 (s.w.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of spininodis: Emery, 1906c: 146 (in text).
  • spielbergi. Pheidole spielbergi Emery, 1888c: 354 (s.w.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of spininodis: Wilson, 2003: 756.
  • pencosensis. Pheidole spininodis var. pencosensis Forel, 1914d: 271 (s.w.q.m.) ARGENTINA. Junior synonym of spininodis: Wilson, 2003: 756.
  • lucifuga. Pheidole spininodis var. lucifuga Santschi, 1923d: 56 (s.w.q.) ARGENTINA. Junior synonym of spininodis: Wilson, 2003: 756.
  • solaris. Pheidole spininodis var. solaris Santschi, 1929d: 287 (s.w.q.m.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of spininodis: Wilson, 2003: 756.
  • bruta. Pheidole (Pheidole) spininodis var. bruta Santschi, 1934c: 30 (s.) ARGENTINA. Junior synonym of spininodis: Wilson, 2003: 756.

Type Material

ARGENTINA: Jandil, Buenos Aires. Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna - 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.


From Wilson (2003): DIAGNOSIS Similar in various traits to Pheidole exarata, Pheidole excubitor, Pheidole germaini, Pheidole gibba, Pheidole rogeri, Pheidole stulta, Pheidole tristis, Pheidole tristops and Pheidole zoster, distinguished as follows.

Major: large; reddish yellow; postpetiolar node extremely drawn out, wide but short, and spinose; carinulae extend posteriorly to just beyond eye level, and entire rest of body smooth and shiny; head subrectangular; occipital cleft deep, its nadir acute-angular; antennal scapes very short.

Minor: occiput broad, lacking nuchal collar; carinulae reach posteriorly just beyond eye level, and entire remainder of body smooth and shiny; dorsal promesonotal profile semicircular. P. spielbergi of southern Brazil may prove to be a distinct species: the syntype major is smaller than the spininodis lectotype, and the minor larger; the major scape is longer; and the major hind femora are thicker.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 2.32, HL 2.46, SL 0.92, EL 0.26, PW 1.00. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.74, HL 0.76, SL 0.74, EL 0.12, PW 0.46.

COLOR Major: head, mesosoma, and appendages medium reddish yellow; waist and gaster plain medium brown.

Minor: body plain medium brown, appendages light brown.

Pheidole spininodis Wilson 2003.jpg

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


  • 2n = 20, karyotype = 20M (Uruguay) (Goni et al., 1983).


L spininodis, thorny knot, referring to the spinose postpetiole of the major. (Wilson 2003)


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Claver S., S. L. Silnik, and F. F. Campon. 2014. Response of ants to grazing disturbance at the central Monte Desert of Argentina: community descriptors and functional group scheme. J Arid Land 6(1): 117?127.
  • Claver S., and H. G. Gordon. 1993. The ant fauna (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the Nacunan Biosphere reserve. Naturalis Sao Paulo 18: 189-193.
  • Cuezzo, F. 1998. Formicidae. Chapter 42 in Morrone J.J., and S. Coscaron (dirs) Biodiversidad de artropodos argentinos: una perspectiva biotaxonomica Ediciones Sur, La Plata. Pages 452-462.
  • Drose W., L. R. Podgaiski, C. Fagundes Dias, M. de Souza Mendonca. 2019. Local and regional drivers of ant communities in forest-grassland ecotones in South Brazil: A taxonomic and phylogenetic approach. Plos ONE 14(4): e0215310.
  • Kempf W. W. 1978. A preliminary zoogeographical analysis of a regional ant fauna in Latin America. 114. Studia Entomologica 20: 43-62.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Kusnezov N. 1952. El género Pheidole en la Argentina (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Acta Zoologica Lilloana 12: 5-88.
  • Kusnezov N. 1957. Die Solenopsidinen-Gattungen von Südamerika (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Zoologischer Anzeiger 158: 266-280.
  • Kusnezov N. 1978. Hormigas argentinas: clave para su identificación. Miscelánea. Instituto Miguel Lillo 61:1-147 + 28 pl.
  • Kusnezov, N. "Lista de las hormigas de Tucumán con descripción de dos nuevos géneros (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)." Acta Zoologica Lilloana 13 (1953): 327-339.
  • Osorio Rosado J. L, M. G. de Goncalves, W. Drose, E. J. Ely e Silva, R. F. Kruger, and A. Enimar Loeck. 2013. Effect of climatic variables and vine crops on the epigeic ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Campanha region, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. J Insect Conserv 17: 1113-1123.
  • Pignalberi C. T. 1961. Contribución al conocimiento de los formícidos de la provincia de Santa Fé. Pp. 165-173 in: Comisión Investigación Científica; Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (Argentina) 1961. Actas y trabajos del primer Congreso Sudamericano de Zoología (La Plata, 12-24 octubre 1959). Tomo III. Buenos Aires: Librart, 276 pp.
  • Pirk, G.I., F. di Pasquo and J. Lopez de Casenave. 2009. Diet of two sympatric Pheidole spp. ants in the central Monte desert: implications for seed–granivore interactions. Insectes Sociaux 56(3):277-283.
  • Santschi F. 1923. Pheidole et quelques autres fourmis néotropiques. Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique 63: 45-69.
  • Santschi F. 1925. Fourmis des provinces argentines de Santa Fe, Catamarca, Santa Cruz, Córdoba et Los Andes. Comunicaciones del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural "Bernardino Rivadavia" 2: 149-168.
  • Santschi F. 1929. Nouvelles fourmis de la République Argentine et du Brésil. Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina. 107: 273-316.
  • Santschi F. 1933. Fourmis de la République Argentine en particulier du territoire de Misiones. Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina. 116: 105-124.
  • Vittar, F. 2008. Hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de la Mesopotamia Argentina. INSUGEO Miscelania 17(2):447-466
  • Vittar, F., and F. Cuezzo. "Hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de la provincia de Santa Fe, Argentina." Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina (versión On-line ISSN 1851-7471) 67, no. 1-2 (2008).
  • Wild, A. L. "A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Zootaxa 1622 (2007): 1-55.
  • Zolessi L. C. de, Y. P. Abenante, and M. E. de Philippi. 1988. Lista sistematica de las especies de Formicidos del Uruguay. Comun. Zool. Mus. Hist. Nat. Montev. 11: 1-9.
  • de Zolessi, L.C., Y.P. de Abenante and M.E. Philippi. 1987. Lista sistemática de las especies de formícidos del Uruguay. Comunicaciones Zoologicas del Museo de Historia Natural de Montevideo 11(165):1-9
  • de Zolessi, L.C., Y.P. de Abenante and M.E. Phillipi. 1989. Catalago Systematico de las Especies de Formicidos del Uruguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Oficina Regional de Ciencia y Technologia de la Unesco para America Latina y el Caribe- ORCYT. Montevideo, Uruguay