Pheidole praeusta Roger

Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. -1--1: 340

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Pheidole praeusta Roger


Pheidole praeusta Roger  HNS 

Pheidole praeusta Roger  HNS  1863a: 197.

Types Mus. National Hist. Nat. Paris.

Etymology Unknown.

diagnosis A member of a complex of Pheidole  HNS  species, with giant majors and short bristly hair, in the larger fallax  HNS  group comprising astur  HNS  , oxyops  HNS  , praeusta  HNS  , and trageri  HNS  ; praeusta  HNS  is distinguished among them by the following combination of traits. Major: rugoreticulum lacking on head; carinulae immediately next to the midline of the dorsal surface of the head reach the occiput; occipital lobes smooth and shiny; mesonotal convexity prominent; propodeal spines small, thin, and vertical to the basal propodeal face; postpetiolar node seen from above elliptical, with angulate lateral margins; anterior and lateral margins of pronotal dorsum transversely carinulate; propodeum completely carinulate.

Minor: occiput narrowed somewhat, with nuchal collar; dorsal margin of petiolar node bidentate in rear view: propodeal spine reduced to denticle; pronotum entirely smooth and shiny.

Measurements (mm) Holotype major (Mus. National Hist. Nat. Paris): HW 2.34, HL 2.78, SL 1.10, EL 0.30, PW 0.92.

Minor (Barranquilla, Colombia): HW 0.60, HL 0.78, SL 0.96, EL 0.16, PW 0.42.

Color Major: concolorous reddish yellow ("orange").

Minor: body reddish brown except for gaster, which is dark brown.

Range Known only from the two localities listed above in Colombia, as well as at the Rancho de Volador, near Dibulla, also in Colombia.

biology The nests of praeusta  HNS  found by Forel at Barranquilla and Dibulla had a unique structure. The nest entrance of each was a convoluted slit surrounded by a narrow elevated earthen wall, 2 cm high off the level of the surrounding soil, 4 to 6 cm in diameter, and turning outward toward the upper rim, and overall "resembling the calyx of a large monopetalous flower." Forel did not comment on the matter, but the praeusta  HNS  entrance and superstructure are remarkably similar to the fortified cerumen nest entrances of some meliponine bees.

Figure Upper: major. Lower: minor. COLOMBIA: Barranquilla (Auguste Forel). Major compared with holotype major in Museum National d'Historie Naturelle, Paris; the specimen is labeled "Island, Colombia, 1820" and lacks the waist and gaster). Scale bars = 1 mm.