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Species: Pheidole exarata   Emery, 1896 

Classification:
Download Data

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2014)

Pheidole exarata Emery, 1896g PDF: 68 (s.w.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Senior synonym of Pheidole grantae: Longino, 2009 PDF: 31.
See also: Wilson, 2003A: 686.

Distribution:

Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica (type locality), Colombia, Venezuela. Costa Rica: Atlantic slope to 1600m.

Biology:

Pheidole exarata occurs in mature wet forest habitats from 800-1600m elevation. It is arboreal, forming large colonies beneath epiphytes and in live stems. An incipient colony was found in a cavity in a live, 1.5cm diameter stem of a melastomataceous vine; a colony was found in several internodes of a Cecropia insignis sapling, another in an internode of Cecropia angustifolia; a large aggregation of minor and major workers, but no sexuals or brood, was found in a clean hollow stem of Neomirandea angularis (Asteraceae). One colony under epiphytes was observed with multiple dealate queens, evidence of polygyny.

Comments:

There is a complex of Pheidole species showing a geographic mosaic of differentiated forms. Members of this complex include excubitor Wilson 2003, exarata Emery 1896, and stulta Forel 1886. In Costa Rica, Pheidole exarata is an upland version of the closely related lowland species, P. excubitor Wilson. The junior synonym Pheidole grantae Forel was described from Costa del Tablazo, Costa Rica, a montane site near Cartago and close to San Jose, the type locality of exarata. It appears to be a more heavily sculptured version of P. exarata, with the first gastral tergite fully shagreened and the foveolate sculpture extending more posteriorly on the face of the major. There is no evidence of distinct sympatric forms of this moderately common species in the central highlands of Costa Rica and the synonymy seems secure.

Wilson (2003) synonymized two forms, championi Forel 1899 and championi sima Forel 1912, under stulta. The type locality of stulta is Bahia, Brazil. Pheidole championi was described from Panama, Volcan de Chiriqui. Pheidole championi var. sima was described from Costa Rica, "Canas Gudas" [probably Puntarenas Province, Canas Gordas, a site very near Volcan Chiriqui].

Longino examined syntypes of sima in 2008 and made these notes:

Very different from excubitor and exarata. Pheidole sima (=stulta) major: scapes relatively short (SI 44); hypostomal teeth short, blunt, and inconspicuous; clypeus completely smooth, without carinulae; face almost completely smooth, longitudinal and concentric striae restricted to area of antennal fossa, mostly anterior to eye; hind tibia with sparse, moderately long decumbent pubescence and sparse short erect setae; first gastral tergite smooth and shining. Pheidole excubitor major: scapes relatively long (SI 51); hypostomal teeth short but sharp, distinctly tooth-like and conspicuous; clypeus with even covering of longitudinal carinulae; anterior two thirds of face with dense longitudinal carinulae overlaying foveolate sculpture, posterior one third smooth and shining; hind tibia with sparse, short, and fully appressed pubescence and sparse short erect setae; first gastral tergite smooth and shining. Pheidole exarata major: scapes relatively long (SI 49); hypostomal teeth short but sharp, distinctly tooth-like and conspicuous; clypeus with a pronounced median carina flanked by longitudinal carinulae; anterior two thirds of face with dense longitudinal carinulae overlaying foveolate sculpture, posterior one third smooth and shining; hind tibia with sparse, moderately long decumbent pubescence and abundant short erect setae; first gastral tergite with variable extent shagreened anteriorly. Pheidole sima (=stulta) minor: face largely smooth and shining; lateral pronotum smooth and shining; hind tibia with sparse decumbent pubescence and a few short erect setae. Pheidole excubitor minor: face largely smooth and shining; lateral pronotum foveolate (faint medially); hind tibia with sparse, short, fully appressed pubescence and no erect setae. Pheidole exarata minor: face foveolate; lateral pronotum foveolate (faint medially); hind tibia with sparse decumbent pubescence and many short erect setae.

Notes:

The morphospecies we called JTL-119 is probably Emery's exarata, based on the line drawings in Wilson (2003) and the type locality.

Pheidole grantae Forel was described from Costa del Tablazo, Costa Rica, a montane site near Cartago. It appears to be a more heavily sculptured version of P. exarata, with the first gastral tergite fully shagreened and the foveolate sculpture extending more posteriorly on the face of the major. We consider these differences to be intraspecific variation.

There is a complex of Pheidole species showing a geographic mosaic of differentiated forms. Members of this complex include excubitor Wilson 2003, exarata Emery 1896, and stulta Forel 1886. Wilson (2003) synonymized two forms, championi Forel 1899 and championi sima Forel 1912, under stulta. The type locality of stulta is Bahia, Brazil. Pheidole championi was described from Panama, Volcan de Chiriqui. Pheidole championi var. sima was described from Costa Rica, "Canas Gudas" [probably Puntarenas Province, Canas Gordas, a site very near Volcan Chiriqui]. Thus technically stulta occurs in Costa Rica. Pheidole stulta appears to be a shinier version of excubitor. The minor has a completely shiny face and pronotum, and more of the face of the major is smooth and shining. No cases are known where any of these forms are sympatric. It remains to be seen whether this "stulta complex" is multiple species or one geographically variable species.

See excubitor.

References:

Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A Dominant, Hyperdiverse Ant Genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass

Taxon Page Author History

On 2013-11-05 20:23:00 jack longino modified Comments
On 2013-11-05 09:31:00 jack longino modified Biology
On 2013-11-05 09:27:57 jack longino modified Distribution

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Wilson, E. O.:
Pheidole exarata Emery 1896g: 68.
Etymology Unknown.
Diagnosis A large, medium brown (major) or plain light brown (minor) member of the tristis group with small propodeal spines, possessing as well a subpostpetiolar process and bell-shaped postpetiolar node.
Major: all of dorsal head surface covered by parallel longitudinal carinulae; and pronotal dorsum by transverse carinulae.
Minor: occiput broad, lacking a nuchal collar; all of dorsal surface of head and mesosoma foveolate and opaque.
Similar to alpinensis , excubitor , germaini , grandinodus , grantae , obrima , rogeri , stulta , tristis , and zoster , differing in many details of body form, sculpturing, and pilosity, as illustrated, and in color, as described.
Measurements (mm) Lectotype major: HW 1.60, HL 1.78, SL 0.86, EL 0.20, PW 0.80.
Paralectotype minor: HW 0.80, HL 0.86, SL 0.78, EL 0.14, PW 0.50.
color Major: concolorous medium reddish brown.
Minor: concolorous plain light brown.
Range Known from the type locality and from Reserva Naturale, El Guayaba, Cali-Popayan, Cauca, Colombia, 1600 m (W. L. Brown and R. Root).
Biology The Colombian colony, with a winged queen, was found in montane rainforest on 24 March.
figure Upper: lectotype, major. Lower: paralectotype, minor. COSTA RICA: San Jose. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Emery, C., 1896:
[[ soldier ]] Piceo, con le mandibole e le zampe piu chiare, le articolazioni, i tarsi e i flagelli giallo-bruno. Le mandibole, il quarto posteriore del capo, le zampe e la massima parte dell'addome sono lucidi, il resto opaco; i peli ritti sono scarsi su tutto l'insetto; i soli membri sono pubescenti. La forma del capo ricorda Ph. crassipes ; i lati sono quasi dritti, debolmente convergenti in avanti, le gobbe occipitali rotoridate sono separate da profonda incisura che si continua con solco profondo fino al vertice. Le mandibole sono sparse di grossi punti, il clipeo carenato e striato; le lamine frontali sono subparallele, evanescenti indietro;. una larga depressione riceve l'apice dello scapo che non raggiunge la meta dello spazio fra la trasversale degli occhi e l'estremo occipitale del capo. Dal margine anteriore del capo partono rughe longitudinali regolari, quelle della fronte un poco ineguali fra loro, quasi parallele, appena assai debolmente divergenti nella parte posteriore; esse si estendono, indebolendosi, fino oltre l'estremo dello scapo e svaniscono; un poco piu indietro svanisce pure la sottile punteggiatura fondamentale che rende opaca la parte anteriore del capo, sicche l'occipite rimane liscio e lucido, con grossi punti piligeri allungati. Il pronoto porta un pajo di gobbe arrotondate, il mesonoto ha un debole toro trasverso e, innanzi ad esso, una debole impressione; il metanoto porta spine brevi, divergenti, debolmente inclinate indietro. Tutto il torace e fittamente punteggiato e opaco; solo i lati del pronoto sono in parte lucidi; il dorso pel pronoto e rigato di rughe trasverse arcuate; il mesonoto e trasversalmente rugoso di sopra, longitudinalmente di fianco. Il peduncolo e debolmente punteggiato e subopaco; il 1. ° segmento posteriormente con nodo angoloso, poco elevato; ii 2. ° e piu largo che lungo, arcuato innanzi, con angoli laterali marcati, situati poco dietro la meta della sua lunghezza. Il segmento seguente e lucido, fuorche nel 1 / 3 anteriore che e appannato e punteggiato.; alcuni grossi punti danno origine ai peli. L. 4 2 / 3 mm.
[[ worker ]] Colore del soldato, mandibole e membri piu chiari. Capo e torace fittamente punteggiati, opachi, tutto l'addome col peduncolo lucidi. Il capo e subquadrato, con gli angoli rotondati; la sua superficie porta numerose e sottili rughe longitudinali. Lo scapo oltrepassa di poco il margine occipitale; gli articoli medii del flagello sono appena piu lunghi che larghi. Il pronoto e trasversalmente rugoso e porta due piccolissimi tubercoli, il toro del mesonoto e appena riconoscibile, le spine del metanoto brevissime e ritte. Il peduncolo e debolmente punteggiato, il 2.0 nodo ritondato, circa tanto lungo quanto e largo. L. 3. mm.
S. Jose, Costa Rica. Si avvicina alla Ph. crassipes e specialmente alla sottosp. Germaini. — Il [[ soldier ]] ne differisce principalmente per la scultura del capo in cui le rughe sono molto piu grosse e marcate; il capo e piu corto; le antenne sono relativamente piu lunghe che nella crassipes tipo, piu brevi che nella sottosp. Germaini. Le gobbe del pronoto sono meno pronunziate. — Nella [[ worker ]], il capo e meno arrotondato che nella Ph. crassipes e nella sottosp. Germaini; lo scapo relativamente piu corto, i tubercoli del pronoto piu deboli, le rughe del capo molto piu marcate. — Anche questa forma potrebbe forse essere considerata come sottospecie della Ph. crassipes .

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 13 times found in montane wet forest, 11 times found in cloud forest, 14 times found in cloud forest edge, 1 times found in cloud forest branchfall, 1 times found in 2nd growth veg., 1 times found in tropical wet forest, 1 times found in wet forest

Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 15 times search, 14 times fogging, 6 times Malaise, 2 times miniWinkler, 2 times Winkler, 1 times Flight Intercept Trap, 1 times Pan Trap, 1 times baiting, 1 times beating

Elevations: collected from 750 - 1600 meters, 1319 meters average

Type specimens: Lectotype of Pheidole exarata: casent0904334; paralectotype of Pheidole exarata: casent0904335; syntype of Pheidole crassipes grantae: casent0904341, casent0904342; Syntype Pheidole grantae: jtlc000014080, jtlc000014081

(-1 examples)



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