Pheidole cicatricosa Stitz - new status
MAJOR MINOR Type location Tunisia
(Pheidole pallidula Nyl., v. tristis n. var., Forel,
1907b: 204, worker [not queen]; Santschi, 1908: 521, major, queen
& male) collected at Kairouan, by Dr F Santschi - no images on
Antweb (November 2014)
junior synonym cicatricosa
(Pheidole pallidula Nyl., v. cicatricosa n. v., Stitz,
1917: 340, illustrated, major & minor workers; synonymy with pallidula
by Collingwood, 1978: 68, without notes) from Algeria, Oued
Agelil, 30.i.1914, collected by V Geyer - no images on Antweb (November
2014) but see linked major and minor pages (FoCol images).
(1907b) description of the tristis
worker was simply - TL 2.6-2.8 mm, dark brown, mandibles, antennae and
tarsi yellow-brown, otherwise identical to the type pallidula,
not rare in the Atlas; Santschi's (1908) description of tristis,
with comparative illustrations [note the illustration was wrongly
numbered], is at . Emery (1915j) gave an
illustrated note on recticeps, this is at . Santschi (1936c) gave a short note, this
is at .
Note: Name tristis preoccupied by Pheidole tristis (F Smith,
1858b: 132; combination in Pheidole
by Mayr, 1886c: 360) type location Brazil (type images see http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0901573).
Replacement name tristior
by Schmitz, 1950: 16; no other information. [Schmitz, H. 1950.
Formicidae quaedam a cl. A.
Stärcke determinatae, quas in Lusitania collegit. Brotéria. Serie Ciencias Naturais, 19, 12-16.]
Forel (1907b: 204) had denoted "Pheidole pallidula
Nyl., v. tristis n.var. worker [note in original this
is denoted as a Queen but the size is too small] - TL 2.6-2.8 mm; dark
brown, mandibles yellow-brown as are the antennae and tarsi. Kairouan
(Dr Santschi); this variety of Ph. pallidula well deserves to
be named. It is not rare in the Atlas; the rest of the characters are
identical to pallidula in. sp.". Forel's (1909e) description of
recticeps has - soldier differs from tristis
by a paler reddish colour, and especially by the slightly convex sides
to the head, which is rectangular-rounded, slightly wider behind than
in front; the worker has less obvious differences in head shape but is
smaller than tristis at TL 2.2 mm. The situation was confused
somewhat by Emery's statement (1915j) on the remarkably large, dark
form from Tunisia and Algeria, described by Forel as tristis.
However, he went on to express the opinion that Santschi had confused
two distinct forms, tristis Forel and recticeps Forel,
under the single name tristis. The only Santschi paper referred
to by Emery, however, was published in 1908 and pre-dates the Forel
(1909e) description of recticeps. It seems clear from Finzi's
(1936) description and our fresh specimens that recticeps is a
junior synonym of the type form Pheidole
Stitz (1917: 340) briefly described a new variety of Pheidole
pallidula Nyl. v. cicatricosa n. v., his description is at ). He noted only that the postpetiole had
lateral points; the propodeum had short teeth; 1 major and 4 minors,
from Algeria, Temassinin, 30.i.1914, collector von Geyr.
Even allowing for the brevity of Stitz's note, the
features and drawing, appear to be a good match for the specimens from
Egypt as shown below. This was confirmed by the photographs, also shown
below, from http://www.anttypes.org/
kindly sent to us by Dr Christiana Klingenberg.
Santschi (1936c) commented that, apart from the paler
colour, cicatricosa and tristis were identical. He
noted also that tristis had a wider postpetiole than the type pallidula.
Menozzi (1940: 268) reporting Pheidole pallidula var. recticeps
For. from Tripolitana, lists major & minor workers from Tagiura,
and refers to Zavattari (p 277) [Prodromo della fauna della Libia,
Pavia, 1934] as giving this form only from Cirenaica & Fezzan.
Egypt records - Pheidole pallidula ssp tristis
var recticeps Forel (1909e: 391), collected at Cairo, by Ed.
Wundsam, soldier & workers passed to Forel at Ghadamès (Sahara) by
Ali Ben Belkassem; Pheidole pallidula recticeps Menozzi
- in HNS as Pheidole
pallidula var. recticeps Menozzi (1932e: 452, soldier
& worker); also record in Mohamed et al (2001). P.
pallidula was recorded by Forel (1907a) from Alexandria by Biró.
Wheeler & Mann (1916) reported it from Wadi Feran & Wadi
Gazelle, Sinai Peninsula. Donisthorpe (1942a) recorded var tristis
from Siwa, three soldiers & numerous workers; also var recticeps
(Forel; not in Bolton, 1995) Siwa & Bachrein; all collected by J
Omer-Cooper, July-August 1935; others from the same location were
listed by Donisthorpe (1947e).
Mohamad thesis (1979) had - P. pallidula recticeps
Fayium, 2.v.1952; Burg El-Arab (Alexandria), 17-18.iv.1953; Abu qir
(Alexandria), 19.iv.1953, 10.iv.1955; Alexandria,2.iii.1955; Gebel
Asfar (Qaliobyia), 20.iii.1955; El-Dekheila (Alexandria),8.iv.1955;
Cairo, 28.v.1955; Damanhour (Nile Delta),1.iv.1956; Benha,6.ii.1975;
Cairo, 2.vi.1975; Heliopolis (Cairo), 4.vii.1975; Siwa oasis (Western
desert), 13iv.1976; Tanta (Nile Delta), 7.xii.1977; El-Mahalla El-Kobra
(Nile Delta), 8.xii.1977; Kafr El-Sheikh (Nile Delta), 22.xii.1977 (Coll.Ain.)
With the availability of fresh specimens
from Egypt and Spain, also a minor from Mali, the link pages give fresh
photographs and descriptions of
workers; Minor workers
Oxford University Museum
B Taylor det.
M Fadl Ali
|major & minor
B Taylor det.
|North Sinai, Abumadi
B Taylor det.
|P323 m asl; foraging
on wall of outside stairwell
B Taylor det.
|Garden Costa i
major & minor workers