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Pheidole astur HNS new species
Types Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard.
Etymology L astur HNS , hawk.
diagnosis A member of a complex of Pheidole HNS species with giant majors covered by short, bristly hair, in the larger fallax HNS group, comprising astur HNS , oxyops HNS , praeusta HNS , and trageri HNS . P. astur HNS is distinguished among them by the following combination of traits. Major: a patch of rugoreticulum present laterad to each antennal fossa; longitudinal carinulae immediately next to the dorsal midline of head reaches the occipital border, but the occipital lobes are smooth and shiny; postpetiolar node seen from above elliptical in shape, with subangular lateral margins; small subpostpetiolar process present.
Minor: occiput narrowed to form a distinct neck, followed by a broad nuchal collar; pronotum entirely smooth and shiny. Measurements (mm) Holotype major: HW 2.34, HL 2.66, SL 1.20, EL 0.30, PW 1.10. Paratype minor: HW 0.68, HL 1.04, SL 1.42, EL 0.20, PW 0.50.
Color Major: body and mandibles reddish brown, legs and antennae a lighter shade of reddish brown. Minor: concolorous yellow.
Range I have examined material of astur HNS from French Guiana, Suriname, and Colombia, as well as Amazonian Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
biology This large species occurs in lowland rainforest over a wide part of South America. At Cuzco Amazonico, near Puerto Maldonado, Peru, Stefan Cover (unpublished collection notes) reports colonies nesting in soil, and minors foraging on the surface of soil and leaf litter.
Figure Upper: holotype, major. Lower: paratype, minor. PERU: Cuzco Amazonico, 15 km northeast of Puerto Maldonado, Madre de Dios (Stefan Cover and John E. Tobin). Scale bars = 1 mm.