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Species: Pheidole (flavens-group) moerens   Wheeler, 1908 

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See Also:

Pheidole moerens_nr, Pheidole moerens creola, Pheidole moerens dominicensis

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2015)

Pheidole moerens Wheeler, 1908a: 136, pl. 12, figs. 22, 23 (s.w.) PUERTO RICO. Neotropic. "Culebra; Porto Rico." AMNH, MCZC. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history


Hawaii Island


Introduced species (Martinez, 1997).

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Ward, P. S., 2005:
I [introduced species]

Wilson, E. O.:
Pheidole moerens Wheeler 1908a: 136. Syn.: Pheidole moerens subsp. creola Wheeler and Mann 1914: 25, n. syn. ; Pheidole moerens subsp. dominicensis Wheeler 1913e: 241, synonymy by Naves 1985: 65.
Etymology Unknown, possibly Gr Moira, goddess of destiny.
Diagnosis Similar to exigua , flavens , nitidicollis , nuculiceps , orbica , pholeops , and sculptior , easily confused with the sympatric and abundant flavens , distinguished as follows.
Major: variably reddish brown; occiput smooth and shiny, and most of rest of head carinulate, with a small patch of rugoreticulum just behind the antennal fossa on each side; intercarinal spaces on head sparsely foveolate, subopaque to feebly shining; anterior half of pronotum carinulate; postpetiole from above elliptical.
Minor: medium to dark brown; small, loose rugoreticulum present mesad to each eye; rugulae extend posterior to eyes; all of head and mesosoma foveolate.
P. moerens is distinguished from flavens by the broader smooth space of the occiput and feebler intercarinular foveolation on the head of the major, and especially by the darker color and more extensive sculpturing of the minor.
Measurements (mm) Syntype major: HW 0.84, HL 0.90, SL 0.46, EL 0.10, PW 0.40. Syntype minor: HW 0.42, HL 0.48, SL 0.44, EL 0.06, PW 0.26. Color Major: medium reddish brown, with vertex a shade darker.
Minor: body medium to dark brown, appendages brownish yellow. According to Naves (1985), the shade of color in laboratory colonies fed with house flies is darker than in colonies fed only with honey.
Range Scattered populations occur in the West Indies (Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Culebra) and southern United States (Florida; Mobile, Alabama; Houston, Texas). The native range is unknown, but may be the Greater Antilles.
Biology On Sanibel Island, Florida, I found colonies of moerens abundant, nesting in sandy soil at the base of trees in parks and around houses; and in Houston in a rotting tree limb on the ground of a park. Naves (1985) records nests in northern Florida from a wide range of sites, under boards, at the base of trees and fence posts, along tree roots, under palm leaves, inside wall crevices, but only rarely in the soil. According to Naves, the colonies are monogynous, with nuptial flights usually occurring in July. Colonies grow to populations of 600 or more workers, of which somewhat fewer than 20 percent are majors. In nature they feed on seeds and insects, the latter taken alive or scavenged.
Figure Upper: syntype, major. Lower: syntype, minor. PUERTO RICO: Utuado. (Type locality: Culebra Island, West Indies.) Scale bars = 1 mm.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in urban garden, 1 times found in boat dock, 1 times found in montane wet forest, 1 times found in oak palm hammock, 3 times found in oak/palm hammock, 1 times found in houseplant, 1 times found in sand pine scrub, 2 times found in scrubby flatwoods, 1 times found in Michael Turelli's house, 1 times found in urban woodland, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 9 times Winkler, 3 times search, 1 times Davis sifter, 1 times manually collected, 1 times H, 1 times attracted to light at night, 1 times baiting

Elevations: collected from 2 - 600 meters, 57 meters average

Type specimens:

(-1 examples)

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