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 complex of species, whose majors are distinguished by small size, phragmotic heads, and reduced mesonotal convexity, appear to constitute a monophyletic group. Apparently related to the flavens group, they occur in the southern United States, Central America, and northern South America. They are everywhere reclusive, rare, or both.
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- Major: posterior half ofthe head capsule rugoreticulate; parallel transverse carinulae present on anterior half of pronotal dorsum (Texas) . . . . . Pheidole pelor
- Major: posterior half of head capsule lacking rugoreticulum; pronotal dorsum lacking carinulae . . . . . 2
return to couplet #1
- Major: head square-shaped, almost as broad as long; dense parallel longitudinal carinulae are present on frontal lobes but absent from posterior half of head capsule; transverse carinulae present on outer portions of clypeus (Colombia, Brazil) . . . . . Pheidole colobopsis
- Major: head elongate, rectangular; sparse longitudinal carinulae either cover frontal lobes and posterior half of head or are entirely lacking; carinulae absent from clypeus . . . . . 3
return to couplet #2
- Major: most of dorsal head surface covered by sparse parallel longitudinal carinulae; occiput and pronotum smooth and shiny (Florida to Texas) . . . . . Pheidole lamia
- Major: dorsal head surface lacks carinulae, and instead is completely foveolate and opaque; pronotum also foveolate and opaque (Costa Rica) . . . . . Pheidole truncula