The Ants of Africa
SUBFAMILY MYRMICINAE - Genus Pheidole
Pheidole tristis Forel - majors

Pheidole tristis Forel - majors

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{Pheidole cicatricosa major from Algeria}Photomontage of a major worker collected in Algeria, Oued Agelil, 30.i.1914, collected by V Geyer; the Pheidole pallidula Nyl. v. cicatricosa n.v. of Stitz (1917: 340).


MAJOR - new description TL 4.0-4.5 mm; Zaranik specimens CI 93 SI 63 OI 128; El Minia specimens CI 100 SI 57 OI 12
Head in full face view slightly elongate cordate with a deeply impressed occiput
Mandibles quite large and heavy but with a thin inner, masticatory margin; with two basal teeth and two sharp apical teeth; sculptured basally with rugae and distinctive minute hair pits giving rise to an abundance of short, thickish decumbent hairs
Clypeus shiny with numerous weak longitudinal carinae but only a poorly defined median carina; the anterior margin is markedly sinuous with a quite deep median impression
Frontal carinae reaching the mid-point of the face and quite strongly divergent posteriorly
Antennae with both scapes and funiculi slender but moderately long; funiculus segments 2-7 all longer than they are wide; the apical segment is about as long as the two pre-apical segments together
Eye small and circular (9-10 facets long X 9-10 wide); set about twice its own length back from the lateral margin of the clypeus
Hypostoma with small submedian teeth and paired large lateral teeth; underside of head with very weak transverse anterior rugulation and shiny
Alitrunk profile with a flat-topped pronotum, then a drop to the mesonotum which has quite prominent posterior tubercles, those in turn drop vertically into a quite strongly impressed metanotal groove; the propodeum profile is flat with relatively large triangular teeth; the dorsum of the propodeum has a pronounced longitudinal groove which widens from front to back
In profile the petiole rises in a straight angle from the front of the pedicel to the apex of the sharply angled node, with the posterior faced vertical; the upper margin of the node is not impressed
The postpetiole profile is small and globular, from above it is ovoid, more than twice as wide as the petiole, and has distinctive lateral processes set at the ends of the dorsum
The gaster is distinctly smaller than the head and ovoid in profile and from above
Erect pilosity quite long, fine and quite abundant; pubescence short, adpressed but quite abundant.
Overall appearance shiny; the head has quite strong striate sculpturation on the face and laterally; the mesonotum and propodeum wappear rough with distinct but ill-defined longitudinal striations, the propodeal dorsum has tranverse striations
The general colour is dark red-brown, with the gaster and mandibles darker; speculatively the type of cicatricosa has lost much of its colour since it was collected in 1914.


{Pheidole recticeps Zaranik major} The photomontage is of a major from Egypt, Zaranik, 3039'N 3426'E; 4.v.2003; collected by Mostafa Sharaf.


{Pheidole recticeps El-Minia major} The photomontage is of a second set of majors from Egypt, El-Minia, 2008, collected by Mahmoud Fadl Ali.


{Pheidole tristis major} Photomontage of a major worker collected in Spain, Garden Costa i Llobera, Barcelona, by Xavier Espadaler. The location is a dry cactus garden and Xavier commented (in litt) - "it seemed to me they were too big for P. pallidula".

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

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