Subfamily MYRMICINAE
Tribe PHEIDOLINI

Pheidole moerens Wheeler
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.

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