The Ants of Africa
Genus Pheidole
Pheidole prelli Forel

fervens-group - Major distinguished particularly by the transverse metanotal welt; head with longitudinal striations or rugae, long frontal carinae with more or less distinct shallow scrobes; mandibles with two short apical teeth

Pheidole prelli Forel

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Kenya (Pheidole Prelli n. sp., Forel, 1911d: 362, all forms) from Mombasa, Prell - see below
all forms described (see Bolton, 1995) .

Pheidole redbankensis has been separated here. The type major is quite different to that of prelli. It is the form shown in Arnold's drawing of "P. prelli" (1920) and has a shorter head that is widest at the occiput and not an elongated oval; with very different sculpture; the postpetiole is much wider, a flattened triangle from above. The minor has a similar gross morphology but again differs significantly; the mandibles are more formidable, there is a well defined nuchal collar (not on prelli), the propodeal spines are slightly large and the postpetiole is swollen in profile and from above. The politocciput form is a junior synonym of redbankensis.

Forel's (1911d) description is at {original description} and {original description}.

Forel's description (1911d) was -
MAJOR - TL 3.7-4.2 mm; mandibles smooth, with sparse fine puncturation giving rise to hairs. Clypeus without carinae, anterior border broadly and medially scalloped. Head rectangular a third longer than wide, distinctly attenuated behind the eyes (the occiput narrower than the rest). Eyes slightly forward of the anterior quarter. Occipital impression strong, with the occipital lobes convex; postclypeal notch distinct. Frontal carinae as long as the scapes, slightly divergent, convex on the outside, forming the edge of a narrow, superficial scrobe; area between carinae and first rugae of cheeks superficially and finely reticulo-punctate. From the open extremity of the scrobe to the eye the head has a shallow depression. The scape is strongly curved in the basal half, and hardly exceeds the median line of the head; funiculus with median segments slightly longer than wide. Pronotum with obtuse upper tubercles. Anterior of mesonotum with a strong obtuse transverse ridge, behind which is a deep groove with a vertical anterior face; the groove being followed by a very high transverse roll. Dorsum of propodeum is square, with a small anterior and lateral border; spines strong and longer than 75% the basal separation. Petiole node a thick scale, with smooth summit. Postpetiole hexagonal, wider than long, sides conical, almost three times as wide as the petiole node.
Head subopaque, longitudinally rugose, with fine irregular reticulation between the rugae. Whole of occiput and posterior vertex almost matt, densely and as finely laterally striate. On sides of head rugae contorted, becoming reticulate where the transverse striae of the vertex cross the rugae. Thorax and pedicel subopaque, finely reticulate; the former overall irregularly rugose across. Base of gaster feebly reticulate, rest shiny.
Whole body with sparse yellowish hairs, none on the tibiae; 2-3 hairs on the scapes. Close pubescence on the tibiae and scapes, otherwise very sparse. Overall rust-red; gaster yellower, more brown in posterior half; mandibles and scapes brown rust; lower legs and funiculi yellowish.

MINOR - TL 2.5 mm; 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. Thorax 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. Thorax densely reticulo-punctate and almost matte, 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.

QUEEN also described, TL 6.2 mm; mostly as the major, head square, slightly enlarged behind.

MALE TL 4 mm; mandibles striated and with three teeth; scape enlarged apically about three times longer than wide; head trapezoidal, narrowed behind; thorax twice as big as head; mesonotum higher than pronotum.

Collected at Mombasa (now Kenya) by Heinrich Prell. Nest about 10 cm deep in walls of a termite hill.

{Pheidole prelli major}The photomontage of the type major worker is collated from

{Pheidole prelli minor}The photomontage of the type minor worker is collated from

{Pheidole prelli minor}The photomontage of a paratype worker is collated from

Oxford University Museum specimens

Pheidole prelli
B Taylor det.
Awatif Omer
1336' N
3301' E

Pheidole prelli
B Taylor det.

Yves Braet & Eric Zassi
tree savannah 24 h pitfall trap 1
Pheidole prelli
B Taylor det.
L Volait
Gabon 75
0034' N
0919' E
Pointe Denis; savannah (pitfall trap, edge of beach)

{Pheidole prelli minor}The photomontage is of a minor worker from Sudan, Sennar; collector Awatif Omer (2012 07).

{Pheidole prelli minor}The photomontage is of a minor worker from Gabon, Pongara NP; Pointe Denis; collectors L Voliat & L V Guieu (Gabon 75).

{Pheidole prelli minor}The photomontage is of a minor worker from Congo, Iboubikro, 25.i.2008, collectors Yves Braet & Eric Zassi.

{Pheidole prelli male}The photomontage of a cotype male is collated from

2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.