New Species: Pheidole bigote

Doesn't "bigote" mean "moustache" in Spanish?

Why, yes.  It does.


Pheidole bigote Longino 2009

Chiapas, Mexico

The inimitable Jack Longino published a taxonomic paper today on the Central American Pheidole, including descriptions of some 23 new species.  Among these is the marvelously moustached P. bigote.  The function of the fantastic facial hair remains unknown.

source: Longino, J. T. 2009. Additions to the taxonomy of New World Pheidole (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).  Zootaxa 2181: 1-90. 

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such weird hair??? I woulda guessed it was a bumble bee!

By ihateaphids (not verified) on 05 Aug 2009 #permalink

Glad you are back! I have missed my daily dose of great ant photos!

By Henry W. Robison (not verified) on 05 Aug 2009 #permalink

I would imagine that the hairs allow for picking up on vibrations, thus detecting enemies and danger from a longer distance away. And maybe prey as well. *is just guessing*

I'm honored to get on the blog Alex. And to be described as inimitable! Awesome. Regarding P. bigote, I think the pompons and concave, dish-like face are adaptations for getting better reception so they can watch telenovelas at night.