Pheidole fadli Sharaf, Fadl, H., Bakr, R. F. & Badawy, R. M., 2007

Fadl, H., Bakr, R. F. & Badawy, R. M., 2007, Six new species of ants (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Egypt., Proceedings of the 2 nd International Conference of the Entomological Society of Egypt 2, pp. 235-249: 240-242

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.13082

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Pheidole fadli Sharaf

n. sp.

Pheidole fadli Sharaf  HNS  , n. sp.

Holotypes: (1 Major worker, 1 Minor worker), Egypt, Aswan, Nagh El-Shadeed , 8.III.2003; N: 24.05; E: 32.56; M.R.SharafGoogleMaps  ; Paratypes: 12 minor workers, same series as holotype; 12 minor workers, Fiala temple , Aswan, 7.III.2003, N:24.05; E:32.56; M. R. SharafGoogleMaps  .

Type-locality: Egypt, Aswan, Nagh El-Shadeed, N: 24.05; E: 32.56

Major Worker (Figures 7, 8)

Measurements of Holotype: TL: 2.8; HL: 0.8; HW: 0.8; SL: 0.35; SI: 43.7; PPL: 0.12; PPW: 0.17; CI: 100

Diagnosis: Head, alitrunk, postpetiole and gaster reddish yellow, legs and petiole yellow. Head as long as broad, with strong longitudinal striae running back to the occiput then diverging laterally to the posterior corners of the head; antennal scapes very short reaching half of the head length and without pubescence or hairs; funiculus with dense yellow hairs and pubescence; mandibles massive, smooth and shining; masticatory margin armed apically with 2 large blunt brown teeth followed by a long diastema and then armed basically with two blunt teeth; mandibles with few sparse hair pits; clypeus smooth and shining; occiput sharply emarginate. Pronotum very high; pro- and mesonotum with strong irregular sculpture and each with two pairs of hairs; propodeum with granulate sculpture and one pair of hairs; propodeal spines long and acute. Petiole and postpetiole each with granulate sculpture and without projecting hairs. Gaster smooth and shining and with sparse hairs.

Minor worker (Figures 9, 10): TL: 1.63; HL: 0.48; HW: 0.41; SL: 0.36; SI: 90; PPL: 0.07; PPW: 0.11; CI: 85.41

Diagnosis: Unicolorous yellow. The whole body except the gaster with dense regular sculpture; gaster smooth and shining. Head clearly longer than broad with convex sides; antennal scapes reaching occiput if held back and with few long yellow hairs; funiculus with dense hairs and pubescence; clypeus nearly smooth and shining; the area just behind the posterior border of the occiput strongly depressed; occiput emarginate with three pairs of short hairs. Alitrunk with a strongly depressed mesopropodeal suture that appears concave in lateral view; mesonotum with one pair of hairs; propodeal spines long, thin, acute and directed upwards. Petiole with a high rounded node and long peduncle. Postpetiole clearly broader than long. Petiole and postpetiole without projecting hairs. Gaster bare, smooth and shining.

Etymology: This species was named after Dr. Hasan H.Fadl, Professor of Insect Taxonomy, Entomology Department, Ain Shams University, Cairo.

Affinities: This species is one of the smallest Pheidole  HNS  species recoded from Egypt. It appears taxonomically closest to P. minuscula Bernard  HNS  , 1951 which was described from North west Africa. Both species are much smaller in size and all body dimensions as compared to the recoded species from Arabia and middle east, but P. fadli  HNS  n. sp. is consistently smaller than P. minuscula  HNS  , HL<0.5 mm (=0.48) versus HL<1 mm, HW<0.5 mm (0.41) versus HW <1 mm (0.84).

Ecological observations: This species was collected from Nag El-Shadded, Aswan, under a rock near the river Nile; it was observed that the number of the major workers in the colony was very low as compared to the minor workers.