Pheidole pugnax Dalla Torre

Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press, pp. -1--1: 219

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Pheidole pugnax Dalla Torre

new status

Pheidole pugnax Dalla Torre  HNS  , new status

Pheidole radoszkowskii subsp. pugnax Dalla Torre  HNS  1892: 91. Replacement name forP. militaris Emery  HNS  1890c: 49, ajunior primary homonym ofP. militaris F. Smith  HNS  1860a: 74.

Types Mus. Civ. Hist. Nat. Genova; Nat. Mus. Nat. Hist. U. S.

Etymology L pugnax  HNS  , combative.

Diagnosis A member of the diligens  HNS  group very similar to the more widespread radoszkowskii  HNS  , as well as diligens  HNS  , and distinguished as follows.

Major: promesonotal dorsum hairy; space between eye and antennal fossa rugoreticulate; carinulae of frontal lobes extend posteriorly beyond eye level only about a single Eye Length; all of dorsal surface of head except frontal triangle and all of mesosoma and waist foveolate and opaque; three-fourths to all of central strip of first gastral tergite and the posterior central strip of second shagreened; pronotum in dorsal-oblique view subangulate, not bilobous.

Minor: all of head and body foveolate and opaque; all of central strip of first gastral tergite and posterior central strip of second gastral tergite shagreened.

Measurements (mm) Syntype major: HW 1.42 HL 1.42, SL 0.84, EL 0.20, PW 0.66. Minor (Quetzaltepeque, El Salvador): HW 0.54, HL 0.60, SL 0.76, EL 0.12, PW 0.34. Color Major and minor: varies among series from dark yellow to medium reddish brown.

Range I have confirmed series from El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Panama. J. T. Longino (1997) reports it from Honduras and the Pacific lowlands and slopes of Costa Rica to 1500 m.

Biology According to Longino (1997), pugnax  HNS  is one of the most common ants of the Pacific lowlands of Costa Rica, where it thrives in disturbed habitats, second-growth forest vegetation, and open terrain generally. Nests are usually excavated in the soil, and, in one instance observed, beneath the loose bark of an understory tree. Workers forage over the ground and onto low vegetation.

Figure Upper: major. Lower: minor. EL SALVADOR: 2-A km south of Quetzaltepeque (William L. Brown), compared with syntypes. Scale bars = 1 mm.