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Species: Pheidole exarata   Emery, 1896 

Classification:
Download Data

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2015)

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

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)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Pheidole exarata   Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. -1--1: 686, (download) 686 20017
Pheidole exarata   Longino, J. T., 2009, Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 2181, pp. 1-90: 31, (download) 31 22820
Pheidole exarata n. sp.  Emery, C., 1896, Studi sulle formiche della fauna Neotropica., Bollettino della Societa Entomologica Italiana 28, pp. 33-107: 36-38, (download) 36-38 3798

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 2nd growth veg., 1 times found in cloud forest branchfall, 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 Pan Trap, 1 times baiting, 1 times beating, 1 times Flight Intercept Trap

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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