Pheidole deceptrix

Longino, J. T., 2009, Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 2181, pp. 1-90 : 25-26

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Pheidole deceptrix


Pheidole deceptrix View in CoL View at ENA   HNS

Pheidole deceptrix Forel, 1899: 66   HNS , pl. 3, fig. 20. Lectotype major worker (here designated, as labeled by Wilson 2003) and associated paralectotype minor worker: Guatemala, Baja Verapaz, Purulha (Champion) [ MHNG] (examined). See also: Wilson, 2003: 679.

Pheidole chiapasana Wilson, 2003: 273   HNS , figs. Holotype major worker and associated paratype minor worker: Mexico, Chiapas, 5km E Rayon, 17°13'N 92°58'W, 1700m, 23 Dec 1991 (P. S. Ward #11581-12) [ MCZ] (examined). New synonymy.

Pheidole variceps Wilson, 2003: 775   HNS , figs. Holotype major worker and associated paratype minor worker: Mexico, Chiapas, 6km SE San Cristobal de las Casas, 10 Aug 1978 (J. Rawlins) [ MCZ] (examined). New synonymy.

Geographic Range

Guatemala, Mexico (Chiapas).


This species is a montane specialist, ocurring in cloud forest habitats from 1300-2750m elevation. Nests are in the soil and under stones. Foragers, including major workers, come to baits on the forest floor, and workers are collected in Berlese and Winkler samples. Alate queens were collected 11 July 2007, at Cerro Huitepec in Chiapas. Males remain unknown.


The type major worker of P. deceptrix   HNS has the median and rear portion of the face with shallow foveolate sculpture overlain with sparse rugulae, and the postpetiole in dorsal view is trapezoidal. The associated minor worker has the face and mesosoma uniformly and densely foveolate. The type major worker of P variceps   HNS has similar sculpture on the face but it fades posteriorly, leaving the vertex lobes smooth and shiny. The postpetiole in dorsal view is more transverse, with more acutely angulate sides. The minor worker has the face and mesosoma with a mix of smooth shiny areas and patches of faint foveolate sculpture. However, multiple collections from additional localities show continuous variation between these two forms. The variation is geographically structured, such that multiple collections from the same site show little variation compared to differences among sites. I interpret this as one polytypic species with slightly different forms in different mountain ranges.


Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


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













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