Pheidole aurea , Wilson, E. O., 2003

Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. -1--1: 557

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Pheidole aurea

new species

Pheidole aurea  HNS  new species

Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.

ETYMOLOGY L aurea  HNS  , gold, referring to the yellow color of both worker castes, and the type locality (El Dorado).

diagnosis A member of the " bicarinata  HNS  complex" of the larger pilifera  HNS  group, comprising agricola  HNS  , aurea  HNS  , bajaensis  HNS  , barbata  HNS  , bicarinata  HNS  , centeotl  HNS  , cerebrosior  HNS  , defecta  HNS  , gilvescens  HNS  , macclendoni  HNS  , macrops  HNS  , marcidula  HNS  , paiute  HNS  , pinealis  HNS  , psammophila  HNS  , vinelandica  HNS  , xerophila  HNS  , yaqui  HNS  , and yucatana  HNS  ; which complex is characterized by the large to very large forward-set eyes of both castes; and in the major, the occipital lobes lacking any sculpturing (except in aurea  HNS  ); the posterior half of the head capsule almost entirely smooth and shiny; and the postpetiolar node seen from above oval, elliptical, or laterally angulate (cornulate in cerebrosior  HNS  ).

P. aurea  HNS  in particular is distinguished by the following combination of traits.

Major: yellow; occiput with narrow band of transverse rugulae, which do not extend all the way across the occipital lobes; propodeal spines blunt, equilaterally triangular; humerus subangulate in dorsal-oblique view; postpetiolar node elliptical when seen from above. Minor: clavate hairs present on promesonotal dorsum.

Measurements (mm) Holotype major: HW 0.84, HL 0.92, SL 0.50, EL 0.20, PW 0.40.

Paratype minor: HW 0.42, HL 0.48, SL 0.46, EL 0.12, PW 0.26.

Color Major: medium yellow, head slightly darker in shade than rest of body.

Minor: concolorous medium yellow.

Range Known only from the type locality.

BioiLOGY Unknown.

Figure Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. TEXAS: 5 km northwest of Eldorado, Schleicher Co. (O. F. Francke). Scale bars = 1 mm.