Msstate Logo

Subfamily MYRMICINAE
Tribe ATTINI

Pheidole moerens Wheeler
Pheidole moerens, full face view of a major worker (Hancock Co., MS) (photo by Joe A. MacGown & James Lewis)
Pheidole moerens, lateral view of a minor worker (Hancock Co., MS) (photo by Joe A. MacGown & James Lewis)
Pheidole moerens, dorsal view of a minor worker (Hancock Co., MS) (photo by Joe A. MacGown & James Lewis)
Pheidole obscurithorax, full face view of a major worker (Baldwin Co., AL) (photo by Joe A. MacGown)
Pheidole obscurithorax, lateral view of a major worker (Baldwin Co., AL) (photo by Joe A. MacGown)
Pheidole obscurithorax, lateral view of a major worker (Baldwin Co., AL) (photo by Joe A. MacGown)
Pheidole obscurithorax, full face view of a major worker (Jackson Co., MS) (photo by Joe A. MacGown)
Pheidole obscurithorax, lateral view of a major worker(Jackson Co., MS) (photo by Joe A. MacGown)
Pheidole obscurithorax, lateral view of a major worker (Jackson Co., MS) (photo by Joe A. MacGown)
Pheidole obscurithorax, full face view of a dealate queen (Baldwin Co., AL) (photo by Joe A. MacGown)
Pheidole obscurithorax, lateral view of a dealate queen (Baldwin Co., AL) (photo by Joe A. MacGown)
Pheidole obscurithorax, lateral view of a dealate queen (Baldwin Co., AL) (photo by Joe A. MacGown)
 
 
Pheidole moerens, full face view of a minor worker (click image to enlarge).
Photo courtesy of http://www.antweb.org/
Pheidole moerens, side view of a minor worker (click image to enlarge).
Photo courtesy of http://www.antweb.org/
 
 
Pheidole moerens, full face view of a major worker (click image to enlarge).
Photo courtesy of http://www.antweb.org/
Pheidole moerens, side view of a major worker (click image to enlarge).
Photo courtesy of http://www.antweb.org/
Pheidole moerens is an introduced species that is now very common in southern Alabama and Mississippi (as well as Florida and Louisiana). It seems to prefer nesting in rotting wood, especially logs found laying on the ground, or in the soil just under rotting wood. This fairly small Pheidole species is very similar to P. floridana, especially the minors, however, the majors are much darker (a dark brown usually), have transverse striations on the pronotum (near the humeral area), have striations on the head extending more near the occiput, and have at least some rugoreticulation on the face between the eyes and frontal carina. Additionally, P. moerens seems to prefer nesting in rotting wood, whereas, P. floridana prefers nesting in sandy soil. I have frequently collected P. moerens nesting side by side with the large introduced ponerine ant, Odontomachus ruginodis.

Links

AntWeb Images
Discover Life Images