Coastal brown ants Pheidole megacephala, from here.

Belongs within: Myrmicinae.

Pheidole, the big-headed ants, is a diverse genus of ants with a clear division in colonies between major and minor workers. The minor workers are usually the more active and most likely to be involved in foraging, with the major workers often specialising in carrying larger or harder food items. The coastal brown ant Pheidole megacephala has become a significant invasive species in some parts of the world.

Characters (from Heterick 2009): Antenna with twelve segments, antennal club three-segmented; promesonotum in lateral view steeply sloping down to propodeum; workers dimorphic.

<==Pheidole Westwood 1839 FT08 (see below for synonymy)
    |--*P. providens (Sykes 1835) [=Atta providens] TB85
    |--P. algae N-ZLI11
    |--P. allani Bingham 1903 B03
    |--P. ampla Forel 1893 [=P. variabilis ampla] TB85
    |    |--P. a. ampla TB85
    |    |--P. a. mackayensis Forel 1902 TB85
    |    |--P. a. parviceps Forel 1915 TB85
    |    `--P. a. perthensis Crawley 1922 TB85
    |--P. angustior Forel 1902 [=P. latinoda angustior] B03
    |--P. anthracina Forel 1902 TB85
    |    |--P. a. anthracina TB85
    |    |--P. a. grandii Emery 1914 TB85
    |    `--P. a. orba Forel 1902 TB85
    |--P. aphrasta Zhou & Zheng 1999 Z01
    |--P. aristotelis N-ZLI11
    |--P. athertonensis Forel 1915 TB85
    |    |--P. a. athertonensis TB85
    |    |--P. a. cedarensis Forel 1915 TB85
    |    `--P. a. tambourinensis Forel 1915 TB85
    |--P. aurivillii A61
    |--P. bhavanae Bingham 1903 B03
    |--P. bicarinata ES12
    |--P. bicornis DL99
    |--P. binghami Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. bluntschlii N-ZLI11
    |--P. bos Forel 1893 TB85
    |    |--P. b. bos TB85
    |    |--P. b. baucis Forel 1910 TB85
    |    `--P. b. eubos Forel 1915 TB85
    |--P. brevicornis Mayr 1876 TB85
    |--P. butteli N-ZLI11
    |--P. cairnsiana Forel 1902 [=P. javana cairnsiana] TB85
    |--P. capellinii Emery 1887 Z01 [incl. P. capellinii var. asperata B03, P. lighti Wheeler 1927 Z01]
    |--P. cariniceps N-ZLI11
    |--P. clydei BS06
    |--P. concentrica Forel 1902 TB85
    |    |--P. c. concentrica TB85
    |    `--P. c. recurva Forel 1910 TB85
    |--P. conficta Forel 1902 TB85
    |--P. constanciae Forel 1902 [incl. P. constanciae var. nigra] B03
    |--P. deserticola Forel 1910 TB85
    |    |--P. d. deserticola TB85
    |    `--P. d. foveifrons Viehmeyer 1924 TB85
    |--P. elecebra [=Sympheidole elecebra] WW90
    |--P. elisae N-ZLI11
    |--P. fallax DL99
    |--P. feae Emery 1895 Z01
    |--P. fergusoni Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. fervens Smith 1858 (see below for synonymy)
    |--P. fervida OT99
    |--P. flaveria Zhou & Zheng 1999 Z01
    |--P. fossulata Forel 1902 [=P. jucunda fossulata] B03
    |--P. gellibrandi Clark 1934 TB85
    |--P. ghatica Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. grayi Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. hartmeyeri Forel 1907 TB85
    |--P. himalayana Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. hongkongensis Wheeler 1928 [=P. rinae hongkongensis] Z01
    |--P. hoogwerfi Forel 1902 [=P. sharpi hoogwerfi] B03
    |--P. horni Emery 1901 B03
    |--P. hortensis N-ZLI11
    |--P. hospita Bingham 1903 B03
    |--P. hyatti BS06
    |--P. impressiceps Mayr 1876 TB85
    |--P. impressifrons A61
    |--P. incurvata Viehmeyer 1924 TB85
    |--P. indica Mayr 1878 [incl. P. indica var. coonoorensis] B03
    |--P. inquilina [=Epipheidole inquilina] WW90
    |--P. jordanica E89
    |--P. jucunda Forel 1885 B03
    |--P. lamellinoda Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. latinoda Roger 1863 B03
    |--P. liteae Forel 1910 TB85
    |--P. longiceps Mayr 1876 TB85
    |    |--P. l. longiceps TB85
    |    |--P. l. doddi Forel 1910 TB85
    |    `--P. l. frontalis Forel 1902 TB85
    |--P. longipes N-ZLI11
    |--P. longiscapus Zhou & Zheng 1999 Z01
    |--P. lucioccipitalis N-ZLI11
    |--P. luteipes Emery 1914 E14
    |    |--P. l. luteipes E14
    |    `--P. l. obvia Emery 1914 E14
    |--P. magretti Emery 1887 B03
    |--P. malinsi Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. megacephala (Fabricius 1793) FT08 (see below for synonymy)
    |--P. mjobergi Forel 1915 [=P. (Pheidolacanthinus) mjobergi] TB85
    |--P. morrisi SZG16
    |--P. multidens Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. mus Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. naorojii Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. nietneri Emery 1901 B03
    |--P. noda Smith 1874 Z01 (see below for synonymy)
    |--P. oceanica OT99
    |--P. ocellata Zhou 2001 Z01
    |--P. opaciventris Mayr 1876 TB85
    |--P. pallidula ES12
    |--P. parva Mayr 1865 B03
    |--P. peguensis Emery 1894 B03
    |--P. phipsoni Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. pieli Santschi 1925 Z01
    |--P. plagiaria Smith 1860 B03
    |--P. platypus Crawley 1915 TB85
    |--P. plinii N-ZLI11
    |--P. pronotalis Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. proxima Mayr 1876 TB85
    |    |--P. p. proxima TB85
    |    |--P. p. bombalensis Forel 1910 TB85
    |    `--P. p. transversa Forel 1902 TB85
    |--P. punctulata A61
    |--P. pyriformis Clark 1938 TB85
    |--P. rabo N-ZLI11
    |--P. roberti Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. rogersi Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. rotschana Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. rotundata A61
    |--P. rugosa Smith 1858 B03
    |--P. ryukyuensis Ogata 1982 I92
    |--P. sagei Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. sauberi N-ZLI11
    |--P. selathorax Zhou 2001 Z01
    |--P. sepulchralis Bingham 1903 B03
    |--P. sharpi Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. sinaitica E89
    |--P. sinica Z01
    |--P. smythiesii Forel 1902 Z01 [=P. (Ceratopheidole) smythiesii Z01; incl. P. smythiesi var. bengalensis B03]
    |--P. spathifera Forel 1902 [incl. P. spathifera var. aspatha, P. sphathifera var. yerburyi] B03
    |--P. spinoda (Smith 1858) [=Atta spinoda] TB85
    |--P. striativentris Mayr 1878 B03
    |--P. sulcaticeps Roger 1863 [incl. P. sulcaticeps var. punensis] B03
    |--P. susanowo Onoyama & Terayama 1999 OT99
    |--P. sykesi Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. tasmaniensis Mayr 1866 TB85
    |    |--P. t. tasmaniensis TB85
    |    `--P. t. continentis Forel 1902 TB85
    |--P. templaria Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. teneriffana H09
    |--P. tjibodana N-ZLI11
    |--P. trapezoidea Viehmeyer 1913 TB85
    |--P. turneri Forel 1902 TB85
    |--P. tysoni ES12
    |--P. umbonata E14
    |--P. upeneci N-ZLI11
    |--P. variabilis Mayr 1876 FT08
    |    |--P. v. variabilis TB85
    |    |--P. v. aliena Emery 1914 E14
    |    |--P. v. latigena Forel 1907 TB85
    |    |--P. v. mediofusca Forel 1902 TB85 [incl. P. mediofusca var. croceithorax Emery 1914 E14]
    |    |--P. v. ocior Forel 1915 TB85
    |    |--P. v. ocyma Forel 1915 TB85
    |    |--P. v. parvispina Forel 1902 TB85
    |    |--P. v. praedo Forel 1902 TB85
    |    |--P. v. redunca Crawley 1915 TB85
    |    |--P. v. rugocciput Forel 1902 TB85
    |    `--P. v. rugosula Forel 1902 TB85
    |--P. vigilans (Smith 1858) (see below for synonymy) TB85
    |--P. watsoni Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. wiesei Forel 1910 TB85
    |--P. woodmasoni Forel 1885 B03
    |--P. wroughtoni Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. xanthocnemis Emery 1914 E14
    `--P. yeensis Forel 1902 [=P. sulcaticeps r. yeensis] Z01

Pheidole Westwood 1839 FT08 [=Phidole Bingham 1903 Z01; incl. Allopheidole Forel 1912 Z01, Anergatides Wasmann 1915 Z01, Bruchomyrma Santschi 1922 Z01, Cardiopheidole Wheeler 1914 Z01, Cephalomorium Forel 1922 Z01, Ceratopheidole Pergande 1895 Z01, Conothoracoides Strand 1935 Z01, Conothorax Karavajew 1935 Z01, Decapheidole Forel 1912 Z01, Elasmopheidole Forel 1913 Z01, Electropheidole Mann 1921 Z01, Epipheidole Wheeler 1904 Z01, Eriopheidole Kusnezov 1952 Z01, Gallardomyrma Bruch 1932 Z01, Hendecapheidole Wheeler 1922 Z01, Ischomyrmex Mayr 1862 Z01, Isopheidole Forel 1912 Z01, Leptomyrma Motschulsky 1863 Z01, Macropheidole Emery 1915 Z01, Oecophthora Heer 1852 Z01, Parapheidole Emery 1915 Z01, Pheidolacanthinus Smith 1864 Z01, Scrobopheidole Emery 1915 Z01, Sympheidole Wheeler 1904 Z01, Trachypheidole Emery 1915 Z01, Xenoaphaenogaster Baroni Urbani 1964 Z01]

Pheidole fervens Smith 1858 [incl. P. cavannae Emery 1887 Z01, P. oceanica cavannae E14, P. javana var. dharmsalana B03, P. javana Mayr 1867 Z01, P. oceanica var. nigriscapa Santschi 1928 Z01]

Pheidole megacephala (Fabricius 1793) FT08 [=Formica megacephala B03; incl. Oecophthora perniciosa Gerstacker 1859 Z01, O. pusilla Heer 1852 Z01, P. pusilla E89, Myrmica suspiciosa Smith 1859 Z01, Atta testacea Smith 1858 Z01, M. trinodis Roger 1863 Z01]

Pheidole noda Smith 1874 Z01 [=P. nodus Z01; incl. P. rhombinoda var. micantiventris Mayr 1897 Z01, P. nodus var. praevexta Wheeler 1929 Z01, P. rhombinoda Mayr 1878 Z01, P. nodus rhombinoda Z01, P. rhombinoda var. taprobanae non P. taprobanae Smith 1858 B03]

Pheidole vigilans (Smith 1858) [=Atta vigilans; incl. P. dolichocephala André 1896, P. ampla norfolkensis Wheeler 1927, P. ampla parallela Forel 1902, P. ampla yarrensis Forel 1902] TB85

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Andreae, H. 1961. Coleoptera: Cossyphodidae. In: Hanström, B., P. Brinck & G. Rudebeck (eds) South African Animal Life: Results of the Lund University Expedition in 1950–1951 vol. 8 pp. 198–216. Almqvist & Wiksell: Uppsala.

[B03] Bingham, C. T. 1903. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Hymenoptera vol. 2. Ants and Cuckoo-Wasps. Taylor and Francis: London.

[BS06] Brady, S. G., T. R. Schultz, B. L. Fisher & P. S. Ward. 2006. Evaluating alternative hypotheses for the early evolution and diversification of ants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 103 (48): 18172–18177.

[DL99] Dyer, L. A., & D. K. Letourneau. 1999. Relative strengths of top-down and bottom-up forces in a tropical forest community. Oecologia 119: 265–274.

[E89] Emery, C. 1889. Intorno ad alcune formiche della fauna palearctica. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a, 7: 439–443.

[E14] Emery, C. 1914. Les fourmis de la Nouvelle-Calédonie & des îles Loyalty. In: Sarasin, F., & J. Roux (eds) Nova Caledonia: Forschungen in Neu-Caledonian und auf den Loyalty-Inseln. A. Zoologie vol. 1 pt 4 pp. 393–436, pl. 12. C. W. Kreidels Verlag: Wiesbaden.

[ES12] Espadaler, X., & S. Santamaria. 2012. Ecto- and endoparasitic fungi on ants from the Holarctic region. Psyche 2012: 168478.

[FT08] Framenau, V. W., & M. L. Thomas. 2008. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean): identification and distribution. Records of the Western Australian Museum 25 (1): 45–85.

[H09] Heterick, B. E. 2009. A guide to the ants of south-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 76: 1–206.

[I92] Iwahashi, J. (ed.) 1992. Reddo Deeta Animaruzu: a pictorial of Japanese fauna facing extinction. JICC: Tokyo.

[N-ZLI11] Nur-Zati A. M., G. T. Lim & A. B. Idris. 2011. Checklist of ants of selected hill dipterocarp forests of peninsular Malaysia. Serangga 16 (1): 91–105.

[OT99] Onoyama, K., & M. Terayama. 1999. A new species of the ant genus Pheidole Westwood from Japan (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Memoirs of the Myrmecological Society of Japan 1: 65–69.

[SZG16] Segers, F. H. I. D., L. von Zuben & C. Grüter. 2016. Local differences in parasitism and competition shape defensive investment in a polymorphic eusocial bee. Ecology 97 (2): 417–426.

[TB85] Taylor, R. W., & D. R. Brown. 1985. Formicoidea. In: Walton, D. W. (ed.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia vol. 2. Hymenoptera: Formicoidea, Vespoidea and Sphecoidea pp. 1–149. Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra.

[WW90] Wheeler, G. C., & J. Wheeler. 1990. Insecta: Hymenoptera Formicidae. In: Dindal, D. L. (ed.) Soil Biology Guide pp. 1277–1294. John Wiley & Sones: New York.

[Z01] Zhou, S. 2001. Ants of Guangxi. Guangxi Normal University Press: Guilin (China).

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