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Species: Pheidole titanis   Wheeler, 1903 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Pheidole titanis Wheeler, 1903c PDF: 95, fig. 3 (s.w.) U.S.A. Nearctic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

See also: Wilson, 2003A: 602.


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: United States
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

collected from the Chiricahua Mtns, Cochise Co.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Pheidole titanis WheelerHNS

Pheidole titanis WheelerHNS 1903c: 95.

types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard; Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist.

Etymology Gr titanisHNS, of a mythical race of giants.

diagnosis A large member of the piliferaHNS group further characterized by the following traits.

Major: rugoreticular patch just mesad of each frontal carina and posterior to the antennal fossa; the rest of the dorsal surface of the head except for the occiput, central piece of the clypeus, and frontal triangle longitudinally carinulate; median carina present on the clypeus; carinulae cover anterior third and sides of the pronotal dorsum, part of the propodeal dorsum, sides of the petiole, and dorsum of the postpetiolar node; postpetiolar node from above diamond-shaped.

Minor: head subrectangular in full-face view; humerus lobose in dorsal-oblique view; postpetiole bell-shaped from above. measurements (mm) Lectotype major: HW 1.94, HL 2.02, SL 0.98, EL 0.30, PW 1.10. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.92, HL 0.94, SL 0.86, EL 0.24, PW 0.60. Color Major and minor: concolorous light reddish brown.

Range Western Texas, southern Arizona and Jalisco, Mexico.

biology The species occurs in desert scrub and deciduous thorn forest, nesting under stones. As suggested by Creighton and Gregg (1955) and proved by Feener (1988), titanisHNS is primarily a specialized predator on termites. In Jalisco, Feener found the species most often attacking foraging columns of Nasutitermes, only occasionally scavenging for dead arthropods of other kinds. Scouts recruit nestmates until a raiding force of 200-2000 majors and minors are assembled, encircling the termites, whereupon each ant tries to seize individual prey, then returns to the nest along the chemical recruitment trail. Feener has provided a detailed account of both the raiding behavior of titanisHNS and their defensive maneuvers against enemies, especially parasitic phorid flies.

figure Upper: lectotype, major. Lower: paralectotype, minor. TEXAS: Chisos Mts., Brewster Co., southwestern Texas (O. W. Williams). Scale bars = 1 mm.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in oak-juniper hillside, 1 times found in Grazed desert grassland with fine, red clay soil., 1 times found in Chihuahuan desert scrub, 1 times found in creosote mesquite desert, 1 times found in oak hillside, 1 times found in oak-pine-juniper woodland.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times soil nest in rocky clay among scattered grass clumps, 1 times 12" diam. crater with 4 entrances in bare soil., 1 times ground nest, 1 times ground forager, 1 times soil.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 1 times search, 1 times UV light.

Elevations: collected from 135 - 1829 meters, 1265 meters average

Type specimens:

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