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Pheidole aciculataHNS new species
types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.
etymology L aciculataHNS, with a small needle, referring to the needle-like propodeal spines.
Diagnosis a unique member of the diligensHNS group.
Major: propodeal spines exceptionally thin, sharp, needle-like; head seen from the side forming a relatively thin ellipsoid and in full face view a symmetrical oval; petiolar node from sides acute at apex, and from behind with deeply concave dorsal border and angular comers; carinulae limited to eye level and forward on head, and every other part of the head and body almost entirely smooth and shiny.
Minor: propodeal spine very thin, acute, and needle-like; most of the head and body smooth and shiny; occiput narrowed and with a nuchal collar.
Measurements (mm) Holotype major: HW 1.36, HL 1.58, SL 1.06, EL 0.20, PW 0.72. Paratype minor: HW 0.60, HL 0.80, SL 1.06, EL 0.16, PW 0.42.
color Major: overall light reddish brown, darkening (tending to medium reddish brown) on rear half of head, dorsal surface of promesonotum, and gaster.
Minor: body medium brown, tending to yellowish brown on mesopleuron and sides of petiole and postpetiole; appendages light brownish yellow.
Range Known only from the type locality.
Biology The single colony reported by Stefan Cover (collection notes) was in terra firme forest, nesting in clayey soil with a small crater.
figure Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. PERU: Cuzco Amazonico, 15 km northeast of Puerto Maldonado, Madre de Dios (Stefan Cover and John E. Tobin). Scale bars = 1 mm.