The Ants of Africa
Genus Pheidole
Pheidole buchholzi Mayr

buchholzi-group - major head ovoid, widest at mid-point of length

Pheidole buchholzi Mayr

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Cameroun (Pheidole Buchholzi nov. spec., Mayr, 1901a: 276, major & minor - see below; Santschi, 1914d: 336, queen [not in Bolton, 1995]; Forel, 1916: 413, queen) collected at Mungo River by R. Buchholz, Oct. 1874; major, minor and queen described (see Bolton, 1995) .

Mayr's (1901a) description of the major is at {original description} and of the minor is at {original description}. Santschi's (1914d) description of the queen is at {original description}

Wheeler (1922) had other Cameroun records from Victoria (F. Silvestri) and an unknown location (L. von Muralt); also from Zaïre. Santschi (1935) also saw 1 major and 8 minors from Mongede, Zaïre.

Bernard (1952) recorded it from the Mt. Nimba, Guinea, surveys; several minors from station B8-10, 1250 m; also from Yanlé, Nion 700 m, forest at 1000-1200 m, crest at 1300 m.

{Pheidole buchholzi major}The photomontage of a type major worker is collated from

{Pheidole buchholzi minor}The photomontage of a type minor worker is collated from

{Pheidole speculifera major BT}Nigeria specimens (Taylor, 1980a: 17, as Pheidole speculifera).
MAJOR - TL 6.97 mm, HL 2.27, HW 2.33, SL 1.18, PW 1.00
Dark orange-brown. Head rugose anteriorly and reticulopunctate on the dorsum. Mesonotum and propodeum spiculate. Erect hairs coarse and abundant. Head with short frontal carinae, the clypeus slightly emarginate and with a slight medial carina. Propodeal spines relatively stout, blunt and curved laterally. Petiole emarginate with paired obtuse teeth dorsolaterally. Postpetiole shorter and broader than that of minor.

Wheeler (1922) included it from Cameroun (Johann-Albrechtschöhe, Conradt), plus very wide sub-Saharan localities. He noted his specimens, four majors from Faradje, and five workers from Garamba (in the stomach of a frog) matched Emery's description of the types from Abyssinia, but the minors were darker; the major size was no more than 6 mm whereas cubangensis was described by Forel as being TL 7 mm, with whole head opaque; Wheeler's specimens had the smooth shining areas of the vertex shown in his illustrations (right).

Bernard (1952) noted it as inhabiting all of tropical Africa, but probably originating in montane areas, from where come the principal varieties. In Guinea it was very common around Mt. Nimba, with colonies on the crests at 1600 m. As was frequent with the systematics of Santschi, Bernard found minors and majors from one locality appearing to come from different races. Majors (4 from Nion) tended to have the rounded matt head typical of the variety bisperula (a mis-spelling of bispecula). Minors on the other hand appeared most like the variety ascarus from Eritrea, being blacker, shinier and with a more slender petiole. He also described the previously unknown queen.

Nigeria it nests in dead wood and soil in crevices on living trees. Rare but found foraging on the ground and tending aphids on cocoa, e.g. at Onipe 1/1.

In Ghana, specimens determined as this were found in dead wood on the ground under cocoa, and as Pheidole near speculifera foraging in cocoa leaf litter at the Mamfe-Mampong farm in Ghana by Room (1971); also on cocoa mistletoe (Room, 1975); and on cocoa at Kade by Majer (1975, 1976 b), using pkd, and finding two workers in a single sample. Two workers were found on the ground under Amelonado cocoa at CRIG (Bigger, 1981a).

Relatively abundant in shaded areas of one cocoa plot at Nko'emvon in Cameroun, where Jackson (1984) collected it in pitfall traps. Weakly negatively associated with Pheidole species 2 in the same plot.

{Pheidole speculifera minor BT}Nigeria specimens (Taylor, 1980a: 17).

MINOR - TL 3.42 mm, HL 0.86, HW 0.65, SL 1.17, PW 0.47
Yellow-orange, shiny, with a transparent cuticle. Sculpturation only of spiculation on the propodeum, lateral mesonotum and the petiole. Petiole with a low node flattened dorsally in profile; postpetiole with a domed profile and ovoid in dorsal view.

© 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.