Pheidole punctatissima

Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press : 618-619

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Pheidole punctatissima


Pheidole punctatissima View in CoL   HNS Mayr

Pheidole punctatissima   HNS Mayr 1870a: 400. Syn.: Pheidole punctatissima subsp. napaea Wheeler   HNS 1934g: 165, synonomy by Brown 1981: 525.

Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.

Etymology L punctatissima   HNS , very dotted with punctures, probably referring to the nearly complete foveolate sculpturing of the body.

diagnosis One of the most instantly recognizable of all Pheidole   HNS species: the major has a yellowish white posterior two-thirds of the head capsule (fading to pale yellow in older specimens) that contrasts sharply with the medium to dark brown remainder of the body; the major also is distinguished within the punctatissima   HNS group by the large area of rugoreticulation mesad to the eyes (see also inca   HNS ) and the very prominent cornulate pronotal humerus and entire surface of the body foveolate and opaque. Minor: no carinulae on entire body, but all of the body parts except the second and succeeding segments of the gaster are foveolate and opaque.

Measurements (mm) Major (Pueblo Nuevo, Mexico): HW 0.92, HL 0.92, SL 0.54, EL 0.14, PW 0.44. Minor (Pueblo Nuevo, Mexico): HW 0.44, HL 0.54, SL 0.50, EL 0.10, PW 0.24.

Color Major: bicolorous, with posterior two-thirds of head surface, together with the lateral wings of the clypeus, yellowish white (fading to pale yellow in old specimens) and all the remainder of the body a sharply contrasting medium to dark brown; the first gastral tergite has bluish reflections; and the appendages exclusive of the mandibles are yellow. Minor: body concolorous medium brown, appendages except for mandibles brownish yellow.

Range Tropical southern Mexico to Colombia. Literature records of the species from the West Indies are in error; they are based on the related species P. bilimeki   HNS (= annectens   HNS ), q.v.

biology J. T. Longino (1997) on punctatissima   HNS in Costa Rica: "This species thrives in disturbed areas, and it is often a pest ant. Nests are often in ephemeral cavities; soft rotten sticks, beneath bark flaps, in debris in forks of trees, etc." In Mexico winged reproductives have been found in nests during April and July.

Figure Upper: major. Lower: minor. MEXICO: Pueblo Nuevo, near Tetzonapa, Veracruz (E. O. Wilson). (Type locality: Mexico; Edward Norton.) Scale bars = 1 mm.













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