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Species: Pheidole fallax   Mayr, 1870 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2022)

Pheidole fallax Mayr, 1870b PDF: 984 (s.) CUBA. Neotropic. Primary type information: Primary type material: lectotype major worker (by designation of Wilson, 2003a: 290). Primary type locality: Cuba: (no further data) (Gundlach). Primary type depository: NHMW. Type notes: Wilson, 2003a: 290, also apparently refers to a paralectotype minor worker, but the original description implies that only a single major worker is represented; minor workers are not mentioned. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Lectotype designation: Wilson, 2003a: 290.
Status as species: Forel, 1881 PDF: 9; Mayr, 1887 PDF: 587 (in key); Emery, 1888c PDF: 354; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 90; von Jhering, 1894 PDF: 391; Emery, 1896h PDF: 625; Forel, 1897b PDF: 300; Forel, 1901j PDF: 355; Wheeler, 1905c PDF: 124; Emery, 1906c PDF: 154; Wheeler, 1908a PDF: 133 (in key); Wheeler, 1911a PDF: 23; Forel, 1912g PDF: 221; Wheeler, 1913b PDF: 490; Wheeler & Mann, 1914 PDF: 21; Mann, 1916 PDF: 436; Crawley, 1916b PDF: 369; Wheeler, 1917g PDF: 458; Luederwaldt, 1918 PDF: 44; Mann, 1920b PDF: 426; Emery, 1922c PDF: 100; Wheeler, 1922e PDF: 6; Wheeler, 1923d PDF: 4; Borgmeier, 1927c PDF: 81; Eidmann, 1936a PDF: 40; Santschi, 1939f PDF: 161; Kusnezov, 1952d PDF: 67 (in key); Kempf, 1960e: 393; Kempf, 1961b PDF: 502; Kempf, 1972b PDF: 190; Alayo, 1974 PDF: 12 (in key); Zolessi et al., 1988: 3; Bolton, 1995b: 321; Wilson, 2003a: 290 (redescription); Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012 PDF: 259; Wetterer et al., 2016 PDF: 15; Longino, 2019 PDF: 112; Serna et al., 2019 PDF: 947 (redescription); Camargo-Vanegas & Guerrero, 2020 10.25100/socolen.v46i2.8433 PDF: 5.
Senior synonym of Pheidole fallax britoi: Wilson, 2003a: 290.
Senior synonym of Pheidole columbica: Wilson, 2003a: 290.
Senior synonym of Pheidole jelskii fallacior: Wilson, 2003a: 290.
Senior synonym of Pheidole fallax ovalis: Wilson, 2003a: 290.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Widespread in the Neotropics from Nicaragua to Argentina, and on Caribbean islands. Costa Rica: common in northwest (dry forest habitats).



This is a common dry forest species in northwest Costa Rica. Colonies can occur in very open, disturbed areas. For example, they have been observed in the central city park of Liberia. Workers are seed harvesters, and form conspicuous trunk trails to seed sources. They are also generalist foragers and will readily come to baits. Diurnal and nocturnal foraging have been observed. The nests are in bare soil, with conspicuous nest entrances and chaff piles. Workers have a foetid odor when collected. In Santa Rosa National Park, Longino once observed a colony emigration: a thick column of alate queens and brood-carrying workers extended many meters along the edge of a dirt road.


J. Longino, 25 Oct 2021: Mayr described P. impressa in the same publication, and it may be a geographic variant of P. fallax. Emery's P. impressa detrita may also be a jr. syn. Unlike P. jelskii, which is very uniform across its range, P. fallax shows considerable geographic variation and could easily resolve into a set of cryptic species.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Pheidole fallax   Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press: 290, (download) 290 20017
Pheidole fallax   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 35, (download) 35 21367
Pheidole fallax   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 42, (download) 42 21367

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 3 times found in 2nd growth dry forest, 3 times found in dry forest, 1 times found in dry thorn scrub, 3 times found in Plantation, 1 times found in secondgrowth rainforest, 2 times found in tropical dry forest, 1 times found in riparian dry forest, 1 times found in banana plantation, 1 times found in montane wet forest, 1 times found in open ground near hotel, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 3 times nest in soil, 3 times at bait, 3 times LeafLitter, 1 times general collecting, 2 times at bait on ground, 1 times foraging at night, 1 times foragers, 1 times nocturnal foragers, 1 times large nest emigration, 1 times ground nest, 1 times ground forager, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 6 times search, 3 times Pitfall48h, 2 times baiting, 1 times bait, 1 times at bait|sugar.

Elevations: collected from 6 - 1500 meters, 333 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1920-07-23 00:00:00.0 and 2017-07-05 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: Lectotype of Pheidole fallax: casent0916056; paralectotype of Pheidole fallax: casent0916057; syntype of Pheidole fallax: casent0901589, casent0901590; syntype of Pheidole fallax columbica: casent0917767, casent0917768; syntype of Pheidole fallax britoi: casent0908130; syntype of Pheidole fallax columbica: casent0908132, casent0908133; syntype of Pheidole fallax ovalis: casent0908131; syntype of Pheidole jelskii fallacior: casent0908140, casent0908141

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