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Species: Pheidole batrachorum   Wheeler, 1922 

Classification:
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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2018)

Pheidole batrachorum Wheeler, 1922: 128 (s.w.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. Afrotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Junior synonym of Pheidole dea: Santschi, 1930a PDF: 59.
Revived from synonymy: Fischer, et al. 2012: 14.

Distribution:

  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Central African Republic, Gabon
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Afrotropical

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Wheeler, W. M., 1922, The ants collected by the American Museum Congo Expedition., Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45, pp. 39-269

Pheidole batrachorumHNS, new species

Soldier.- Length 4.5 to 5 mm.

Allied to P. caffraHNS Emery. Head a little longer than broad, scarcely narrowed in front, with straight sides and deeply excised posterior border, the vertex convex, the occipital region distinctly depressed, the occipital and frontal groove shallow. Eyes small, broadly elliptical, rather flat, at the anterior third of the sides of the head. Mandibles convex with bluntly bidentate tips. Clypeus flat, carinate, its anterior border notched in the middle. Frontal area small, subtriangular, deeply impressed, without median cannula. Frontal carinae not strongly diverging behind, prolonged backward as a pair of rugae to the posterior fifth of the head and forming the inner borders of flat, scrobe-like impressions for the antennae. The latter slender, their scapes distinctly flattened but not dilated at the base, extending to nearly half the distance between the eyes and the posterior corners of the head; club shorter than the remainder of the funiculus; joints 2 to 8 distinctly longer than broad. Pro- and mesonotum not separated by a suture, convex; humeri prominent; mesonotum with strong transverse torus; mesoepinotal constriction very sharp and deep; epinotum broader than long, its base straight and horizontal, as long as the declivity, dorsally with a broad longitudinal groove; the spines acute, stout at the base, as long as the base of the epinotum and as long as their distance apart, directed upward and somewhat backward and distinctly curved downward Petiole twice as long as broad, scarcely broader behind than in front, with nearly straight sides; in profile with long, feebly concave anterior and short, vertical posterior surface to the node, the superior border transverse, sharp and feebly emarginate. Postpetiole nearly three times as broad as the petiole, broader than long, very convex and rounded above, the sides bluntly angular in the middle. Gaster smaller than the head, subcircular, its anterior border slightly truncated, the dorsal surface somewhat depressed. Legs long, femora thickened in the middle.

Subopaque; mandibles, clypeus, frontal area, and posterior half of gaster smooth and shining. Mandibles coarsely and sparsely punctate; coarsely rugose at the base. Clypeus very finely rugulose, especially on the sides. Head densely and finely, but not deeply punctate, longitudinally rugose, the rugae being rather widely separated and subsiding on the posterior fifth of the head; the posterior fourth also with a few large, shallow, elongate foveolae. Thorax, pedicel, and anterior half of gaster more opaque than the head, finely and densely punctate; the pronotum also finely and rather asymmetrically transversely rugulose. Mesoepinotal constriction with sharp longitudinal carinulae or rugae; declivity of epinotum transversely rugose above. Basal half of gaster with sparse, elongate, piligerous elevations. Legs smooth and shining.

Hairs coarse, pointed, fulvous, long, and erect, lacking on the thorax and sides of head, sparse on the pedicel and gaster and front of head; short and closely appressed on the legs and antennae.

Deep piceous, almost black; mandibles, clypeus, cheeks, and appendages castaneous; the funiculi, tips of scapes, tibiae, tarsi, and articulations of the legs paler and more reddish.

Worker.- Length 3 to 3.5 mm.

Head (without the mandibles) nearly circular, the occipital border strongly marginate. Eyes rather small but convex, just in front of the middle of the sides of the head. Mandibles long, deflected, their external borders concave, their tips with two prominent teeth, the remainder of the apical border finely denticulate. Antennae long and slender, the scapes extending fully one-third their length beyond the occipital border of the head. Clypeus rather flat in the middle, ecarinate, its anterior border entire and broadly rounded. Thorax resembling that of the soldier, but the humeri not prominent, the torus of the mesonotum is feebler, the epinotal spines are more slender, and distinctly shorter than the base of the epinotum and more curved than in the soldier. Petiole more slender, the node lower, more conical, its superior border not emarginate, scarcely more than twice as long as broad. Postpetiole campanulate, as long as broad, broader behind than in front. Gaster elongate elliptical, with truncated anterior border, its dorsal surface convex. Legs long and slender.

Shining; mandibles very finely and densely striolate. Clypeus, head, thorax, and pedicel densely punctate or reticulate; the head somewhat smoother and more shining in the middle anteriorly; the sides of the pronotum smooth and polished; cheeks and sides of front with a few longitudinal rugules. Base of first gastric segment sculptured much as in the soldier.

Hairs less coarse than in the soldier, present also on the thorax; hairs on the legs and antennae longer and more abundant, on the scapes abundant and oblique.

Color very much like that of the soldier.

Described from four soldiers and twenty-one workers from Akenge (Lang and Chapin), all taken from the stomachs of toads (Bufo polycercus and funereus) and frogs (Arthroleptis variabilis).

This species is certainly distinct from caffra in the greater size and different shape of the head of the soldier, the long acute and curved epinotal spines and different shape of the thorax. It is evidently a Rain Forest insect, whereas caffra seems to be confined to dry country.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 11 times found in rainforest, 1 times found in rainforest, marsh clearing.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 6 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 2 times ex rotten log.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 5 times MW 50 sample transect, 5m, 3 times EC31 yellow pan trap, 1 times pitfall trap, PF 50 yogurt sample transect5m.

Elevations: collected from 350 - 640 meters, 514 meters average

Type specimens:



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