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Species: Pheidole flavens   Roger, 1863 

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Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Extant: 1 valid subspecies

Pheidole flavens Roger, 1863a PDF: 198 (s.w.q.) CUBA. Neotropic. Primary type information: Primary type material: neotype major worker (by designation of Wilson, 2003a: 419). Primary type locality: neotype Cuba: Barrajagua, Las Villas (E.O. Wilson). Primary type depository: MCZC. Type notes: 1) Wilson also designates a minor worker as a “paraneotype”, a category not recognised by ICZN. 2) Original syntype data: major workers, minor workers (numbers not stated), 1 queen; type locality: Cuba: (no further data); type depository: MNHN or MNHU. Wilson, 2003a: 419, says that the original type material could not be found. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Neotype designation: Wilson, 2003a: 419.
Status as species: Roger, 1863b PDF: 31; Mayr, 1863a PDF: 440; Mayr, 1870b PDF: 981 (in key); Mayr, 1887 PDF: 593 (in key); Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 90; Emery, 1894d PDF: 155; Forel, 1895b PDF: 141; Emery, 1896g PDF: 82 (in key); Forel, 1899b PDF: 77; Wheeler, 1905c PDF: 92, 125; Forel, 1908c PDF: 60; Forel, 1908a PDF: 65; Forel, 1913m PDF: 230; Wheeler, 1913b PDF: 493; Wheeler & Mann, 1914 PDF: 24; Mann, 1916 PDF: 439; Wheeler, 1917g PDF: 459; Mann, 1920b PDF: 427; Emery, 1922c PDF: 107; Wheeler, 1922: 1018; Wheeler, 1922e PDF: 6; Wheeler, 1925a PDF: 23; Santschi, 1930e PDF: 77; Kusnezov, 1952d PDF: 71 (in key); Kusnezov, 1953c PDF: 337; Smith, 1954c PDF: 4; Gregg, 1959 PDF: 13 (in key); Kempf, 1972b PDF: 191; Alayo, 1974 PDF: 11 (in key); Smith, 1979: 1370; Bolton, 1995b: 321; Deyrup et al., 2000: 296; Deyrup, 2003 PDF: 46; Wilson, 2003a: 419 (redescription); LaPolla & Cover, 2005 PDF: 371; Wild, 2007b PDF: 34; Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012 PDF: 259; Ellison et al., 2012: 303; Bezděčková et al., 2015 PDF: 119; Sarnat et al., 2015 10.3897/zookeys.543.6050 PDF: 42 (redescription); Deyrup, 2017: 88; Longino, 2019 PDF: 72; Lubertazzi, 2019 10.3099/MCZ-43.1 PDF: 143; Serna et al., 2019 PDF: 948 (redescription).
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Galapagos Islands, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United States
    Asia: India
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Indomalaya, Nearctic, Neotropical
  Native to (according to species list records):
    Indomalaya, Neotropical bioregions

Distribution Notes:

Very widespread in Neotropics: Florida, West Indies, Central America, South America to southern Brazil. Costa Rica: throughout the country to about 1000m elevation.


This species is very common and very generalized. It is found in dry forest and wet forest habitats. It is common in Winkler samples and at baits. Nests are found in small cavities (under dead wood on ground, in dead sticks, in dead knots on tree trunks, under bark flaps, under epiphytes) from litter layer to high canopy.

Wilson (2005) observed that P. flavens and two other species of small Pheidole (bilimeki and nebulosa) frequently prey on oribatid mites in the leaf litter.



BOLD specimens show multiple clusters of flavens-like specimens. One cluster is from Nicaragua and NW Costa Rica. One is from Belize, central and north coastal Honduras, NW and eastern Costa Rica. One is from BCI, Panama. One is from Ecuador. Two clusters are sympatric in NW Costa Rica. No morphological differences have been detected.


Wilson (2003) considers there to be two closely related species, flavens and exigua, that have broadly overlapping ranges. The type locality of exigua is French Guiana. The type locality of flavens is Cuba (based on a Neotype designated by Wilson). In the key to the flavens group the two species are distinguished at couplet 129: the edges of the pronotal humeri bear small patches of rugoreticulum in flavens and lack rugoreticulum in exigua. We have not been able to separate Costa Rican material into two 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 flavens nov. sp ..  Roger, J., 1863, Die neu aufgeführten Gattungen und Arten meines Formiciden-Verzeichnisses, nebst Ergänzung einiger früher gegeben Beschreibungen., Berliner Entomologische Zeitschrift 7, pp. 131-214: 198, (download) 198 4101
Pheidole flavens   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 35, (download) 35 21367
Pheidole perpusilla   Longino, J. T., 2009, Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 2181, pp. 1-90: 60-61, (download) 60-61 22820
Pheidole flavens   Forel, A., 1908, Fourmis de Costa-Rica, récoltées par M. Paul Biolley., Bulletin de la Societe Vaudoise des Sciences Naturelles 44, pp. 35-72: 60, (download) 60 4014
Pheidole flavens   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 34, (download) 34 21367
Pheidole flavens   Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press: 419-420, (download) 419-420 20017

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 174 times found in mature wet forest, 110 times found in montane wet forest, 102 times found in tropical rainforest, 100 times found in tropical wet forest, 83 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 63 times found in tropical moist forest, 35 times found in 2º wet forest, 21 times found in wet forest, 30 times found in rainforest, 33 times found in lowland rainforest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 590 times ex sifted leaf litter, 169 times at bait, 48 times Hojarasca, 18 times sifted litter, 12 times ex sifted litter, 9 times beating vegetation, 1 times nest under rock, 3 times at baits, 6 times Sobre Vegetacion, 4 times Del cruce de Cascante hacia el Ceibo, 2 times under epiphytes, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 473 times miniWinkler, 155 times baiting, 108 times Winkler, 62 times search, 52 times MaxiWinkler, 38 times Berlese, 44 times Mini Winkler, 32 times Fogging, 29 times Malaise, 13 times bait, 13 times Beating, ...

Elevations: collected from 2 - 1860 meters, 310 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1927-06-05 00:00:00.0 and 2021-05-30 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: Lectotype of Pheidole flavens tuberculata: casent0915953; Not Provided: casent0283262, casent0713566, casent0713567, casent0717927; paralectotype of Pheidole flavens tuberculata: casent0915954; paratype Pheidole kuna: jtlc000016422; syntype of Pheidole flavens vincentensis: casent0901615; syntype of Pheidole flavens gracilior: casent0908267, casent0908268; syntype of Pheidole flavens haytiana: casent0908260; syntype of Pheidole flavens navigans: casent0908270; syntype of Pheidole flavens vincentensis: casent0908261, casent0908262; syntype of Pheidole flavens spei: casent0913323, casent0913324; type of Pheidole flavens haytiana: focol0032, focol0033; Type of unavailable quadrinomial: Pheidole flavens tuberculata platensis: casent0908276, casent0908277; Type of unavailable quadrinomial: Pheidole flavens tuberculata putata: casent0908275

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