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Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.
diagnosis A permanent social parasite of Pheidole piliferaHNS (including " subspecies coloradensisHNS "). The queen is very small, and easily recognized by her subangulate occipital corners. Aside from these two traits, and possibly the rounded tips of the propodeal spines, inquilinaHNS queens are little modified in general from typical queens of other, non-parasitic species of PheidoleHNS. Measurements (mm) Syntype queen: HW 0.70, HL 0.70, SL 0.64, EL 0.24, PW (not measured). Color Queen: light brown.
biology In Colorado Pheidole inquilinaHNS was found by Wheeler with the host species P. piliferaHNS (" subspecies coloradensisHNS ") at about 2000 m, under rocks most likely in pinyon-cedar-oak woodland. The species is the least anatomically modified of the pheidoline social parasites. It is therefore not very surprising that both the major and minor workers have been discovered in addition to the usual queens and males. However, these castes are evidently in a state of evolutionary decline. In 19 infested nests of the host species excavated by A. C. Cole (1965), 8 contained a few individuals of inquilinaHNS; and of these, one nest yielded only a single minor worker of inquilinaHNS, while another contained one minor and one major. M. R. Smith (1940a) noted the close resemblance of the worker castes between the two species, and suggested that inquilinaHNS was derived in evolution from piliferaHNS or a related species. In other words, Emery's rule that social parasites are close relatives of their hosts is exemplified.
figure Syntype, queen. COLORADO: Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, 2000 m (William M. Wheeler). (Majors and minors have been discovered but are not figured; see under Biology below.) Scale bar = 1 mm.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in sagebrush.
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times on ground.
Collected most commonly using these methods: 1 times search.
Elevations: collected from 840 - 2179 meters, 1509 meters average