Pheidole violacea

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

Pheidole violacea jtlc000001485 p 1 high.jpg

Specimen Label

Longino (1997): known only from the Peñas Blancas Valley, where it nests in globular ant gardens in wet forest clearings. E.g.: “carton/soil fiorii-like nest on low vegetation. Polydomous, with one nest enveloping stems of shrub, second nest less than 1 m away on underside of Xanthosoma leaf. First nest was covered with small dicot seedlings, all at the cotyledon stage. . . A well developed ant garden in front of house, with large epiphytes. Nest about half the size of a soccer ball, discrete and irregularly spherical, on stem of Urera . . . I later saw more of these ant gardens, with the same Pheidole and the same epiphytes.” Winged queens were present in one nest 21 June 1991.


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Upper elevation of the Cordillera de Tilaran, on the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica (Longino 1997).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Costa Rica (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb






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

  • violacea. Pheidole violacea Wilson, 2003: 248, 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.


Major: medium brown body with bicolorous head; carinulae originating from the posterior sections of the frontal lobes curve laterally to end near the eyes; pilosity overall dense and very long; pronotal humerus cornulate in dorsal-oblique view.

Minor: body and head light brown with unusual local bluish reflections in certain lights. Similar to boruca of Costa Rica but that species is darker colored, lacking bluish or violaceous reflections in the minor; and the major has a foveate occiput, more extensive outward curving carinulae on the head, and rounded pronotal humeri in dorsal-oblique view.

See also the less similar Pheidole aculifera (in the fallax group), Pheidole prostrata and Pheidole variegata (= Pheidole pubiventris).

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Holotype major: HW 1.30, HL 1.36, SL 1.10, EL 1.02, PW 0.64. Paratype minor: HW 0.64, HL 0.80, SL 1.02, EL 0.20, PW 0.44.

COLOR Major: body and head concolorous medium brown, except for genae anterior to the eyes, which are yellowish brown; appendages light brown, tarsi yellow.

Minor: body and appendages concolorous light brown except tarsi, which are yellow; bluish to violaceous reflections occur over most of the body in certain angles of light, in small patches at a time.

Pheidole violacea Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Type Material

COSTA RICA: Rio Peñas Blancas, Alajuela, 950 m, col. J. Longino. Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad


L violacea, violet-colored, referring to the bluish to violaceous reflections of the minor body.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.