Pheidole

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
    |--*P. providens B03
    |--P. algae N-ZLI11
    |--P. allani Bingham 1903 B03
    |--P. ampla H09
    |    |--P. a. ampla H09
    |    `--P. a. perthensis H09
    |--P. angustior Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. aristotelis N-ZLI11
    |--P. aurivillii A61
    |--P. bhavanae Bingham 1903 B03
    |--P. bicornis DL99
    |--P. binghami Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. bluntschlii N-ZLI11
    |--P. butteli N-ZLI11
    |--P. capellinii Emery 1887 [incl. P. capellinii var. asperata] B03
    |--P. cariniceps N-ZLI11
    |--P. clydei BS06
    |--P. constanciae Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. elecebra [=Sympheidole elecebra] WW90
    |--P. elisae N-ZLI11
    |--P. fallax DL99
    |--P. feae Emery 1894 B03
    |--P. fergusoni Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. fervens OT99
    |--P. fervida OT99
    |--P. fossulata Forel 1902 [=P. jucunda fossulata] B03
    |--P. ghatica Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. grayi Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. hartmeyeri H09
    |--P. himalayana Forel 1902 B03
    |--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. impressifrons A61
    |--P. indica Mayr 1878 [incl. P. indicata var. coonoorensis] B03
    |--P. inquilina [=Epipheidole inquilina] WW90
    |--P. javana Mayr 1867 [incl. P. javana var. charmsalana] B03
    |--P. jordanica E89
    |--P. jucunda Forel 1885 B03
    |--P. lamellinoda Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. latinoda Roger 1863 B03
    |--P. longipes N-ZLI11
    |--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. mediofusca [incl. P. mediofusca var. croceithorax Emery 1914] E14
    |--P. megacephala (Fabricius 1793) FT08 [=Formica megacephala B03; incl. P. pusilla E89]
    |--P. multidens Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. mus Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. naorojii Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. nietneri Emery 1901 B03
    |--P. noda OT99
    |--P. oceanica FT08
    |    |--P. o. oceanica E14
    |    `--P. o. cavannae Emery 1887 E14
    |--P. parva Mayr 1865 B03
    |--P. peguensis Emery 1894 B03
    |--P. phipsoni Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. pieli OT99
    |--P. plagiaria Smith 1860 B03
    |--P. plinii N-ZLI11
    |--P. pronotalis Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. proxima B88
    |--P. punctulata A61
    |--P. rabo N-ZLI11
    |--P. rhombinoda Mayr 1878 (see below for synonymy) B03
    |--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. sepulchralis Bingham 1903 B03
    |--P. sharpi Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. sinaitica E89
    |--P. smythiesi Forel 1902 [=P. (Ceratophidole) smythiesi; incl. P. smythiesi var. bengalensis] B03
    |--P. spathifera Forel 1902 [incl. P. spathifera var. aspatha, P. sphathifera var. yerburyi] B03
    |--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. templaria Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. teneriffana H09
    |--P. tjibodana N-ZLI11
    |--P. umbonata E14
    |--P. upeneci N-ZLI11
    |--P. variabilis Mayr 1876 FT08
    |    |--P. v. variabilis E14
    |    `--P. v. aliena Emery 1914 E14
    |--P. watsoni Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. woodmasoni Forel 1885 B03
    |--P. wroughtoni Forel 1902 B03
    |--P. xanthocnemis Emery 1914 E14
    `--P. yeensis Forel 1902 [=P. sulcaticeps yeensis] B03

Pheidole rhombinoda Mayr 1878 [incl. P. rhombinoda var. micantiventris, P. rhombinoda var. taprobanae non P. taprobanae Smith 1858] B03

*Type species of generic name indicated

REFERENCES

[A61] Andreae, H. 1961. Coleoptera: Cossyphodidae. In: Hanström, B., P. Brinck & G. Rudebeck. 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. II. Ants and Cuckoo-Wasps. Taylor and Francis: London.

[B88] Bouček, Z. 1988. Australasian Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera): A biosystematic revision of genera of fourteen families, with a reclassification of species. CAB International: Wallingford (UK).

[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, Heft IV pp. 393–436, pl. 12. C. W. Kreidels Verlag: Wiesbaden.

[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.

[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.

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