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Current species list
History of name changes
Comments on Wilson (2003) revision of New World Pheidole
Image database of type specimens at MCZ (Harvard) (images of the new species described in Wilson 2003)

Pheidole species known from Costa Rica

Pheidole absurda  Forel 1886

Pheidole ajax Forel 1899

Pheidole alfaroi  Emery 1896

Pheidole amabilis Wilson 2003

Pheidole anastasii Emery 1896

Pheidole angulifera Wilson 2003

Pheidole arachnion Wilson 2003

Pheidole arboricola Wilson 2003

Pheidole arietans Wilson 2003

Pheidole arhuaca Foreal 1901

Pheidole beloceps Wilson 2003

Pheidole biconstricta Mayr 1870

Pheidole bicornis Forel 1899

Pheidole bilimeki Mayr 1870

Pheidole biolleyi Forel 1908

Pheidole boliviana   Wilson 2003

Pheidole boltoni   Wilson 2003

Pheidole boruca   Wilson 2003

Pheidole brachyops Wilson 2003

Pheidole browni  Wilson 2003

Pheidole caltrop  Wilson 2003

Pheidole carapuna  Mann 1916

Pheidole carinata Wilson 2003

Pheidole cataphracta Wilson 2003

Pheidole caulicola Wilson 2003

Pheidole celaena Wilson 2003

Pheidole cephalica F. Smith 1858

Pheidole cerina Wilson 2003

Pheidole chocoensis  Wilson 2003

Pheidole christopherseni   Forel 1912

Pheidole citrina   Wilson 2003

Pheidole cocciphaga   Borgmeier 1934

Pheidole colobopsis Mann 1916

Pheidole cramptoni Wheeler 1916

Pheidole daphne Wilson 2003

Pheidole dasypyx   Wilson 2003

Pheidole diabolus   Wilson 2003

Pheidole diana Forel 1908

Pheidole dossena Wilson 2003

Pheidole dryas  Wilson 2003

Pheidole ectatommoides   Wilson 2003

Pheidole erratilis  Wilson 2003

Pheidole exarata  Emery 1896

Pheidole excubitor Wilson 2003

Pheidole fallax Mayr 1870

Pheidole fariasana Wilson 2003

Pheidole fimbriata Roger 1863

Pheidole fiorii Emery 1890

Pheidole flavens Roger 1863

Pheidole gauthieri Forel 1901

Pheidole glomericeps  Wilson 2003

Pheidole gouldi   Forel 1886

Pheidole gradifer   Wilson 2003

Pheidole hasticeps Wilson 2003

Pheidole hazenae Wilson 2003

Pheidole hector Wilson 2003

Pheidole hirsuta Emery 1896

Pheidole hizemops Wilson 2003

Pheidole hoelldobleri Wilson 2003

Pheidole indagatrix Wilson 2003

Pheidole indistincta  Forel 1899

Pheidole innupta Menozzi 1931

Pheidole JTL-006 Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-078 Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-104 Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-110 Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-112 Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-113 Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-122  Longino and Cover ms

Pheidole JTL-123  Longino and Cover ms

Pheidole JTL-125  Longino and Cover ms

Pheidole JTL-126  Longino and Cover ms

Pheidole JTL-129  Longino and Cover ms

Pheidole JTL-130  Longino and Cover ms

Pheidole JTL-132  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-133  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-134  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-135  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-136  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-137  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-138  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-139  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-140  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-141  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-142  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-143  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-144  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-153  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-154  Longino ms

Pheidole JTL-157  Longino ms

Pheidole kukrana   Wilson 2003

Pheidole laselva Wilson 2003

Pheidole laticornis  Wilson 2003

Pheidole longinoi Wilson 2003

Pheidole lourothi   Wilson 2003

Pheidole lucaris Wilson 2003

Pheidole lustrata Wilson 2003

Pheidole mantilla   Wilson 2003

Pheidole megacephala (Fabricius 1793)

Pheidole mendicula Wheeler 1925

Pheidole monteverdensis   Wilson 2003

Pheidole multispina   Wilson 2003

Pheidole nasutoides  Holldobler and Wilson 1992

Pheidole nebulosa Wilson 2003

Pheidole nigricula Wilson 2003

Pheidole nitella Wilson 2003

Pheidole nitidicollis Emery 1896

Pheidole olsoni  Wilson 2003

Pheidole onyx Wilson 2003

Pheidole otisi Wilson 2003

Pheidole perpusilla   Emery 1894

Pheidole potosiana Wilson 2003

Pheidole prattorum  Wilson 2003

Pheidole prolixa Wilson 2003

Pheidole prostrata   Wilson 2003

Pheidole protensa   Wilson 2003

Pheidole psilogaster   Wilson 2003

Pheidole pugnax Dalla Torre 1892

Pheidole punctatissima Mayr 1870

Pheidole radoszkowskii   Mayr 1884

Pheidole rectispina  Wilson 2003

Pheidole rectitrudis  Wilson 2003

Pheidole renae Wilson 2003

Pheidole rhinoceros   Forel 1899

Pheidole rogeri Emery 1896

Pheidole rugiceps Wilson 2003

Pheidole ruida Wilson 2003

Pheidole sagittaria   Wilson 2003

Pheidole scalaris Wilson 2003

Pheidole scitula   Wilson 2003

Pheidole scrobifera Emery 1896

Pheidole sensitiva  Borgmeier 1959

Pheidole sicaria   Wilson 2003

Pheidole simonsi Wilson 2003

Pheidole spathipilosa Wilson 2003

Pheidole specularis Wilson 2003

Pheidole striaticeps Mayr 1870

Pheidole stulta Forel 1886

Pheidole subarmata Mayr 1884

Pheidole susannae   Forel 1886

Pheidole synarmata   Wilson 2003

Pheidole tanyscapa Wilson 2003

Pheidole tennantae  Wilson 2003

Pheidole traini   Wilson 2003

Pheidole truncula Wilson 2003

Pheidole ulothrix  Wilson 2003

Pheidole umphreyi   Wilson 2003

Pheidole ursus   Mayr 1870

Pheidole vallifica   Forel 1901

Pheidole variegata   Emery 1896

Pheidole veletis   Wilson 2003

Pheidole verricula   Wilson 2003

Pheidole vestita Wilson 2003

Pheidole violacea Wilson 2003

History of name changes

Many of the names on the Pheidole of Costa Rica webpages changed with the publication of Wilson (2003). Below is a summary of those changes.

Old name = New name
campanae = tennantae
decem = perpusilla
JTL-009 = brachyops
JTL-013 = hoelldobleri
JTL-021 = truncula
JTL-036 = glomericeps
JTL-040 = amabilis
JTL-044 = ulothrix
JTL-046 = dryas
JTL-048 = erratilis
JTL-050 = carinata
JTL-051 = erratilis
JTL-052 = cataphracta
JTL-054 = caulicola
JTL-066 = hector
JTL-068 = chocoensis
JTL-073 = mantilla
JTL-074 = violacea
JTL-077 = psilogaster
JTL-079 = laticornis
JTL-080 = potosiana
JTL-081 = vestita
JTL-083 = cerina
JTL-087 = renae
JTL-090 = lustrata
JTL-091 = arboricola
JTL-092 = lucaris
JTL-094 = daphne
JTL-095 = hizemops
JTL-097 = longinoi
JTL-099 = onyx
JTL-100 = boliviana
JTL-102 = beloceps
JTL-103 = prolixa
JTL-106 = arhuaca
JTL-111 = colobopsis
JTL-114 = scitula
JTL-115 = hizemops
JTL-116 = angulifera
JTL-118 = excubitor
JTL-119 = exarata
JTL-121 = perpusilla
JTL-127 = synarmata
JTL-128 = hazenae
JTL-145 = synarmata
pubiventris = variegata
praetorum = prattorum
radoszkowskii luteola = radoszkowskii
radoszkowskii pugnax = pugnax
sus = traini

There was early confusion in the names of two species: rectitrudis vs. erectitrudis and rectispina vs. erectispina. In Wilson (2003) they are rectitrudis and rectispina.

Comments on Wilson (2003)

Wilson aptly describes Pheidole as a "hyperdiverse" ant genus. Local communities in the Neotropics can contain over 70 species, and there is extensive geographic variation. There will be on-going assessment of whether this variation is inter- versus intra-specific, and thus Pheidole species names will undoubtedly remain unstable for a while.

The history of Pheidole taxonomy for Costa Rica begins with the early naturalists. Alfaro, Tristan, Biolley, and others collected in Costa Rica in the late 1800's and sent material to European taxonomists, mainly Emery and Forel. From about 1880 to 1920 Emery and Forel described many new species from this material, making Costa Rica the type locality for many Neotropical Pheidole species. Starting in the 1960's, Bill Brown, E. O. Wilson, and others began collecting ants in Costa Rica, accumulating material in collections at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ). Costa Rica subsequently became a mecca for students of tropical biology, attracting a large number of researchers, many of whom studied ants. During this time I became interested in the ant fauna of Costa Rica and began collecting and sorting Pheidole material. Meanwhile E. O. Wilson and Stefan Cover of the MCZ began an ambitious project to revise the Pheidole of the New World. In 1997 Stefan Cover and I collaborated to develop the Pheidole pages for the Ants of Costa Rica website. These pages used a combination of older published names, Wilson's unpublished manuscript names, and a series of morphospecies codes of the form "JTL-000." Wilson's revision was published in 2003 (Wilson, E. O. 2003. Pheidole in the New World: A Dominant, Hyperdiverse Ant Genus. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass).

There are inevitable differences of opinion in taxonomy, and below I attempt to outline some of the differences between the Pheidole taxonomy presented here and the taxonomy in Wilson's revision.

The following are potential synonyms (Junior syn. = senior syn.):
angusticeps = gradifer
iracunda = arachnion
chloe = striaticeps
ebenina = laselva
exigua = flavens
glyphoderma = arietans
grantae = exarata
humida = boltoni
indagatrix = obscurior
medialis = radoszkowskii
perdiligens = indistincta
petersoni = erratilis
piceonigra = indistincta
sagana = nitidicollis
texticeps = indistincta

Below are Wilson synonyms I disagree with:
innupta (synonymized under alfaroi)
anastasii (synonymized under bilimeki)

Page author: John T. Longino longinoj@evergreen.edu

Date of this version: 29 December 2008.
Previous versions of this page: 27 December 1997, 25 November 1998, 29 January 2001, 29 June 2003
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