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Species: Pheidole mendicula   Wheeler, 1925 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Pheidole (Hendecapheidole) mendicula Wheeler, 1925e PDF: 172, fig. 6 (s.w.m.) PANAMA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

See also: Smith, 1955d PDF: 303; Wilson, 2003A: 637.


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Costa Rica, Cuba, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Panama
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Panama (type locality), Costa Rica. Costa Rica: Atlantic and southern Pacific lowlands.


Natural History:

This species inhabits mature wet forest, where it nests in soil. Wheeler (1925) described the species from a colony found nesting in the soil immediately around the fungus chamber of a Sericomyrmex amabilis nest.


Wheeler, W. M. 1925. A new guest-ant and other new Formicidae from Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Biol. Bull. Mar. Biol. Lab., Woods Hole 49:150-181.

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 mendicula WheelerHNS

Pheidole (Hendecapheidole) mendicula WheelerHNS 1925e:172.

Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.

ETYMOLOGY L mendiculaHNS, little and beggarly, or poor, presumably alluding to the small size and reduction of antennal segmentation.

Diagnosis A very small, reddish brown member of the tachigaliaeHNS group, which group is characterized by 11-segmented antennae, and distinguished within it as follows.

Major: occiput rugoreticulate, antennal scrobes, frontal triangle, and mid-clypeus smooth, and rest of dorsal head surface transversely carinulate; all of head and mesosoma foveolate and punctate; strong transverse ridge just breaks the surface of the pronotal profile in side view as a right-angle; posterior half of dorsal head profile in side view weakly concave; postpetiole from above trapezoidal. Minor: all of head and mesosoma foveolate and opaque; carinulae absent mesad to eye; propodeal spines backward projecting. Measurements (mm) Syntype major: HW 0.60, HL 0.66, SL 0.32, EL 0.08, PW 0.38. Syntype minor: HW 0.34, HL 0.34, SL 0.26, EL 0.06, PW 0.24.

Color Major and minor: body concolorous medium reddish brown, appendages a contrasting yellowish brown.

Range Besides Wheeler's type collection in Panama, Longino (1997) has recorded mendiculaHNS from both the Atlantic and Pacific lowlands of Costa Rica; and the species has been collected widely southward to Trinidad and Amazonian Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador.

Biology P. mendiculaHNS is an adaptable species. At La Selva, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, Longino (1997) found a nest in the clay soil of a lawn surrounded by rainforest. Other sites include a second-growth forest and a rotten branch in a bamboo grove (Trinidad), and a rotten stick on the floor of terra firme rainforest (Brazil). On the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, Longino (1997) collected a worker from an extrafloral nectary of Passifolia pittieri. Winged queens have been found in nests from May to July.

Figure Upper: syntype, major. Lower: syntype, minor. PANAMA: Barro Coorado Island (William M. Wheeler). Scale bars = 1 mm.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 5 times found in wet trop. forest, 7 times found in wet cloud forest, 5 times found in wet forest, 1 times found in tropical scrub, 3 times found in littoral scrub, 1 times found in lowland deciduous forest, 5 times found in forest, 2 times found in montane forest, 1 times found in wet montane forest, 1 times found in scrub forest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 32 times ex sifted leaf litter, 2 times ex sifted litter, 1 times Mature lowland rainforest. In clay soil of lawn at River Station, in partial sha.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 34 times Winkler, 3 times pan trap.

Elevations: collected from 10 - 770 meters, 333 meters average

Type specimens:

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