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Guatemala to Panama. Costa Rica: Atlantic slope from sea level to 1100m; one record from 700m on Osa Peninsula.
Pheidole fiorii inhabits mature wet forest understory. It makes hemispherical carton nests under individual leaves of palms, aroids, and other large-leaved plants. The nests are on the order of 10cm across, and usually at head height or lower. Colonies appear to be monogynous and with a single nest (not polydomous). Small epiphyte seedlings may occasionally sprout from the surface of the nest (figure), but they never develop to large size. Pheidole fiorii is part of a set of ant species that build nests under individual live leaves, the others being Apterostigma collare, Paratrechina caeciliae, Tapinoma inrectum, Wasmannia JTL-001, and Dendromyrmex spp. (Black 1987).
Images of nests: click here.
Observations at La Selva and Penas Blancas suggest large changes in abundance of fiorii. There are times when fiorii appears to be very abundant in the forest (the nests are relatively conspicuous), and other times when they seem to be almost totally absent. It is unknown whether changes reflect regular patterns of movement associated with seasonality, or long-term declines in abundance.
Black, R. W. 1987. The biology of leaf nesting ants in a tropical wet forest. Biotropica 19:319-325.
|Pheidole fiorii||Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press: 291, (download)||291||20017|
|Pheidole fiorii||Forel, A., 1908, Fourmis de Costa-Rica, récoltées par M. Paul Biolley., Bulletin de la Societe Vaudoise des Sciences Naturelles 44, pp. 35-72: 52, (download)||52||4014|
Found most commonly in these habitats: 67 times found in montane wet forest, 41 times found in mature wet forest, 6 times found in wet forest, 3 times found in tropical wet forest, 6 times found in cloud forest, primary, along steep ridge near peak, 5 times found in lowland rainforest, 6 times found in cloud forest, old second growth forest, 2 times found in La Selva, 4 times found in Sura, 1 times found in cloud forest, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 36 times Sobre Vegetacion, 40 times ex sifted leaf litter, 6 times carton nest under leaf, 9 times at bait, 4 times beating vegetation, 4 times Sura, 1 times pecan sandie bait, 6 times Hojarasca, 1 times abajo de hoja de palma, 1 times nest under leaf, Pheidole fiorii, colony with queens and males [I found this collection in times 3323, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 36 times Sweeping, 39 times miniWinkler, 15 times search, 20 times baiting, 18 times Malaise, 12 times Fogging, 7 times beating, 8 times flight intercept trap, 5 times Mini Winkler, 4 times Winkler, 1 times bait, ...
Elevations: collected from 5 - 1480 meters, 502 meters average