Nicaragua south to Colombia, Guyana, Suriname (type locality); Puerto Rico. Costa Rica: Atlantic and southern Pacific lowlands.
Generally occurs in open, highly disturbed areas; generalized forager; nests in ground.
J. Longino, 19 Apr 2014: May be jr. syn. of
Wilson, E. O.:
Pheidole cocciphaga Borgmeier 1934: 99.
Etymology l Gr cocciphaga , eater of coecum, or scale insect.
diagnosis A slender, small-headed member of the diligens group distinguished by the following combination of traits. Major: head small relative to body and with a "crown" on the occiput of dense foveae and tuft of erect to suberect medium-length hair; antennal scape exceeding the occipital corner by over 2X the scape's maximum width.
Minor: head elliptical in full-face view, with nuchal collar; antennal scape exceeds occipital border by half its own length.
measurements (mm) Lectotype major: HW 0.88, HL 0.92, SL 0.92, EL 0.20, PW 0.50.
Paralectotype minor: HW 0.54, HL 0.70, SL 0.94, EL 0.16, PW 0.40.
color Major: light reddish brown.
Minor: brownish yellow.
The color varies in both castes to dark brown.
Range I have verified records of this unusual species from Nicaragua (Kukra River), Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, and Puerto Rico (Guanica). In addition, Longino (1997) reports it from southwestern and northeastern Costa Rica. Because it occurs at least occasionally in disturbed habitats (see below), the population in Puerto Rico may be an adventive carried accidentally by human commerce.
Biology In Costa Rica, Longino (1997) found cocciphaga in mature rainforest at La Selva, near Puerto Viejo, and on vegetated land close to the beach at Llorona, Corcovado National Park. One of the latter colonies was on a vegetated rock island separated from the nearby mainland by a shallow marine channel.
Figure Upper: lectotype, major. Lower: paralectotype, minor. SURINAME: Paramaribo. Scale bars = 1 mm.