Pheidole makaensis species group

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Species Identification

Group Diagnosis

Major workers Head in full-face view elongated, in lateral view sub-oval to sub-rectangular; ventral and dorsal faces convex; dorsal face not or finely depressed posteriorly; sides of the head with moderately dense, long to very long, erect pilosity; antennal scrobes indistinct and not delimited by carinulae; scrobe surface with thick, sparse, longitudinal rugae, interspaces smooth, rugo-foveolate, or foveolate, with thick, longitudinal, short, and interrupted rugae; occipital lobes always with arcuate and/or transverse rugae; genae smooth or with dense, thin, longitudinal rugulae and smooth notch in the centre; inner and outer teeth closely spaced and connected by concavity; promesonotum relatively low and arched; promesonotal groove absent; metanotal groove absent or indistinct; propodeal spines short to moderately long, triangular; mesosoma foveolate with additional sculpture; promesonotum with sculpture reduced; gaster finely shagreened, at least on the basal part of the first tergite; body dark yellow to brown.

Minor workers Head foveolate; genae smooth or with smooth notch; sometimes frons with additional longitudinal rugae; scape, when laid back, reaching the posterior margin of head or surpassing it by one-to two-fifths of its length; promesonotum low, convex, short; promesonotal groove absent; metanotal groove indistinct; propodeal spines small, triangular; mesosoma foveolate; anepisternum, katepisternum, and mesonotum sometimes with fading sculpture; body yellow to dark yellow.


Madagascar. There are two species of this group known only from their type localities: Pheidole ehazoara collected in Ehazoara Canyon in Toliara and P. makaensis described from Makay Mts. in Toliara. Pheidole fitarata is sympatric with P. avaratra and distribution of both taxa is limited to northernmost parts of the Sambirano rainforest and dry deciduous forest biomes in the Antsiranana prefecture. Pheidole rugofitarata is known from area spread between Belo and Antonibe.

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