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Species: Pheidole (pilifera-group) californica   Mayr, 1870 

Download Data

See Also:

Pheidole californica_nr, Pheidole californica hagermani, Pheidole californica incenata, Pheidole californica satura, Pheidole californica shoshoni

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2015)

Pheidole californica Mayr, 1870b PDF: 987 (s.w.) U.S.A. Nearctic. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Senior synonym of Pheidole incenata, Pheidole satura: Creighton, 1950a PDF: 173; of Pheidole pyramidensis: Wheeler & Wheeler, 1986g PDF: 13; of Pheidole oregonica (and its junior synonyms Pheidole hagermani, Pheidole shoshoni): Wilson, 2003A: 564.


collected from the Chiricahua Mtns, Cochise Co.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Wilson, E. O.:
Pheidole californica Mayr 1870b: 987. Syn.: Pheidole oregonica Emery 1895d: 291, n. syn. ; Pheidole californica var. incenata Wheeler 1915b: 407, synonomy by Creighton 1950a:173; Pheidole californica var. satura Wheeler 1915b: 407, synonomy by Creighton 1950a: 173; Pheidole californica subsp.pyramidensis Emery 1922c: 105 (replacement name for nevadensis Wheeler 1915b: 408, junior primary homonym ofpheidole nevadensis Forel 190 lj: 353), synonomy by G. C. and J. Wheeler 1986g: 18; Pheidole californica var. shoshoni Cole 1933b: 618, synonomy by Gregg 1959: 1-9; Pheidole californica var. hagermani Cole 1936a: 35, synonomy by Creighton 1950a:173.
Etymology Based on the state of origin of the type series.
diagnosis A member of the " pilifera complex" of the larger pilifera group, comprising calens , californica , carrolli , cavigenis , clementensis , creightoni , hoplitica , littoralis , micula , pilifera , polymorpha , rugulosa , senex , soritis , tepicana , and torosa , which complex is characterized by the following traits. Major: dorsal head surface extensively sculptured; occipital lobes horizontally rugulose (or, in carrolli smooth, in littoralis foveate, and in micula and soritis carinulate); postpetiole from above angulate and. trapezoidal to spinose. Minor: eye medium-sized to large.
P. californica is distinguished within this complex by the following combination of traits. Color yellow.
Major: all of pronotum smooth and shiny; humerus in dorsal-oblique view low and smoothly convex; propodeal spine in side view equilaterally triangular; postpetiole from above trapezoidal. Closest to clementensis , from which it differs by its smaller size (HW in californica major about 0.90 mm, in clementensis major about 1.10 mm) and proportionately larger eye (major EL/HW 0.20 in californica versus 0.13 in clementensis ). Also, the sides of the major head are smooth and shiny in some, but not all, californica populations (Philip S. Ward, personal communication).
measurements (mm) Major (Palo Alto, California): HW 0.92, HL 1.06, SL 0.54, EL 0.18, PW 0.44.
Minor (Palo Alto): HW 0.48, HL 0.56, SL 0.48, EL 0.12, PW 0.28.
Color Major: concolorous yellow; gaster a slightly contrasting brownish yellow.
Minor: yellow with a slight brownish tinge.
Range California north to Washington, east to Idaho and New Mexico.
Biology Colonies have been found nesting variously under objects, in oak galls, or in open sandy soil (Cole 1934b; Mallis 1941). Stefan Cover reports a population in moist spots in a grazed Chihuahuan desert at 1295 m in Hidalgo, extreme southwest New Mexico. The colonies were nesting in soil with a high clay content; the most common other ant species was Leptothorax pergandei .
figure Upper: major. Lower: minor. CALIFORNICA: Palo Alto. Type locality: San Francisco. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Ward, P. S., 2005:

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 16 times found in sage brush, 10 times found in rural roadside, 7 times found in oak woodland, 7 times found in grassland, 6 times found in shrub steppe, 6 times found in chaparral, 4 times found in meadow, 4 times found in pine/oak woodland, 3 times found in oak woodland/Riparian, 3 times found in roadside, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 19 times hand collecting, 14 times Search, 1 times hand coll., 2 times under rock, 2 times Bay Area Ant Survey (BAAS), 1 times bait, 1 times baiting, 1 times P, 1 times pitfall trap

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1829 meters, 550 meters average

Type specimens: syntype of Pheidole californica: casent0901561; syntype of Pheidole oregonica: casent0904440, casent0904441

(-1 examples)

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