Pheidole vistana

Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. -1--1: 360-361

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Pheidole vistana


Pheidole vistana  HNS  Forel

Pheidole longipes var. vistana  HNS  Forel 1914d: 272, raised to species level by D. R. Smith 1979. Syn.: Pheidole grallipes Wheeler  HNS  1916g: 40, replacement name for susannae  HNS  longipes Pergande  HNS  1896: 885, which is ajunior secondary homonym of longipes Latreille  HNS  1802a: 233, synonymy by Gregg 1959: 22.

types Mus. Hist. Nat. Geneve.

Etymology Unknown.

Diagnosis Similar to species listed in heading above, differing from these and other members of the fallax  HNS  group as follows. Major: yellow; slender; with extremely long scapes, exceeding the occipital corners by a third their own length; all of head, mesosoma, and waist foveolate and opaque; all of first gastral tergite shagreened and opaque; rugoreticulum present just laterad to each antennal fossa.

Minor: yellow; slender; extremely long antennal scapes, exceeding the occipital border by more than half their own length; occiput narrow, with nuchal collar; all of head, mesosoma, and waist foveolate and opaque; all of central strip of first gastral tergite shagreened and opaque.

Measurements (mm) Major (La Jolla, California): HW 1.30, HL 1.48, SL 1.54, EL 0.26, PW 0.60. Minor (La Jolla, California): HW 0.64, HL 0.96, SL 1.52, EL 0.20, PW 0.44. color Major: concolorous dark yellow. Minor: concolorous medium yellow.

range Southern California and adjacent northern Mexico. There is a single series in the Museum of Comparative Zoology from Tucson, Arizona.

biology In Deep Canyon, G. C. and J. N. Wheeler (1973e) found two nests of this distinctive species under palo verde (Cercidium floridum) trees, in nests ringed by craters of sand and with very large diameters. The workers are active at dusk but not during the day. They feed exclusively on insects, attacking larger prey in groups and spread-eagling their legs to render them helpless. The workers are also very efficient at forming gangs to transport large prey to the nests. Wheeler and Wheeler called them "ghost ants," because in dim light the legs of foraging minors could not be seen, and the bodies appeared to float above the surface. The Wheelers also reported an instance of vistana  HNS  workers invading a house at Deep Canyon.

Figure Upper: major. Lower: minor. CALIFORNIA: La Jolla. Scale bars = 1 mm.