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      Pheidole Westwood, 1839 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Madagascar – an introduction and a taxonomic revision of eleven species groups

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      Pensoft Publishers

      endemic species, Malagasy region, Myrmicinae , taxonomy

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          Abstract

          Abstract

          The present study represents an introduction to the revision of Pheidole Westwood, 1839 from Madagascar. Sixteen species groups are established, of which eleven are revised below, and illustrated identification keys to species groups and species of groups revised in this monograph are presented. Two species are raised to species level: Pheidole petax Forel, 1895 stat. nov., and P. scabrata Forel, 1895 stat. nov. We also redescribe worker castes and designate lectotypes for P. annemariae Forel, 1918, P. nemoralis Forel, 1892, P. petax Forel, 1895, P. ensifera Forel, 1897, P. longispinosa Forel, 1891, and P. scabrata Forel, 1895. The following 46 new species are described: Pheidole aelloea sp. nov., P. ala sp. nov., P. andapa sp. nov., P. ankerana sp. nov., P. avaratra sp. nov., P. bemarahaensis sp. nov., P. bemarivoensis sp. nov., P. binara sp. nov., P. boribora sp. nov., P. brevipilosa sp. nov., P. curvistriata sp. nov., P. diakritos sp. nov., P. ehazoara sp. nov., P. ferruginea sp. nov., P. fisaka sp. nov., P. fitarata sp. nov., P. glabra sp. nov., P. goavana sp. nov., P. lamperos sp. nov., P. longipilosa sp. nov., P. lutea sp. nov., P. madinika sp. nov., P. mahaboensis sp. nov., P. maizina sp. nov., P. makaensis sp. nov., P. makirovana sp. nov., P. manantenensis sp. nov., P. mantadia sp. nov., P. marieannae sp. nov., P. masoala sp. nov., P. mavesatra sp. nov., P. miramila sp. nov., P. moramanaensis sp. nov., P. navoatrensis sp. nov., P. ocypodea sp. nov., P. parviocula sp. nov., P. podargea sp. nov., P. praegrandis sp. nov., P. ranohirensis sp. nov., P. rugocephala sp. nov., P. rugofitarata sp. nov., P. typhlos sp. nov., P. vatovavensis sp. nov., P. voasara sp. nov., P. vohemarensis sp. nov., and P. zavamanira sp. nov. At present, there are 69 valid species and subspecies of Pheidole known from Madagascar, but this number is expected to increase significantly with upcoming taxonomic revisions of the species groups not revised in this study.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Has Vicariance or Dispersal Been the Predominant Biogeographic Force in Madagascar? Only Time Will Tell

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            A Monographic Revision Of The Ant Genus Lasius.

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              Inordinate Spinescence: Taxonomic Revision and Microtomography of the Pheidole cervicornis Species Group (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

              The ant genus Pheidole—for all of its hyperdiversity and global ubiquity—is remarkably conservative with regard to morphological disparity. A striking exception to this constrained morphology is the spinescent morphotype, which has evolved multiple times across distantly related lineages of Indoaustralian Pheidole. The Pheidole cervicornis group contains perhaps the most extraordinary spinescent forms of all Pheidole. Here we present a taxonomic revision of the P. cervicornis group, and use microtomographic scanning technology to investigate the internal anatomy of the thoracic spines. Our findings suggest the pronotal spines of Pheidole majors, are possibly skeletomuscular adaptations for supporting their disproportionately large heads. The ‘head support hypothesis’ is an alternative to the mechanical defense hypothesis most often used to explain spinescence in ants. The P. cervicornis group is known only from New Guinea and is represented by the following four species, including two described here as new: P. barumtaun Donisthorpe, P. drogon sp. nov., P. cervicornis Emery, and P. viserion sp. nov. The group is most readily identified by the minor worker caste, which has extremely long pronotal spines and strongly bifurcating propodeal spines. The major and minor workers of all species are illustrated with specimen photographs, with the exception of the major worker of P. cervicornis, which is not known.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Zookeys
                Zookeys
                2
                urn:lsid:arphahub.com:pub:45048D35-BB1D-5CE8-9668-537E44BD4C7E
                urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:91BD42D4-90F1-4B45-9350-EEF175B1727A
                ZooKeys
                Pensoft Publishers
                1313-2989
                1313-2970
                2020
                20 January 2020
                : 905
                : 1-235
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Entomology, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA Department of Entomology, California Academy of Sciences San Francisco United States of America
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Sebastian Salata ( sdsalata@ 123456gmail.com )

                Academic editor: M. Borowiec

                Article
                39592
                10.3897/zookeys.905.39592
                7004242
                Sebastian Salata, Brian L. Fisher

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Categories
                Monograph
                Formicidae
                Hymenoptera
                Biodiversity & Conservation
                Biogeography
                Faunistics & Distribution
                Identification key
                Taxonomy
                Indian Ocean Islands
                Madagascar

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