The Ants of Africa
Genus Pheidole
Pheidole mylognatha Wheeler

excellens group - major head longer than wide by at least 25%, straight sided in full face view; mandibles very stout edentate border and without apical teeth; clypeus with median carina but anterior margin no more than medially concave; postpetiole with distinct lateral prominences produced as broad to acute spines; minor head square; major and minor with relatively swollen three-segmented club

Pheidole mylognatha Wheeler

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Zare (Wheeler, 1922: 134, illustrated, major & minor); described from a single major and two workers taken at Banana, by Lang and Chapin (no images on Antweb, November 2014). .


{Pheidole mylognatha}Described by Wheeler as-
MAJOR - Length 6 mm. Head large, subrectangular, 2 mm. broad and 2.3 mm. long, as broad in front as behind, with straight, parallel sides, deeply and angularly excised posterior border, with depressed occipital surface and faint depressions on the sides of the front for the antennal scapes. Occipital and frontal groove deep. Eyes small, flat, at the anterior third of the head. Mandibles very convex, probably bluntly bidentate at apex but the apical borders are worn away in the specimen. Clypeus very short, concave and indistinctly carinate in the middle, swollen and convex on the sides; the anterior border rather deeply emarginate in the middle and sinuate on each side. Frontal carinae short, diverting; frontal area indistinct. Antennae small and slender; scapes when bent outward not reaching to the eyes, terete and slightly curved at the base; joints 2 to 8 only slightly longer than broad; club distinctly shorter than the remainder of the funiculus. Thorax small, much shorter than the head and less than half as wide through the pronotum, which is bluntly tuberculate on the sides both above and below. Mesonotum short, rapidly sloping to the pronounced metanotal constriction, anteriorly with a feeble transverse impression and a small, sharp transverse ridge behind it. Propodeum distinctly broader than long, broadly concave and sloping in the middle, the base shorter than the declivity, marginate on the sides, the marginations continued into the spines which are short, acute, and erect, a little longer than broad at their bases, less than half as long as their interval. Petiole small and short, less than twice as long as broad, broader behind than in front, the node blunt, transverse, and emarginate in the middle. Postpetiole broader than long, its sides produced as short, acute, backwardly directed spines, the distance between the tips of which is about three times the width of the petiole. Gaster smaller than the head, elliptical, flattened dorsoventrally. Femora only moderately thickened in the middle.
Shining; mandibles sparsely punctate in the middle, coarsely striated at the base and along the apical margins, Clypeus rugulose, irregularly in the middle, longitudinally on the sides. Anterior half of head longitudinally rugose, with punctate interrugal spaces, the punctures becoming more numerous on the very feeble scrobe-like depressions; posterior half of head very smooth and shining, with a few sparse, piligerous punctures. Thorax loosely rugose and somewhat reticulate- punctate on the sides, concavity of propodeum finely transversely striated. Petiole and postpetiole indistinctly punctate-rugulose, the latter smoother and shining above. Gaster and legs smooth and shining, with sparse, piligerous punctures. Hairs whitish, delicate, sparse, erect or suberect on the body, shorter, more abundant and appressed on the legs; almost absent on the scapes. Colour rich castaneous brown; gaster, except the base of the first segment, darker, almost black; legs and funiculi a little more reddish, the femora infuscated in the middle.


WORKER - Length 2 mm. Head a little longer than broad, as broad in front as behind, with feebly convex sides and a feebly concave posterior border. Eyes rather convex, just in front of the middle of the sides. Mandibles with the whole apical border very finely denticulate. Clypeus convex, its anterior border entire, broadly rounded. Antennal scapes extending fully one-fourth their length beyond the posterior border of the head. Thorax and petiole very similar to those of the soldier but the mesonotum more sloping and with much feebler transverse convexity. Postpetiole only one and one-half times as broad as the petiole, its sides produced as short angles or conules.
Shining; mandibles finely and indistinctly striate; clypeus and cheeks longitudinally rugulose; area between the frontal carinae and the eyes reticulate, remainder of head very smooth and shining. Pronotum smooth and shining above, reticulate on the sides; mesonotum and propodeum subopaque, densely punctate; petiole and post-petiole more finely punctate, the nodes above smooth and shining like the gaster and legs. Pilosity and color much as in the soldier, but the fine appressed hairs on the scapes as abundant as on the legs.

This species is related to Pheidole schultzei Forel from the Kalahari Desert, as I find by comparison with cotypes received from Prof. Forel. The head of the major, however, has more convex sides, more rounded posterior corners, a less deeply excised posterior margin, less deeply impressed occipital groove, longer antennae, and a very different colour, being yellowish red, with the legs and base of gaster yellow. The minor schultzei departs further from that of mylognatha, in being more slender, with decidedly longer legs and antennae, in lacking spines on the propodeum and in having a longer postpetiole, which is scarcely angular on the sides. It is sordid or brownish yellow, with the head darker behind and on the sides.


Oxford University Museum specimens

Pheidole mylognatha
B Taylor det.

Gabon
Y Braet
Gabon 84

18.vii.2006
Pongara
0034' N
0919' E
Pointe Wingombe; under trees, sweep net
1
{album}
Pheidole mylognatha
B Taylor det.

Gabon
Y Braet
Gabon 90

8.viii.2006
Pongara
0034' N
0919' E
Edge of savannah; yellow tray trap
3
{album}
Pheidole mylognatha
B Taylor det.

Gabon
Y Braet
Gabon 140
8.viii.2006
Pongara
0034' N
0919' E
Riverine leaf litter; 72 h winkler funnel
1
{album}
Pheidole mylognatha
B Taylor det.

Congo
Y Braet
t-1-3
19.viii.2007
Brazzaville
415'33" S
1517'5" E
24h pitfall trap; forest around the GERDIB laboratories; 317 m asl
2
{album}
Pheidole mylognatha
B Taylor det.

Congo
Y Braet
t-1-13
19.viii.2007
Brazzaville
415'33" S
1517'5" E
24h pitfall trap; forest around the GERDIB laboratories; 317 m asl
2
{album}

{Pheidole mylognatha}The photomontage is of a minor specimen from Gabon, Pongara National Park; collected by Yves Braet (Gabon 84).


{Pheidole mylognatha}The photomontage is of a minor specimen from Gabon, Pongara National Park; collected by Yves Braet (Gabon 140).


{Pheidole mylognatha}The photomontage is of a minor specimen from Congo, Brazzaville, t 1.3; 19.viii.2007; 24 h pitfall trap; collected by Yves Braet & Eric Zassi, 2007.


{Pheidole mylognatha}The photomontage is of a minor specimen from Congo, Brazzaville, t 1.13; 19.viii.2007; 24 h pitfall trap; collected by Yves Braet & Eric Zassi, 2007.

Contents
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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