Leptogenys vatovavy

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Leptogenys vatovavy
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Leptogenys
Species group: saussurei
Species: L. vatovavy
Binomial name
Leptogenys vatovavy
Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2014

Leptogenys vatovavy casent0059729 p 1 high.jpg

Leptogenys vatovavy casent0059729 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Leptogenys vatovavy has only been collected once, a single worker in a rotten log.


A member of the saussurei species group. Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) - Worker. Mandible short and robust, capable of closing tightly against clypeus; anterior clypeal margin medially projecting into triangular lobe; clypeus with sharp edge or lamella. Eye large, maximum diameter larger than maximum width of antennal scape. Dorsum of head and mesosoma distinctly sculptured. In dorsal view, metanotal groove absent, posterior margin of petiolar node medially excised; apical portion of mandible blades armed with three teeth.

This species closely resembles Leptogenys ralipra and Leptogenys andritantely in that all three have an indistinct metanotal groove and excised posterior margin of the petiolar node. It can be separated from L. ralipra by the presence of three teeth on the apical margin of the mandible, and from L. andritantely by the smaller size, the presence of a pair of denticles on the apex of the anterior clypeal margin, and the rugo-reticulate sculpture of its head and mesosoma.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The Leptogenys genus page has more details about the general biology of ants in this genus. The following synopsis provided by Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) offers an overview of the Malagasy Leptogenys: Recent surveys of arthropods in the Malagasy region uncovered a wealth of new species and showed that Leptogenys is one of the dominant ponerine ants widely distributed across all types of forest habitats. Workers are usually found foraging on the forest floor or in the leaf litter and only rarely on vegetation. They nest terrestrially under the soil, rocks, logs, or rootmat ground layers and in rotten logs, branches, in rotting bamboo, and rotten tree stumps. Most of the Malagasy species are endemic to Madagascar. In all Malagasy species, winged queens are absent, which limits their ability to disperse across the complex topography and various ecological barriers in the region. In the absence of alate queens, reproduction of Leptogenys in the region may be by fission, which enhances population viscosity and may result in important morphological variation across a species' geographic range. Though queens do not fly, males of Leptogenys are alate and are one of the most frequently collected ant genera in Malaise traps throughout Madagascar. Leptogenys exhibits a wide range of phenotypic diversity segregated both among spatially isolated habitats and along continuous environmental gradients.



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

  • vatovavy. Leptogenys vatovavy Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2014: 126, figs. 34B, 38A, 142, 154 (w.) MADAGASCAR.

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



(1 specimen). HW: 1.18, HL: 1.62, CI: 73, SL: 1.55, SI: 131, PW: 1.09, WL: 2.61, PNH: 1.04, PNL: 0.85, PNW: 0.91, DNI: 107, LNI: 122.

Head more or less elongate and increasing in width from back to front; sides slightly convex and diverging anteriorly throughout their length. Center of eye closer to midlength of lateral border of head than to base of mandible. Anteromedian lobe of clypeus projecting into a pair of small triangular teeth or denticles; lateral portion bordered with undulate, semi-translucent lamella. Apical margin of mandible armed with three teeth: apical tooth followed by two preapical teeth or denticles. With mesosoma in dorsal view, metanotal groove not visible; in profile, groove between metapleuron and propodeum present. Petiolar node noticeably excised medially in dorsal view. Sculpture of clypeus rugulose interspersed with widely spaced punctures. With head in profile, lateral margin anterior to the eye, densely reticulate-rugulose, superimposed with dense punctures. Dorsum of head from level of eyes coarsely and densely reticulate-rugose, with large punctures which become sparser toward the posterior margin of head. Mandible smooth with faint or effaced longitudinal striolae. Pronotal dorsum finely reticulate-rugose and superimposed with fairly large punctures; rest of dorsum of mesosoma sparsely shallowly punctate. With mesosoma in profile, mesopleuron smooth between scattered punctures; anterodorsal portion of propodeum and petiolar node rugoreticulate, superimposed with widely spaced punctures.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Holotype worker: Province Fianarantsoa, FC Vatovavy, 7.6 km 122º Kianjavato, -21.4, 47.94, 175 m, rainforest, ex rotten log, 6–8 June 2005 (B.L. Fisher et al.), collection code: BLF12344, specimen code: CASENT0059729 (California Academy of Sciences)


  • Rakotonirina, J.C. & Fisher, B.L. 2014. Revision of the Malagasy ponerine ants of the genus Leptogenys Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 3836, 1-163.