Pheidole exigua

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Pheidole exigua
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. exigua
Binomial name
Pheidole exigua
Mayr, 1884

Pheidole exigua casent0601288 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole exigua casent0601288 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

At La Sagasse Bay on Grenada, West Indies, Stefan Cover and I found several colonies of exigua in small pieces of rotten wood on the floor of dry semi-deciduous forest. A colony of the closely similar P. flavens was in a rotten stump on the grounds of an ecotourism resort several hundred meters away. (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


I have seen material from Costa Rica, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Guyana, French Guiana, and Las Gamas, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, while Kempf (1972b) records it in addition from Pará and Pernambuco in Brazil. (Wilson 2003)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, French Guiana (type locality), Greater Antilles, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

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.

  • exigua. Pheidole exigua Mayr, 1884: 36 (s.) FRENCH GUIANA. Wheeler, W.M. 1908a: 135 (w.q.). Subspecies of flavens: Emery, 1894c: 156. Revived status as species: Wilson, 2003: 416.

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 “flavens complex” within the larger flavens group, which includes Pheidole asperithorax, Pheidole breviscapa (=Pheidole perpusilla), Pheidole exigua, Pheidole flavens, Pheidole orbica and Pheidole sculptior and possibly just an extreme variant of flavens. Pheidole exigua is distinguished as follows.

Major: in side and dorsal-oblique views promesonotal profile strongly convex as well as high relative to the metanotum and propodeum, and dropping to the metanotum through a long, almost vertical face; shallow antennal scrobes present, their surfaces smooth and shiny, their anterior third also covered by longitudinal carinulae; intercarinular spaces of head sparsely foveolate to feebly shiny; occiput smooth and shiny; pronotal dorsum mostly covered by transverse carinulae, its surface sparsely foveolate and feebly shiny; posterior half of dorsal head profile flat.

Minor: carinulae confined to head anterior the eyes; almost all of head, mesosoma, and sides of waist foveolate and opaque.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 0.80, HL 0.84, SL 0.44, EL 0.08, PW 0.36. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.40, HL 0.46, SL 0.38, EL 0.06, PW 0.24.

COLOR Major: body except gaster medium reddish yellow; gaster medium plain yellow, except for rear half of first tergite, which is light brown.

Minor: body and mandibles brownish yellow; other appendages medium plain yellow.

Pheidole exigua Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Lectotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

FRENCH GUIANA: Cayenne (collected by "M. Jelski," no first name given). Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna - as reported in Wilson (2003)


L exigua, small, trifling. (Wilson 2003)


  • Emery, C. 1894d. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. VI-XVI. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 26: 137-241 (page 156, subspecies of flavens)
  • Kempf, W. W. 1972b. Catálogo abreviado das formigas da região Neotropical. Stud. Entomol. 15: 3–344.
  • Mayr, G. 1884. [Untitled. Descriptions of eight new species.]. Pp. 31-38 in: Radoszkowsky, O. Fourmis de Cayenne Française. Tr. Rus. Entomol. Obshch. 18:30-39. (page 36, soldier described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1908a. The ants of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 24: 117-158 (page 135, worker, queen described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 416, Revived from synonymy, and raised to species, fig. major, minor described)