Pheidole cataphracta Wilson 2003

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view

major face view

major lateral view


Minor worker: head length 0.52mm, head width 0.49mm, scape length 0.49mm, Webers length 0.66mm (n=1). Head rounded behind, somewhat flattened medially; mesonotal suture weakly impressed to absent; humeri somewhat produced as low, subtriangular tubercles; propodeal spines long, curved downward; face and mesosoma uniformly foveolate; first gastral tergum smooth and shining; dorsal pilosity sparse, short, moderately stiff; color orange.

Major worker: head length 0.91mm, head width 0.86mm, scape length 0.50mm (n=1). Face largely punctatorugose, shining, rugae longitudinal and subparallel; hypostomal margin gently curved; median tooth absent; lateral teeth pointed, about one half distance from midline to recessed teeth flanking mandible bases; dorsal pilosity sparse; head with one or two medium length setae projecting from sides of head in face view.


Colombia, Costa Rica. Costa Rica: mid-elevation Atlantic slope.

Natural History

This species occurs in wet forest habitats. It is arboreal, nesting in live plant stems.

Selected Records

Rara Avis: 25yr old second growth and primary forest. Nest in 4mm dia live stem of epiphytic melastome on tree trunk.

Penas Blancas Valley: mature wet forest; nesting in foliar pouches of Tococa-like plant. These nests were in a clump of 3 plants. I put about 5 leaves that had intact foliar pouches together in a bag. Later I dissected them and combined the contents. Each leaf contained ants. Two leaves contained dealate colony queens. Thus, this collection may contain several separate colonies. [two species in collection]

Penas Blancas Valley: new second growth veg.; bananas, Piper, tall grass. Colony in a living stem of a sapling; in a chamber about 2m high; edge of mature forest.

Page authors:

John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.

Stefan Cover, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge MA 02138 USA.

Date of this version: 19 October 2007.
Previous versions of this page: 8 December 1997
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