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Pheidole adrianoi HNS Naves

Pheidole adrianoi HNS Naves 1985: 56.

Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard; Florida State Collection of Arthropods.

Etymology Eponymous.

Diagnosis A small brown member of the pilifera HNS group distinguished by the following combination of traits. Major: diminished, nearly invisible mesonotal convexity; metanotal groove absent, with metanotal profile forming a continuous line with that of the propodeal basal face; propodeal spines long, thick, blunt-tipped; mesopleuron and sides of pronotum and propodeum completely covered by longitudinal carinulae, but promesonotal dorsum smooth and shiny; postpetiolar node diamond-shaped viewed from above.

Minor: profde of promesonotal dorsum smoothly convex; propodeal spines short and stout; mesopleuron and side of propodeum foveolate and opaque but lacking carinulae.

Close to davisi HNS but differing in the above and other characters.

Measurements (mm) Paratype major: HW 0.86, HL 0.92, SL 0.46, EL 0.14, PW 0.44. Paratype minor: HW 0.38, HL 0.42, SL 0.38, EL 0.10, PW 0.24.

Color Major: body mostly plain medium brown, gaster dark brown, appendages yellowish brown.

Minor: body medium to dark brown, appendages medium brown.

Range Central and northern Florida, west to Okaloosa Co. in the Florida panhandle.

Biology Marcio Naves (1985) found P. adrianoi HNS common within its range, nesting in sandy soil in clear areas within forests -a habitat also preferred by P. metallescens HNS , which resembles it in the field to the naked eye. According to Stefan Cover (personal communication), adrianoi HNS is typically associated with white-sand gaps in pine-oak forest. The colonies contain about 60 majors and more than 300 minors. The nest entrance, surrounded by a crater of excavated soil, leads through a vertical tunnel 1-2 mm in diameter to a main chamber 30 to 40 cm beneath the surface. Mature colonies contain about 60 majors and more than 300 minors. Both castes engage in strictly diumal foraging, and the majors participate in the retrieval of food. The main diet is seeds, although the workers also scavenge for small dead arthropods. The main flights of the winged sexual forms occur in July and August.

Figure Upper: paratype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. FLORIDA: Gainesville, Alachua Co., Florida (Marcio A. Naves). Scale bars = 1 mm.


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