Pheidole komori, Fischer & Fisher, 2013

FISCHER, G. & FISHER, B. L., 2013, A revision of Pheidole Westwood (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the islands of the Southwest Indian Ocean and designation of a neotype for the invasive Pheidole megacephala, Zootaxa 3683 (4), pp. 301-356 : 328-330

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.3683.4.1

publication LSID


persistent identifier

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scientific name

Pheidole komori

sp. nov.

Pheidole komori sp. n.

( Figs. 19A–F View FIGURE 19 )

Holotype: (major worker), COMOROS, Mohéli, Lac Boundouni , 12.3792 S, 43.8517 E, 25m, dry forest, ground forager (s), collection code BLF20787, 20.i.2009 (B.L. Fisher et al.) ( CASC: CASENT0147188 ). GoogleMaps

Paratypes: (1 major & 2 minor workers) same data as holotype, collection code BLF20777 ( CASC: CASENT0147136 ); GoogleMaps (1 major & 3 minor workers) Mohéli, Lac Boundouni , 12.3792 S, 43.8517 E, 25m, dry forest, under stone, collection code BLF20809, 20.i.2009 (B.L. Fisher et al.) ( CASC: CASENT0147143 CASENT0147145 , CASENT0147500 ); GoogleMaps (1 major & 8 minor workers) Mohéli, Lac Boundouni , 12.3792 S, 43.8517 E, 25m, dry forest, sifted leaf litter, collection code BLF20824, 20.i.2009 (B.L. Fisher et al.) ( BMNH: CASENT0149204 ; CASC: CASENT0149121 , CASENT0149200 , CASENT0149201 , CASENT0149203 ; GoogleMaps MCZC: CASENT0149205 ; GoogleMaps MHNG: CASENT0149207 View Materials , GoogleMaps SAMC: CASENT0149209 View Materials ) GoogleMaps .

Diagnosis: Moderately large species (WL majors 1.12–1.20 mm, WL minors 0.76–0.83 mm), minor workers with relatively long scapes and legs (SI 120–144, FI 123–156), major workers with relatively short scapes (SI 49– 50) and moderately long legs (FI 68–73), both with angulate promesonotal process present and angulate. Major postpetiole with small, acute ventral process and head distinctly longer than wide (CI 82–88). Antennal scrobe absent, posterolateral lobes smooth and shiny or with short weak rugulae, hypostomal margin with submedian teeth relatively large and median process well developed. Minor postpetiolar ventral process conspicuous, postpetiole on average 1.1 times wider than long (DPpI 106–115).

Description of major workers: Measurements (holotype): HW 1.49, HL 1.76, SL 0.71, MDL 0.78, EL 0.20, WL 1.13, PNH 0.48, PNW 0.65, MNH 0.80, PDH 0.40, PTL 0.45, PPL 0.27, PTH 0.27, PPH 0.29, PTW 0.23, PPW 0.45, PSL 0.18, MFL 1.05, MTL 0.77, CI 85, SI 48, MDI 52, EI 13, FI 70, PSLI 12, LPpI 93, DPpI 167, PpWI 196, PpLI 60, PpHI 107.

Measurements (n=4): HW 1.40–1.48 (1.45), HL 1.69–1.81 (1.73), SL 0.70–0.73 (0.72), MDL 0.70–0.78 (0.75), EL 0.20, WL 1.12–1.20 (1.16), PNH 0.49–0.51 (0.50), PNW 0.63–0.67 (0.64), MNH 0.75–0.80 (0.78), PDH 0.36–0.41 (0.39), PTL 0.42–0.48 (0.44), PPL 0.25–0.28 (0.26), PTH 0.26–0.29 (0.27), PPH 0.26–0.31 (0.28), PTW 0.21–0.24 (0.22), PPW 0.41–0.52 (0.45), PSL 0.15–0.22 (0.19), MFL 1.01–1.06 (1.03), MTL 0.75–0.77 (0.76), CI 82–88 (84), SI 49–50 (49), MDI 47–54 (51), EI 14–14 (14), FI 68–73 (71), PSLI 11–15 (13), LPpI 89– 100 (93), DPpI 158–186 (169), PpWI 195–217 (204), PpLI 58–63 (61), PpHI 100–108 (104).

Head distinctly longer than wide (CI 82–88), wider posteriorly than anteriorly, sides convex. Mandibles smooth and shiny, clypeus smooth with well-defined median carina and few weak to superficial lateral carinae. Frontal carinae very short or inconspicuous, antennal scrobe absent. Frons longitudinally rugose, rugae at sides of head more irregular, to sometimes weakly rugoreticulate, interspaces weakly to superficially punctate. Posterolateral lobes smooth and shiny, or with some short and weak, occasionally half-circular, rugulae. Scape relatively short (SI 49–50) with decumbent pilosity and two or three longer, subdecumbent to suberect hairs present along outer edge. Hypostomal margin with submedian teeth conspicuous and median process well developed. Promesonotum relatively high, posterior process well developed, in profile right-angulate, with concave transverse groove, and steep posterior declivity. Surface of pronotum smooth to superficially punctate, sometimes with few interrupted transverse rugulae at anterior and posterior ends. Mesonotum and propodeum weakly punctate with large smooth and shiny area on katepisternum and smooth to superficially punctate dorsopropodeum. Metanotal groove in profile inconspicuous to barely impressed, cross-ribs weakly developed with reduced sculpture in between. Propodeal spines moderately short-spinose (PSLI 11–15). Metafemur moderately long (FI 68–73), metatibia with decumbent pilosity, along outer edge with additional longer suberect to subdecumbent hairs. Dorsum of waist segments smooth anteriorly, sometimes grading to superficially punctate posteriorly, remainder punctate. Postpetiole on average about 1.7 times wider than long (DPpI 158–186) and twice as wide as petiole (PpWI 195–217), ventral process small to minute, acute, and directed anteriorly. Gaster smooth. Standing hairs relatively abundant and short, yellowish, moderately acute, and stiff. Shorter pilosity decumbent and slightly more abundant than longer hairs. Color brown; mandibles, postpetiole, and gaster darker.

Description of minor workers: Measurements (n=5): HW 0.48–0.56 (0.53), HL 0.60–0.65 (0.64), SL 0.64– 0.69 (0.67), MDL 0.38–0.41 (0.40), EL 0.13–0.14 (0.13), WL 0.76–0.83 (0.79), PNH 0.27–0.28 (0.28), PNW 0.35–0.38 (0.36), MNH 0.49–0.53 (0.51), PDH 0.24–0.27 (0.25), PTL 0.24–0.28 (0.26), PPL 0.15–0.17 (0.16), PTH 0.14–0.15 (0.14), PPH 0.14–0.15 (0.14), PTW 0.09–0.10 (0.10), PPW 0.17–0.19 (0.18), PSL 0.06–0.07 (0.06), MFL 0.69–0.77 (0.72), MTL 0.52–0.58 (0.55), CI 74–88 (84), SI 120–144 (126), MDI 70–85 (75), EI 23– 27 (25), FI 123–156 (136), PSLI 10–14 (11), LPpI 106–115 (111), DPpI 59–69 (63), PpWI 96–107 (100), PpLI 59– 69 (63), PpHI 96–107 (100).

Head shape suboval, longer than wide (CI 74–88), sides convex, posterior head margin transverse, with rounded corners, occipital carina not visible in full-face view. Mandibles relatively long (MDI 70–85), smooth. Clypeus smooth, median and lateral carinae absent or inconspicuous. Face smooth and partly micropunctate, one or two concentric rugulae present around antennal insertion. Scapes distinctly longer than head (SI 120–149), when laid back surpassing posterior head margin by about the length of tenth funicular segment., pilosity subdecumbent to suberect. Pronotum in profile flatly convex, promesonotal process well developed, obliquely angulate, and prominently produced. Metanotal groove in profile narrowly impressed, cross-ribs weak to inconspicuous. Propodeum in profile longer than high, with highest point immediately behind metanotal groove, declining evenly toward spines. Propodeal spines very short-triangular and acute, much shorter than distance between their bases (PSLI 10–14). Promesonotum largely smooth, often micropunctate and sometimes with faint, short, irregular rugulae. Mesopleuron and propodeum mostly weakly punctate, sculpture on katepisternum in some specimens partly effaced. Metafemur relatively long (FI 123–156), metatibia pilosity decumbent to subdecumbent. Postpetiole slightly longer than high (LPpI 107–118) and significantly shorter than petiole (PpLI 59–69), relatively small convex postpetiolar ventral process present, dorsum of petiole and postpetiole mostly smooth, remainder weakly to superficially punctate. Gaster smooth and shiny. Sanding hairs relatively short, scarce, stiff, blunt, and erect to suberect. Shorter pilosity slightly more abundant on head and mesosoma, mostly decumbent. Head, promesonotum, postpetiole and gaster brown to dark brown, with significantly lighter colored mandibles, metapleuron, propodeum, legs, and petiole.

Discussion: Pheidole komori was collected in dry forest, coastal scrub land, or along a roadside, and all at elevations between 5 and 50 m from two islands of the Comoros – Moheli and Anjouan. Pheidole komori was also found in secondary forest and sand forest in the Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. This species could belong to a yet undefined Afrotropical species group, and may be related to morphologically similar species like P. strator Forel from Eritrea, P. strator r. fugax Arnold from Mozambique, or P. schultzei var. gwaaiensis Forel from Zimbabwe. The presence of this species in Africa along with related species suggests that P. komori most probably has an Afrotropical origin and did not originate in the Comoros. In the Malagasy region, this medium-sized Pheidole is easily distinguished from the teneriffana group and other species revised here by minor workers that combine a distinct promesonotal posterior process with a convex postpetiolar ventral process and major workers that combine the distinct promesonotal posterior process with a more elongate head shape and posterolateral lobes that are not rugose or reticulate.

Etymology: This species’ name is a short form of the Comoros’ name ‘Udzima wa Komori’ in the local language (Shikomor). The name is a noun in apposition and thus invariable.

Additional material examined: COMOROS: Anjouan: Bimbini , 12.1964 S, 44.2375 E, 5 m, coastal scrub, mangrove, 27.i.2009 (B.L. Fisher et al.) GoogleMaps ; 12.2576 S, 44.3891 E, 20 m, along roadside, 27.i.2009 (B.L. Fisher et al.); GoogleMaps Mohéli: Ouallah , 12.3272 S, 43.6595 E, 10 m, coastal scrub, 17.i.2009 (B.L. Fisher et al.); GoogleMaps Madahali 50, 12.3742 S, 43.8686 E, 50 m, coastal dry forest scrub, 20.i.2009 (B.L. Fisher et al.). GoogleMaps MOZAMBIQUE: Sofala: Gorongosa NP, 18°15.8’8.6” S, 34°22’38” E, 27 m, sand forest, soil from leaf-litter, 21.v.2012 (G.D. Alpert); GoogleMaps Gorongosa NP, 18°58’49.6” S, 34°33’24.1” E, 53 m, Sec. forest , on road #11, on ground and leaf-litter, (G.D. Alpert) GoogleMaps .


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


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


Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


South Africa, Cape Town, Iziko Museum of Capetown (formerly South African Museum)


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Iziko Museums of Cape Town













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