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Natural History: Other than the nesting habits, P. tetra is virtually unknown. I have one collection from a dry, acidic woodland in the southeastern Missouri Ozarks, of workers attracted to an oily, starchy bait -- a muffin crumb.
Pheidole crassicornis subsp. tetra CreightonHNS 1950a: 176, first available use of Pheidole crassicornis subsp. porcula var. tetra WheelerHNS 1908h: 467, unavailable name (quadrinomial).
Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.
Diagnosis Very close to crassicornisHNS, from which it differs in the major by its generally abundant pilosity, and diversipilosaHNS, from which it differs in the longer pilosity on the first gastral tergite and abundant hairs on the waist and occiput. Also resembles porculaHNS in various traits as depicted.
Measurements (mm) Lectotype major: HW 1.34, HL 1.36, SL 0.72, EL 0.20, PW 0.66. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.66, HL 0.74, SL 0.74, EL 0.14, PW 0.44. Color Major and minor: concolorous light to dark reddish brown.
Range Known from St. Louis Co., Missouri; Ouachita Mts., Montgomery Co., Arkansas; central and western Texas; and the mountains of southern Arizona at 1280-1580 m.
Biology In the Ouachita Mts. of Arkansas, Stefan Cover (unpublished field notes) found colonies at three localities in open areas of mixed pine-hardwood forest, nesting beneath rocks. At the Pedernales Falls State Park, Blanco Co., Texas, he found two colonies under rocks in grassy clearings, nesting in sandy soil; and in Cochise Co., Arizona, Cover discovered a colony in cottonwood floodplain forest, apparently nesting in open soil. In western Texas, Moody and Francke (1982) found tetraHNS at 400-1600 m, nesting variously under stones and logs and in open soil.
Figure Upper: lectotype, major. Lower: paralectotype, minor. TEXAS: Austin (W. M. Wheeler). Scale bars = 1 mm.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 2 times found in Pine-oak forest, 1 times found in roadside, 1 times found in oak-pine-juniper woodland, 2 times found in pine oak forest, 1 times found in Attracted to bread bait, Oak-cedar forest, 1 times found in Meadow, 1 times found in Pine-sweetgum forest, 1 times found in roadside grass.
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 6 times under rock, 1 times large crater in deep grass.
Collected most commonly using these methods: 12 times direct collection, 1 times Search, 1 times 63, 1 times at bait|bread.
Elevations: collected from 91 - 2780 meters, 1136 meters average