This worker key is based on: Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
This small complex, known so far only from South America, is most similar to the diligens group-from among whose members it is likely derived-but is easily distinguished by the lack of a discrete mesonotal convexity; large propodeal spiracles; long, dense pilosity; and absence of propodeal spines in the minor worker (but not necessarily in the major worker).
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- Major: sculpturing on head partly rugoreticulate; pronotum bears parallel longitudinal carinulae. Minor: in side view, basal and descending (posterior) faces of propodeum meet in a right angle (Amazonian Brazil) . . . . . Pheidole jeannei
- Major: sculpturing of head consists entirely of carinulae, with no reticulation; pronotum lacking carinulae. Minor: in side view, basal and descending faces of propodeum meet in a continuous smooth curve . . . . . 2
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- Major: carinulae of frontal lobes confined to a narrow strip along their outer margins; profile of pronotum, viewed from above and obliquely, subangulate in its anterior half; propodeal spine lacking, replaced by an obtuse angle at the juncture of the basal and descending faces of the propodeum (Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina) . . . . . Pheidole gertrudae
- Major: carinulae cover most of the surface of the frontal lobes; profile of pronotum viewed from above and obliquely, smoothly rounded in its anterior half; small propodeal spines or denticles present (Brazil, Peru) . . . . . Pheidole capillata