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Species: Pheidole protensa   Wilson, 2003 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Pheidole protensa Wilson, 2003A: 489, figs. (s.w.) MEXICO. AntCat AntWiki HOL


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Southern Mexico to Panama.


This is a common lowland rainforest species at many sites in Central America. It can be very common at baits.


BOLD records show that specimens from Honduras and Nicaragua cluster tightly. A somewhat diverged sister clade occurs in NW Costa Rica. Images on BOLD suggest that this sister clade would also be identified as P. protensa based on morphology.

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 protensaHNS new species

Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.

Etymology L protensaHNS, stretched out, referring to the somewhat elongate head of the major.

Diagnosis A very small, yellow member of the flavensHNS group, distinguished in the major by an elongated head entirely covered dorsally with longitudinal carinulae, which grow faint and curve inwardly in the posterior third of the head to converge toward and meet at the midline, becoming horizontal near the occiput.

Major: also with broken transverse carinulae on pronotal dorsum; a small but distinct mesonotal convexity; propodeal spines reduced to denticles; and a large propodeal spiracle.

Minor: all of head and mesosoma foveolate and opaque; propodeal spines reduced to denticles. Similar to browniHNS, castaHNS, meraHNS, olsoniHNS, and prolixaHNS, but easily distinguished by the above traits. Measurements (mm) Holotype major: HW 0.60, HL 0.82, SL 0.34, EL 0.10, PW 0.32. Paratype minor: HW 0.38, HL 0.44, SL 0.34, EL 0.06, PW 0.36. Color Major and minor concolorous medium yellow.

Range Known from the type series; from near Cuichapa, Veracruz, 1600 m; and from Tuli Creek, near San Miguel, Nicaragua.

biology In Veracruz, protensaHNS has been found in both lowland rainforest and in montane cafetals, i.e., forest with coffee.

figure Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. MEXICO: Las Hamacas, 17 km north of Santiago Tuxtla, Veracruz (E. O. Wilson). Scale bars = 1 mm.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 258 times found in tropical rainforest, 122 times found in tropical wet forest, 97 times found in lowland rainforest, 67 times found in mature wet forest, 24 times found in montane wet forest, 33 times found in lowland wet forest, 31 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 30 times found in riparian forest in ravine, 9 times found in lowland tropical rain forest, 23 times found in tropical rainforest, some big trees, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 518 times at bait, 337 times ex sifted leaf litter, 8 times foragers at cookie bait, 2 times at bait along stream, 1 times at bait nr stream edge, 2 times flight intercept trap, 2 times beating vegetation, 1 times nest in clay bank, 1 times ex sifted litter; 6L sifted litter; extracted in Winkler sack over 20 hours, 1 times ex sifted litter, 1 times at tuna bait, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 503 times Baiting, 268 times MiniWinkler, 56 times MaxiWinkler, 18 times bait, 9 times hand collecting, 5 times search, 7 times Winkler, 8 times Night MiniWinkler, 2 times Beating, 2 times FIT.

Elevations: collected from 30 - 1980 meters, 428 meters average

Type specimens:

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