Pheidole perpusilla

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Pheidole perpusilla
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. perpusilla
Binomial name
Pheidole perpusilla
Emery, 1894

Pheidole perpusilla jtlc000015321 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole perpusilla jtlc000015321 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


This species occurs in wet climate areas, from sea level to 1200m elevation. In mature forest areas it is a common species under epiphytes in the canopy, although its minute size makes it easy to overlook. It also occurs on trees in synanthropic habitats such as coffee farms and city parks. (Longino 2009)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (type locality), Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago.

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.

  • perpusilla. Pheidole flavens subsp. perpusilla Emery, 1894c: 157 (s.w.q.) BRAZIL. Combination in P. (Decapheidole): Forel, 1912f: 237. Raised to species: Emery, 1896g: 80. Senior synonym of decem, emersoni: Wilson, 2003: 553; of breviscapa: Longino, 2009: 61..
  • breviscapa. Pheidole flavens var. breviscapa Forel, 1899c: 77 (s.) GUATEMALA. Raised to species: Wilson, 2003: 383. Junior synonym of perpusilla: Longino, 2009: 61.
  • decem. Pheidole decem Forel, 1901e: 366 (s.) TRINIDAD. Combination in P. (Decapheidole): Forel, 1912f: 237. Junior synonym of perpusilla: Wilson, 2003: 553.
  • emersoni. Pheidole (Hendecapheidole) emersoni Wheeler, W.M. 1922d: 4, fig. 2 (w.q.m.) GUYANA. Junior synonym of perpusilla: Wilson, 2003: 553.

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


From Wilson (2003): DIAGNOSIS A member of the perpusilla group (10-segmented antenna, very small body size), distinguished within the group by the following traits.

Major: dorsum of head except for frontal triangle and mid-clypeus completely covered by longitudinal carinulae; propodeal spines short and stout, less than a third as long as the basal propodeal face anterior to them; first gastral tergite and dorsum of postpetiolar node smooth and shiny; pronotum varies from foveolate (South America) to smooth (Panama).

Minor: all of head and mesosoma foveolate and opaque.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Major (Mazaruni, Guyana): HW 0.60, HL 0.62, SL 0.26, EL 0.06, PW 0.32. Minor (syntype of synonymous emersoni): HW 0.34, HL 0.38, SL 0.28, EL 0.06, PW 0.26.

COLOR Major: most of body and appendages reddish yellow, gaster medium to dark brown.

Minor: body yellowish brown, appendages in contrasting yellow.

Pheidole perpusilla Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: major, composite of specimens from Mazaruni, Guyana, and Barro Colorado Island, Panama (latter specimen compared with syntype in Emery collection by W. L. Brown). Lower: minor, Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Type Material

Longino (2009):

Syntype major, minor worker, gyne: Brazil, Pará (Schulz).

Pheidole flavens var. breviscapa Holotype major worker: Guatemala, Retalhuleu (Stoll) Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève (examined).

Pheidole decem Forel, 1901a: 366. Syntype major worker: Trinidad.

Pheidole (Hendecapheidole) emersoni. Syntype minor worker, gyne, male: Guyana, Kartabo (Emerson).


L perpusilla, extremely small. (Wilson 2003)


  • Emery, C. 1894d. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. VI-XVI. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 26: 137-241 (page 157, soldier, worker, queen described)
  • Emery, C. 1896g. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XVII-XXV. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 28: 33-107 (page 80, raised to species)
  • Forel, A. 1912g. Formicides néotropiques. Part III. 3me sous-famille Myrmicinae (suite). Genres Cremastogaster et Pheidole. Mém. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 19: 211-237 (page 237, Combination in P. (Decapheidole))
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 553, fig. major, minor described, Senior synonym of decem)