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Species: Pheidole tschinkeli   Wilson, 2003 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2022)

Pheidole tschinkeli Wilson, 2003a: 242, figs. (s.w.) GUATEMALA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL
// Distribution


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

Distribution Notes:

Southern Mexico to Honduras, sea-level to 1800m.


Similar species: P. leoncortesi

 Pheidole leoncortesi is sympatric with tschinkeli in the lowlands of eastern Chiapas. In the zone of sympatry minor worker of tschinkeli differs from leoncortesi as follows: sculpture on katepisternum and side of propodeum foveolate-rugose vs. uniformly foveolate; dorsal face of propodeum often faintly foveolate vs. smooth and shining; SI greater than 140 vs. 120-130; mesosomal dorsum with 2-15 erect setae vs. always with more than 10 erect setae; propodeal spines vary from short and tapering to sharp point to elongate and non-tapering, with blunt tip, vs. propodeal spines always short and tapering to sharp point. Major worker differing as follows: SI 79-81 vs. 67-73; propodeal spines characters as in minor worker. However, tschinkeli gradually acquires leoncortesi characters in the southern part of the range, in Honduras. 


Specimens from the type locality in the Peten region of Guatemala have the propodeal spines of both minor and major long, peculiarly shaped, thin but not tapering, with blunt tip. The mesosomal dorsum has multiple stiff, dark, erect setae. The color is dark brown. In the lowlands of eastern Chiapas the spines are highly variable, varying continuously from the blunt-tipped form to shorter, more tapering spines. The variation can be discordant among minors and majors from the same colony, and sometimes varies among majors from the same colony. The color and pilosity are like the Peten populations. In La Union, Zacapa, Guatemala, across the Motagua fault, a population has variable length spines; much reduced pilosity on the dorsal mesosoma, and the mesosoma is lighter orange brown, contrasting with the darker head and gaster. Populations in Honduras have short, tapering propodeal spines, sparse dorsal setae, and dark mesosoma. 

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 tschinkeliHNS new species

Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.

Etymology Named after the collector and distinguished myrmecologist Walter R. Tschinkel.

diagnosis A member of the diligensHNS group similar to animaHNS, indistinctaHNS, perdiligensHNS, and piceonigraHNS, differing markedly as follows. Major: propodeal spines stout, half as long as the basal propodeal face, and curved posteriorly; antennal scapes just reach the occipital border; mesopleuron and sides of propodeum longitudinally rugulose; postpetiolar node laterally angular; pilosity sparse and long, with some hairs 2X the Eye Length; head bicolorous.

Minor: propodeal spines stout, half as long as the basal propodeal face; mesopleuron longitudinally rugulose; occiput narrowed but lacking nuchal collar.

Measurements (mm) Holotype major: HW 1.04, HL 1.00, SL 0.82, EL 0.20, PW 0.54. Paratype minor: HW 0.56, HL 0.66, SL 0.80, EL 0.04, PW 0.42.

Color Major: head and body dark, almost blackish brown except for genae, which are dark yellow; appendages brownish to medium yellow.

Minor: head and body dark, almost blackish brown; appendages brownish to medium brown.

Range Known only from the type locality.

Biology The nest of the type colony was found in a piece of rotten wood near the Tikal ruins.

Figure Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. GUATEMALA: El Peten Tikal National Park, near ruins (Walter R. Tschinkel). Scale bars = 1 mm.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 69 times found in mesophil forest, 32 times found in disturbed cloud forest, 70 times found in cloud forest, 79 times found in mesophyll forest, 44 times found in ridgetop cloud forest, 23 times found in lowland wet forest, 18 times found in montane wet forest, 22 times found in disturbed pine-oak forest, 15 times found in tropical moist forest, 12 times found in montane rainforest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 317 times at bait, 75 times ex sifted leaf litter, 56 times beating vegetation, 6 times nest, 3 times forest litter, 2 times ex dead wood, 1 times at bait on vegetation, 1 times rotten log, 1 times pit fall, 1 times ex rotten wood, 2 times blue pan trap, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 316 times Baiting, 56 times Beating, 45 times MiniWinkler, 27 times MaxiWinkler, 14 times search, 4 times Berlese, 1 times pit fall, 2 times Winkler, 2 times blue pan trap, 2 times white pan trap, 2 times Malaise, ...

Elevations: collected from 140 - 1860 meters, 1213 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1990-04-25 00:00:00.0 and 2016-07-14 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: Not Provided: casent0713570, casent0713571, casent0713572, casent0717273; paratype Pheidole tschinkeli: jtlc000016563

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