The Ants of Africa
SUBFAMILY MYRMICINAE - Genus Pheidole
provisional key to major workers of all African species - Section 4
Genus Pheidole Introduction
return to key Head completely striate -- Hypostomal teeth
(non-type)
28 {Pheidole caffra propodeal spines}Propodeal spines no more than moderately long (ca two-thirds of space betweeen bases), sharp and upturned
Minors with small semi-globular postpetioles
29
-- {dea propodeal spines}Propodeal spines long and (mostly) relatively blunt apically
Most minors with small semi-globular postpetioles
 Section 5
29 Head elongated with CI < 100
30

-- CI ca 100 3x

-- Majors with a broad elliptical to rhomboidal postpetiole in dorsal view 31
34 Pheidole bayeri
TL 4.5-5.0 mm, HL 1.81, HW 1.70, SL 0.50, PW 0.75; CI 94, SI 53; occiput with distinct transverse rugae; with propodeal spines no more than moderately long, triangular, sharp and upturned; dark red-brown, gaster near black and wholly shiny

bayeri
. Pheidole bayeri minor
TL 2.7 mm, HL 0.67, HW 0.65, SL 0.81, PW 0.41; CI 85, SI 140; head longer than wide (longer than abyssinica [caffra]); more narrowed behind, with distinct posterior border (nuchal collar?); scape surpasses occiput by two-fifths of its length; scape with numerous erect hairs; generally smooth but with oblique striations on the genae; propodeum reticulate; almost black, mandibles yellowish, appendages reddish
West Africa & Congo Basin - bayeri
-- {Pheidole ingenita major}
TL 4.25-4.7 mm, HL 1.65, HW 1.53, SL 0.75, PW 0.55; CI 92, SI 50; ocxiput with weak arched but not transverse rugae; very deep red-brown; antennae very small with even shorter scapes.
Minor unknown
Ivory Coast  - ingenita
-- {Pheidole hewitti}
TL 5.2 mm, HL one-sixth greater than HW; alitrunk dorsum with weak transverse striation, otherwise alitrunk and pedicel nodes densely but superficially reticulo-punctate; erect hairs irregularly spaced on entire body, all over long pubescence, especially abundant on gaster and appendages; colour medium red-brown, with posterior 3/4 of head, dorsum of alitrunk darker, anterior of head and mandibles redder. appendages yellow-brown - similar colour to vanderveldi (see minor)
.
. {Pheidole hewitti}
TL 2.5 mm, HL 0.62, HW 0.58, SL 0.58, PW 0.32; CI 95, SI 100; mandibles feebly striate on the sides; scape surpasses occiput by about one-quarter of its length; promesonotum with elongate convex profile slightly interrupted by a small lateral tubercle on the mesonotum; propodeum with dorsum and declivity forming an obtuse angle with a small raised tooth; dark brown, gaster slightly lighter, mandibles & tarsi brownish ochreous, antennae & legs pale brown
South Africa - hewitti
31 {Pheidole akermani}
TL 4.6-4.9 mm, HL 1.7, HW 1.3, SL 0.71, PW 0.65; CI 76, SI 54; propodeal spines short and triangular; colour dark castaneous brown, posterior of head, alitrunk and petiole redder
.
. {Pheidole akermani minor}
TL 2.6 mm, HL 0.55, HW 0.48, SL 0.49, PW 0.33; CI 86, SI 107; propodeal spines short and triangular; dark castaneous brown, posterior of head, alitrunk and petiole redder
South Africa - akermani
-- Pheidole areniphila aurora major
TL 5.5 mm, HL 1.63, HW 1.50, SL 0.90, PW 0.60; CI 94, SI 60; postpetiole from above broadly sub-triangular, with globular profile; fairly shiny but lightly and finely reticulate all over; reddish yellow, head brownish-yellow, gaster base yellowish
.

. Pheidole areniphila aurora minor
TL 2.3-2.5-2.8 mm, HL 0.61, HW 0.50, SL 0.85, PW 0.39; CI 82, SI 144; sides of head more convex in full face view; scape surpasses occiput by about one-third its length; postpetiole with globular profile; fairly shiny but lightly and finely reticulate all over; reddish yellow, head brownish-yellow, gaster yellowish (Kenya specimen darker)
southern Africa - areniphila
33 {Pheidole prelli}
TL 3.7-4.2 mm, HL 1.47, HW 1.44, SL 0.79, PW 0.55; CI 94, SI 55; overall rust-red; gaster yellower, more brown in posterior half; mandibles and scapes brown rust; lower legs and funiculi yellowish.
.
-- {Pheidole prelli minor}
TL 2.5 mm, HL 1.13, HW 1.06, SL 0.89, PW 0.34; CI 84, SI 157; mandibles striated and pubescent; anterior border entirely denticulate; head an eighth longer than wide, slightly narrowed posteriorly, rectangular with a somewhat distinct posterior border, convex; clypeus without carinae; frontal carinae parallel, reaching about the midpoint but not forming a distinct scrobe; even so, between the carinae and the first rugae of the genae the antennal socket is distinctly raised in a transverse arc, prolonged slightly forward; eyes convex slightly forward of the midpoint; scape surpassing the occiput by about one-third its length; alitrunk as in the soldier but more elongated, with less pronounced structures; propodeal dorsum one-third longer than wide; spines twice as long as the basal separation; declivity short; postpetiole as long as wide; rest as soldier; head quite shiny, finely and irregularly reticulate, with oblique rugae between the eyes and the frontal carinae, arcing into the anterior sockets; alitrunk densely reticulo-punctate and almost matt, except on the pronotum, where the dorsum is near smooth; petiole node reticulate; rest shiny; pilosity and pubescence as in the soldier; overall yellow-rust; head, antennae and vague bands on the gaster brownish
East Africa & Congo Basin - prelli
-- Pheidole erythraea major
TL 4.8 mm, HL 1.53, HW 1.47, SL 0.76, PW 0.75; CI 96, SI 52; propodeum with sharper spines; vertex with finer striation
. erythaea
. Pheidole erythraea minor
TL 3.0 mm, HL 0.92, HW 0.71, SL 1,05, PW 0.46; CI 86, SI 107; head with almost straight occiput and only a narrow nuchal collar; yellow-red, gaster more brown
Horn of Africa - erythraea - new status
-- {Pheidole capensis}
TL 5.0-5.8 mm, HL 1.65, HW 1.40, SL 0.65, PW 0.70; CI 86, SI 52; head dark red to piceous, alitrunk yellowish-red, gaster yellowish-brown
Note, apart from the base colour, capensis and cuitensis appear to be very similar
. .
. {Pheidole capensis minor}
TL 2.5 mm, HL 0.60, HW 0.55, SL 0.58, PW 0.34; CI 88, SI 106; metanotal groove and transverse impression of mesonotum quite deep; head very finely and longitudinally rugulose, vertex smooth and shining; pronotum shining, rest of alitrunk reticulo-punctate and dull; generally brownish-yellow with head more reddish
Note, apart from the base colour, capensis and cuitensis appear to be very similar
Southern Africa - capensis .
-- {Pheidole cuitensis major}
TL ca 5.5 mm, HL 1.72, HW 1.60, SL 0.79, PW 0.70; CI 90, SI 51 
.
. {Pheidole cuitensis minor}
TL ca 2.2 mm, head oval rectangular; scape surpasses occiput by about 2/5 of its length 
Southern Africa - cuitensis

HL = HW -- .
3x {fervens head profile}{Pheidole fervens face}Head not concave behind the eyes; TL ca 4.5 mm; antennal scrobes reaching posterior quarter of head 32
-- {caffra head profile}Head concave behind the eyes (i.e. with a depression in the occipital profile) 28
. Head not concave behind the eyes --
32 {Pheidole fervens major}
TL ca 3.8-4.0 mm; HL 1.41, HW 1.28, SL 0.81, PW 0.5; CI 94, SI 61, EI 19; head with longitudinal striations reaching the occiput; these striations often strongly marked; frontal carinae reaching the posterior quarter of the head and antennal scrobes distinct; metanotum raised into a strong welt, metanotal groove wide; propodeal spines robust; note the colour is quite variable
. fervens
. {Pheidole fervens minor}
TL ca 2.5-2.7, HL 0.60-0.62, HW ca 0.50-0.56, SL 0.62-0.67, PW 0.31; CI 83, SI 125; head large relative to the alitrunk; with distinct groove between pro-and mesonotum; postpetiole wider than long; generally brown-yellow, gaster darker
North African tramp
(synonymy of teneriffana) fervens

-- {Pheidole providens major}
TL ca 4.5 mm, HL 1.55, HW 1.50, SL 0.80, PW 0.70; CI 95, SI 55, EI 19; head in full face view with near straight sides; longitudinal striations reaching the occiput; these striations often strongly marked; frontal carinae almost reaching the occiput and apically turning forward to form the scrobe; metanotum raised into a strong welt, metanotal groove wide; propodeal spines robust; note the colour is quite variable
. providens
. {Pheidole providens minor major}
TL 2.7 mm, HL 0.75, HW 0.60, SL 0.75, PW 0.39; CI 80, SI 135; head variable ovoid to near square; eye relatively large; with distinct groove between pro-and mesonotum; postpetiole wider than long; generally red-brown
South Asian to Middle East tramp
(part synonymy of teneriffana) providens

-- {Pheidole mentita major}
TL ca 4.8 mm, HL 1.42, HW 1.54, SL 0.90, PW 0.70, CI 108, SI 59. Head finely striate to about 2/3 point, the occiput smooth frontal carina distinct to almost the same level, genae more coarsely striate; mandibles coarsely striate, with large paired apical teeth and a wide dark inner margin; clypeus with median and lateral carinae; underside of head smooth, hypostoma with thickened margin but no median or submedian teeth, strong laterla teeth, lower edge of mandibles narrow and deeply grooved; well marked mesonotal welt, metanotal groove also well defined, laterally with distinct cross bars, propodeum profile with a flat dorsum, from above with distinct margination, propodeal spines from above curved outwards and sharp; petiole with long peduncle, the node narrow in profile and with impressed upper margin, postpetiole subglobular, with shiny dorsum; gaster brightly shiny. Quite long erect hairs on all of body.
. mentita underhead
. {Pheidole mentita minor}
TL 2.7 mm, HL 0.75, HW 0.60, SL 0.75, PW 0.39; CI 80, SI 135; head variable ovoid to near square; eye relatively large; with distinct groove between pro-and mesonotum; postpetiole wider than long; generally red-brown
Senegal
mentita

. Head concave behind the eyes (i.e. with a depression in the occipital profile) --
-- Postpetiole small and not laterally widened in dorsal view 30
-- Postpetiole laterally widened in dorsal view 31
30 {Pheidole sinaitica major}
TL ca 4.5 mm, HL 1.25, HW 1.25, SL 0.77, PW 0.50; CI 100, SI 65, EI 18; postpetiole spherical and not laterally widened, in profile an obliquely angled oval (upper posterior apex rearmost); globose; head striated up to the occiput with scapes reaching back to the same level; only the posterior corners of the head forwards to the deepest outside edge of the posterior edge of the head are smooth; clypeus with sharp median carina; funiculus segments 2-5 longer than wide; brownish-red or more yellow
. sinaitica
. {Pheidole sinaitica minor}
TL 2.8-3 mm, HL 0.67, HW 0.53, SL 0.91, PW 0.41; CI 79, SI 144; brownish-red or more yellow, gaster darker; underside of head with gular hairs
Egypt, Eritrea and Ethiopia - sinaitica
-- {Pheidole aeberlli major}
TL 6.0 mm, rust brown, gaster, scape and femora dark brown (Antweb image paler?; specimen HL 1.98, HW 1.98, SL 1.00; CI 100, SI 54)
. aeberlii
. {Pheidole aeberlli minor}
TL 3.2-3.3 mm, HL 0.79, HW 0.71, SL 1.08, PW 0.48; CI 87-89, SI 143-150; anterior margin of clypeus medially impressed; structure as variolosa; brown, alitrunk reddish-brown, appendages yellowish-brown
Sahel zone - aeberlii
-- Pheidole caffra
TL 4.5 mm, HL 1.28, HW 1.27, SL 0.85, PW 0.50; CI 98, SI 64; head barely longer than wide, median line of head distinct but with a wide surrounding impression; sculpture of head a fundamental reticulate puncturation with superimposed trenchant rugae, very regular on the frons, extending with frontal carinae to posterior quarter of the head, on the occiput the rugae are intermixed with puncturation and large piligerous foveae; ferruginous dull, gaster piceous and shining
. caffra
. Pheidole caffra minor
TL ca 3 mm, HL 0.70, HW 0.65, SL , PW 0.47; CI 95, SI 107; head slightly longer than wide; eyes very convex and set about four fifths of the length from the anterior of the head; scapes surpass occiput by a distance equal to about half the length of the distance between the rear of the eye and the occiput; legs long; alitrunk and antennae red-brown, head dull brown or blackish brown; gaster near black, mandibles and legs yellowish-brown
Pan-African - caffra
-- Pheidole mayri type
TL ca 5.7-6.0 mm, HL 1.80, HW 2.27, SL , PW 0.73; CI 100, SI ; propodeum with long thin spines; postpetiole very broad and rounded, with transparent hind part of the lateral margin, but much wider than long and ventrally with a small tooth; head markedly rugose all over, more reticulate on the occiput; alitrunk dorsum transversely faintly rugose, spiculate on lateral mesonotum, propodeum and pedicel; basal half of the first gastral segment barely shiny, finely reticulate and spaciously longitudinally striate; dark red-brown, gaster near black
.
. Pheidole mayri minor
TL 3.08, HL 0.75, HW 0.56, SL 0.89, PW 0.42; CI 78, SI 147; with unusually large eyes; head, pronotum and gaster unsculptured; propodeal spines thick and blunt; erect pilosity generally less abundant and distinctly shorter; colour dark red-brown, gaster and head near black
West Africa & Congo Basin - mayri
-- {Pheidole aspera}
TL 5.0 mm; HL 1.78, HW 1.78, SL 0.87; CI 100, SI 46; head shape undefined; head dull, anterior striate, posterior obliquely and finely rugose, rugosity on dorsal alitrunk tranverse; yellowish-brown
. aspera
. {Pheidole aspera minor}
TL 3.0 mm; HL 0.72, HW 0.66, SL 0.66, PW 0.39; CI 95, SI 100, scapes surpass occiput by about one-third their length, funiculus with all segments bead-like; mandibles longitudinally striate at the base, clypeus weakly striate, middle of head more or less smooth; most of alitrunk and gaster shiny, propodeum transversely rugose; short, acute spines directed upwards; pilosity quite abundant; head blackish-brown, alitrunk red brown, rest yellowish-brown
South Africa - aspera
31 Pheidole redbankensis type
TL ca 5.7-6.0 mm, HL 1.80, HW 2.27, SL , PW 0.73; CI 100, SI ; propodeum with long thin spines; postpetiole very broad and rounded, with transparent hind part of the lateral margin, but much wider than long and ventrally with a small tooth; head markedly rugose all over, more reticulate on the occiput; alitrunk dorsum transversely faintly rugose, spiculate on lateral mesonotum, propodeum and pedicel; basal half of the first gastral segment barely shiny, finely reticulate and spaciously longitudinally striate; dark red-brown, gaster near black
.
. Pheidole redbankensis minor
TL 3.08, HL 0.75, HW 0.56, SL 0.89, PW 0.42; CI 78, SI 147; with unusually large eyes; head, pronotum and gaster unsculptured; propodeal spines thick and blunt; erect pilosity generally less abundant and distinctly shorter; colour dark red-brown, gaster and head near black
East Africa & Congo Basin - redbankensis
-- {Pheidole pullata major}
TL ca 4.7 mm, HL 1.48, HW 1.45, SL 0.81, PW 0.60; CI 96, SI 56; very deep red-brown. Propodeum, pedicel and base of gaster distinctly spiculate.
.
. {Pheidole pullata  minor
TL ca 2.8 mm, HL 0.65, HW 0.50, SL 0.75, PW 0.52; CI 73, SI 182
West Africa & Gabon - pullata
-- {Pheidole abyssinica}
TL 4.5-5.5 mm; occiput with reticulate sculpturation; sides of head weakly convex in full face view; postpetiole a narrow oval in dorsal view
Antweb type (shown) - TL ca 6 mm, HL 2.0, HW 1.92
.
. {Pheidole abyssinica minor}
TL 2.3-2.5 mm, HL 0.62, HW 0.55, SL 0.76, PW -.39; CI 89, SI 129; sides of head more convex in full face view and occiput straight to weakly concave; scape surpasses occiput by about one-third its length; reddish yellow, head brownish-yellow, gaster yellowish
Ethiopia - abyssinica

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Genus Pheidole Introduction

Contents MYRMICINAE Introduction
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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