Pheidole rugiceps Wilson 2003

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view

major face view

major lateral view


Minor worker: head length 0.46mm, head width 0.41mm, scape length 0.54mm, Webers length 0.55mm (n=1). Head rounded behind; mesonotal suture weakly impressed to absent; propodeal spines absent; face and mesosoma foveolate except for smooth and shining areas on promesonotal dorsum and sides of pronotum; first gastral tergum smooth and shining; dorsal pilosity sparse, short, moderately stiff; color brown.

Major worker: head length 0.95mm, head width 0.95mm, scape length 0.64mm (n=1). Face punctatorugose throughout; hypostomal margin straight, with median tooth, and a pair of slightly larger teeth about one half distance from midline to recessed teeth flanking mandible bases (Figure); dorsal pilosity sparse; head with abundant, short, subdecumbent setae projecting from sides of head in face view.

Variation: the shiny patch on dorsum of promesonotum is most well-developed on Atlantic slope specimens, is reduced on some Pacific slope specimens (Carara at 500m, Rancho Quemado on the Osa), and absent on many Pacific slope specimens (Corcovado, Manuel Antonio, Carara at 30m). Correlated with the reduction of the dorsal shiny spot is a change in color from dark brown to orange. Specimens from Sirena in Corcovado are orange.


Belize and Honduras south to Amazonian Peru, Trinidad. Costa Rica: Atlantic and southern Pacific lowlands to 500m.

Natural History

This is a very common species in Costa Rica. It inhabits mature wet forest floor where it nests in dead wood. Workers commonly recruit to baits on the forest floor.

Selected Records

Winkler samples from La Selva, Braulio Carrillo, Turrialba, Hitoy Cerere, Carara, Manuel Antonio, Corcovado.

La Selva: nest in thin dead stick on ground.

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:
Go back to top

Go to Ants of Costa Rica Homepage