New Species: Pheidole rugithorax

Pheidole rugithorax Eguchi 2008 – Vietnam

In today’s Zootaxa, Katsuyuki Eguchi has a taxonomic revision of the northern Vietnamese Pheidole, recognizing six new ant species for a genus that is already the world’s most diverse.  The revision also contains several nomeclatural changes and a key to the thirty or so species occurring in the region.

As in most tropical taxonomy this research has a comedic/tragic effect of adding several more species, about which nothing is known, to a catalog already overflowing with equally mysterious species.  We don’t know what they eat, how long they live, how large their colonies are, or when or how they mate.  Many will meet extinction without ever receiving more than a cursory taxonomic registration.  Perhaps Pheidole rugithorax has something to teach us; the odds that anyone will get around to learning it are slim indeed.

source: Eguchi, K. 2008. A revision of northern Vietnamese species of the ant genus Pheidole (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Zootaxa 1902: 1-118.

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