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Species: Pheidole elecebra   (Wheeler, 1904) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Sympheidole elecebra Wheeler, 1904a PDF: 8, pl. 2, figs. 8-11 (q.m.) U.S.A. Nearctic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Pheidole: Smith, 1979: 1370.
See also: Wilson, 1984b PDF: 328; Wilson, 2003A: 576.


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: United States
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

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 elecebra (Wheeler)HNS

Sympheidole elecebra WheelerHNS 1904a: 8. Combination in PheidoleHNS by D. R. Smith 1979.

Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.

Etymology L elecebraHNS, freeloaders, a social parasite.

Diagnosis A very small member of the piliferaHNS group, a permanent, workerless social parasite of Pheidole ceresHNS, distinguishable at once by the enormous curved, hornlike lateral extensions of the postpetiolar node; otherwise overall normal in appearance for a PheidoleHNS queen.

Measurements (mm) Syntype queen: HW 0.58, HL 0.60, EL 0.22 (SL and PW not measured). Color Queen: light brown.

Range Known from several records in Colorado between 2000 and 2200 m; the preferred habitat is the same as that of its host, that is, primarily pinyon-cedar-oak woodland (Gregg 1963).

Biology Wheeler (1904a, 1910b), from an examination of a living host colony and its elecebraHNS guests, concluded that the inquiline behaves like Anergates atratulusHNS of Europe in preventing the host colony from producing new reproductives (queens and males) of its own. Contrary evidence was obtained by Stefan Cover, who rediscovered the species in 1994. One mixed colony he collected near North Cheyenne, Colorado, contained a dealate elecebraHNS queen, many winged elecebraHNS queens, and queen pupae of the parasite, but also abundant host ( ceresHNS) minor and major brood, along with 400-600 adult host minors and majors; this combination constitutes virtual proof that a reproducing host queen was also present. A second colony contained beyond 200-300 adult host minors and majors, only adult parasite males and parasite male pupae. This combination suggests the absence of a host queen.

figure Queen. COLORADO: 2.2 km north of North Cheyenne, Colorado Springs, 2200 m (Stefan Cover), compared with syntype. (Type Locality: Manitou, Colorado, 2130 m, W. M. Wheeler.) Scale bar = 1 mm.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 2 times found in pinyon-cedar woodland, 2 times found in Pinyon-cedar wodland, 1 times found in Ponderosa pine forest.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 4 times under rock.

Elevations: collected from 2042 - 2134 meters, 2060 meters average

Type specimens:

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