Pheidole alfaroi Emery,

Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press: 165

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Pheidole alfaroi Emery


Pheidole alfaroi Emery  HNS 

Pheidole alfaroi Emery  HNS  1896g: 70. Syn.: Pheidole innupta Menozzi  HNS  1931d: 200, n. syn. (provisional, see Diagnosis and Color below).

Types Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova. (Types of innupta Menozzi  HNS  are in the Institute di Entomologia "Guido Grandi.")

Etymology Eponymous.

Diagnosis A member of the diligens  HNS  group closest to the Costa Rican P. diana  HNS  but distinguished from it and other members of the group by the following combination of traits.

Major: in side view propodeal spine reduced to a denticle (but in innupta  HNS  syntype reduced to an obtuse angle; see illustration); in dorsal-oblique view, promesonotum weakly bilobate and humerus subangulate; promesonotal dorsum and all of propodeum "striped" with parallel carinulae.

Minor: circular carinulae around antennal fossae reach all the way to the eye and are succeeded by other circular, "wraparound" carinulae that continue to the sides of the head; most of promesonotal dorsum and all of propodeum carinulate.

The types of alfaroi  HNS  and innupta  HNS  are virtually identical except for color (see below) and possibly a small difference in the propodeal angle (see illustration), and I have interpreted them as no more than color forms of the same species in the upland area around La Palma and Vara Blanca. Longino (1997) considers them sibling species, noting that innupta  HNS  is "always black and nests under epiphytes," whereas the types of alfaroi  HNS  are light colored and were found in rotting wood. If subsequent field research upholds these differences, Longino's interpretation is probably correct, and the nomenclature can be easily adjusted. Series from upland Panama and Colombia placed by me in alfaroi  HNS  are intermediate in color: light to medium reddish brown.

Measurements (mm) Lectotype major ofalfaroi: HW 1.42, HL 1.52, SL 1.04, EL 0.20, PW 0.74.

Lectotype major of innupta  HNS  : HW 1.44, HL 1.46, SL 1.06, EL 0.22, PW 0.72.

Paralectotype minor ofalfaroi: HW 0.62, HL 0.74, SL 0.86, EL 0.12, PW 0.44.

Paralectotype minor of innupta  HNS  : HW 0.62, HL 0.78, SL 0.92, EL 0.12, PW 0.44.

color Major of alfaroi  HNS  : concolorous light reddish yellow.

Major of innupta  HNS  : body medium brown, appendages light brown.

Minor of alfaroi  HNS  : concolorous clear yellow.

Minor of innupta  HNS  : medium brown, appendages light brown.

Range Uplands of Costa Rica (1000-1600 m), Panama (El Volcan Chiriqui, 1150 m), and Colombia (Mosquera, Cundinamarca, 1800-2000 m).

biology Inhabits moist forest. In Costa Rica, nests under epiphytes (" innupta  HNS  "); in Colombia, under rocks. Obviously, many more nest site data are needed to establish the preferred nest sites of alfaroi  HNS  and possible sibling species. Males and winged queens were found at EI Volcan Chiriqui, Panama, on 24 June and a male near Mosquera, Colombia, on 30 June.

Figure Upper: major. Lower: minor. COSTA RICA: Vara Blanca (lectotype and paralectotype of junior synonym P. innupta  HNS  Menozzi). The type locality of alfaroi Emery  HNS  , the senior synonym, is La Palma, near Bajo la Hondura, Costa Rica, 1500 m. The second, upper outline of the major propodeum is of the alfaroi  HNS  lectotype major. Scale bars = 1 mm.