Pheidole epiphyta, Longino, J. T., 2009

Longino, J. T., 2009, Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 2181, pp. 1-90 : 29-31

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scientific name

Pheidole epiphyta

new species

Pheidole epiphyta   HNS new species

Figure 6

Holotype major worker. Costa Rica, Alajuela: Casa Eladio, Rio Penas Blancas, 10.31667°N 84.71667°W, ±2000m, 800m, 3 Mar 2004 (J. Longino#5284) [ INBC, unique specimen identifier CASENT0608898].

Paratypes: major and minor workers. Same data as holotype [ BMNH, CAS, EAPZ, ECOSCE, FMNH, INBC, JTLC, LACM, MCZ, MHNG, MIZA, MZSP, MEL, UCD, UNAM, ICN, USNM, UVGC].

Geographic Range

Costa Rica.


The morphometric profile of this species is unique. Minor worker: the combination of uniformly foveolate face and mesosoma, lack of promesonotal groove, very long posteriorly-directed propodeal spines, long scapes, and orange color is distinctive. Major worker: the combination of strongly cordate head, long scapes, uniformly foveolate sculpture over most of face, long propodeal spines, and orange color is distinctive.

Description of minor worker

Measurements (paratype): HL 0.65, HW 0.54, HLA 0.22, SL 0.71, EL 0.15, ML 0.82, PSL 0.12, PMG 0.00, SPL 0.04, PTW 0.11, PPW 0.14, CI 84, SI 130, PSLI 18, PMGI 0, SPLI 6, PPI 125.

Mandible and clypeus smooth and shining; face uniformly foveolate; margin of vertex rounded; occipital carina narrow, visible in full face view; scape with abundant erect setae longer than maximum width of scape; pronotal humerus weakly developed as obtuse prominence; promesonotal groove indistinct; propodeal spines present, large; entire mesosoma foveolate; abundant setae on promesonotal dorsum; dorsal (outer) margin of hind tibia with abundant suberect setae longer than maximum width of tibia; first gastral tergum smooth and shining; gastral dorsum with abundant erect setae; color orange.

Description of major worker

Measurements (holotype): HL 1.17, HW 1.18, HLA 0.29, SL 0.72, EL 0.18, ML 0.97, PSL 0.23, PMG 0.00, SPL 0.05, PTW 0.17, PPW 0.24, IHT 0.21, OHT 0.40, CI 100, SI 61, PSLI 19, PMGI 0, SPLI 4, PPI 143, HTI 52.

Head cordate; mandible smooth and shiny; clypeus shining, smooth with weak median carina, 2-3 more prominent carinae anterior to frontal carinae, anterior margin straight but with small semicircular impression; face with longitudinal rugae between frontal carina and compound eye and between frontal carinae, rest of face foveolate; head with abundant suberect setae projecting from sides of head in face view; scape smooth and shining or minutely rugulose, terete at base, with abundant erect setae longer than maximum width of scape; hypostomal margin straight; a small blunt median tooth present; inner hypostomal teeth distinct, closer to midline than to outer hypostomal teeth; promesonotal groove indistinct; propodeal spines present, large; mesosoma largely foveolate; dorsal (outer) margin of hind tibia with abundant erect setae, some longer than maximum width of tibia; pilosity abundant on mesosomal dorsum; first gastral tergite smooth and shining, with abundant erect setae; color orange.


This species occurs in mid-elevation wet forest. It is known from one collection, a nest under epiphytes in a less than 1-month old treefall.


The name is in reference to the nesting habits of this species.


Costa Rica, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio)


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


USA, California, San Francisco, California Academy of Sciences


Honduras, Tegucigalpa, Escuela Agricola Panamericana


USA, Illinois, Chicago, Field Museum of Natural History (also used by Finnish Museum of Natural History)


John T. Longino


USA, California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History


USA, Massachusetts, Cambridge, Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology


Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Venezuela, Maracay, Museuo del Instituto de Zoologia Agricola


Brazil, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo


USA, California, Davis, University of California, R.M. Bohart Museum of Entomology


Mexico, Mexico D.F., Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico


Colombia, Bogota, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Insituto de Ciencias Naturales de la Universidad Nacional


USA, Washington D.C., National Museum of Natural History, [formerly, United States National Museum]


Guatemala, Guatemala City, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Collecion de Artropodos













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