Pheidole tristis

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Pheidole tristis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. tristis
Binomial name
Pheidole tristis
(Smith, F., 1858)

Pheidole tristis casent0178062 profile 1.jpg

Pheidole tristis casent0178062 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Nothing is known about the biology of tristis.


See the description in the nomenclature section.

Keys including this Species


Kempf (1972): southeastern Brazil (Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Parana) and north central Argentina (Misiones).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina, Brazil (type locality), Paraguay.

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.

  • fumipennis. Atta fumipennis Smith, F. 1858b: 169 (w.q.) BRAZIL. Combination in Aphaenogaster: Forel, 1895b: 129; in Pheidole: Donisthorpe, 1932c: 474. Junior synonym of tristis: Brown, 1981: 527.
  • rubra. Atta rubra Smith, F. 1858b: 168 (q.) BRAZIL. Combination in Pheidole: Mayr, 1886c: 360. Junior synonym of tristis: Kempf, 1965: 183.
  • tristis. Myrmica tristis Smith, F. 1858b: 132 (w.) BRAZIL. Combination in Pheidole: Mayr, 1886c: 360. Senior synonym of emeryi, rubra: Kempf, 1965: 183; of fumipennis: Brown, 1981: 527; of alsia, crassipes: Wilson, 2003: 769.
  • crassipes. Pheidole crassipes Mayr, 1887: 590 (s.), 600 (w.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of tristis: Wilson, 2003: 769.
  • emeryi. Pheidole emeryi Mayr, 1887: 589 (s.), 599 (w.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of tristis: Kempf, 1965: 183.
  • alsia. Pheidole emeryi var. alsia Santschi, 1923d: 58 (s.w.) BRAZIL. Subspecies of tristis: Bolton, 1995b: 316. Junior synonym of tristis: Wilson, 2003: 769.

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 medium-sized reddish-yellow (major) or yellowish brown (minor) member of the tristis group whose major has very prominent subangulate pronotal humerus, swollen hind femora, diamond-shaped postpetiolar node with subangulate margins, small rounded subpostpetiolar process, and foveolate and opaque gastral tergite.

Minor: large ovoid postpetiolar node, prominent convex subpostpetiolar process, and foveolate and opaque gastral tergites. Similar to Pheidole balzani, Pheidole fabricator and Pheidole nigella, and less so to Pheidole brunnescens, Pheidole exarata, Pheidole excubitor, Pheidole germaini, Pheidole grandinodus, Pheidole hispaniolae, Pheidole obrima, Pheidole prattorum, Pheidole rogeri, Pheidole sabina, Pheidole sarpedon, Pheidole stulta, Pheidole tristops, Pheidole unicornis and Pheidole zoster, differing in many details of body form, sculpturing, and pilosity, as illustrated, and in color.

MEASUREMENTS (mm) Major (Boraceia Biological Station, Sao Paulo state): HW 1.66, HL 1.76, SL 0.82, EL 0.20, PW 0.84. Holotype minor: HW 0.80, HL 0.84, SL 0.84, EL 0.12, PW 0.52.

COLOR Major: body and appendages clear light reddish yellow ("orange"), with gaster a shade darker.

Minor: concolorous medium yellow brown, in both the Boraceia Biological Station series and holotype minor.

Pheidole tristis Wilson 2003.jpg

Figure. Upper: major (Boraceia Biological Station, Mun. Salesopolis, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, col. William L. Brown), associated with minors compared by E. O. Wilson with holotype minor from Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the bottom the right hind femur is depicted. Lower: holotype, minor. Scale bars = 1 mm.

Type Material

Tijuca, Brazil. The Natural History Museum - as reported in Wilson (2003)


L tristis, sad, allusion unknown. (Wilson 2003)


  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1981. Preliminary contributions toward a revision of the ant genus Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Part I. J. Kans. Entomol. Soc. 54: 523-530 (page 527, senior synonym of fumipennis)
  • Kempf, W. W. 1965. Nota preliminar sôbre algumas formigas neotrópicas, descritas por Frederick Smith (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Biol. 25: 181-186 (page 183, senior synonym of emeryi and rubra)
  • Mayr, G. 1886c. Notizen über die Formiciden-Sammlung des British Museum in London. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 36: 353-368 (page 360, Combination in Pheidole)
  • Smith, F. 1858a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp. (page 132, worker described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. (page 769, fig. major, minor described, Senior synonym of crassipes, alsia)