The Ants of Africa
SUBFAMILY MYRMICINAE - Genus Pheidole
provisional key to major workers of all African species - Section 2
Genus Pheidole Introduction
return to key Postpetiole wider than long; trapezoidal but variably dentate at widest point -- Hypostomal teeth
(non-type)
5 {phmega alitrunk profile}Alitrunk with low or no mesonotal welt Section 6
-- {short description of image}Alitrunk with transverse mesonotal welt, often but not always prominent 6

6 {Pheidole dea dorsum of pedicel}Major petiole from above a simple elongated ellipse, with rounded dorsal profile, postpetiole about twice as wide as long. Majors of all but one species large, TL at least 6.5mm.  Minors all with distinctively large bulb-shaped postpetioles
Section 3
-- CAR DF major pedicelMajor postpetiole from above rounded ovoid with a well developed posterior neck with the gaster; major head with well developed scrobes
7
--
{Pheidole sculpturata dorsal pedicel}Major postpetiole about three times as wide as long and laterally produced, dentiform or spinose; frontal carinae short, with no scrobes; minor with nuchal collar (?) 8
.
. Major postpetiole from above rounded ovoid with a well developed posterior neck -- Hypostoma with distinct median tooth
7 {Pheidole stephensi}
TL 3.42 mm, HL 1.18, HW 1.12, SL 0.70, PW 0.50; CI 95, SI 71; appears to be completely unique in having the frontal carinae excavated so as to expose the base of the scape and the torus; the scape itself has a well developed basal expansion or flange; scapes and frontal carinae reaching three-quarter point of face; antennal scrobes while superficial quite distinct; propodeum with sharp lateral margination and quite deeply longitudinally concave; with large distinctive propodeal spiracle
. stephensi teeth
. {Pheidole stephensi minor}
TL 2.24 mm, HL 0.59, HW 0.50, SL 0.72, PW 0.34; head evenly ovoid; mandibles relatively long and distinctly crossed over when closed; propodeal spines narrow, acute, upturned and triangular; also the propodeal spiracle relatively large and prominent; postpetiole small and globular; sculpturation on head solely faint short rugae on the genae, otherwise restricted to spiculation of lateral mesonotum and propodeum
West Africa - new species - stephensi
. . --
8 HL distinctly > HW 9
-- HL similar to if not < HW 12
9 {Pheidole liengmei}
TL 6.5-7.0 mm, HL 2.41, HW 2.04, SL 0.83, PW 0.92; CI 85, SI 41; head with distinctive transverse striation on occiput
.
. {Pheidole liengmei minor}
TL 3.7-4.0 mm, HL 0.88, HW 0.83, SL 0.87, PW 0.51; CI 93, SI 100; relatively slender; head fairly round, the posterior margin straight, angles rounded; eyes large convex and placed in the middle of the sides; clypeus feebly carinate, frontal area large and well defined, frontal carinae straight reaching to about one-third point of head; scapes surpassing occiput by about twice the apical width; pronotum convex with posterior lateral angles produced into rather large cones, readily visible in profile; propodeum dorsum twice as long as declivity, spines very long and subvertical, feebly divergent; petiole with a long pedicel; post-petiole four-fifths longer than high, the sides angular; legs long; head and alitrunk densely reticulo-punctate, appearing granular and giving a dull appearance; pedicel finely reticulate; legs and apical two-thirds of gaster shiny; dark brown, gaster near black, appendages yellowish-brown; pubescence and pilosity scanty
East Africa - liengmei
-- Head without transverse striation on occiput 10
10 {Pheidole variolosa}
TL 7.0 mm, HL 3.02, HW 2.15 mm; mandibles smooth; alitrunk rugose, humeri with tubercules; propodeal spines short; postpetiole laterally strongly angular, with transverse striations; basal segment of gaster striate-punctate; dull ferruginous
Major described later than minor; association not verifiable
.
. {Pheidole variolosa minor}
TL 3.0 mm, CI 70, SI 170; alitrunk rugose, humeri with tubercules; propodeal spines short; postpetiole laterally angular, with transverse striations; basal segment of gaster striate-punctate; head and alitrunk reticulo-rugose and subtly punctate dull, also base of gaster; front of head flat, clypeus carinate, rugose, base of mandibles striate; pronotum with tubercles, also mesonotum, dorsum of propodeum bicarinate, with acute spines; dull ferruginous, appendages lighter
Somalia - variolosa
. {Pheidole clavata major}
Major (undescribed, so deduced) added here from a fresh Ethiopia collection
TL 9.5 mm, HL 3.8 mm; whole head with fine longitudinal striation; mesonotal welt only moderately developed; ; mesonotal welt only moderately developed; postpetiole about three times as wide as long, from above lateral processes narrow but not distinctly curved backwards; legs and antennae clothed with erect pubescence; general colour no more than dark red, gaster and legs more orange

sculpturata
.
Pheidole clavata
TL 3.0-3.7 mm, HL 0.90, HW 0.82, SL 0.95, PW 0.5; CI 94, SI 108; head considerably wider than long and wider anteriorly; eyes quite prominent; mandible elongate, with two apical teeth and a crenulate inner margin; antennae slender; alitrunk robust with distinct metanotal groove, propodeal teeth small and sharp but subtending a raised carina on each side; postpetiole with angular sides; densely granulate, opaque, head with a few longitudinal rugae laterally, gaster with fine basal longitudinal striation; whole of body covered with numerous fine erect hairs; colour dull brown
Eritrea & Ethiopia - clavata
10 {Pheidole schultzei}
TL 5.0-6.0 mm, HL 2.54, HW 2.05, SL 0.89, PW 0.90; CI 85, SI 44; head rectangular sides near straight; yellowish-red, gaster and scapes more brown
.
. {Pheidole schultzei minor}
TL 2.0-2.2 mm, HL 0.63, HW 0.55, SL 0.70, PW 0.35; CI 88, SI 136; head rectangular sides near straight; scapes just surpass the occiput; colour yellowish-red, gaster, sides of head and scapes more brown
Southern Africa - schultzei
-- Base colour dark brown 11

11 {Pheidole arnoldi}
TL 4.5 mm, HL 1.69, HW 1.35, SL 0.50, PW 0.65; CI 77, SI 40; overall dark brown, appendages lighter; erect pilosity yellowish
.
. {Pheidole arnoldi mnior}
TL 1.8-2.3 mm; HL 0.58, HW 0.56, SL 0.49, PW 0.37; CI 92, SI 90; widest across the eyes; eyes fairly large set in the anterior third of the sides; frontal carinae short, frontal area quite large; clypeus feebly carinate; scapes just surpassing the occiput; metanotal groove distinct, propodeal dorsum flat with minute vertical teeth, declivity shorter than the dorsum; postpetiole one-third wider than long, convex anteriorly, sides obtusely angular, sometimes produced into short truncated cones; overall dark brown, gaster darker and appendages lighter, mandibles pale reddish-brown; erect pilosity yellowish longest and most abundant on the gaster
Zimbabwe - arnoldi
-- {Pheidole xocensis}
TL 4.9-5.4 mm, HL 1.85, HW 1.53, SL 0.59, PW 0.70; CI 83, SI 0.36; head sides parallel, although slightly convex; dark castaneous red to more brown, mandibles bright castaneous red
.
. {Pheidole xocensis minor}
TL 2.3-2.6 mm, HL 0.61, HW 0.55, SL 0.68, PW 0.35; CI 85, SI 147; head more or less oval, slightly narrower posteriorly; dark brown, appendages brownish-yellow
Zimbabwe - xocensis
return to key HL similar to if not < HW --
12 Head in full face view near square 13

-- Head in full face view with rounded occiput 16
13
TL no more than 6.5 mm 14

-- TL at least 6.5 mm 15
14 Pheidole welgelegenensis major
TL ca 6.0 mm, HL 2.24, HW 2.24, SL 0.80, PW 1.0; CI 92, SI 44; sculpturation giving a dull, opaque, overall appearance; pubescence and pilosity appressed; wholly dull dark red brown
. Pheidole welgelegenensis
. Pheidole welgelegenensis minor
TL type ca 3.2 mm, HL 0.79, HW 0.79, SL 0.79, PW 0.47; CI 100, SI 100; (specimen closer to variety dignata TL ca 3.5 mm) occiput weakly impressed; sculpturation on head reduced relative to sculpturata; darker almost black; mandibles not heavily striated and clypeus with very weak carinae
Congo Basin & West Africa - welgelegenensis
-- Pheidole zambesiana major
TL ca 4.8 mm, HL 1.93, HW 1.82, SL 0.67, PW 0.79, CI 98, SI 0.38. Head with anrerior margin of clypeus straight; in profile the head is deep at the level of the eyes then narrowing dramatically to occiput; mesonotal welt very low, propodeal spines short and triangular; pedicel low, postpetiole from above with a shallowly convex anterior and ends very sharp; key character is almots total lack of erect hairs, whole body coveered in dense decumbent pubescence, on frons this is arranged in a pattern radiating out from the midline; overall appearance dull. Closest relative appears to be Pheidole arnoldi but that has an elongated head and much less pubescence.
.
. Pheidole zambesiana minor
TL ca 2.5 mm, HL 0.55, HW 0.55, SL 0.52, PW 0.32, CI 100, SI 94. Like the major almost lacking erect hairs although the decumbent pubescence on the head is long; whole of head and alitruck densely but finely spiculate, including the frons; alitrunk with a low profile, and a weak mesonotal welt, propodeal spines reduced to small triangles; postpetiole sub-spherical, weakly ovoid from above.
Zimbabwe - zambesiana
15 Pheidole njassae major
TL 6.75 mm, HL 2.17, HW 2.08, SL 1.00, PW 0.9; CI 96, SI 45; propodeal spines as long as interbasal width; most of head and body matt; dark red-brown, appendages and gaster blackish
.
. Pheidole njassae minor
TL 3.5-4 mm; HL -.77, HW 0.74, SL 0.74, PW 0.50; CI 97, SI 100; propodeal spines as long as interbasal width; head and alitrunk generally finely punctate, gaster even more finely sculptured; most of head and body matt; dark red-brown, appendages and gaster blackish
Tanzania & Ethiopia - njassae
-- {Pheidole rohani pellax}
7.0-9.0 mm, HL 2.5-2.9 = HW, SL 1.11, PW 1.00; CI 100, SI 52; postpetiole from above a narrow oval; head matt, with very fine reticulation; dark red-brown, gaster darker
Note: true type major probably unknown; the type minor and type minor of rohani pellax are identical and I show the pellax major here.
.
. {Pheidole rohani pellax minor}
TL 3.6-3.8 mm, HL 0.61, HW 0.52, SL 0.66, PW 0.58; CI 86, SI 130; dark brown, with appendages reddish
Angola - rohani
-- {Pheidole sculpturata major}
TL 9.5 mm, HL 3.8 mm; but smaller varieties; head with puncturate sculpturation, median occipital weakly sculptured to smooth; mesonotal welt only moderately developed; postpetiole about three times as wide as long with prolonged lateral processes; legs and antennae clothed with erect pubescence; general colour no more than dark red, gaster and legs more orange
.
. {Pheidole sculpturata minor}
TL ca 3.0-3.6 mm, HL -.84, HW 0.84, SL 0.90, PW 0.47; CI 100, SI 116 (shown right); antennae long and slender, with funicular club almost as long as the rest of the funiculus; pronotum not bituberculate; metanotal groove deep; mesonotum without lateral margination; weakly sculptured overall, clypeus weakly ridged and shiny; frons shiny; gaster mostly shiny; ferruginous brown, gaster darker to pitch
berthoudi HW 0.65
Southern Africa - sculpturata
-- Pheidole particeps major
TL xx mm,


. {Pheidole particeps minor}
TL ca 3.0-3.6 mm, HL 0.84, HW 0.84, SL 0.90, PW 0.47; CI 100, SI 116
EDIT
Tanzania - particeps
return to key HL in full face view with rounded impressed occiput --
16 {Pheidole spinulosa}
TL 5.0-5.6 mm; HL 1.73, HW 1.67, SL 0.80, PW 0.94; CI 96, SI 48; head rounded trapezoid, narrowed in front, sides convex; essentially yellowish-brown
.
. {Pheidole spinulosa mnior}
TL 2.0-2.4 mm, HL 0.64, HW 0.59, SL 0.61, PW 0.35; CI 92, SI 105; scapes not surpassing the occiput; head quadrate, slightly narrower anteriorly, eyes set at mid-point, propodeum spines no more than pointed teeth; erect pilosity very sparse; essentially yellowish-brown
Southern Africa - spinulosa
-- Pheidole kohli major
TL 8.5 mm, HL 2.74, HW 2.74, SL 1,19, PW 1.15; CI 100, SI 43; erect pilosity sparse but yellow pubescence abundant; shiny, red-brown, antennae and legs lighter
.
. Pheidole kohli minor
TL ca 4.5 mm, HL 1.12, HW 1.06, SL 0.96, PW 0.64; CI 94, SI 92; red-brown, antennae and legs darker
Kenya, Tanzania & Zare - kohli
-- Pheidole Benin RVA2663 major
TL ca 9.7 mm, HL 3.64, HW 3.38, SL 1.50, PW 1.74; CI 93, SI 44; weakly shiny, dark brown
. Pheidole Benin RVA 2663
. Pheidole Benin RVA2663 minor
TL ca 4.0 mm, HL 0.97, HW 0.91, SL 1.00, PW 0.60; CI 94, SI 108; larger postpetiole with dense spiculate sculpture that is present also on the alitrunk and the dorsum of gaster segment; also the scape has a distinctive bristly appearance, due to the abundant sub-erect pubescence
Benin - Benin RVA 2663

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Genus Pheidole Introduction

Contents MYRMICINAE Introduction
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 , 2015, 2016, 2017 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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