Pheidole punctatissima Mayr 1870

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view

major face view

major lateral view


Minor worker: head length 0.57mm, head width 0.48mm, scape length 0.56mm, Webers length 0.67mm (n=1). Head rounded behind, with weak median indentation; mesonotal suture weakly impressed; propodeal spines moderately long, spiniform; face and mesosoma uniformly foveolate; first gastral tergum mat, not shining; dorsal pilosity sparse (about 8 setae on promesonotum), short, stiff; color dark brown.

Major worker: head length 1.08mm, head width 1.03mm, scape length 0.60mm (n=1). Face sharply bicolored, with yellow posterior portion, dark brown anterior portion; face foveolate throughout, overlain with subparallel, longitudinal rugae on anterior half; clypeus rugose, excavate anteriorly; hypostomal margin gently curved; median tooth rounded, small to absent; pair of stout teeth about one third distance to recessed teeth flanking mandible bases; dorsal pilosity sparse to moderately abundant, stiff; head with abundant, short, stiff setae projecting from sides of head in face view.

Brown (1981) discussed and delimited the species P. punctatissima.


Mexico (type locality) to Colombia, questionable record from Cuba (Kempf 1972). Costa Rica: disturbed habitats of Pacific lowlands and montane areas.

Natural History

This species thrives in disturbed areas, and it is often a pest ant. Nests are often in ephemeral cavities: soft rotten sticks, beneath bark flaps, in debris in forks of trees, etc.

Selected Records

Santa Rosa National Park: Bosque Humedo; nest in rotten stick .5m high.

Guanacaste Conservation Area (Maritza): at baits.

Monteverde: common along the road from Guacimal to Monteverde, and in the Monteverde community itself along roadsides and in houses.

Penas Blancas Valley: in Winkler sample from forest at 900m (possible house pest contaminant?).

San Jose: in city parks.

Carara Biological Reserve: in Winkler sample from patch of forest near highway, 30m elevation.

Coto: Banana plantations; nest in the upright trunk of a banana, where the guy-wire had been sewn through the trunk.

Corcovado National Park (Sirena): common at baits and at extrafloral nectaries.

Literature Cited

Brown, W. L. Jr. 1981. Preliminary contributions toward a revision of the ant genus Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicdae). Part I. J. Kansas Ent. Soc. 54:523-530.

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: 8 December 1997
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