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Species: Pheidole lamia   Wheeler, 1901 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Pheidole lamia Wheeler, 1901c PDF: 534, fig. 11 (s.w.) U.S.A. Nearctic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

See also: Feener, 1981 PDF: 269; Wilson, 2003A: 546.


  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 lamia WheelerHNS

Pheidole lamia WheelerHNS 1901c: 534.

Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard; Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist.

etymology Gr lamiaHNS, a witch or monster that sucks blood, obviously an overstatement in reference to the bizarre head of the major.

Diagnosis A typical member of the lamiaHNS group: the major has a phragmotic head, with the anterior portion incorporating the clypeus and mandibles flattened (truncated), and deep antennal scrobes. This species is easily distinguished from the other members of the lamiaHNS group ( colobopsisHNS, pelorHNS, trunculaHNS) by the very elongate head of the major and sculpturing of its head, which consists exclusively of parallel longitudinal carinulae that extend almost all the way to the occiput; and by the reduction of the propodeal spine in the major and minor to denticles.

Measurements (mm) Lectotype major: HW 0.62, HL 0.92, SL 0.37, EL 0.00, PW 0.00. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.44, HL 0.52, SL 0.48, EL 0.06, PW 0.30. Color Major: concolorous yellow, with a faint reddish tinge. Minor: concolorous yellow.

Range Northern Florida west to at least Austin, Texas.

Biology P. lamiaHNS is a reclusive, soil-nesting species. Feener (1981) found that the species, which is seemingly rare because of its infrequent encounters with entomologists, is actually quite abundant at the type locality (Austin, Texas), at least in the secondary oak-hackenberry woodland of the Brackenridge Field Laboratory. In both Florida and Texas mature colonies each contain 500-1500 minor workers, and a much smaller number of major workers. Nests are constructed directly in soil beneath leaf litter, and thus are unusually difficult to find. Buren et al. (1977), studying Florida colonies in laboratory nests, found that the phragmotic majors use their bulldozer-like heads effectively in defense against marauding thief ants of the genus SolenopsisHNS. At Austin, minor workers were observed foraging around the clock in warm weather (Feener 1981).

Figure Upper: lectotype, major. Lower: paralectotype, minor. TEXAS: Austin (W. M. Wheeler). Scale bars = 1 mm.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in Mesquite-cottonwood-oak-pecan woodland.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times native grass plot A, 1 times under dung.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 2 times direct collection.

Elevations: collected at 762 m

Type specimens:

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