Current View: All Antweb
Change View
Cite this page

Citing AntWeb

X

To cite this page, please use the following:

· For print: . Accessed

· For web:


Species: Pheidole debilis   Longino, 2009 

Classification:
Download Data

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2018)

Pheidole debilis Longino, 2009 PDF: 23, fig. 4 (s.w.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Distribution:

  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Costa Rica
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Neotropical

Distribution Notes:

Costa Rica.

Biology:

Pheidole debilis occurs in wet forest leaf litter. It is most often collected in Winkler samples of sifted litter but is rarely collected at baits. Major workers may occur together with minor workers in Winkler samples. One nest was collected in soil, and one nest was collected from rotten wood.

Comments:

This species is mainly known from the Barva Transect in Braulio Carrillo National Park, on the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica. It is moderately abundant across a range of elevations, from La Selva Biological Station to 1500m. Minor workers tentatively assigned to this species have been collected elsewhere in Costa Rica: Hitoy Cerere, the Monteverde area, and the southern Pacific lowlands. A collection of minor workers in a Winkler sample from the Osa Peninsula also contained a major worker that matches the typical form in most respects, differing in the lack of any clypeal gibbosity or carina, and the presence of shiny patches on the antennal scrobes.

In Costa Rica, minor workers of this species can be distinguished from the common P. harrisonfordi by more pronounced rugulae on the face and mesosomal dorsum, the slightly impressed promesonotal groove, and the lack of any longer setae above the short, subdecumbent pilosity on the hind tibia. However, these distinctions do not hold over the broad concept of P. harrisonfordi as a whole, throughout Central America. Minor workers are distinguished from the similar P. beloceps by the foveolate side of the pronotum (smooth and shiny on P. beloceps). Major workers are distinguished from P. beloceps by having a relatively broader head and having the scrobe foveolate (small shiny patches on P. beloceps).

There is a mystery here. Pheidole debilis and P. sparsisculpta are very distinct at La Selva. On the former, the side of the pronotum is uniformly foveolate. On the latter it is entirely smooth and shiny. Collections from Chucanti in Panama are identical to La Selva P. sparsisculpta. But COI data say that La Selva P. debilis and P. sparsisculpta have same COI.

MAS037 and MAS010 are two ACG COI clusters near P. debilis. Images of these on BOLD look like typical P. debilis. They are from Alex Smith baits and sifting.

Specimens from 1500 m on the Barva transect and from 1500 m in the Savegre drainage are darker, with larger majors. These are probably a distinct species, and could possibly be one of the ACG clusters.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Longino, J. T., 2009, Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 2181, pp. 1-90

Pheidole debilisHNS new species

Figure 4

Holotype major worker. Costa Rica, Heredia: 16km SSE La Virgen, 10.26667°N 84.08333°W, ±2000m, 1100m, 15 Feb 2001 (R. Vargas#01-RVC-015) [INBC, unique specimen identifier INB0003622662].

Paratypes: major and minor workers. Same data as holotype; same locality as holotype but 17 Nov 2000 (J. Longino#4361) [BMNH, CAS, FMNH, INBC, LACM, MCZ, UCD, USNM].

Geographic Range

Costa Rica.

Diagnosis

With the morphometric profile of P. gnomus,HNS P. meraHNS, P. sparsisculptaHNS, and P. sospesHNS. Minor worker: face foveolate with overlying rugulae versus face uniformly foveolate, without overlying rugulae ( meraHNS, sospesHNS) or with extensive smooth areas ( sparsisculptaHNS); lateral pronotum foveolate versus with smooth shiny patch ( meraHNS); minor worker of gnomusHNS unknown. Major worker: vertex lobes weakly sculptured with faint foveolate sculpture versus vertex lobes with pronounced transversely arcuate rugae ( gnomusHNS), or coarsely reticulate rugose ( sospesHNS), or completely smooth and shining ( sparsisculptaHNS); head in lateral view normally convex versus with pronounced medial bulge on face ( gnomusHNS); lacking antennal scrobe versus with shallow but distinct antennal scrobe ( meraHNS, sospesHNS); promesonotal groove present versus promesonotum evenly arched, with no trace of promesonotal groove ( meraHNS).

Description of minor worker

Measurements (paratype): HL 0.52, HW 0.49, HLA 0.17, SL 0.42, EL 0.09, ML 0.60, PSL 0.06, PMG 0.00, SPL 0.03, PTW 0.09, PPW 0.14, CI 93, SI 86, PSLI 11, PMGI 0, SPLI 6, PPI 152.

Measurements (n=13): HL 0.46-0.55, HW 0.42-0.49, SL 0.36-0.46, CI 88-93, SI 84-95.

Clypeus smooth with 1-3 longitudinal rugulae; eye small, with fewer than 10 ommatidia; face densely foveolate, overlain with reticulate rugulae; margin of vertex flattened with weak median impression; occipital carina narrow, not visible in full face view; scape with abundant subdecumbent to suberect setae, mostly shorter than maximum width of scape; promesonotal groove weakly impressed; propodeal spines present; entire mesosoma foveolate, overlain with faint reticulate rugulae on promesonotal dorsum; abundant setae on promesonotal dorsum; dorsal (outer) margin of hind tibia with short decumbent pilosity, no long erect setae; first gastral tergum smooth and shining; gastral dorsum with moderately abundant suberect setae; color variable, light to dark red brown.

Description of major worker

Measurements (holotype): HL 1.13, HW 0.94, HLA 0.30, SL 0.48, EL 0.14, ML 0.81, PSL 0.06, PMG 0.02, SPL 0.06, PTW 0.19, PPW 0.38, IHT 0.18, OHT 0.41, CI 83, SI 51, PSLI 5, PMGI 2, SPLI 6, PPI 204, HTI 43.

Measurements (n=11): HL 0.92-1.15, HW 0.80-1.04, SL 0.42-0.52, CI 81-88, SI 50-56.

Mandibles smooth and shiny; clypeus smooth and shallowly concave, with shallow anterior notch, and very weak posteromedian gibbosity or carina; face with longitudinal rugulae on cheeks and between frontal carinae, grading to faint foveolate sculpture overlain with reticulate rugulae on scrobe, fading to very faint foveolate sculpture on posterior vertex lobes; scrobe a faint, unbounded impression; head with abundant suberect setae projecting from sides of head in face view; scape smooth and shining, terete at base, with subdecumbent pubescence and scattered longer suberect setae; hypostomal margin flat; median tooth small; inner hypostomal teeth pointed, stout, closer to midline than to outer hypostomal teeth; promesonotal groove impressed; propodeal spines present; mesosoma with a mix of foveolate, smooth, and rugulose sculpture; dorsal (outer) margin of hind tibia with short decumbent pilosity, no long erect hairs; pilosity abundant on mesosomal dorsum; first gastral tergite smooth and shining, with abundant flexuous erect setae; color orange brown.

FIGURE 4. Pheidole debilisHNS. Major worker: A, face view; B, lateral view; C, dorsal view; D, hypostomal margin. Minor worker: E, face view; F, lateral view; G, dorsal view; H, hind tibia. A-C, Holotype major worker; D, non-type major worker; E-H, Paratype minor worker. Scale bar 0.5mm for E, F, 1mm for others.

Biology

Pheidole debilisHNS occurs in wet forest leaf litter. It is most often collected in Winkler samples of sifted litter but is rarely collected at baits. Major workers may occur together with minor workers in Winkler samples. One nest was collected in soil, and one nest was collected from rotten wood.

Etymology

The name is in reference to the faint sculpture on the face of the major worker, compared to P. harrisonfordiHNS and other common litter ants that have more heavily sculptured major workers.

Comments

This species is mainly known from the Barva Transect in Braulio Carrillo National Park, on the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica. It is moderately abundant across a range of elevations, from La Selva Biological Station to 1500m. Minor workers tentatively assigned to this species have been collected elsewhere in Costa Rica: Hitoy Cerere, the Monteverde area, and the southern Pacific lowlands. A collection of minor workers in a Winkler sample from the Osa Peninsula also contained a major worker that matches the typical form in most respects, differing in the lack of any clypeal gibbosity or carina, and the presence of shiny patches on the antennal scrobes.

In Costa Rica, minor workers of this species can be distinguished from the common P. harrisonfordiHNS by more pronounced rugulae on the face and mesosomal dorsum, the slightly impressed promesonotal groove, and the lack of any longer setae above the short, subdecumbent pilosity on the hind tibia. However, these distinctions do not hold over the broad concept of P. harrisonfordiHNS as a whole (see Comments under P. harrisonfordiHNS). Minor workers are distinguished from the similar P. belocepsHNS by the foveolate side of the pronotum (smooth and shiny on P. belocepsHNS). Major workers are distinguished from P. belocepsHNS by having a relatively broader head and having the scrobe foveolate (small shiny patches on P. belocepsHNS).

Additional material examined

COSTA RICA: Heredia, La Selva Biological Station, 10°25'N, 84°01'W, 50m (numerous collectors and collections); 16km SSW Pto. Viejo, 10°19'03"N, 84°02'56"W, 500m (numerous collectors and collections); Cantarrana, 11km ESE La Virgen, 10°20'43"N, 84°03'28"W, 300m (numerous collectors and collections); Vara Blanca, 10km NE Vara Blanca, 10°14'N, 84°05'W, 1500m (numerous collectors and collections); Limon, Hitoy Cerere Biol. Reserve, 9°40'N, 83°02'W, 200m (J. Longino); Puntarenas, Monteverde, 10°18'N, 84°48'W, 1500m (L. A. Schonberg); Bijagual, Carara Biol. Reserve, 9°47'N, 84°36'W, 500m (J. Longino); Est. Biol. Los Llanos, near Santa Elena, 10°18'18"N, 84°50'14"W, 1150m (J. Longino); 13km SSW Pto. Jimenez, 8°24'24"N, 83°19'42"W, 130m (J. Longino).

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 206 times found in mature wet forest, 50 times found in montane wet forest, 28 times found in riparian forest, cloud forest along stream, near dairy farm pasture, 2nd growth or disturbed primary, 14 times found in tropical rainforest, 12 times found in cloud forest, 4 times found in wet forest, 10 times found in rainforest, 8 times found in tropical rainforest, with some big trees, probably a mix of primary and secondary forest, 2 times found in SSA, 1 times found in cloud forest at bottom of steep slope, bordering rocky river, old 2nd growth veg., ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 278 times ex sifted leaf litter, 43 times Hojarasca, 9 times at bait, 1 times tronco podrido, 7 times ex sifted litter from forest floor, 1 times nest in soil, 1 times Hojarasca., 2 times Hojarasca, mature forest, dropping, 3 times ex sifted leaf litter on ground, 1 times Quebrada toma agua hacia abajo, 1 times Hojarasca, en el sendero en frente de M/06, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 266 times miniWinkler, 44 times Mini Winkler, 28 times Winkler, 25 times Berlese, 3 times search, 8 times baiting, 5 times maxiWinkler, 1 times Malaise, 1 times Pitfall, 1 times Search & Berles, 1 times Baiting on ground, ...

Elevations: collected from 50 - 1700 meters, 541 meters average

Type specimens: Holotype Pheidole debilis: inb0003622662; Paratype: fmnhins0000050018, fmnhins0000050019; Paratype Pheidole debilis: casent0608858, casent0608859, casent0608860, casent0608861, casent0608864, inb0003622661, inb0003622663, inb0003622664, inbiocri002282004



See something amiss? Send us an email.
Enlarge Map