Pheidole rugosula is a small, brownish yellow, short-limbed species with moderate head sculpturing that most likely belongs to the Australian-New Guinea clade that includes close relatives of P. variabilis Mayr. The head sculpturing of both the major and the minor is distinct among all other Pheidole species treated here. These characters easily separate P. rugosula from P. megacephala. These same characters, together with a more sculptured promesonotal dorsum (Fig. 20, major) and stout propodeal spines, can be used to separate P. rugosula from its two other congeners that are established in New Zealand, P. proxima and P. vigilans (which is also much larger, major HW > 1.20 mm). There is a bewildering diversity of native Australian (and to a lesser extent New Guinea) Pheidole that approach the morphology of P. rugosula. Additional characters for identifying New Zealand Pheidole species are provided in Berry et al. (1997). A significant revision of the P. variabilis group is required before P. rugosula can be reliably separated from these species.