Leptogenys deborae

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Leptogenys deborae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Leptogenys
Species: L. deborae
Binomial name
Leptogenys deborae
Lattke, 2011

Leptogenys deborae P.jpg

Leptogenys deborae D.jpg

Specimen Label

The type locality is a limestone plateau with an average height of 800–1100 m, covered with a mix of semi-deciduous humid forest and pasture for cattle. The area where the nest was found is rugged karst with crevasses, potholes and pinnacles. The nest was found in the soil rock interface, the ants fled upon disturbance and attempted to hide by jamming themselves in fissures in the surrounding rock. In the same plateau, Leptogenys unistimulosa is frequently found, and there is abundant nocturnal isopod activity in the leaf litter starting during the early evening hours. (Lattke 2011)


Lattke (2011) - A member of the quiriguana species group. Eye width less than one-fourth lateral cephalic margin, situated laterally on head and close to mandibular insertion; mandibles with masticatory borders apparently in opposition except towards apex; mandible triangular, dorsum smooth and shining; mesonotum transverse, node subquadrate in dorsal view; propodeum unarmed, body mostly smooth and shining with sparse punctae.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Venezuela (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The biology of Leptogenys deborae is poorly known.

The Leptogenys genus page has more details about the general biology of ants in this genus, some of which is summarized in what follows. New World species have relatively small ranges, generally occur in humid forests and prey on isopods. Colonies may occur in high densities on a local scale, with up to 5 or 6 species present. Nest size tends to be small with just 20 or 30 individuals in a mature colony. Nests of most species may be found in rotten wood on the ground, usually within cavities in logs or large branches, and also beneath bark. Wood-soil and rock-soil interfaces are another common nesting location, as well as rock crevices, and a few species may nest directly in the soil. Reproduction is most commonly via ergatoid females and, in many species, may include egg-laying workers.


Male unknown.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • deborae. Leptogenys deborae Lattke, 2011: 202, fig. 57 (w.q.) VENEZUELA.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Metrics, holotype (paratypes, n = 3): HL 1.35 (1.28 – 1.35); HW 0.88 (0.84 – 0.84); ML 0.74 (0.67 – 0.74); EL 0.17 (0.17–0.20); SL 1.35 (1.31–1.35); PW 0.74 (0.74 – 0.74); WL 2.06 (2.02 – 2.02); PH 0.84 (0.81 – 0.84); PL 0.67 (0.67–0.71); DPW 0.61 (0.61–0.61) mm. CI 0.65 (0.63 – 0.66); MI 0.85 (0.80 – 0.88); OI 0.19 (0.20 – 0.24); SI 1.54 (1.56–1.60); LPI 1.25 (1.19 – 1.25); DPI 0.90 ( 0.86 – 0.90).

Head with straight posterior margin in full-face view, broadly convex lateral margin almost seamlessly joins mandibular lateral margin; median clypeal lobe broadly triangular, ending in sharp point, lateral margins of lobe translucent; clypeus mostly longitudinally striate, tending to smooth medially. Cephalic dorsum mostly smooth and shining with sparse piligerous punctulae. Scape surpasses posterior cephalic border by about one-third its length, covered with dense decumbent pubescence; second and fourth antennal segments both approximately of same length, each longer than half the length of third antennal segment. Eye situated laterally, diameter less than one-fourth lateral cephalic margin, separated from mandibular insertion by distance equal to its diameter. Mandible shuts tight against clypeal margin, triangular with smooth and shining dorsum, edentate except for apical tooth; masticatory border of each mandible barely overlaps the other except towards apex, giving appearance of perfectly opposing margins.

Mesosoma with promesonotal margin broadly convex in lateral view, metanotal groove deep, propodeal dorsal margin broadly convex, separated by blunt obtuse angle from almost straight declivity, propodeum unarmed. Mesosoma mostly smooth and shining with sparse piligerous punctae; appressed pilosity absent, sparse standing and decumbent hairs present. Mesopleuron separated from mesosternum by carina, carina widest anterad; mesometapleural suture scrobiculate; metapleuron posteroventrally striate, metapleural-propodeal suture absent; propodeal spiracle oval, posterolaterally facing, set in low depression that continues posterad to bulla; declivitous face mostly smooth and shining, flat, with 2–3 transverse striae posterad. Mesonotum wider than long, mesosternal carina expands medially as triangular lobe. Petiole in lateral view subrectangular, higher than long, anterior margin mostly vertical to irregularly broadly convex, dorsal margin convex, posterior margin vertical; node subquadrate in dorsal view, slightly wider posterad than anterad, anterior margin convex, posterior margin transverse; ventral petiolar margin mostly straight in lateral view, anterior triangular tooth present with blunt posteriorly directed lobe. Gaster smooth and shining with sparse piligerous punctulae. Stridulitrum present on fourth abdominal acrotergite. Extruded sting is more than half gastral length; lateral face of procoxa smooth and shining. Head, thorax and abdomen black, antennae, clypeus, mandibles, and legs brown; apical gastral segments ferruginous.


Metrics: HL 1.35; HW 0.88; ML 0.74; EL 0.20; SL 1.35; PW 0.74; WL 1.95; PH 0.84; PL 0.71; DPW 0.64 mm. CI 0.65; MI 0.85; OI 0.23; SI 1.54; LPI 1.19; DPI 0.90. Gaster slightly larger than worker; petiolar node anteroposteriorly more compressed; mesonotum relatively longer than in worker; propodeal margin more convex than worker in lateral view.

Type Material

Holotype worker. Venezuela, Falcón, Cerro Los Caracoles, 27.6 km E Santa Cruz de Bucaral, 10°52′N 69°02′W, 950 m, 16.iv.2003, J. Lattke 2534. Deposited in Instituto de Zoologia Agricola. – Paratypes. A series of 14 workers and 2 queens from the same nest as the holotype. Deposited as follows: 1w Museum of Comparative Zoology, 1w Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, 1w The Natural History Museum, 1w Humboldt Institute, 1w Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, 9w 2q MIZA.


The species is dedicated to a friend and companion of countless caving trips, Débora Urribarrí, present when these ants were found at the edge of a pothole during a lunch break.