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Species: Pheidole gauthieri   Forel, 1901 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Pheidole ursus r. gauthieri Forel, 1901j PDF: 367 (w.) COLOMBIA. Neotropic. Primary type information: Primary type material: holotype minor worker. Primary type locality: Colombia: Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, San Antonio-Dibulla path, 1896 (A. Forel). Primary type depository: MHNG. Type notes: Wilson, 2003a: 693, designated the specimen as lectotype, but Forel said he had only “a single example” in the original description. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Subspecies of Pheidole ursus: Forel, 1909a PDF: 250.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Colombia, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Southern Mexico (Chiapas) to Ecuador, across northern South America to French Guiana. Colombia (type locality), Panama (type locality of subspecies oxymora).



This species occurs in mature wet forest; nests in dead wood in the low arboreal zone; forages in the leaf litter and at extrafloral nectaries.



COI records on BOLD show a clade of four clusters: 1 from Central America, 2 from Ecuador, 1 from French Guiana.


J. Longino, 29 Oct 2021: Pheidole gauthieri Forel 1901 from Colombia, the jr. syn. oxymora Forel 1912 from Panama, horribilis Wilson 2003 from Ecuador, minax Wilson 2003 from Peru, and terribilis Wilson 2003 from Suriname are all very similar. They have minor differences in sculpture. The posterior face of the major varies from nearly smooth to moderately carinulate. In both castes, the dorsum of the first abdominal tergite can be smooth and shining or with varying degrees of shagreening. These could be treated as a single geographically variable species, or split out into these cryptic species. So far I have seen no evidence of sympatry among these forms.

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 gauthieriHNS Forel

Pheidole ursus r. gauthieriHNS Forel 190lj:' 367. Raised to species level by Forel 1912g: 233. Syn.: Pheidole gauthieri var. oxymoraHNS Forel 1912g: 233, n.syn.

Types Mus. Hist. Nat. Geneve.

Etymology Named after A. and C. Gauthier of Colombia, who assisted Forel in his itinerary.

diagnosis Similar to antillanaHNS, coveriHNS, fulleraeHNS, hetschkoiHNS, heyeriHNS, napoensisHNS, and segurigerHNS in various traits but easily distinguished as follows.

Major: propodeal spines as long as basal face of propodeum; occiput smooth and shiny; smaller patch of rugoreticulum present laterad to each antennal fossa; loose rugoreticulum present on anterior half of pronotal dorsum but absent on posterior half; postpetiole spinose.

Minor: occiput, sides of head, and entire dorsum of mesosoma rugoreticulate, and almost all of remainder of head and mesosoma variously rugulose or carinulate; propodeal spines as long as basal face of propodeum; occiput narrowed but lacking a nuchal collar. Measurements (mm) Major (Panama): HW 2.04, HL 2.12, SL 0.86, EL 0.20, PW 0.94. Lectotype minor: HW 0.80, HL 0.81, SL 0.86, EL 0.16, PW 0.54. Color Major: concolorous light reddish brown.

Minor: head and mesosoma light reddish yellow; waist, gaster, and appendages clear dark yellow.

Range I have seen material from Guatemala (Tikal), Costa Rica (Osa Peninsula), Panama (localities in the Canal Zone), and Colombia. J. T. Longino (1997) reports it from both the Atlantic and Pacific lowlands of Costa Rica.

Biology In Costa Rica Longino (1997) found gauthieriHNS in mature wet forest, nesting in dead wood in the low arboreal zone and foraging in the leaf litter and at extrafloral nectaries. A winged queen was present in a nest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, 27 June (W. M. Wheeler).

Figure Upper: syntype, major of synonymous gauthieri var. oxymora (Panama)HNS. Lower: lectotype, minor (road from Dibulla to San Antonio, Guajira, Colombia). Scale bars = 1 mm.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 9 times found in tropical rainforest, 1 times found in premontane rainforest, 4 times found in mature wet forest, 4 times found in 2nd growth forest, 4 times found in rainforest, 4 times found in wet forest, 1 times found in primary forest, 1 times found in TerraFirme, 1 times found in mature and second growth wet forest, 1 times found in tropical rainforest, some big trees, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 14 times at bait, 7 times ex sifted leaf litter, 2 times nest, 1 times log nest, 1 times in dead branch, 1 times nocturnal strays, 1 times LeafLitter, 1 times ex rotten log, 2 times d' épine de Xanthoxylon, 1 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 1 times On Passiflora vitifolia new growth., ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 5 times search, 11 times baiting, 6 times miniWinkler, 4 times bait, 3 times Winkler, 1 times Winkler48h, 1 times 6L sifted litter, extracted in Winkler sack over 44 hours, 1 times pan trap.

Elevations: collected from 10 - 600 meters, 192 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1979-12-22 00:00:00.0 and 2019-11-20 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: Lectotype of Pheidole gauthieri: casent0908280; syntype of Pheidole gauthieri oxymora: casent0908281, casent0908282

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