The Ants of Africa
Genus Pheidole
Pheidole crassinoda Emery

crassinoda group; major with cordiform (heart-shaped) head - Arnold (1920a) group H

Pheidole crassinoda Emery

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location South Africa (Pheidole crassinoda n. sp., Emery, 1895h: 32, major & minor; Mayr, 1907b: 12, queen & male) from Makapan - see below
junior synonyms (here)
pluto (Pheidole crassinoda, Emery, var. pluto, n. v., Arnold, 1920a: 473, major & minor) from Mozambique, Amatongas Forest - see below
sordidula (Pheidole crassinoda, Em., v. sordidula n. v., Santschi, 1937a: 54, major, minor & male) from Tanzania, Nyerengere, D Reichensperger - see
cerdo (Pheidole crassinoda, Em. st. ruspolii Em. v. cerdo, n. v. = Ph. crassinoda Em. v. ruspolii Arnold, Santschi, 1937a: 54, all forms) from South Africa - see
all forms known (see Bolton, 1995) .

With the availability on Antweb of images of the Pheidole ruspolii type major and associated minor worker, plus sexuals, I have elevated ruspolii to full species status. An immediate distinction is the shorter scapes of ruspolii.

Emery's (1895h) description is at {original description}. Mayr's (1907b) description of the queen & male is at {original description}. Arnold (1920a) gave a translation, this is at {original description}. Arnold's (1920a) description of pluto is at {original description}. Santschi's (1937a) description of sordidula is at {original description}. Santschi's (1937a) description of cerdo is at {original description}.

This may be an immigrant from savannah woodland, as Kemp (1951) studied its foraging activity and related how it was among the principal predators of the eggs of tsetse flies at Shinyanga in Tanzania (as Tanganyika). There it was ground-nesting. The identification had been by Donisthorpe, of the British Museum (Natural History), and Kemp noted how the workers were inseparable from those of Pheidole sculpturata Mayr.

{Pheidole crassinoda major}The photomontage of a syntype major is collated from
Note the head appears foreshortened in the full face view; Emery gave the dimensions as 2.6 X 2.4 mm (judging from the lateral view that is HL X HW).

Note: as with almost all Antweb images these have an over-riding magenta tint.  Emery described the species as piceous (very dark brown) with reddish appendages.

{Pheidole crassinoda minor}The photomontage of a syntype minor is collated from . Note the original colour was stated as pitch - presumably this and the specimen above have faded with time.

{Pheidole crassinoda pluto major}The photomontage of a syntype major of pluto is collated from

{Pheidole crassinoda major}The specimens in these field photographs, nest below, were taken in Pretoria, South Africa, by Joan Young; nos 101_1551 to 1556 & 101_1567 to 1568. A single major was photographed whilst being attacked and dismembered by the much smaller Pheidole foreli - see photograph on that species page

Oxford University Museum specimens

Pheidole crassinoda
B Taylor det.

V Grebennikov

W Usambara Mts
315.3' S
3731.05' E
Lushoto District, Grant's Lodge; Mkusu R., 3-4 km upstream of Kifungilo; 1660 m

{Pheidole crassinoda minor}The photomontage is of a minor worker from Usambara Mts, Tanzania; collector Vasily Grebennikov.

{Pheidole crassinoda sexuals}The Sexuals from Arnold (1920a, 1926: Pl. VI).

2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012,2014, 2016 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.