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Species: Pheidole nebulosa   Wilson, 2003 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Pheidole nebulosa Wilson, 2003a: 470, figs. (s.w.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. Primary type information: Primary type material: holotype major worker. Primary type locality: Costa Rica: Heredia, La Selva Biological Station, nr Puerto Viejo (S. Cover). Primary type depository: MCZC. Secondary type information: Secondary type material: 1 paratype minor worker. Secondary type locality: same as for holotype. Secondary type depository: MCZC. Type notes: Details of paratype castes and their numbers are not given. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

// Distribution


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

Distribution Notes:

Mexico to Costa Rica. Costa Rica: Atlantic lowlands.


This species inhabits mature wet forest. It appears to be both arboreal and terrestrial, occurring commonly in forest floor leaf litter and in the canopy. Nests are in irregular cavities in dead wood. Wilson (2005) observed that P. nebulosa and two other species of small Pheidole (flavens and bilimeki) frequently prey on oribatid mites in the leaf litter.


Pheidole nebulosa has a highly distinctive feature in the major workers: there is a single large rounded medial tooth on the hypostomal margin and no inner hypostomal teeth. All other Central American Pheidole in the same size range and with similar sculptural features have inner hypostomal teeth.


The only difference between the types of P. scabriventris and P. nebulosa is color. The former is red brown instead of yellow.

There are three specimens on BOLD, from Honduras, Nicaragua, and Cosa Rica. They form a tight cluster, suggesting a single widespread species.


Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A Dominant, Hyperdiverse Ant Genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass

Wilson, E. O. 2005. Oribatid mite predation by small ants of the genus Pheidole. Insectes Sociaux 52:263-265.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Pheidole nebulosa new species  Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press: 470, (download) 470 20017
Pheidole nebulosa   Longino, J. T., 2009, Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 2181, pp. 1-90: 57-58, (download) 57-58 22820

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 155 times found in mature wet forest, 111 times found in lowland rainforest, 89 times found in tropical moist forest, 73 times found in tropical rainforest, 58 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 57 times found in montane wet forest, 24 times found in lowland wet forest, 25 times found in 2º wet forest, 19 times found in 2nd mesophyl forest, 7 times found in CES (700.350 GIS), ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 353 times ex sifted leaf litter, 273 times at bait, 33 times Hojarasca, 9 times Primary, 6 times Primary forest, 6 times beating vegetation, 1 times Tronco podrido, 2 times foragers at cookie bait, 1 times ex sifted litter, 1 times pecan sandie bait, 1 times nest under epiphytes in old treefall, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 286 times baiting, 316 times miniWinkler, 33 times Winkler, 13 times search, 24 times MaxiWinkler, 15 times bait, 19 times Mini Winkler, 7 times Search & Berles, 16 times Berlese, 15 times Lure/Bait, 16 times Malaise, ...

Elevations: collected from 30 - 1380 meters, 328 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1929-05-10 00:00:00.0 and 2019-06-15 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: paratype Pheidole nebulosa: jtlc000016469; paratype Pheidole scabriventris: jtlc000016521

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