Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2013)
|Senior synonym of Pheidole napaea: Brown, 1981: 525.|
Mexico (type locality) to Colombia, questionable record from Cuba (Kempf 1972). Costa Rica: disturbed habitats of Pacific lowlands and montane areas.
This species thrives in disturbed areas, and it is often a pest ant. Nests are often in ephemeral cavities: soft rotten sticks, beneath bark flaps, in debris in forks of trees, etc.
(Dutch vernacular name: blauwbaard dikkop)
Brown, W. L. Jr. 1981. Preliminary contributions toward a revision of the ant genus Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicdae). Part I. J. Kansas Ent. Soc. 54:523-530.
Taxon Page Author History
Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)
Borgmeier, T., 1939:
Possuo diversos soldados e operários de Costa Rica, San José , H. Schmidt leg. (Reichensperger N.° 165). A espécieé facilmente reconhecível pelo contraste de coloracao das cabeças dos soldados: as mandíbulas , o terço anterior e os lados da cabeçasão pretos, os dois terços posteriores são branco-amarellados.
Wilson, E. O.:
Pheidole punctatissima Mayr 1870a: 400. Syn.: Pheidole punctatissima subsp. napaea Wheeler 1934g: 165, synonomy by Brown 1981: 525.
Etymology L punctatissima , very dotted with punctures, probably referring to the nearly complete foveolate sculpturing of the body.
diagnosis One of the most instantly recognizable of all Pheidole species: the major has a yellowish white posterior two-thirds of the head capsule (fading to pale yellow in older specimens) that contrasts sharply with the medium to dark brown remainder of the body; the major also is distinguished within the punctatissima group by the large area of rugoreticulation mesad to the eyes (see also inca ) and the very prominent cornulate pronotal humerus and entire surface of the body foveolate and opaque. Minor: no carinulae on entire body, but all of the body parts except the second and succeeding segments of the gaster are foveolate and opaque.
Measurements (mm) Major (Pueblo Nuevo, Mexico): HW 0.92, HL 0.92, SL 0.54, EL 0.14, PW 0.44. Minor (Pueblo Nuevo, Mexico): HW 0.44, HL 0.54, SL 0.50, EL 0.10, PW 0.24.
Color Major: bicolorous, with posterior two-thirds of head surface, together with the lateral wings of the clypeus, yellowish white (fading to pale yellow in old specimens) and all the remainder of the body a sharply contrasting medium to dark brown; the first gastral tergite has bluish reflections; and the appendages exclusive of the mandibles are yellow. Minor: body concolorous medium brown, appendages except for mandibles brownish yellow.
Range Tropical southern Mexico to Colombia. Literature records of the species from the West Indies are in error; they are based on the related species P. bilimeki (= annectens ), q.v.
biology J. T. Longino (1997) on punctatissima in Costa Rica: "This species thrives in disturbed areas, and it is often a pest ant. Nests are often in ephemeral cavities; soft rotten sticks, beneath bark flaps, in debris in forks of trees, etc." In Mexico winged reproductives have been found in nests during April and July.
Figure Upper: major. Lower: minor. MEXICO: Pueblo Nuevo, near Tetzonapa, Veracruz (E. O. Wilson). (Type locality: Mexico; Edward Norton.) Scale bars = 1 mm.
Forel, A., 1908:
[[ worker ]] [[ queen ]] [[ soldier ]] San Juan de Tobosi, 1400 metres; San Jose de Costa Rica, 1600 metres, bois pourri, dans les spathes verthes de Dieffenbachia Oe rstedti; dans une bromeliacee; La Caja, 1100 metres, sous l'ecorce. Costa Rica (Biolley). Guatuso pres Carthago, Costa Rica (Biolley).
Specimen Data Summary
Found most commonly in these habitats: 22 times found in tropical moist forest, 19 times found in 2º wet forest, 14 times found in lowland wet forest, 9 times found in 2º tropical rainforest, 12 times found in mesophil forest, 2 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 6 times found in riparian mesophil for., 1 times found in 2nd growth dry forest, 1 times found in coffee farm, 1 times found in tropical dry scrub, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 71 times search, 44 times Baiting, 31 times MiniWinkler, 17 times Beating, 5 times bait, 4 times Winkler, 1 times Berlese, 1 times MaxiWinkler
Elevations: collected from 10 - 2500 meters, 578 meters average