Pheidole spadonia

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Pheidole spadonia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. spadonia
Binomial name
Pheidole spadonia
Wheeler, W.M., 1915

Pheidole spadonia casent0104752 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole spadonia casent0104752 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Three colonies were found in a vacant lot in Tucson by Stefan Cover (unpublished field notes), nesting in clayey soil; two had cryptic entrances, and one had a rudimentary crescentic crater of excavated soil. Wheeler’s type series were taken from nests in open sandy soil, the entrances of which were also marked by incomplete craters. The species harvests seeds. (Wilson 2003)


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Southern Arizona into Mexico. (Wilson 2003)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


According to Wheeler the Tucson colonies were nesting in sand. Those taken by the senior author were nesting in coarse, gravelly soil. The majors of spadonia appear to confine themselves to the nest. The minors forage singly. We were unable to determine what this species eats, but it may be said that at least there was no evidence of harvesting activity. All three of these colonies were small, containing three or four majors and not more than a couple of dozen minors. (Creighton and Gregg 1955)





The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • spadonia. Pheidole spadonia Wheeler, W.M. 1915b: 400 (s.w.) U.S.A. Creighton & Gregg, 1955: 23 (q.). See also: Wilson, 2003: 600.

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 large reddish yellow (light “orange”) member of the pilifera group.

Major: anterior half of head densely carinulate, with a few carinulae traveling along the dorsal midline all the way to the occiput, and the entire remainder of the body smooth and shiny; propodeal spines well-developed and vertical to the basal propodeal face; the petiolar node seen from the side tapering to a point; the postpetiole seen from above very broad, and spinose.

Minor: propodeal spines well-developed and vertical to basal propodeal face; almost all of the head and mesosoma smooth and shiny.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Lectotype major: HW 1.72, HL 2.14, SL 0.78, EL 0.22, PW 0.86. Paralectotype minor: HW 0.54, HL 0.60, SL 0.56, EL 0.14, PW 0.38.

COLOR Major: concolorous light reddish yellow (light “orange”).

Minor: concolorous yellow, with a slight reddish tinge on the head.

Pheidole spadonia Wilson 2003.jpg

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

Type Material

ARIZONA: Santa Cruz River, Tucson, col W. M. Wheeler. Museum of Comparative Zoology - as reported in Wilson (2003)


L spadonia, impotent, sterile; allusion unknown. (Wilson 2003)


  • Creighton, W. S.; Gregg, R. E. 1955. New and little-known species of Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Univ. Colo. Stud. Ser. Biol. 3: 1-46 (page 23, queen described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1915b. Some additions to the North American ant-fauna. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 34: 389-421 (page 400, soldier, worker described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.(page 600, fig. major, minor described)