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Species: Pheidole hasticeps   Wilson, 2003 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2022)

Pheidole hasticeps Wilson, 2003a: 704, figs. (s.w.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Costa Rica: Cordillera de Tilar‡n, Meseta Central, Cordillera de Talamanca.


Natural History:

This species occurs in disturbed habitats of mid to high elevation sites. It has been found in coffee farms and suburban areas in the Central Valley and in scrubby pasture edge on the dry Pacific slope just below Monteverde. Two collections have been from beneath stones. Bob Anderson collected the species at a high elevation site, 2500m, at Valle de Silencio in the southern Talamanca range. This collection is of very dark specimens, like the types.


I used to consider this species a potential synonym of subarmata. Examination of additional material has revealed patterns of variation that suggest distinct species. The abundant La Selva material of subarmata shows little variation and is very similar to material I have seen from Honduras, suggesting stability of these characters over distance. In contrast, the types of hasticeps from San JosŽ de Monta–a, a soldier collected from beneath a stone in INBioParque in Santo Domingo de Heredia, and a nest series from beneath a stone near Estacion Biologica Los Llanos west of Santa Elena (near Monteverde) share a set of characters distinct from La Selva subarmata. Consistent characters in the soldier are the larger teeth of the hypostomal margin, the smooth median portion of face posterior to clypeus, and more rounded frontal carinae in side view. The minor workers of the two species are extremely similar, but La Selva subarmata have the propodeal spines as little more than blunt angles or tubercles, while hasticeps have a more distinct spine, albeit very short. The color seems to vary dramatically. The types and Valle de Silencio specimens are dark brown, while the Santo Domingo and Monteverde material is light brown to yellow.

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 hasticepsHNS new species

Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.

Etymology L hasticepsHNS, spear-headed, referring to the major.

Diagnosis Closely similar to subarmataHNS, but differing by the following traits.

Major: larger and more darkly colored; pronotum bilobous; propodeal spines longer and thinner, postpetiolar nodal margins more sharply angulate; carinulae mesad to the eyes extend halfway to the occipital border.

Minor: larger and darker, otherwise nearly identical to subarmataHNS.

See also the less similar allarmataHNS, cramptoniHNS, synarmataHNS, and triplexHNS.

Measurements (mm) Holotype major: HW 1.20, HL 1.40, SL 0.60, EL 0.16, PW 0.64.

Paratype minor: HW 0.52, HL 0.54, SL 0.54, EL 0.10, PW 0.34.

Color Major: head and body dark brown, appendages light to medium brown.

Minor: head and body medium brown, appendages light brown.

Range Known only from the type locality.

Biology Unknown.

Figure Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. COSTA RICA: San Jose de la Montana, 10 km north of Heredia (Yvette Perfecto). Scale bars = 1 mm.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 90 times found in mesophil forest, 32 times found in montane wet forest, 24 times found in ridgetop cloud forest, 20 times found in lowland wet forest, 11 times found in wet forest, 4 times found in 2° moist forest, 11 times found in cloud forest, primary, along steep ridge near peak, 4 times found in mature wet forest, 9 times found in cloud forest, probably old second growth, matrix of dense bamboo and more open forest, 3 times found in 2nd growth wet forest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 110 times at bait, 69 times ex sifted leaf litter, 24 times Hojarasca, 5 times under stone, 2 times in soil, 3 times ground bait, 2 times bajo de M/19, 1 times bajo de M/06, 2 times suelo, 1 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 1 times forest litter, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 98 times Baiting, 56 times miniWinkler, 18 times search, 24 times Mini Winkler, 11 times bait, 9 times maxiWinkler, 5 times Winkler, 5 times Berlese, 3 times flight intercept trap, 1 times 6L sifted litter, extracted in Winkler sack over 36 hours, 1 times hand collected, ...

Elevations: collected from 170 - 2500 meters, 1020 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1985-08-22 00:00:00.0 and 2020-02-16 00:00:00.0

Type specimens:

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