Pheidole vorax

Longino, J. T., 2009, Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 2181, pp. 1-90: 85-86

publication ID

22820

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:F84E23F9-9FE9-4728-B51D-3078D6EDB7E2

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/3D08392F-6A88-EDF2-A1B2-10913166F677

treatment provided by

Christiana

scientific name

Pheidole vorax
status

 

Pheidole vorax  HNS 

Formica vorax Fabricius  HNS  , 1804: 412. Lectotype and two paralectotype queens, here designated: Central America [ ZMUC] (images examined). Roger, 1863: 30: combination in Aphaenogaster  HNS  . Emery, 1915: 69: combination in Pheidole  HNS  .

Pheidole cephalica Smith  HNS  , F. 1858:177, pl. 9, figs. 21-23. Syntype major, minor worker: Brazil, Amazonas, Tunantins (Bates) [ BMNH] (not examined). New Synonymy.

Pheidole opaca Mayr  HNS  , 1862: 749. Syntype major, minor worker: Brazil, "Im Gebiete des Amazonenstromes" [Amazonian region] (M. C. Vienn) (not examined). Forel, 1899: 69: description of queen. Borgmeier, 1934: 97: description of queen. Kempf, 1965: 183: junior synonym of P. cephalica  HNS  . New Synonymy.

Pheidole opaca var. incrustata Forel  HNS  , 1908: 59. Syntype minor worker: Costa Rica, Tuis (Pittier) [ MHNG] (examined).

Kempf, 1972: 188: subspecies of P. cephalica  HNS  . Wilson, 2003: 674: junior synonym of P. cephalica  HNS  . New Synonymy. Pheidole opaca subsp. sarrita Forel  HNS  , 1908: 59. Syntype minor worker: Costa Rica, Surubres, near San Mateo (Biolley) [ MHNG] (examined). Kempf, 1972: 188: subspecies of P. cephalica  HNS  . Wilson, 2003: 674: junior synonym of P cephalica  HNS  . New Synonymy.

Pheidole opaca subsp. apterostigmoides Weber  HNS  , 1943: 71, fig. 3. Syntype major, minor worker: Trinidad, Basin Hill Forest Reserve, 1 Apr 1935 (Weber) (not examined). Kempf, 1972: 188: subspecies of P. cephalica  HNS  . Wilson, 2003: 674: junior synonym of P. cephalica  HNS  . New Synonymy.

Geographic Range

Mainland Neotropics from southern Mexico to Amazon basin and Bolivia.

Biology

This species occurs in wet to moist forest habitats. It nests in dead wood on or near the ground. Workers recruit to dead insects and other baits, and also harvest seeds. Large seed caches can be found in nests. Wilson (1987) demonstrated that minor workers were extremely sensitive to the presence of standing water. Even a few drops in the nest of a laboratory colony caused it to immediately evacuate the nest.

Comments

Three syntype queens are in the Fabricius collection at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. Dr. L. Vilhelmsen provided images and measurements of the queens, and they match in every respect Smith's P. cephalica  HNS  . This is a widespread and distinctive species without closely similar species with which it might be confused, so the synonymy seems secure. One of the queens has a type label, based on the informal "typification" carried out by Zimsen (1964). At the recommendation of L. Vilhelmsen, curator of the collection, the specimen with the type label is formally designated Lectotype in this paper.

There is geographic variation in sculpture and color. In Costa Rica, minor workers from Corcovado National Park in the southern Pacific lowlands have the face and mesosoma evenly foveolate, overlain with relatively weak rugae, and the color is light orange. Specimens from near Monteverde on the Pacific slope of the Cordillera de Tilaran have the face and mesosoma with coarse, abundant, reticulate rugae, these overlying a largely smooth and shining integument, and the color is light orange. This form matches closely the subspecies P. incrustata  HNS  . Specimens from the Penas Blancas Valley, a short distance east of Monteverde on the Atlantic slope, are very similar but the color is darker red orange. Specimens from La Selva Biological Station and elsewhere in the Atlantic lowlands have the coarsely rugose sculpture of Monteverde specimens, but increasing underlying foveolation on the mesosoma, like the Corcovado specimens, and the color is darker red orange. This form matches the subspecies P. sarrita  HNS  .

ZMUC

Denmark, Kobenhavn [= Copenhagen], University of Copenhagen, Zoological Museum

BMNH

United Kingdom, London, The Natural History Museum [formerly British Museum (Natural History)]

MHNG

Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Insecta

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Formicidae

Genus

Pheidole