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)

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 18.45° to -25.247983°.

Tropical South

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

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.





Images from AntWeb

Pheidole exigua casent0601289 head 1.jpgPheidole exigua casent0601289 profile 1.jpgPheidole exigua casent0601289 dorsal 1.jpgPheidole exigua casent0601289 profile 2.jpgPheidole exigua casent0601289 label 1.jpg
Paralectotype Pheidole exiguaWorker. Specimen code casent0601289. Photographer John T. Longino, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMV.


Images from AntWeb

Pheidole exigua casent0601288 head 2.jpgPheidole exigua casent0601288 profile 2.jpg
Lectotype Pheidole exiguaWorker (major/soldier). Specimen code casent0601288. Photographer John T. Longino, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMV.


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

  • 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)


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bezdeckova K., P. Bedecka, and I. Machar. 2015. A checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Peru. Zootaxa 4020 (1): 101–133.
  • Boer P. 2019. Ants of Curacao, species list. Accessed on January 22 2019 at
  • De Souza Holanda P. M. 2016. Efeitos da variacao do lencol: freatico em assembleias de formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) que vivem na serapilheira na reserva Adolpho Ducke, Manaus, Am. Master's Thesis Universidade Federal do Amazonas, 48 pages.
  • Emery C. 1894. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. VI-XVI. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 26: 137-241.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Fontenla J. L., and J. Alfonso-Simonetti. 2018. Classification of Cuban ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) into functional groups. Poeyana Revista Cubana de Zoologia 506: 21-30.
  • Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
  • Galkowski C. 2016. New data on the ants from the Guadeloupe (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Bull. Soc. Linn. Bordeaux 151, 44(1): 25-36.
  • Gregg R. E. 1959. Key to the species of Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the United States. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 66: 7-48.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • LaPolla, J.S. and S.P. Cover. 2005. New species of Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Guyana, with a list of species known from the country. Tranactions of the American Entomological Society 131(3-4):365-374
  • Radoszkowsky O. 1884. Fourmis de Cayenne Française. Trudy Russkago Entomologicheskago Obshchestva 18: 30-39.
  • Reyes J.L. 2005. Inventario de la coleccion de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) del centro oriental de ecosistemas y biodiversidad, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. Boletín Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa 36: 279-283.
  • Reyes, J. L. "Inventario de la colección de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) del Centro Oriental de Ecosistemas y Biodiversidad, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba." Boletín de la Sociedad Aragonesa 36 (2005): 279-283.
  • Torres J.A. 1984. Niches and Coexistence of Ant Communities in Puerto Rico: Repeated Patterns. Biotropica 16(4): 284-295.
  • Torres, Juan A. and Roy R. Snelling. 1997. Biogeography of Puerto Rican ants: a non-equilibrium case?. Biodiversity and Conservation 6:1103-1121.
  • Vasconcelos, H.L. and J.M.S. Vilhena. 2006. Species turnover and vertical partitioning of ant assemblages in the Brazilian Amazon: A comparison of forests and savannas. Biotropica 38(1):100-106.
  • Vasconcelos, H.L., J.M.S. Vilhena, W.E. Magnusson and A.L.K.M. Albernaz. 2006. Long-term effects of forest fragmentation on Amazonian ant communities. Journal of Biogeography 33:1348-1356
  • Wheeler W. M. 1908. The ants of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 24: 117-158.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1916. Ants collected in British Guiana by the expedition of the American Museum of Natural History during 1911. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 35: 1-14.
  • Wilson, E.O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A Dominant, Hyperdiverse Genus. Harvard University Press