The Ants of Africa
Genus Pheidole
Pheidole teneriffana Forel

teneriffana-group - Major distinguished particularly by the transverse metanotal welt; head with longitudinal striations or rugae, long frontal carinae with more or less distinct shallow scrobes; mandibles with two short apical teeth

Pheidole teneriffana Forel

Major - return to key Minor - return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} 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 {original description}. 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 {original description}. 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 {original description}; 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".

{short description of image}The upper photomontages are of specimens from Egypt, collected by Mostafa Sharaf. The first shows a range of majors with colour variabiliy. Other images can be seen in the folders at - {original description}, {original description} and {original description}.

{Pheidole teneriffana soldier} Major

{Pheidole teneriffana worker}Minor

{Pheidole teneriffana} {Pheidole teneriffana (minor)}The photomontages are collated from
Collection details - Locality: USA: California; Long Beach; 00°00'00"N 000°00'00"E. Collection Information: Collection codes: ANTC1202 Date: 7 Apr 1990 Collected by: R.J. Hamton.

{Pheidole teneriffana} 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 slightly darker
Minor - occiput slightly narrowed, no nuchal collar; colour as major.
NOTE - all the specimens shown above have a distinct nuchal collar.

© 2007, 2008 - Brian Taylor CBiol FIBiol FRES
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