Pheidole ensifera species group

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Based on Salata & Fisher, 2020.


Species Identification

Group Diagnosis

Major workers Head, in full face view, rectangular, in lateral view elongate and oval, ventral and dorsal faces slightly convex, dorsal face not depressed posteriorly; sides of the head with sparse, relatively long to long, suberect pilosity; antennal scrobes indistinct and not delimited by carinulae; scrobe surface shiny, with dense to sparse, fine, longitudinal to irregular rugulae; occipital lobes and genae smooth or with fine to thick, sparse rugoreticulation; frons with sparse, thick, and longitudinal rugae, sometimes rugae on posterior part of frons more irregular and directed outward; sculpture weakening posteriorly; inner and outer teeth closely spaced and connected by concavity; promesonotum short, angular, and relatively low to high; promesonotal and metanotal grooves absent; propodeal spines long to very long, thin; mesosoma with fine to thin, sparse to dense rugoreticulation, sculpture weakening on dorsum, sometimes propodeum with a smooth patch on its dorsal surface; gaster shagreened, at least at the basal part of first tergite; body reddish brown to dark brown. Minor workers Head smooth or finely rugo-punctuate, lateral sides of head sometimes finely rugulose to rugo-punctate; scape, when laid back, surpassing posterior head margin by one- to two-fifths of its length; promesonotum high, short and convex; propodeal spines very to moderately long; whole mesosoma rugo-punctate, or smooth to moderately foveolate with sometimes thicker and denser sculpture on lateral sides; body bright brown to dark brown.


Madagascar. Northernmost part of the island (Antsiranana district); all species are sympatric.

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