Pheidole cavigenis

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Pheidole cavigenis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. cavigenis
Binomial name
Pheidole cavigenis
Wheeler, W.M., 1915

Pheidole cavigenis casent0064825 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole cavigenis casent0064825 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

According to Stefan Cover, who has collected intensively within the range of cavigenis, this species occurs in grassy gaps in juniper-oak-pinyon woodlands at mid-elevations. Nests are cryptic and seeds are sometimes found inside. Colonies appear to consist of no more than 200–300 individuals. (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Known from several collections in the Huachuca Mts; thence west to Sycamore Canyon in the Pajarito Mts., about 20 miles west of Nogales (Stefan Cover). A series in the Museum of Comparative Zoology from Bocoyna, Chihuahua, belongs to this species but with some differences; it may represent a geographical variant. (Wilson 2003)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb






The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • cavigenis. Pheidole tepicana subsp. cavigenis Wheeler, W.M. 1915b: 403 (s.) U.S.A. Wilson, 2003: 567 (w.). Junior synonym of soritis: Gregg, 1959: 30. Revived from synonymy and raised to species: Wilson, 2003: 567.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.


From Wilson (2003): DIAGNOSIS A member of the “pilifera complex” of the larger pilifera group; for a characterization of the complex, see under Pheidole pilifera. P. cavigenis is distinguished within the complex by the following combination of traits.

Major: occiput and extensive dorsal surface anterior to the occiput rugoreticulate; a small patch of rugoreticulum is present just posterior to each antennal fossa; humerus very prominent and lobose in dorsal-oblique view; mesonotal convexity absent, but mesonotum descends abruptly to the metanotal groove; propodeal spines long and thin; postpetiole spinose.

Minor: almost all of dorsal head surface longitudinally carinulate; propodeal spine needle-shaped.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Major (Montezuma Pass, Arizona): HW 1.60, HL 1.86, SL 0.74, EL 0.22, PW 0.76.

Minor: HW 0.62, HL 0.66, SL 0.62, EL 0.12, PW 0.40.

COLOR Major: body light reddish brown, mandibles and gaster plain medium brown.

Minor: head and gaster medium brown, mesosoma and appendages light brown.

Pheidole cavigenis Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: major. Lower: minor. ARIZONA: 11 km west-northwest of Montezuma Pass, Huachuca Mts., Cochise Co., 1660 m, col. Stefan Cover. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Type Material

Museum of Comparative Zoology - as reported in Wilson (2003)


L cavigenis, hollow cheek, significance unknown. (Wilson 2003)


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Cole A. C., Jr. 1937. An annotated list of the ants of Arizona (Hymen.: Formicidae). [part]. Entomological News 48: 97-101.
  • Cover S. P., and R. A. Johnson. 20011. Checklist of Arizona Ants. Downloaded on January 7th at
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133
  • Wilson, E.O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A Dominant, Hyperdiverse Genus. Harvard University Press