Pheidole veteratrix

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Pheidole veteratrix
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Pheidole
Species: P. veteratrix
Binomial name
Pheidole veteratrix
Forel, 1891

Pheidole veteratrix F60 d f.jpg

Synonyms

The species was collected between 500-1700 m in elevation, in rainforest, montane rainforest and montane forest. Nests were located in rotten logs, under stones and under moss.

Identification

Salata and Fisher (2020) - Moderately large species. Major: Head in full-face view sub-oval and slightly widening posteriorly, with anterior and posterior sides slightly convex, in lateral view sub-oval; ventral and dorsal faces convex; sides of the head with very dense, long, suberect to erect pilosity; medial part of frons with thick, interrupted, dense, and longitudinally irregular rugae with indistinctly rugulate interspaces; occipital lobes and area posterolateral from eyes without smooth notches; scape, when laid back, exceeding the midlength of head by one-fifth of its length; inner hypostomal teeth distinct, moderately large to large and wide, closely spaced, triangular with apex directed slightly inward; outer hypostomal teeth lobe-like, narrower than and approximately as high as inner teeth, apex directed upward; inner and outer hypostomal teeth closely spaced and not connected by concavity; mesosoma rugofoveolate; katepisternum with reduced sculpture and sometimes with smooth notch; gaster smooth; body brown to dark brown. Minor: Head foveolate with additional sparse and longitudinal rugae at least on lateral sides of frons, sometimes longitudinal to irregular rugae occur also on medial frons, vertex sometimes with transverse rugulae; area posterolateral from eyes sometimes with weaker foveolae or smooth, sometimes with additional rugae; scape, when laid back, exceeding the posterior head margin by one-third of its length; promesonotum low and moderately long; promesonotal groove present; propodeal spines minute and triangular; mesosoma foveolate; katepisternum with sparser foveolae to partially smooth; body yellow brown to dark brown.

Pheidole veteratrix express high variability in body colouration and head sculpture in minor workers. Body colouration varies from brown to dark brown with intermediate forms but the type of body colouration is stable within colony. Head sculpture of minor workers is predominantly foveolate, most often with vertex and area posterolateral from eyes partially or entirely smooth, additionally foveolae can be covered by a network of rugae that are longitudinal on frons to transverse of vertex, rugae can be thin to thick, and most of the time interrupted. Dark brown populations can be confused with parapatric Pheidole mainty but its major workers can be easily separated based on lack of shagreened first gastral tergite and body never brownish black; minor workers differ in sparser foveolae on mesosoma and at least partially smooth katepisternum. Populations of P. veteratrix with brighter body colouration are similar to Pheidole anomala, a species known from Parc National Montagne d'Ambre in Antsiranana. Major workers of P. veteratrix can be separated based on brown to dark brown body and frons with smooth to indistinctly rugulate interspaces; minor workers based on body colouration which is never yellow and presence of smooth notches on katepisternum. Minors of P. veteratrix also can be confused with minor workers of Pheidole joffreville, known from the northernmost part of the Antsiranana prefecture, but they differ in low and long promesonotum, absence of smooth notch on anteromedial frons, and minute propodeal spines.

Distribution

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -15.56666667° to -15.56666667°.

 
North
Temperate
North
Subtropical
Tropical South
Subtropical
South
Temperate

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

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.

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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.

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Biology

Association with Other Organisms

Castes

Worker

minor

Salata and Fisher 2002b, Fig. 60, minor worker, CASENT0923259.
Salata and Fisher 2002b, Fig. 60, minor worker, CASENT0923259.

Economo-header (arilab.unit.oist.jp).png  X-ray micro-CT scan 3D model of Pheidole veteratrix (minor worker) prepared by the Economo lab at OIST.

A minor worker from Madagascar. See on Sketchfab. See list of 3D images.


major

Economo-header (arilab.unit.oist.jp).png  X-ray micro-CT scan 3D model of Pheidole veteratrix (major worker) prepared by the Economo lab at OIST.

A major worker from Madagascar. See on Sketchfab. See list of 3D images.

Queen

Economo-header (arilab.unit.oist.jp).png  X-ray micro-CT scan 3D model of Pheidole veteratrix (queen) prepared by the Economo lab at OIST.

See on Sketchfab. See list of 3D images.

Nomenclature

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

  • veteratrix. Pheidole veteratrix Forel, 1891b: 225 (s.w.) MADAGASCAR. Current subspecies: nominal plus angustinoda.
    • Senior synonym of angustinoda: Salata & Fisher, 2020: 166.
  • angustinoda. Pheidole veteratrix var. angustinoda Forel, 1892k: 526 (s.w.) MADAGASCAR.
    • Junior synonym of veteratrix: Salata & Fisher, 2020: 166.

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

Description

Worker

Salata and Fisher (2020) - Major (N = 10): HL: 1.17-1.52 (1.39); HW: 1.2-1.57 (1.42); SL: 0.83-0.91 (0.87); EL: 0.15-0.19 (0.18); WL: 1.15-1.29 (1.21); PSL: 0.16-0.21 (0.2); MTL: 0.8-0.89 (0.85); PNW: 0.48-0.62 (0.54); PTW: 0.16-0.21 (0.17); PPW: 0.31-0.44 (0.37); CI: 95.4-100.1 (97.9); SI: 56.6-72.5 (61.6); PSLI: 11.8-15.5 (14.1); PPI: 41.7-56.0 (47.7); PNI: 36.3-40.5 (38.1); MTI: 56.0-67.0 (60.1).

Head. In full-face view sub-oval, widening posteriorly, with anterior and posterior sides convex. In lateral view sub-oval; ventral and dorsal faces convex; inner hypostomal teeth visible. Sides of the head with dense, long, suberect to erect pilosity; whole head with dense, long, decumbent to erect pilosity. Medial part of frons with thick, longitudinally irregular, interrupted, and dense rugae, interspaces indistinctly rugulate, rugae directed outward on posteromedial part; lateral sides with thick, dense and irregular rugae with distinctly rugulate interspaces. Occipital lobes with weaker and sparser rugae and predominantly smooth interspaces. Area posterolateral from eyes with longitudinal, moderately thick, dense rugae with rugulate interspaces, sculpture weakening posteriorly. Gena with relatively sparse, thick, and longitudinal rugae and smooth to indistinctly rugulate interspaces. Centre of clypeus smooth and shiny, lateral sides with indistinct rugulae; median notch present, moderately wide, and shallow; median longitudinal carina present; lateral longitudinal carinae absent. Scape, when laid back, exceeding the midlength of head by two-fifths of its length; pilosity subdecumbent to erect. Inner hypostomal teeth distinct, moderately large to large, closely spaced, triangular, with rounded apex directed inward; outer hypostomal teeth lobe-like, slightly higher than or as high as inner teeth; inner and outer hypostomal teeth closely spaced and not connected by concavity. Mesosoma. In lateral view, promesonotum short, angular, and moderately low, posterior mesonotum steep, mesonotal process indistinct, tubercle-like; promesonotal groove absent; metanotal groove absent; propodeal spines moderately long, with narrow base and acute apex; humeral area produced. Surface shiny and distinctly rugofoveolate; promesonotum with additional sparse and moderately thick, transverse rugae on dorsum; katepisternum with reduced sculpture or partially smooth. Pilosity moderately dense, long, and erect. Petiole. Shiny with dense foveolae; node finely foveolate, triangular, with rounded and thick apex, in rear view node dorsoventrally slightly convex; pilosity moderately sparse and erect. Postpetiole. Shiny and foveolate; dorsum with reduced sculpture and smooth notch; in dorsal view oval, lateral margins medially with two dentate projections; pilosity long, moderately sparse and erect. Gaster. Shiny and smooth; pilosity moderately dense, long, and erect. Colour. Ferruginous to dark brown, with yellowish legs.

The following characters are found in most Pheidole sikorae species-group majors in Madagascar (Salata and Fisher 2020b). These characters also occur in Pheidole veteratrix, except for any differences noted in the paragraph above. Dorsal face of head in lateral view not depressed posteriorly; antennal sockets shallow; frontal lobes absent; head in full-face view with distinct median concavity; antenna 12-segmented, with 3-segmented club; masticatory margin of mandible with large, stout apical and preapical teeth, followed by a long diastema and then a short and crenulate tooth just before the rounded basal angle; outer surface of mandible mostly smooth and shining, sometimes with weak and sparse foveolae; antennal scrobes absent; promesonotum strongly convex, well above the level of propodeum; petiolar peduncle with small horizontal lobes on its basal part; postpetiole short with slightly convex dorsum; petiolar peduncle without horizontal lobes on its basal part; body unicolourous.

Minor (N = 10): HL: 0.61-0.72 (0.69); HW: 0.55-0.59 (0.57); SL: 0.78-0.85 (0.82); EL: 0.12-0.14 (0.13); WL: 0.86-0.95 (0.91); PSL: 0.07-0.1 (0.09); MTL: 0.66-0.7 (0.69); PNW: 0.38-0.43 (0.4); PTW: 0.09-0.11 (0.1); PPW: 0.17-0.2 (0.18); CI: 110.2-125.8 (120.2); SI: 136.9-149.8 (143.4); PSLI: 9.8-15.4 (12.8); PPI: 48.6-61.5 (54.5); PNI: 65.8-74.6 (69.6); MTI: 117.3-123.9 (120.4).

Head. Cephalic margin slightly convex. Pilosity relatively sparse, moderately long, subdecumbent to erect. Sculpture shiny and foveolate with additional sparse and longitudinal rugae at least on lateral sides of frons, sometimes longitudinal to irregular rugae occur also on medial frons, vertex sometimes with transverse rugulae; area posterolateral from eyes sometimes with weaker foveolae or smooth, sometimes with additional rugae; antennal sockets with few thick, curved outward rugae and foveolate interspaces. Clypeus with median longitudinal carina absent; two lateral longitudinal carinae absent. Scape, when laid back, exceeding the posterior head margin by one-third of its length; pilosity dense, suberect to erect. Mesosoma. In lateral view, promesonotum low and moderately long, arched; promesonotal groove indistinct; metanotal groove distinct; propodeal spines minute and triangular. Sculpture shiny and foveolate; katepisternum with small smooth notch. Pilosity very sparse, moderately long, and erect. Gaster. With sparse, erect pilosity. Colour. Brown, legs yellowish.

The following characters are found in most Pheidole sikorae species-group minors in Madagascar (Salata and Fisher 2020b). These characters also occur in Pheidole veteratrix, except for any differences noted in the paragraph above. Antennal sockets shallow; frontal lobes absent; occipital carina absent; head in full-face view oval, posterior and anterior of eyes convex; antenna 12-segmented, with 3-segmented club; humeral area not developed; clypeus smooth and shiny, its anterior margin regularly convex; promesonotum well above the level of propodeum; petiole smooth, with node moderately low, triangular, and small, with few short, erect setae; petiolar peduncle with ventral face slightly convex; postpetiole smooth, short, low, and slightly convex, with few short, erect setae; gaster smooth and shiny; body unicolourous.

Type Material

Salata and Fisher (2020b) - Pheidole veteratrix Forel, 1891: 225 (s.w.). Lectotype [designated here]: major worker (CASENT0101594): Madagascar, Antananarivo, Fort d'Andrangoloaka, coll. Sikora (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève) [examined]. Paralectotypes: 1 minor worker (CASENT0101630) (MHNG) [examined], 1 minor worker (CASENT0923190) (MHNG) [examined], 1 major worker (CASENT0101935) (MHNG) [examined], 1 worker (CASENT0923191) (MHNG) [examined]. Lectotype [designated here]: major worker, bottom specimen on the pin (CASENT0101567): Madagascar, Toamasina, Amparafaravantsiv, Mangoro river, coll. Sikora; (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève) [examined]. Paralectotypes: 1 major worker, top specimen, the same pin as holotype (CASENT0876546) (MHNG) [examined], 2 minor workers (CASENT0101661) (MHNG) [examined].

References

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Fisher B. L. 1996. Ant diversity patterns along an elevational gradient in the Réserve Naturelle Intégrale d'Andringitra, Madagascar. Fieldiana Zoology (n.s.)85: 93-108
  • Fisher B. L. 1997. Biogeography and ecology of the ant fauna of Madagascar (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Natural History 31: 269-302.
  • Fisher B. L. 1998. Ant diversity patterns along an elevational gradient in the Réserve Spéciale d'Anjanaharibe-Sud and on the western Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar. Fieldiana Zoology (n.s.)90: 39-67.
  • Fisher B. L. 1999. Ant diversity patterns along an elevational gradient in the Réserve Naturelle Intégrale d'Andohahela, Madagascar. Fieldiana Zoology (n.s.)94: 129-147
  • Fisher B. L. 2003. Formicidae, ants. Pp. 811-819 in: Goodman, S. M.; Benstead, J. P. (eds.) 2003. The natural history of Madagascar. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, xxi + 1709 pp.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1922. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. IX. A synonymic list of the ants of the Malagasy region. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45: 1005-1055