The Ants of Africa
Genus Pheidole
Pheidole aurivillii Mayr

crassinoda-group - Soldier - with cordiform (heart-shaped) head - Arnold (1920a) group H

Pheidole aurivillii Mayr

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Cameroun (Pheidole Aurivillii nov. spec., Mayr, 1896: 238, major & minor; Santschi, 1910c: 369, male) collector Yngve Sjöstedt - see below
subspecies
attenuata (P. Aurivillii Mayr var attenuata, nov., Santschi, 1910c: 370, major & minor) from Congo (M'Piaka, by Weiss) - see http://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?code=casent0913274
kasaiensis (Pheidole Aurivillii Mayr sbsp. Kasaiensis n. subsp., Forel, 1911f: 279, major & minor) from Zaïre, collected at Kondué by Luja - link below
rubricalva (Pheidole Aurivillii Mayr v. rubricalva n. var., Forel, 1915c: 337, major & minor) from Zaïre, collected at St. Gabriel, by H Kohl - link below
unavailable name
Pheidole Aurivillii Mayr r. kasaiensis For., v. Amalricae n. var., Forel, 1915c: 335, major & minor) from Zaïre, collected at Kondué by Luja
major, minor and male described (see Bolton, 1995) .


Mayr's (1896) description of the major is at {original description} and of the minor at {original description}. Santschi's (1910c) note and description of the male is at {original description}. Forel's (1915c) description of amalricae is at {original description}. Forel's (1915c) description of rubricalva is at {original description}. Forel's (1911fg) description of kasaiensis is at {original description}. Forel's (1916) description of the kasaiensis  queen is at {original description}.

Named after Professor Chr. Aurivillius; originally thought by Mayr (1866) to be Ph. punctulata.

Santschi (1910c), with the first description of the male, noted how the species shows much variability in length and colour; the type forms of Mayr, had a major TL of 4.6-5.0 but he had several times received specimens from around Brazzaville which had a TL of 4.3-4.6, and from M'Piaka the TL was only 3.7-4.0; the colour could be from darkish yellow to dark brown black; he designated the small dark form as attenuata.


Forel's (1911f) description of subspecies kasaiensis was -
MAJOR - TL 4.8-5; head larger than the type (HL 1.7, HW 1.6-1.7), sides more convex, less narrowed posteriorly, with the occipital impression deeper and scapes slightly shorter. Occipital sculpture less punctate, more rugulose and more areolate. Otherwise similar, but colour uncertain as description based on an immature specimen; he later adds presumably as the minor.
MINOR - TL 3-3.4; head about one-third longer than wide, more elongated and not so narrowed posteriorly; otherwise form a typical minor. Head somewhat grossly rugulose and reticulate on the sides up to the frontal carinae; frontal area smooth; sides of head finely sculpted as with type. Colour brown black, tibiae and scapes clearer brown; appendages rust-red.
Specimens from Zaïre, Kasai, Kondué by Luja.

On amalricae, Forel (1915c) noted it as an intermediate between kasaiensis and the type -
MAJOR - TL 4.1-4.6; larger than type; darker than type; head also wider and the sides a little more convex than kasaiensis; more matt and more grossly sculptured; propodeal spines shorter; occiput with stronger rugo-reticulation.
MINOR - TL 2.9-3.2; more like type than kasaiensis; with an intermediate colour but stronger sculpturation; subopaque, reticulated, with sparse large punctures.
Collected by Kohl, at St. Gabriel, Kisangani, Zaïre; from in a hollow branch and in a carton nest between leaves.

In the same paper, Forel described rubricalva -
MAJOR - TL 3.5-3.6; head red, antenna clear brown, rest dark brown; otherwise as type.
MINOR - TL 2.5-2.8; entirely dark brown with appendages reddish; larger than type, with a much wider head, especially the occiput; sculpture also stronger.
Also collected at St. Gabriel by Kohl, in a nest between two leaves and made with soil and vegetable debris.

Wheeler (1922) listed the nominal species also from Guinea (Kakoulima, F. Silvestri) and several Congo Basin localities; plus kasaiensis from Nigeria (Lagos, W.A. Lamborn). He described how attenuata were taken from a colony under the bark of a fallen tree. Majors were TL 3.5-4 mm and minors 2-2.5 mm and very dark; the type form major was TL 4.6-5 mm and the minor TL 3 mm, but Santschi had noted the variability. Santschi (1935) also saw 1 major and 1 minor from Kunungu, Zaïre.

With the availability of the images of the type major of Pheidole picata, I strongly suspect the Bernard records, etc., of the "Ph. picata" are actually aurivillii.


Major description (translation of Mayr 1896 by Marcus Stuben)
Soldier. Length: 4.6-5 mm. More light brown or darker brown, the funiculus and the tarsi brownish yellow. The erect pilosity is moderately abundant, also the tibiae have long erect hairs. The head with a very sparse, yellowish appressed pubescence, alitrunk, petiole and gaster without such.
The mandibles are smooth, shiny with dispersed punctures; near the base the external margin of the mandible is longitudinally striated; the edged masticatory margin distally has 2 teeth. The head (with mandibles) is heart-shaped as in Pheidole megacephala Fabr., but the sides of the head from the front to the back are more curved. The smooth, shiny clypeus has a medial carina and laterally some longitudinal striations. The area of the head outside the frontal carinae is longitudinally-wrinkled with fine reticulated-punctated interspaces, whereupon the punctures are very shallow; the hind part [Hinterhälfte] of the head is finely reticulate-punctate with numerous “hair-bearing” punctures, the longitudinal wrinkles of the forehead [Vorderkopf] partly extending to the hind part of the head; the ventral part of the head is largely smooth and very shiny. The frontal carinae are short, as are as the antennal scrobes. The scape of the 12 segmented antenna is basally arcuate/curved [bogig], moderately thin and not reaching the occipital margin of the head, but its apex is closer to the hind corners of the head than to the eyes; all segments of the slim funiculus are longer than broad, the shortest second segment is about 1.25 times as long as broad. The head from the front to the hind part is most strongly curved in the middle, on its hind quarter the head is compressed. The compound eyes are situated in front of the middle of the sides of the head.
The weakly shiny pronotum is finely reticulate-punctate, on its disc this sculpture is fainter and the gloss [Glanz] increases, conversely there are some but not densely packed transverse rugae; the mesonotum also is reticulate-punctate, mostly with a few transverse rugae; the side of the thorax and the metanotum is finely and sharply reticulate-punctate. The pronotum dorsum has two quite strong posterior “bumps” [Beulen]; posteriorly the mesonotum no or only a shallow transverse groove and behind no distinct transverse welt; the metanotal groove is broad and quite deep, the propodeum has two erect, parallel, or nearly parallel spines, which are more than half as long as the distance between their bases. The petiole is finely reticulate-punctate; the postpetiole is nodiform, expanding from front to back, on both sides with a small protruding, rather rectangular corner, ventrally in front of the middle with a rounded hump [Höcker]. The gaster is only moderately shiny [glanzlos] and is finely reticulate-punctate with scattered “hair-bearing” punctures, close to the hind margin the first segment frequently is more or less smooth.


{Pheidole aurivilli} majorThe photomontage of a syntype major worker is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0901299.
The apparently identical type major of rubricalva can be seen at http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0907807. The type major of kasaiensis shown at http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0907809 appears from the lack of pigmentation likely to be a callow or newly emerged ant.


{Pheidole aurivilli minor}The photomontage of a syntype minor worker is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0901298.
The apparently identical type minors of rubricalva and kasaiensis can be seen at http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0907808 and http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0907810.


Major workers - Minor workers


Oxford University Museum specimens

Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.

Liberia
E Poirier
Liabala
SLAM 2
2.iv.2013
Nimba County
07°31’06" N
08°35’34" E
SLAM trap
Secondary forest
473 m asl
minor
1
{album}
Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.
Ghana
S Sky Stephens
06G0040

major worker
1
{album}
Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 2699
29.xii.2009
Korobourou
09°22'13'' N
02°40'16'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
Nest in ground
Major & minor workers
4
{album}
Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 2848
7.vi.2010
Koro
09°22'21'' N
02°40'13'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
CAT2/PFRS/T03/Parcelle 2 (jour)
minor worker
1
{album}
Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 2854
7.vi.2010
Koro
09°22'21'' N
02°40'13'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
CAT2/PFRS/T12/Parcelle 2 (jour)
minor workers
2
{album}
Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 2861
7.vi.2010
Koro
09°22'21'' N
02°40'13'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
CAT2/PFRTQN/T05/Parcelle 2 (jour)
Major & minor workers
3
{album}
Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 2902.1
7.ix.2012
Korobourou
09°22'13'' N
02°40'16'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
Quadrat 1, tube 5, variété: Kent
Ground nesting
Major workers
2
{album}
Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 2936.2 
7.x.2012
Korobourou
09°22'13'' N
02°40'16'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
Quadrat 1, tube 2, variété: Kent
Ground nesting
Minor worker 
1
{album}
Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 3056.2
27.iii.2013
Koro
09°22'21'' N
02°40'13'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
prey of Oecophylla longinoda
0900-1000 h
minor
1
{album}
Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 3057.3
27.iii.2013
Koro
09°22'21'' N
02°40'13'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
prey of Oecophylla longinoda
1000-1100 h
minor
1
{album}
Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 3059.1
27.iii.2013
Koro
09°22'21'' N
02°40'13'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
prey of Oecophylla longinoda
1200-1300 h
major
1
{album}
Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 3060.1

27.iii.2013
Koro
09°22'21'' N
02°40'13'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
prey of Oecophylla longinoda
1300-1400 h
major
1
{album}
Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Moretto
2012
Sangha
PN Ndoki
02˚28'39" N
22˚01'20" E
04-02
forêt à Gilbertiodendron, piège malaise
minor

1
{album}
Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Moretto
xii.2012
Sangha
PN Ndoki
02˚28'39" N
22˚01'20" E
07-07
Lac 1, forêt à Gilbertiodendron, piège malaise
minor

4
{album}
Pheidole aurivilli
B Taylor det.
Tanzania
V Grebennikov

12-16.x.2002
Usambara Mts
5°05' S
38°38' E
Amani NR HQ, 950 m
1
{album}
Contents
© 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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