Pheidole ursus

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Pheidole ursus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. ursus
Binomial name
Pheidole ursus
Mayr, 1870

Pheidole ursus casent0915431 p 1 high.jpg

Pheidole ursus casent0915431 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


The Teoviscocla minor worker figured was collected in tropical forest with plantings of coffee. (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico (type locality).

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.

  • ursus. Pheidole ursus Mayr, 1870b: 986 (s.w.) MEXICO. Senior synonym of cressoni, gracilinoda: Brown, 1981: 528. See also: Wilson, 2003: 773.
  • cressoni. Macromischa cressoni André, 1887: 296 (w.) MEXICO. Combination in Aphaenogaster: Emery, 1896a: 103; in Pheidole: Emery, 1915d: 67. Junior synonym of ursus: Brown, 1981: 528.
  • gracilinoda. Pheidole ursus var. gracilinoda Forel, 1904d: 172 (w.) MEXICO. Junior synonym of ursus: Brown, 1981: 528.

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 very large, unique species similar in various traits to Pheidole horribilis, Pheidole minax, Pheidole terribilis and Pheidole macromischoides.

Major: very long propodeal spine, largely rugoreticulate surface of the meso soma and dorsal surface of the head, shallowly concave profile of the posterior half of the head in side view, completely foveolate and opaque surfaces of the gastral tergites.

Minor: extremely long propodeal spine and petiolar peduncle, rugoreticulate promesonotum, and somewhat narrowed occiput with a thin nuchal collar.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Syntype major: HW 2.64, HL 2.54, SL 1.22, EL 0.26, PW 1.02. Minor: HW 0.88, HL 0.86, SL 1.00, EL 0.18, PW 0.60.

COLOR Major: body and appendages dark to blackish brown.

Minor: body concolorous blackish brown with reddish overtones; appendages, including mandibles, a lighter shade of medium reddish brown; tarsi yellowish brown.

Pheidole ursus Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: syntype, major. Mexico, no further locality (collected by "Prof. Bilimek"). Lower: minor. MEXICO: Santa Teoviscocia, near Cuichapa, Veracruz, 1600 m (col. Cornell University Mexico Field Party, August 1960). Scale bars = 1 mm.

Type Material

Mexico, col. Prof. Bilimek. Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna and Museum of Comparative Zoology - as reported in Wilson (2003)


L ursus, bear, undoubtedly alluding to the large, rough-surface properties and dark color of the major. (Wilson 2003)


  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1981. Preliminary contributions toward a revision of the ant genus Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Part I. J. Kans. Entomol. Soc. 54: 523-530 (page 528, senior synonym of cressoni and gracilinoda)
  • Mayr, G. 1870b. Neue Formiciden. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 20: 939-996 (page 986, soldier, worker described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 773, fig. major, minor described)