The Ants of Africa
Genus Pheidole
Pheidole termitophila Forel

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 termitophila Forel

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location South Sudan (Pheidole termitophila n. sp., Forel, 1904h: 13, major, minor & queen; the name suggests it lives with or in the nest mounds of termites) Kaka, White Nile, 10° 34' 36" N 32° 06' 47" E; Jaegerskiold, 6.iii.1901 - see below
subspecies liberiensis (Pheidole termitophila Forel subsp. liberiensis n. subsp., Forel, 1911e: 270, major & minor) from Liberia at Golah, collector? - see below.
Major, minor and queen described (see Bolton, 1995) .


Forel's (1904h) description is at {original description}. Forel's (1911e) description of liberiensis is at {original description}. Bernard's (1952: 226) note is at {original description}.

Wheeler (1922) has a record of the species sensu stricto from Senegal (Dakar, F. Silvestri) and liberiensis from Guinea (Mamou and Kakoulima, by F. Silvestri).

Bernard, see below, noted the typical form had been found also in Benin (1952: 226, illustrated). From Guinea he reported further findings of liberiensis (with a larger postpetiole) at Zouépo, 1250 m, one major and one minor, and a major from Camp IV (forest, 1000 m, Lamotte) which differed in having a browner head and with the vertex more indented posteriorly.


Pheidole termitophila majorThe photomontage of the type major worker is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0907853.


{Pheidole termitophila minorThe photomontage of a type minor worker is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0907854.


Pheidole termitophila majorThe photomontage of the type major worker of liberiensis is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0907855.


Oxford University Museum specimens

Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
Senegal
Lamine Diamé
12
2012
Thiés
14°45'N
17°03'W
s. seche
minor worker
tube 11
1
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
liberiensis form
Senegal
Lamine Diamé
16
02.ix.2012
Thiés
14°45'N
17°03'W
Pout Noto
V 40 pitfall 15
minor workers
tube 04
2
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.

Mali
David King
King 48

25.viii.2007
Bamako
12°37.481' N
8°00.27' W
323 m asl; nest in soil of hotel grounds
minors; type form ?
4
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
Liberia
E Poirier
Liabala
PF 8
2.iv.2013
Nimba County
07°31’06" N
08°35’34" E
Pitfall trap
Secondary forest
473 m asl
minor
2
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
Liberia
E Poirier
Yekepa
PF 1
29.iii.2013
Nimba County
07°33’38" N
08°32’33" E
Pitfall trap
Degraded secondary forest
518 m asl
minor
1
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
Liberia
E Poirier
Yekepa Camp 4
PF 5
6.iv.2013
Nimba County
07°33’04" N
08°33’17" E
Pitfall trap
Floodplain & marsh
501 m asl
minor
1
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
Liberia
E Poirier
Yekepa Camp 4
PF 19
6.iv.2013
Nimba County
07°33’04" N
08°33’17" E
Pitfall trap
Floodplain & marsh
501 m asl
minor
1
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.


Cameroun
A Fotso Kuate
Pheidole sp 10

17.v.2007
Matomb
03°54'30" N
11°25'58" E
Tuna bait in forest
minor
1
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
Gabon
Y Braet
Gabon 70

20.vi.2006
Pongara
00°34' N
09°19' E
Pointe Wingombe, on forest road
1
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
Gabon
Y Braet
Gabon 76, 79

20.vii.2006
Pongara
00°34' N
09°19' E
Pointe Wingombe, under trees, pitfall trap
2
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
Gabon
Y Braet
Gabon 91

8.viii.2006
Pongara
00°34' N
09°19' E
Edge of savannah; yellow tray trap
1
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
Congo
E Zassi
13-t-2
19-20.xi.2007
Lésio-Louna
03°20'12.0" S
015°28'43.6" E
Wooded Savannah; 24h pitfall trap
2
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
PCO2
25.xi.2010
Dzanga-Sangha
2°28'49.5"N
16°12'55.9"E
392 m; pitfall/dung trap, Lake 1 base
1
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.


Mali
David King
King 103

9.ii.2009
Bamako
12.37.11° N
08.0056° W
323 m asl; residential area near Niger River

1
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
Senegal
Tambacounda
B Ndiaye

13.viii.2009
Bambaraya
13°06'30"N
12°05'18" W
Bambaraya13-VIII-09 St 4 P3F
264 m; Soudanian savannah, pitfall traps; minor workers

4
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
Senegal
Tambacounda
B Ndiaye

5.viii.2009
Niakafiri
13°09'40" N
12°06'46" W
Niakafiri 5-VIII-09 St 6 P4F [A]
213 m; Soudanian savannah, pitfall traps; minor

1
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 2910
10.ix.2012
Korobourou
09°22'13'' N
02°40'16'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
Quadrat 1, tube 5, variété: Kent
Ground nesting
Minor workers
2
{album}
Pheidole termitophila
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 3017.2
9.xi.2012
Korobourou
09°22'13'' N
02°40'16'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
Quadrat 1, série 1, variété Gouverneur; ground nesting
Minor workers
2
{album}

{Pheidole termitophila minor}The photomontage is of a minor worker from Mali, Bamako, 12.37.48° N 8.00.27° W, 323 m; Nest in soil in hotel grounds; collector David M King (King 48).

The Forel (1904h) description of the type form minor worker is limited but this worker appears to be a reasonable match.  It appears unique amongst, at least African, Pheidole in having psammophore hairs on the underside of the head.  The type location close to the White Nile is essentially Sahelian scrub desert, similar to the environs of Bamako.

TL ca 2.2 HL 0.46 HW 0.42 EL 0.10 SL 0.48 PW 0.40 CI 85 SI 115 EI 24

Head with weakly concave occiput; mandibles smmoth both with distinct puncturation, each puncture giving rise to a fine decumbent hair; eyes ovoid set around the midlength of the head; Alitrunk profile with promoseontum highly domed and dropping steeply into the shallow metanotal groove, propodeum profile very shallowly convex, spines reduced to sharp denticles; femora unique in being distinctly swollen; propodeum dorsum with coarse spiculation; short erect hairs moderately abundant all over.

{Pheidole termitophila liberiensis}Pheidole liberiensis form

Bernard (1952) noted :
the liberiensis major had the head entirely striate and with a long frontal groove; the clypeus submatt; postpetiole brown and reticulated much wider than long;
the minor had the second segment of the antennal club twice as long as wide; (propodeal) spines quite distinct; postpetiole angular and twice as wide as is is long.

The minor workers shown below have
TL ca 1.9 mm HL 0.44 HW 0.41 SL 0.42 EL 0.09 PW 0.28 CI 94 SI 100 EI 20

All are brown in somewhat variable shades, but a common feature is the lighter areas on the clypeus; the ovoid head with convex sides and occiput; moderate ovoid to tear-drop shaped eyes set forward of the midline; the postpetioles have weakly prounounced lateral apices, suggesting Bernard's drawing may have been exaggerated.

All are from the edge of wooded areas or open grass areas in woodland.
Comparision of the type images show the two forms to be identical.

{Pheidole termitophila}The photomontage is of a minor worker from Liberia (Nimba), Liabala; collector E Poiriet (Liabala PF 8).


{Pheidole termitophila}The photomontage is of a minor worker from Gabon, Pongara National Park; collector Yves Braet (Gabon 70; similar workers Gabon76, 79 & 91).


{Pheidole termitophila minor}

Minor workers from Congo - Réserve de Lésio-Louna; collector Eric Zassi (n sp 45 & 49). 


{Pheidole termitophila minor}

Minor worker from Central African Republic, Dzanga-Sangha; collector P Annoyer (PCO2 XAV).


{Pheidole termitophila minor}

Minor worker from Cameroun, Dzanga-Sangha; collector A Fotso Kuate (fk Pheidole sp 10).

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