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Pheidole dentigula M. R. Smith HNS

Pheidole dentigula M. R. Smith HNS 1927b: 310.

types Nat. Mus. Nat. Hist. U. S.; Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.

Etymology L dentigula HNS , toothed throat (gula), referring to the strong teeth of the hypostoma in the type majors.

diagnosis Similar to ceibana HNS , lignicola HNS , metallescens HNS , and saucensis HNS , differing as follows.

Major: frontal lobes and vertex carinulate; all of rest of dorsal head surface from eyes to occiput rugoreticulate; occipital cleft deep, its nadir angulate; inner teeth of hypostoma unusually prominent (projecting well forward of anterior head margin in side view); propodeal spines large, robust, equilaterally triangular; postpetiole from above very broad, elliptical.

Minor: space between eye and antennal fossa on each side rugulose, and most of rest of head, including occiput, carinulate; the carinulae are quite variably developed, and often weak even though still present (the figure represents one extreme); all of head and mesosoma except for midclypeus foveolate; anterior and lateral margins of pronotal dorsum rugulose; propodeal spines large, thick at base.

measurements (mm) Paratype major: HW 0.84, HL 0.94, SL 0.40, EL 0.10, PW 0.44. Paratype minor: HW 0.46, HL 0.52, SL 0.42, EL 0.06, PW 0.30.

Color Major: body and mandibles concolorous reddish brown; appendages dark yellow.

Minor: head, mandibles, and mesosoma light reddish brown; waist, gaster, and other appendages dark yellow.

range Tennessee and North Carolina south to the Florida Keys and west to eastern Texas, mostly on the coastal plain.

biology According to Marion R. Smith (1944d), dentigula HNS occurs in forests, where it nests in the soil and in rotten stumps. Stefan Cover (personal communication) adds that " P. dentigula HNS is definitely a forest ant. In moist or mesic forest types it is common in soil and rotten wood. In xeric types, like longleaf pine-turkey oak sandhill forest, it is found in moisture-retentive microhabitats like large rotten stumps, or under deep litter in small depressions." W. L. Brown and I found winged reproductives in a colony near Ravenel, South Carolina, on 9 June 1957.

Figure Upper: paratype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. MISSISSIPPI: State University, near Starkville, Oktibbeha Co. (M. R. Smith). Scale bars = 1 mm.


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