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Species: Pheidole susannae   Forel, 1886 

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See Also:

Pheidole susannae atricolor, Pheidole susannae atricolor fortunata, Pheidole susannae fortunata

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2015)

Pheidole susannae Forel, 1886b PDF: xliii (s.w.) GUATEMALA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history


Mexico south to Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad, Puerto Rico.


This species occurs in various habitats, including highly disturbed areas (city parks), seasonal dry forest, mature lowland rainforest, and second growth rainforest. It can occur on the ground or in the canopy. Workers readily recruit to baits, and major workers often recruit along with minor workers. Nests are in small cavities and appear to be somewhat opportunistically inhabited.


Although Wilson (2003) illustrated a "Lectotype major worker," no lectotype label was found among the type material of P. susannae at MHNG.

The syntypes of P. susannae and P. obscurior are very similar in all respects but color. The syntypes of P. susannae are yellow; those of P. obscurior are dark brown. The key in Wilson separates the species on relative scape length in the major, with P. obscurior purported to have relatively longer scapes. However, measurements of the types reveal that the lectotype of P. obscurior has a SI that is actually lower than that of syntypes of P. susannae.

Pheidole susannae is a relatively common species found in disturbed habitats throughout the Neotropics. It appears quite uniform in morphology across its range. Most specimens are dark red brown. The types from Guatemala and a few collections from El Salvador and Nicaragua are yellow.

Taxon Page Author History

On 2013-11-06 16:21:41 jack longino modified Comments
On 2013-11-06 16:14:40 jack longino modified Biology
On 2013-11-06 16:14:28 jack longino modified Distribution

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Wilson, E. O.:
Pheidole susannae Forel 1886b: xliii. Syn.: Pheidole susannae r. atricolor Forel 190lj: 356, n. syn. Raised to species level in this monograph: obscurior .
Etymology Eponymous, no attribution given.
diagnosis A member of the fallax group, most similar to haskinsorum , lattkei , obscurior , petrensis , and distinguished as follows. Major: in both side and frontal views, head tapered conspicuously toward occiput; occipital cleft deep, antennal scape failing to reach the occipital corner by about 2X the maximum scape width; pilosity fringing side and frontal profiles posterior to eye level subrecumbent; rugoreticulum extensive all around the eye; anterior half of first gastral tergite shagreened and opaque; humerus in dorsal-oblique view low and smoothly rounded.
Minor: pronotum entirely smooth; occiput moderately narrowed, with nuchal crest; propodeal spines reduced to denticles.
A highly variable species that may in time prove to be a complex of sibling species.
measurements (mm) Lectotype major: HW 1.30, HL 1.44, SL 1.06, EL 0.20, PW 0.60.
Paralectotype minor: HW 0.54, HL 0.82, SL 1.12, EL 0.14, PW 0.40.
Color Major: body reddish yellow, gaster a slightly contrasting light reddish brown.
Minor: concolorous medium yellow. Other series vary from reddish yellow to dark brown.
range Ranging from Veracruz, Mexico, south to Colombia, Venezuela, and Trinidad. I have also verified a record from Cayo Congo, Puerto Rico (J. A. Torres). Kempf (1972b) cites the species from Rio Grande do Sul, a doubtful record I have not been able to check.
Biology This widespread species is also very adaptable in habitat and nest site. In Colombia colonies have been found variously in forests and pastures. In Costa Rica, Longino (1997) reports susannae nesting under the bark and into an abandoned termite nest at the base of a large tree and in cracks in the floor of a housing unit near the La Selva Biological Station forest. I found it nesting behind a concrete curb inside a San Jose, Costa Rica, city park, foraging during the day. On Barro Colorado Island, Panama, I observed a nuptial flight in progress in tropical evergreen forest at 1600 hrs; males were emerging in the company of minors and majors from a crevice in the trunk of a tree 1-2 m from the ground.
figure Upper: lectotype, major. Lower: paralectotype, minor. GUATEMALA: Retalhuleu, Pacific slope. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 53 times found in tropical rainforest, 22 times found in lowland wet forest, 21 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 15 times found in 2º wet forest, 10 times found in tropical wet forest, 14 times found in tropical moist forest, 5 times found in old cacao plantation, 4 times found in 2nd growth forest, 3 times found in 2nd growth dry forest, 3 times found in riparian forest, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 112 times Baiting, 22 times search, 23 times MiniWinkler, 9 times Winkler, 8 times bait, 10 times MaxiWinkler, 6 times Fogging, 6 times Beating, 2 times Berlese, 1 times Sweeping, 1 times flight intercept trap, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1480 meters, 250 meters average

Type specimens: Lectotype of Pheidole susannae obscurior: jtlc000015316; paralectotype of Pheidole susannae obscurior: jtlc000015317; syntype of Pheidole susannae: jtlc000015334, jtlc000015335; syntype of Pheidole susannae atricolor: casent0901591, casent0901592; syntype of Pheidole incisa evoluta: casent0913456, casent0913457; syntype of Pheidole susannae atricolor: jtlc000015332, jtlc000015333

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