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Species: Pheidole boltoni   Wilson, 2003 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2020)

Pheidole boltoni Wilson, 2003a: 666, figs. (s.w.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Senior synonym of Pheidole humida: Longino, 2009 PDF: 17.
// Distribution


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

Distribution Notes:

Costa Rica: Volcan Barva, Monteverde.


This species is a montane cloud forest specialist. In the tropics ant abundance declines dramatically between 1500 and 2000m and ants are very difficult to find above 2000m. Pheidole boltoni occurs in a narrow band at the very upper edge of of ants' natural occurrence.

Pheidole boltoni was first collected in 1979 by Phil Ward in Monteverde cloud forest. He collected a nest series (Ward #3450) in a rotten log. A specimen from this collection is the holotype of Pheidole humida Wilson 2003. In 1986 I collected three nest series (Longino #1329, #1330, #1336) at 1850m elevation on the Volcan Barva transect in Braulio Carrillo National Park. All three nests were under epiphyte mats in treefalls and branchfalls. One nest was observed with definite seed caches (perhaps melastome seeds). I used the morphospecies code name JTL-027 for this species, and a specimen from one of these collections is the holotye of P. boltoni Wilson 2003. I recently collected the species again during the Project ALAS expedition to the 2000m Vara Blanca site along the Volcan Barva transect. The site is cloud forest, with heavy epiphyte loads on all the larger trees. Nests of Pheidole boltoni were found beneath epiphytes in a fresh treefall in mature forest.

Judging from images of the P. humida holotype, P. humida and P. boltoni are synonyms.

It is notable that Pheidole boltoni has not been collected in Monteverde since Ward's original collection, in spite of abundant collecting in the area by Longino and Cover. Perhaps climate change has driven it out of Monteverde, along with the golden toads.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Pheidole boltoni new species  Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press: 666, (download) 666 20017
Pheidole boltoni   Longino, J. T., 2009, Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 2181, pp. 1-90: 17, (download) 17 22820

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 9 times found in montane wet forest, 2 times found in cloud forest, 2 times found in montane wet forest treefall, 1 times found in montane rainforest, 2 times found in cloud forest, oak forest, on ridgetop, 3 times found in mature wet forest, 2 times found in cloud forest, mature but probably disturbed, some big trees, bordering road on steep slope.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 4 times ex sifted leaf litter, 1 times ex rotten log, 3 times under epiphytes, 1 times in moss clump, 1 times in epiphytes, 2 times Hojarasca, 1 times at bait, 1 times bajo de M/08, 1 times nest under epiphytes, 1 times camino de la toma de agua, 1 times Sobre Vegetacion, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 3 times search, 4 times Malaise, 2 times Berlese, 2 times maxiWinkler, 1 times baiting, 2 times Mini Winkler, 1 times flight intercept trap, 2 times miniWinkler, 1 times Sweeping.

Elevations: collected from 1400 - 2160 meters, 1919 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1979-05-20 and 2015-06-26

Type specimens: holotype major Pheidole boltoni: inbiocri002279980; holotype major Pheidole humida: casent0624223; paratype Pheidole boltoni: casent0624221, casent0624222, inbiocri002279982; paratype Pheidole humida: casent0624224, casent0624225

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