Leptogenys kiche

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

Leptogenys kiche P.jpg

Leptogenys kiche D.jpg

Specimen Label

Lattke (2011) - Two series taken from under stones in lowland areas. The type series was ironically taken in disturbed urban habitat next to a gas station in a grassy-weedy area (W.P. MacKay, pers. comm.).


Lattke (2011) - Eye laterally placed, relatively flattened; eye length more than one-fourth lateral cephalic margin in full-face view; scape surpasses posterior cephalic border by less than one-fourth its length; mandible shuts tight against clypeus, elongate, basal and external margins parallel, basal margin mostly broadly convex, basally with 2 – 3 stout hairs; propodeum unarmed. Width of mesonotum just under 2 × its length in dorsal view; node subquadrate in dorsal view, slightly wider posterad than anterad.

A member of the quiriguana species group. The shape of the petiolar node cross-section may be confusing as taken strictly at node mid-length it is straight, but towards the anterior half the node is rounded, especially dorsolaterally.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Guatemala (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The biology of Leptogenys kiche 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.


Queens and males are unknown.


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

  • kiche. Leptogenys kiche Lattke, 2011: 204, fig. 60 (w.) GUATEMALA.

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



Metrics, holotype (paratypes, non-types, n = 5): HL 0.92 (0.96–1.02); HW 0.60 (0.60–0.70); ML 0.42 (0.40 – 0.50); EL 0.14 (0.16 – 0.20); SL 0.76 (0.76 – 0.90); PW 0.52 (0.54–0.60); WL 1.36 (1.36–1.44); PH 0.56 (0.58–0.64); PL 0.46 (0.46–0.50); DPW 0.38 (0.38– 0.44) mm. CI 0.65 (0.63–0.69); MI 0.70 (0.64–0.73); OI 0.23 (0.24 – 0.29); SI 1.27 (1.27 – 1.30); LPI 1.22 (1.20 – 1.28); DPI 0.83 (0.80 – 0.92).

Head subrectangular in full-face view; lateral margin broadly convex, posterior margin straight to weakly convex; vertexal carinae narrow, but visible throughout most of posterior cephalic margin; eye laterally placed, broadly convex, relatively flattened; eye length more than one-fourth lateral cephalic margin in frontal cephalic view; centre of eye closer to mid-distance of lateral cephalic margin than to mandibular insertion; lateral clypeal lobe narrow, little expanded towards base of median lobe; clypeus smooth except for few short longitudinal striae and scattered piligerous tubercles. Head mostly smooth and shining, with scattered piligerous punctulae. Scape smooth with abundant piligerous punctulae, abundant subdecumbent pilosity and subdecumbent hairs present, scape surpasses posterior cephalic border by less than one-fourth its length; antennal segments II–IV wider apicad than basad, constriction between each segment distinct, apical width more than one-half length; segment II longer than either segment III or IV. Mandible shuts tight against clypeus, elongate, basal and external margins parallel, basal margin mostly broadly convex, basally with 2–3 stout hairs; mandibular dorsum smooth and shining, sparsely punctate; PF 4,3; cephalic ventral face smooth and shining with sparse piligerous punctulae.

Mesosomal dorsal margin with well-impressed metanotal groove, separating broadly convex dorsal promesonotal margin from broadly convex dorsal propodeal margin, declivitous margin straight, curving smoothly onto dorsal margin, propodeum unarmed. Mesosoma mostly smooth and shining with transverse striae on pronotal cervix and anterior face, striae also on posteroventral mesopleural corner; rugulae present on posteroventral metapleuron. Propodeal spiracle faces posterolaterally, depression present between spiracle and bulla; declivitous face mostly smooth and shining with variable amounts of brief transverse striae laterad, totally transverse posterad. Width of mesonotum just under twice its length in dorsal view, anterior margin convex, posterior margin broadly convex, metanotal groove smooth; mesopleural carina well developed; mesosternum with transverse parallel fine striae.

Petiolar node subquadrate in lateral view; anterior margin weakly convex, longer than half posterior margin; posterior margin broadly convex; dorsal margin broadly convex, highest posterad; triangular ventral lobe present. Node subquadrate in dorsal view; slightly wider posterad than anterad, anterior margin convex, posterior margin broadly concave, lateral margin straight to weakly convex; node mostly smooth and shining with sparse punctae dorsad. Postpetiolar anterior margin vertical to weakly convex in lateral view, with sharper convexity separating broadly convex dorsal margin; constriction between segments III and IV well developed. Node and gaster smooth and shining with scattered punctulae; procoxa smooth and shining in lateral view; body with scattered long suberect to erect hairs, no appressed pubescence. Head, thorax, and most of abdomen black; scape, clypeus, mandibles, coxae and femora dark brown; funiculi, tibiae and gastral apex ferruginous brown. Apex of pro- and metibiae without setae, mesotibial apex with seta.

Type Material

Holotype worker. Guatemala, Suchitepéquez, [242 m], 14°23′31′′N 91°11′36′′W, 31.vii.2004, W.P. MacKay 20816. One worker deposited in Museum of Comparative Zoology. The bottom specimen of two workers on the same pin. The base of the point bearing the holotype is inked red. – Paratypes. One worker from the same pin as the holotype deposited in MCZC. Three further workers from same series as holotype: 1w William and Emma Mackay, 1w Instituto de Zoologia Agricola, 1w Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo.


The species name is that of the Mayan language, k’iche’, spoken in Central America, including the Departamento de Suchitepéquez where the type series specimens were collected.