Pheidole cockerelli

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Pheidole cockerelli
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. cockerelli
Binomial name
Pheidole cockerelli
Wheeler, W.M., 1908

Pheidole cockerelli casent0102872 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole cockerelli casent0102872 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

In Colorado, Gregg (1963) found cockerelli nesting at 1700–1900 m, under rocks in the clayey soil of short-grass prairie. Creighton (1950a) lists it as a desert ant in Arizona and New Mexico. Stefan Cover (personal communication) found it in the Chiricahua, Huachuca, and Santa Maria Mts. of Arizona at 1460–1740 m nesting in open soil and grass clumps variously in desert grassland, grazed grasslands with scattered oak, and juniper-oak creek-valley woodland. In western Texas, O. F. Francke encountered cockerelli in a nest in the open soil of mesquite-creosote-cactus scrubland (Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard series). Winged reproductives were present in Arizona nests from late June to mid-July. (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Oklahoma, Colorado, western Texas, New Mexico, Arizona. (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 New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • cockerelli. Pheidole cockerelli Wheeler, W.M. 1908e: 464 (s.w.) U.S.A. See also: Wilson, 2003: 277.

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


From Wilson (2003): A member of the fallax group distinguished by the following combination of traits.

Major: light reddish brown; a rugoreticulum extends from around the anterior and posterior margins of each eye mesad to the circular carinulae of the antennal fossa; longitudinal carinulae densely covering the frontal lobes extend posteriorly to the occipital border; anterior half of pronotal dorsum and posterior half of the mesonotum transversely carinulate; all of the head, mesosoma, and waist foveolate and opaque to subopaque except the dorsum of the petiole, which, with the gaster, is smooth and shiny.

Minor: all of the head and mesosoma foveolate and opaque; dorsum of the waist and all of the gaster smooth and shiny; occiput narrowed, with a thin collar.

Similar to Pheidole acamata, Pheidole nubicola and Pheidole sciara, as well as Pheidole acamata, Pheidole dione, Pheidole gulo, Pheidole hyatti, Pheidole midas, Pheidole potosiana and Pheidole sciara, differing in many details in the above characters and others as illustrated. Most likely to be confused with sciara, a less common species that occurs through much of the range of cockerelli.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 1.38, HL 1.50, SL 1.02, EL 0.24, PW 0.74. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.62, HL 0.78, SL 0.90, EL 0.18, PW 0.44.

COLOR Major: concolorous light reddish brown, except rear half of gaster, which is a contrasting medium brown.

Minor: concolorous yellowish brown.

Pheidole cockerelli Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: lectotype, major. Lower: paralectotype, minor. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Type Material

From Wilson (2003): NEW MEXICO: Arroyo Pecos, Las Vegas (T. D. A. Cockerell and W. M. Wheeler). Museum of Comparative Zoology - as reported in Wilson (2003)


Named after the American entomologist and co-collector of the type series T. D. A. Cockerell. (Wilson 2003)


  • Wheeler, W. M. 1908h. The ants of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. (Part I.). Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 24: 399-485 (page 464, soldier, worker described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.(page 277, fig. major, minor described)