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Types Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova.
diagnosis A distinctive species, similar in some traits to ceibanaHNS, harrisonfordiHNS, and lignicolaHNS, distinguished as follows. Major: reddish brown; occiput rugoreticulate, with the reticulum extending partway anteriorly down the side of the head to near the eye, and another, small patch of rugoreticulum occurs between the eye and antennal fossa on each side; humerus prominent, subangulate from above and lobate in dorsal-oblique view; propodeal spine long and thin; postpetiole wide and elliptical from above, and with subangulate anterior ventral margin.
Minor: body blackish with bluish reflections; often most of mesosoma foveolate and opaque. Minors of some series have entirely foveate heads and may represent a distinct species. measurements (mm) Major (Archbold Station, Florida): HW 0.84, HL 0.94, SL 0.42, EL 0.12, PW 0.44. Minor (Archbold Station): HW 0.42, HL 0.46, SL 0.40, EL 0.10, PW 0.26.
Color Major: bicolored, with head and appendages light reddish brown, and rest of body medium to dark brown.
Minor: body concolorous blackish brown, with metallic bluish reflections; central parts of femora and tibiae medium brown; distal and proximal portions brownish yellow.
Range From central Florida through the Gulf States to Oklahoma and southern Texas.
Biology Naves (1985) reports metallescensHNS as common in Florida, preferring to nest in the shade of trees. Nests are in the soil, surrounded by small craters of excavated earth, and comprising small chambers connected by a central vertical gallery to a depth of up to 40 cm. Each colony has a single queen. The minor workers, often accompanied by majors, collect small grass seeds and scavenge for dead arthropods. In Texas, Stefan Cover found the species in similar habitats, nesting variously in the soil and in rotting logs.
Figure Upper: major. Lower: minor. FLORIDA: Archbold Station, near Sebring, Highlands Co. [Type locality: St. George (Cape or Island), Florida.] Scale bars = 1 mm.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 11 times found in Mixed hardwood forest, 2 times found in Bottomland Forest, 2 times found in Mesquite woodland, 1 times found in Oak-pecan forest, 1 times found in Pine-sweetgum forest, 1 times found in Woodland, 1 times found in Brushy wash, 1 times found in Juniper-yucca brush, 1 times found in Mesquite & acacia, 1 times found in Mesquite-juniper woodland, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 2 times under rock, 2 times under dung, 1 times ground nest, 1 times under leaf litter, 1 times under boulder, 1 times roadway.
Collected most commonly using these methods: 5 times direct collection, 2 times pitfall, 1 times at bait, 1 times Malaise Trap, 1 times sweep net.
Elevations: collected from 33 - 2750 meters, 583 meters average
Type specimens: syntype of Pheidole metallescens: casent0904444