Pheidole in the New World : A dominant, hyperdiverse ant genus



View a collection of videos on Professor Wilson entitled "On the Relation of Science and the Humanities"

Species of the genus Pheidole are the most abundant and diverse ants of the New World and range from the northern United States to Argentina. In this richly illustrated book, Edward O. Wilson untangles its classification for the first time, characterizing all 625 known species, 341 of which are new to science, and ordering them into 19 species groups. The author's keys and drawings, the latter showing complete body views arranged in the style of field books, allow rapid identification by anyone with an elementary understanding of entomology. In presenting all of Pheidole, the book covers one-fifth of the known ant species of the Western Hemisphere, including many of the commonest forms.

Wilson also summarizes our knowledge of the natural history of each species, much of it previously unpublished. In addition, he provides a general account of hyperdiversity, confirming that it is not a statistical artifact but a genuine biological phenomenon that can best be understood by detailed analyses of groups of organisms such as the Pheidole ants.

An important innovation in this book is the inclusion of a CD-ROM containing high-resolution digital images of the type specimens. The CD-ROM is designed to allow quick retrieval of information such as known range, group membership, measurements, and color. The CD-ROM thus will be useful in creating "instant" field guides, comparison charts, and local checklists.

+ / -


  • 1Introduction
  • 13The Origins of Hyperdiversity
  • 19Glossary and Anatomy
  • 25Keys
    • 27The Workerless Social Parasites of the New World Pheidole, Based on the Queen
    • 28The Species Groups of the Nonparasitic New World Pheidole, Based on the Worker Castes
    • 33The aberrans Group
    • 35The biconstricta Group
    • 37The crassicornis Group
    • 39The diligens Group
    • 51The distorta Group
    • 52The fallax Group
    • 67The flavens Group
    • 89The gertrudae Group
    • 90The granulata Group
    • 91The lamia Group
    • 92The megacephala Group
    • 93The perpusilla Group
    • 94The pilifera Group
    • 103The punctatissima Group
    • 106The scrobifera Group
    • 108The tachigaliae Group
    • 109The teneriffana Group
    • 110The transversostriata Group
    • 111The tristis Group
  • 131The New World Species
  • 779Indeterminate Names
  • 781References
  • 789Acknowledgments
  • 791Index