Pheidole vorax

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Pheidole vorax
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. vorax
Binomial name
Pheidole vorax
(Fabricius, 1804)

Pheidole vorax jtlc000014068 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole vorax jtlc000014068 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


This species occurs in wet to moist forest habitats. It nests in dead wood on or near the ground. Workers recruit to dead insects and other baits, and also harvest seeds. Large seed caches can be found in nests. Wilson (1987) demonstrated that minor workers were extremely sensitive to the presence of standing water. Even a few drops in the nest of a laboratory colony caused it to immediately evacuate the nest. (Longino 2009)


Keys including this Species


Mainland Neotropics from southern Mexico to Amazon basin and Bolivia.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago.

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.

  • vorax. Formica vorax Fabricius, 1804: 412 (w.) CENTRAL AMERICA. Combination in Aphaenogaster: Roger, 1863b: 30; in Pheidole: Emery, 1915d: 69. [Omitted from Wilson, 2003.] Senior synonym of apterostigmoides, cephalica, incrustata, opaca, sarrita: Longino, 2009: 85.
  • cephalica. Pheidole cephalica Smith, F. 1858b: 177, pl. 9, figs. 21-23 (s.w.) BRAZIL. Senior synonym of opaca: Kempf, 1965: 183; of apterostigmoides, incrustata, sarrita: Wilson, 2003: 674. Junior synonym of vorax: Longino, 2009: 85.
  • opaca. Pheidole opaca Mayr, 1862: 749 (s.w.) BRAZIL. Forel, 1899c: 69 (q.); Borgmeier, 1934: 97 (q.). Junior synonym of cephalica: Kempf, 1965: 183; of vorax: Longino, 2009: 85.
  • incrustata. Pheidole opaca var. incrustata Forel, 1908b: 59 (w.) COSTA RICA. Subspecies of cephalica: Kempf, 1972a: 188. Junior synonym of cephalica: Wilson, 2003: 674; of vorax: Longino, 2009: 86.
  • sarrita. Pheidole opaca subsp. sarrita Forel, 1908b: 59 (w.) COSTA RICA. Subspecies of cephalica: Kempf, 1972a: 188. Junior synonym of cephalica: Wilson, 2003: 674; of vorax: Longino, 2009: 86.
  • apterostigmoides. Pheidole opaca subsp. apterostigmoides Weber, 1943b: 71, fig. 3 (s.w.) TRINIDAD. Subspecies of cephalica: Kempf, 1972a: 188. Junior synonym of cephalica: Wilson, 2003: 674; of vorax: Longino, 2009: 86.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Longino (2009) - There is geographic variation in sculpture and color. In Costa Rica, minor workers from Corcovado National Park in the southern Pacific lowlands have the face and mesosoma evenly foveolate, overlain with relatively weak rugae, and the color is light orange. Specimens from near Monteverde on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Tilarán have the face and mesosoma with coarse, abundant, reticulate rugae, these overlying a largely smooth and shining integument, and the color is light orange. This form matches closely the subspecies P. incrustata. Specimens from the Peñas Blancas Valley, a short distance east of Monteverde on the Atlantic slope, are very similar but the color is darker red orange. Specimens from La Selva Biological Station and elsewhere in the Atlantic lowlands have the coarsely rugose sculpture of Monteverde specimens, but increasing underlying foveolation on the mesosoma, like the Corcovado specimens, and the color is darker red orange. This form matches the subspecies P. sarrita.


Type Material

Longino (2009):

Lectotype and two paralectotype queens, here designated: Central America Zoologisk Museum, University of Copenhagen (images examined). Roger, 1863: 30: combination in Aphaenogaster.

Pheidole cephalica Syntype major, minor worker: Brazil, Amazonas, Tunantins (Bates) The Natural History Museum (not examined).

Pheidole opaca Syntype major, minor worker: Brazil, "Im Gebiete des Amazonenstromes" [Amazonian region] (M. C. Vienn) (not examined).

Pheidole opaca var. incrustata Syntype minor worker: Costa Rica, Tuis (Pittier) [[[MHNG|Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève]]] (examined).

Pheidole opaca subsp. sarrita Syntype minor worker: Costa Rica, Surubres, near San Mateo (Biolley) MHNG (examined).

Pheidole opaca subsp. apterostigmoides Syntype major, minor worker: Trinidad, Basin Hill Forest Reserve, 1 Apr 1935 (Weber) (not examined).


  • Emery, C. 1915k. Definizione del genere Aphaenogaster e partizione di esso in sottogeneri. Parapheidole e Novomessor nn. gg. Rend. Sess. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna Cl. Sci. Fis. (n.s.) 19: 67-75 (page 69, Combination in Pheidole)
  • Fabricius, J. C. 1804. Systema Piezatorum secundum ordines, genera, species, adjectis synonymis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus. Brunswick: C. Reichard, xiv + 15-439 + 30 pp. (page 412, worker described)
  • Longino, J.T. 2009. Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole. Zootaxa 2181: 1-90. PDF
  • Roger, J. 1863b. Verzeichniss der Formiciden-Gattungen und Arten. Berl. Entomol. Z. 7(B Beilage: 1-65 (page 30, Combination in Aphaenogaster)