Pheidole sebofila, Longino, J. T., 2009

Longino, J. T., 2009, Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 2181, pp. 1-90 : 74-75

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Pheidole sebofila

new species

Pheidole sebofila   HNS new species

Figure 21

Holotype major worker. Costa Rica, Heredia: Rara Avis, 17km S Pto. Viejo, 10.30000°N 84.05000°W, ±2000m, 700m, 11 Sep 1985 (J. Longino#1064) [ INBC, unique specimen identifier INBIOCRI001282230].

Paratypes: major and minor workers. Same data as holotype; Costa Rica, Alajuela: Casa Eladio, Rio Penas Blancas, 10.31667°N 84.71667°W, ±2000m, 800m, 7 Mar 2002 (J. Longino#4643) [ INBC, JTLC, MCZ].

Geographic Range

Costa Rica.


With the morphometric profile and general habitus of P. indagatrix   HNS . Minor worker: dorsal portion of occipital carina reduced relative to lateral portions, such that in lateral view the carina not projecting, versus occipital carina similarly developed dorsally and laterally, such that in lateral view it is visible as a distinct lip or flange projecting from posterior head; propodeal spines relatively long, PSLI 17, versus spines shorter, PSLI <13 ( indagatrix   HNS ). Major worker: face orange versus dark red brown; posterior one third to one half of face smooth and shining versus foveolate sculpture on face extends to or nearly to posterior margin ( indagatrix   HNS ).

Description of minor worker

Measurements (paratype): HL 0.85, HW 0.72, HLA 0.31, SL 1.22, EL 0.20, ML 1.14, PSL 0.15, PMG 0.04, SPL 0.05, PTW 0.13, PPW 0.20, CI 85, SI 169, PSLI 17, PMGI 4, SPLI 6, PPI 160.

Measurements (n=9): HL 0.81-0.90, HW 0.64-0.72, SL 1.13-1.28, CI 78-81, SI 168-188.

Mandible smooth and shining; clypeus smooth and shining; patch of rugose foveolate sculpture between frontal carina and compound eye, rest of face smooth and shining; margin of vertex trapezoidal; occipital carina moderately developed as a distinct flange, visible in full face view, more strongly developed laterally than dorsally, such that in lateral view the carina not projecting; scape with abundant erect setae longer than maximum width of scape; promesonotal groove present; propodeal spines present, long, thin, upturned; pronotum smooth and shining; anepisternum, katepisternum, dorsal face of propodeum, and upper lateral face of propodeum foveolate; metapleural bulla smooth and shining, with two strong carinae; abundant setae on promesonotal dorsum; dorsal (outer) margin of hind tibia with suberect setae, the longest longer than maximum width of tibia; first gastral tergum smooth and shining; gastral dorsum with abundant erect setae; color red brown.

Description of major worker

Measurements (holotype): HL 1.70, HW 1.59, HLA 0.50, SL 1.26, EL 0.26, ML 1.58, PSL 0.13, PMG 0.05, SPL 0.09, PTW 0.22, PPW 0.39, CI 94, SI 79, PSLI 8, PMGI 3, SPLI 5, PPI.

Measurements (n=2): HL 1.56-1.70, HW 1.50-1.59, SL 1.16-1.26, CI 94-96, SI 77-79.

Mandibles smooth and shiny; clypeus smooth and flat with strong anterior notch; frontal carina elevated as vertical flange; anterolateral face with short longitudinal rugae, grading to reticulate rugae underlain by weak foveolate sculpture between frontal carina and compound eye, grading to foveolate sculpture with faint rugulae on scrobal area, grading to smooth and shining on posterior half to third of head, area between frontal carinae with rugose foveolate sculpture laterally, grading to smooth and shining medially, irregular faint patches of foveolate sculpture on posteromedian face (major worker collection from Penas Blancas Valley has posterior half of face completely smooth and shining); head with abundant suberect to subdecumbent setae projecting from sides of head in face view; scape smooth and shining, terete at base, with abundant erect setae, the longest of which longer than maximum width of scape; hypostomal margin straight; median tooth absent or a broad, low gibbosity; inner hypostomal teeth thin and sharp, much closer to outer hypostomal teeth than to midline; promesonotal groove present; propodeal spines present; pronotum generally shining with areas of faint foveolae; katepisternum largely foveolate, grading to smooth and shiny anteroventrally; dorsal face and upper lateral face of propodeum foveolate, metapleural bulla smooth and shining with one to three longitudinal carinae; dorsal (outer) margin of hind tibia with abundant suberect setae longer than maximum width of tibia; pilosity abundant on mesosomal dorsum; postpetiole in dorsal view wider than long, with rounded sides; first gastral tergite with nearly effaced foveolate sculpture anteriorly (a microsculptural mesh), grading to smooth and shining posteriorly, with abundant erect setae; color somewhat bicolored, with orange head and mesosoma, dark brown gaster.


This species is known from wet forest sites on the Atlantic slope of the Cordillera de Tilaran and the Cordillera Volcanica Central, from 500-1100m elevation. Two collections with major workers have been from baits on the forest floor (one at the edge of a stream). Minor workers have been collected in Winkler samples, pan traps, sweep samples, and as nocturnal foragers.


The name means "bait lover."


This species is very similar to the common P. indagatrix   HNS that is found in the same areas and habitats.

Additional material examined

COSTA RICA: Heredia, 11km SE La Virgen, 10°20'N, 84°04'W, 500m (S. Brooks, M. Pollet); 16km SSE La Virgen, 10°16'N, 84°05'W, 1100m (multiple collectors and collections).


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


John T. Longino


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













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