Pheidole dossena Wilson 2003

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view

major face view

major lateral view


Minor worker: head length 0.62mm, head width 0.51mm, scape length 0.68mm, Webers length 0.78mm (n=1). Head rounded behind eyes, with no vertex collar; promesonotal and metanotal grooves well impressed; propodeal spines of moderate length; face smooth and shiny; pronotum smooth and shiny; mesonotum largely smooth and shiny dorsally, foveolate on sides; propodeum foveolate dorsally and on sides; gaster smooth and shiny; dorsal pilosity abundant, long, flexuous; color light red brown.

Major worker: head length 1.26mm, head width 1.16mm, scape length 0.67mm (n=1). Face shiny throughout, reticulate rugose on anterior half, smooth on posterior half; hypostomal margin with pair of widely-spaced teeth, each tooth sharp, located about 3/4 distance from midline to small recessed tooth flanking mandible (Figure); head, mesosoma, and gaster with abundant, long, erect, flexuous setae, including abundant suberect setae projecting from sides of head in face view.


Costa Rica: Atlantic lowlands (Santa Cecilia in northern Costa Rica, La Selva, Hitoy Cerere, Puerto Viejo de Limon).

Natural History

This species is one of the most common in the low arboreal stratum in primary wet forest at La Selva. Workers make prodigious use of loose carton, constructing extensive runways and shelters. Nests are often built in and around dead sticks, dead vine stems, palm bracts, and bark flaps. Nests are common on tree trunks among epiphyte roots. Epiphytes frequently sprout from the carton, in some instances producing discrete ant gardens. Opportunistic nesting in myrmecophytes (e.g. Cecropia, Tillandsia bulbosa) may occur (images of nest in T. bulbosa). Somewhat disheveled galleries and brood-containing carton shelters may occur abundantly in the understory, making it difficult to determine colony boundaries. The general nesting habits of this species are much like Crematogaster longispina.

In one case at La Selva, ant gardens were scattered in a Piper reachable from the bridge over the Sura, at the entrance to the arboretum. The ant gardens looked ephemeral (one was on the tip of a dead branch), and carton galleries traversed the branches. The sprouting epiphytes were mostly small aroids.

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: 2 September 2003.
Previous versions of this page: 4 December 1997
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