Pheidole alfaroi Emery

Wilson, E. O., 2003, Pheidole in the New World. A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus., Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press : 165

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Pheidole alfaroi Emery


Pheidole alfaroi Emery   HNS

Pheidole alfaroi Emery   HNS 1896g: 70. Syn.: Pheidole innupta Menozzi   HNS 1931d: 200, n. syn. (provisional, see Diagnosis and Color below).

Types Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova. (Types of innupta Menozzi   HNS are in the Institute di Entomologia "Guido Grandi.")

Etymology Eponymous.

Diagnosis A member of the diligens   HNS group closest to the Costa Rican P. diana   HNS but distinguished from it and other members of the group by the following combination of traits.

Major: in side view propodeal spine reduced to a denticle (but in innupta   HNS syntype reduced to an obtuse angle; see illustration); in dorsal-oblique view, promesonotum weakly bilobate and humerus subangulate; promesonotal dorsum and all of propodeum "striped" with parallel carinulae.

Minor: circular carinulae around antennal fossae reach all the way to the eye and are succeeded by other circular, "wraparound" carinulae that continue to the sides of the head; most of promesonotal dorsum and all of propodeum carinulate.

The types of alfaroi   HNS and innupta   HNS are virtually identical except for color (see below) and possibly a small difference in the propodeal angle (see illustration), and I have interpreted them as no more than color forms of the same species in the upland area around La Palma and Vara Blanca. Longino (1997) considers them sibling species, noting that innupta   HNS is "always black and nests under epiphytes," whereas the types of alfaroi   HNS are light colored and were found in rotting wood. If subsequent field research upholds these differences, Longino's interpretation is probably correct, and the nomenclature can be easily adjusted. Series from upland Panama and Colombia placed by me in alfaroi   HNS are intermediate in color: light to medium reddish brown.

Measurements (mm) Lectotype major ofalfaroi: HW 1.42, HL 1.52, SL 1.04, EL 0.20, PW 0.74.

Lectotype major of innupta   HNS : HW 1.44, HL 1.46, SL 1.06, EL 0.22, PW 0.72.

Paralectotype minor ofalfaroi: HW 0.62, HL 0.74, SL 0.86, EL 0.12, PW 0.44.

Paralectotype minor of innupta   HNS : HW 0.62, HL 0.78, SL 0.92, EL 0.12, PW 0.44.

color Major of alfaroi   HNS : concolorous light reddish yellow.

Major of innupta   HNS : body medium brown, appendages light brown.

Minor of alfaroi   HNS : concolorous clear yellow.

Minor of innupta   HNS : medium brown, appendages light brown.

Range Uplands of Costa Rica (1000-1600 m), Panama (El Volcan Chiriqui, 1150 m), and Colombia (Mosquera, Cundinamarca, 1800-2000 m).

biology Inhabits moist forest. In Costa Rica, nests under epiphytes (" innupta   HNS "); in Colombia, under rocks. Obviously, many more nest site data are needed to establish the preferred nest sites of alfaroi   HNS and possible sibling species. Males and winged queens were found at EI Volcan Chiriqui, Panama, on 24 June and a male near Mosquera, Colombia, on 30 June.

Figure Upper: major. Lower: minor. COSTA RICA: Vara Blanca (lectotype and paralectotype of junior synonym P. innupta   HNS Menozzi). The type locality of alfaroi Emery   HNS , the senior synonym, is La Palma, near Bajo la Hondura, Costa Rica, 1500 m. The second, upper outline of the major propodeum is of the alfaroi   HNS lectotype major. Scale bars = 1 mm.