Pheidole teneriffana Forel
Type location Canary Islands (Forel, 1893d: 465, major &
minor; Santschi: 1908: 521, queen) from Teneriffe; subspecies taina
(Aguayo, 1932: 219, major) from Cuba; major, minor &
queen described (Bolton, 1995).
Forel's (1893d) description is at
Santschi's (1908) illustrated description of the queen (the
illustration is labelled male but this seems wrong; the Forel
paper cited is the 1893d, not 1903 as Santschi has it) is at
The specimens were sent to Santschi from Cairo, Egypt,
collected by Borcard, and he reports his own finding at Sousse,
Tunisia, in the public garden close to the port,
suggesting to him that it is a cosmoplitan species. Nests occur in
the ground and under rocks. Agayo's (1932) description of taina
is at ;
note that Aguayo refers to "var. avara Santschi"
- this is not listed by Bolton (1995) and I have not come across
any other record. Gomez & Espadaler (2006) gave the first
description of the male, collected in the Balearic Islands.
Wilson (2003) noted it as one of only two Old World Pheidole
known from the Americas, several widely scattered locations. He
thought it may be of Mediterranean origin.
There seem only to be two records from sub-Saharan Africa.
Baroni Urbani (1968b: 438), in a paper not yet overtly available
on HNS, described specimens from Malta and provided a
number of comparative illustrations. Among those is a specimen
from Eritrea, Massua Belli, i.e. from those reported by
Emery (1901e), collected by V Belli. Santschi (1920d: 378)
reported it from Mombasa, Kenya, collected by G Arnold,
and noted it as (my translation) - "an African species which
has become cosmopolitan".
Wilson, whose illustration is shown right, had the following
inadequate description (based on specimens from Cuba) -
Major - TL ? mm, HL 1.34, HW 1.34, SL 0.82, PW 0.64; head
with overall yellowish-brown with head, mandibles and gaster
Minor - occiput slightly narrowed, no nuchal collar;
colour as major.
NOTE - all the specimens shown above have a distinct nuchal