The Ants of Africa
Genus Pheidole
Pheidole minuscula Bernard

termitophila group - Major - head longer than wide by at least 25%; mandibles very stout with dentate border and distinct apical teeth; clypeus with at least a shallow central notch; postpetiole with distinct lateral prominences; minor head square; major and minor with relatively swollen three-segmented club

Pheidole minuscula Bernard

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Guinea (Pheidole minuscula n. sp., Bernard, 1952: 226, illustrated, major & minor) from Mt. Nimba; 4 majors from station T 230, track in Ziéla savanna (Lamotte); 4 majors and 4 minors in a sample tube, location unmarked (Lamotte); major & minor workers described (see Bolton, 1995) .

{Pheidole minuscula}Bernard's (1952) description is at {original description}. This translated is -
MAJOR - TL 2.8; head and thorax dark yellow; petiole, gaster and appendages pale testaceous. Shiny, even on the anterior striated ¾ of the head, rest of head slightly punctuate-reticulate (without striations). Clypeus cordlike, anterior border rectilinear centrally, surface very shiny with strong carina. Median groove of head dorsum limited to the posterior quarter. Funiculus segments 2 and 3 equal, together shorter than 4. Postpetiole yellow, shiny, as long as broad.

MINOR - TL 1.7; body yellow-brown, very shiny, petiole and appendages testaceous. Head a little longer than wide, with fine puncturations; occiput concave, wide and not bordered. Second segment of antennal club scarcely longer than wide. Propodeal spines reduced to short teeth. postpetiole globular (after Bernard, 1952).

Described as close to Pheidole termitophila ssp liberiensis by Bernard, with differences as noted. The workers below show the small, globose, postpetiole and antennal club described and drawn Bernard.

Note: well developed longitudinal median carina on clypeus; smooth mandibles; alitrunk profile with distinct protuberances bearing erect hairs; propodeum from above with distinct lateral margination.

May be synonymous with Pheidole nigeriensis but type images of that are not available.

Pheidole minuscula majorThe photomontage of the type major worker is collated from

Pheidole minuscula minorThe photomontage of the type minor worker is collated from

{Pheidole miniscula}Collingwood (1985) recorded specimens from Saudi Arabia, illustrated left, as miniscula, describing them as the smallest Pheidole seen (among those from Arabia). He noted - the major workers have long rectilinear heads with only slight genal curvature, HL 1.0, HW 0.84; clypeus shining with a raised median carina; the species is linked by its narrow head to the larger, darker P. termitophila and to the more sculptured and still larger liberiensis. All specimens were taken from leaf litter.

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