Pheidole vallicola

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Pheidole vallicola
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. vallicola
Binomial name
Pheidole vallicola
Wheeler, W.M., 1915

Pheidole vallicola casent0104455 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole vallicola casent0104455 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Stefan Cover (unpublished collection notes) found vallicola to favor creek banks and open woodland with a wide range of species composition, from ponderosa pine to oak, pine-oak-juniper, and oak-mesquite-sumac. (Wilson 2003)


The major of this species can be recognized by the flattened region at the base of the scape, as well as by the elongate scape, which reaches at least 3/4 of the distance between its insertion and the posterior margin of the posterior lateral lobe. The posterior half of the posterior lateral lobe is moderately to strongly shining. The dorsum of the head of the minor worker is densely punctate and opaque, erect hairs on the gaster of the major are sparse and widely spaced. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)

Also see the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Recorded by Stefan Cover in numerous collections at 1200–1900 m in the following mountain ranges of southeastern Arizona: Chiricahua, Dragoon, Huachuca, Pajarito, Pinal, and Sierra Ancha. (Wilson 2003) Mackay and Mackay (2002) also report this species occurring in New Mexico.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


This species nests under stones in rocky loam soils. Brood was found in nests in July. Seeds are stored in nests. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)





The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • vallicola. Pheidole crassicornis subsp. vallicola Wheeler, W.M. 1915b: 409 (s.w.) U.S.A. Raised to species: Creighton, 1950a: 191. See also: Wilson, 2003: 162.

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 crassicornis group, similar to Pheidole crassicornis, Pheidole diversipilosa, Pheidole porcula and Pheidole tetra, but differing by the following combination of traits.

Major: pilosity consisting of sparse, very long hairs (some on first gastral tergite are 2! the maximum eye length); head in side view tapered toward occiput; rugoreticulum forms a broad swath from antennal fossa to eye on each side; carinulae along midline of dorsum of head continue to occiput; pronotum sparsely foveolate and feebly shining on sides, smooth and shiny on dorsum; postpetiole from above laterally subangulate.

Minor: petiolar node from side thin, and tapered toward apex; pilosity sparse, as illustrated; dorsum of head (except for frontal triangle and middle section of clypeus), all of mesosoma, and most of waist foveolate and opaque.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 1.34, HL 1.44, SL 0.80, EL 0.20, PW 0.64. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.64, HL 0.70, SL 0.82, EL 0.14, PW 0.44.

COLOR Major: body light reddish brown except for gaster, which is a slightly contrasting medium reddish brown.

Minor: concolorous medium reddish brown.

Pheidole vallicola Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Type Material

ARIZONA: Miller Canyon, Huachuca Mts., southeastern Arizona, col. W. M. Wheeler. Museum of Comparative Zoology - as reported in Wilson (2003)


L vallicola, valley dweller, referring to the habitat of the type colony. (Wilson 2003)


  • Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 191, raised to species)
  • Mackay, W. P. and E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY.
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1915b. Some additions to the North American ant-fauna. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 34: 389-421 (page 409, soldier, worker described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 162, fig. major, minor described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Cover S. P., and R. A. Johnson. 20011. Checklist of Arizona Ants. Downloaded on January 7th at
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at
  • Mackay W. P., and E. E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 400 pp.
  • Mackay, W., and E. Mackay. The ants of New Mexico. The Edwin Mellen Press, 2002.
  • Mackay, W.P. and E. Mackay. XXXX. The Ants of New Mexico
  • O'Keefe S. T., J. L. Cook, T. Dudek, D. F. Wunneburger, M. D. Guzman, R. N. Coulson, and S. B. Vinson. 2000. The Distribution of Texas Ants. The Southwestern Entomologist 22: 1-92.
  • Van Pelt, A. 1983. Ants of the Chisos Mountains, Texas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) . Southwestern Naturalist 28:137-142.
  • Wilson, E.O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A Dominant, Hyperdiverse Genus. Harvard University Press