The Ants of Africa
Genus Pheidole
Pheidole melancholica Santschi - new status

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

Pheidole melancholica Santschi - new status

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Ivory Coast (Pheidole punctulata Mayr stirps melancholica n. st., Santschi, 1912b: 164, major & minor; Bernard, 1952: 225, queen), collected at Jacqueville, by J H Lohier - see below
Unavailable name angulata (Pheidole megacephala F. r. punctulata Mayr v. angulata n. v., Stitz, 1911b: 385, major & minor; described as a form very close to melancholica by Emery, 1915j) from Rwanda - see note below, probably synonymous with P. megacephala .


{Pheidole melancholica}Santschi's (1912b) description is at {original description}. Stitz's (1911b) description of angulata is at {original description}. Emery's (1915j) revision of Pheidole megacephala subsp. melancholica is at {original description}. Bernard's (1952) notes and description of the queen is at {original description}.

Major (Santschi, 1912b) - comparisons all with Pheidole punctulata - TL 4.3 mm; head longer and more oval; rugose and puncturate with front of head more shiny but in a smaller area; fine striations on head converge to occiput to form a fine reticulate puncturation; otherwise more strongly sculptured; black or very dark brown, passing to red brown on the mandibles, anterior of head and sides of mesonotum; appendages yellow brown; reddish pilosity more spaced. This form is close to aurivilli by the shape of the head, that is much narrower, specially anteriorly than with rotundata and and long than punctulata.
Minor - TL 3 mm; head longer and more rounded posteriorly; dorsum of alitrunk more strongly sculptured; propodeum longer with stronger spines; black or very dark brown, appendages and mandibles brownish.

Type collected at Jacqueville, by Lohier, in Wheeler (1922) listed melancholica from Ghana (Aburi, F. Silvestri).


Pheidole melancholica majorThe photomontage is of the type major worker collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0906514


Pheidole melancholica minorThe photomontage is of the type minor worker collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0906533


The minor worker of angulata shown at http://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?name=casent0904196 appears no different to the type form Pheidole megacephala.


Oxford University Museum specimens

Pheidole melancholica
B Taylor det.


Cameroun
G Debout & A Dalecky
Cameroon 126b

15.vi.2001
Poli
829' N
1315' E
30 km east of Poli, in the soudano-guinean savannah
2
{album}
Pheidole melancholica
B Taylor det.
Cameroun
A Fotso Kuate
Sample 1

30.viii.2008
Malende
0354'30" N
1125'58" E
.
1
{album}
Pheidole melancholica
B Taylor det.
Cameroun
A Fotso Kuate
Sample 13a

1.ix.2008
Mungo
0354'30" N
1125'58" E
on soil and surface in the village
2
{album}
Pheidole melancholica
B Taylor det.
Cameroun
A Fotso Kuate
Pheidole sp6
17.v.2007
Matomb
0354'30" N
1125'58" E
Tuna bait in mixed crop field 2
{album}

{Pheidole species Cameroon 126b}The photomontage is of major specimens collected in Cameroun - at 30 km east of Poli (ca 29' N 1329' E), in the soudano-guinean savannah (McKey Wolbachia project) - Cameroon 126b, 15 June 2001. 

Major (one specimen). TL 4.25 mm; overall stocky, with head much bigger than alitrunk or gaster, very dark red-brown, darkest on head, gaster and dorsal alitrunk; with shiny but matt appearance, due to dense sculpturation of a very fine nature. Head shape like that of Pheidole dea but antennae very small and narrow, with even shorter scapes. Mandibles smooth and with sparse short pilosity. Clypeus with median carina, flanked by smooth area before three longitudinal fine rugae. Laterally with fine rugo-reticulum, frontal area with wavy longitudinal fine rugae, frontal carinae only distinct for a short distance then no more marked than overall rugae. Pronotum in dorsal view with pronounced trapezoidal shape and fine transverse rugae anteriorly. Mesonotum, propodeum, pedicel and base of gaster spiculate. Viewed from above mesonotum and propodeum much broader ventrally. In profile, propodeum slopes at 45 down from metanotal groove until spines, moderately long and upturned, then declivity steeper. Petiole quite narrow, in profile with narrow crest; postpetiole in dorsal view trapezoidal, wider than long. Head with few erect hairs other than very short frontal border to clypeus and short fine hairs on occipital border


{Pheidole melancholica major}The photomontage is of a major worker from Cameroun; Malende; 30.viii.2008; aphid survey; collector A Fotso Kuate (fk unmounted sp 01).

Major (fk Sample 1) TL ca 4.5 mm, HL 1.66, HW 1.58, SL 0.79, PW 0.72; CI 95, SI 50;

Minor (fk sample 1) TL ca 2.5 mm, HL 0.54, HW 0.54, SL 0.69, PW 0.35; CI 100, SI 125; pedicel segments small and low, postpetiole from above rhomboidal


{Pheidole melancholica major}The photomontage is of a major worker from Cameroun, Muago; 1.ix.2008; aphid survey; collector A Fotso Kuate (fk unmounted sp 13).


{Pheidole melancholica minor}The photomontage is of a minor worker from Cameroun; Malende; 30.viii.2008; aphid survey; collector A Fotso Kuate (fk unmounted sp 01).


{Pheidole melancholica minor}The photomontage is of a minor worker from Cameroun, Muago; 1.ix.2008; aphid survey; collector A Fotso Kuate (fk unmounted sp 13).

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2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
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