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Species: Pheidole arctos   Wilson, 2003 

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Note: Not a Valid Taxon Name

Current Valid Name:

Pheidole simonsi

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Pheidole arctos Wilson, 2003A: 623, figs. (s.w.) MEXICO. Neotropic. Primary type information: Wilson, 2003A: holotype, major workr: MEXICO: Gomez Farias, Tamaulipas, 400-600 m (Cornell University Mexico Party, 1964). Secondary type information: Wilson, 2003A: paratype: minor worker, the same data as holotype. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history


  Geographic regions: Not found on any curated Geolocale/Taxon lists.


J. Longino, 17 Mar 2014: Wilson named four species from Mexico and Central America that are all extremely similar and together form a very distinctive group with no similar species in the region. They are thrasys from Panama, simonsi from Costa Rica, gangamon from southern Mexico, and arctos from Tamaulipas, Mexico. Minor workers all look identical to me. Major workers show some geographic variation, with southern versions having longer, thinner propodeal spines, and the dorsal pilosity is longer. Specimens from Guatemala northward have shorter propodeal spines and are more bristly-looking, with shorter dorsal pilosity. DNA barcoding data are all from the southern populations and show two clusters. One has numerous Panama specimens and one specimen from Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Another cluster has numerous specimens from Guanacaste and many specimens from the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and southern Honduras. There is clearly one clade that is common in lowland wet forest throughout Central America and southern Mexico, exhibiting what appears to be uniform habitat preference, behavior, and nesting habits. It will probably emerge as a set of cryptic species, but at present I have no evidence of sharp morphological discontinuities at any one site or anywhere across the range of the clade. I am treating them all as simonsi (just because I started using that name first, for Costa Rican material) until further evidence.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Pheidole arctosHNS new species

Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.

etymology Gr arctosHNS, bear, alluding to the large size and rough, shaggy appearance of the major.

Diagnosis Close to gangamonHNS, also of Mexico, and probably also to epetrionHNS and thrasysHNS, but distinguished from these and other members of the scrobiferaHNS group by the following combination of traits.

Major: rear one-fourth of dorsal head surface, rear one-half of the lateral head surfaces, and area between the eye and frontal lobes rugoreticulate; anterior half of the frontal lobes carinulate; entire central half of the dorsal head surface foveolate only; all of promesonotal and postpetiolar dorsa carinulate to rugoreticulate; anterior central strip of first gastral tergite longitudinally striate; humerus composing a very large lobe that projects high above the mesonotal convexity; posterior half of dorsal head profile weakly concave.

Minor: the two humeri conulate, the tip of each bearing very long hairs; head and prothorax entirely smooth and shiny.

Measurements (mm) Holotype major: HW 1.28, HL 1.60, SL 0.62, EL 0.18, PW 0.82.

Paratype minor: HW 0.62, HL 0.64, SL 0.60, EL 0.12, PW 0.42.

Color Major and minor: body dark brown, appendages medium brown, tarsi yellow.

Range Known only from the type locality.

Biology Unknown.

Figure Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. MEXICO: Gomez Farias, Tamaulipas, 400-600 m (Cornell University Mexico Field Party, 1964). Scale bars = 1 mm.

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