Colobostruma foliacea

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Colobostruma foliacea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Colobostruma
Species: C. foliacea
Binomial name
Colobostruma foliacea
(Emery, 1897)

Colobostruma foliacea psw10121-13 profile 1.jpg

Colobostruma foliacea psw10121-13 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

This is the only species in the genus that occurs outside of Australia.


Immediately recognisable by its extremely flattened head and, to a lesser extent, body. Known specimens placed together show considerable variation in colour and sculpture. They can be broadly divided into two sets: lightly coloured individuals with weakly developed sculpture on the dorsal alitrunk, and darkly coloured individuals with well developed sculpture on the dorsal alitrunk. It is possible that these two sets represent separate taxa (Shattuck 2000).


Known from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: New Guinea (type locality), Solomon Islands.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Beyond what is stated in the introduction at the top of this page, little is know about the biology of Colobostruma foliacea. Until further studies reveal more about this species we can infer that its natural history and biology should be similar to other species in this genus. In general Colobostruma can be locally common although they are often overlooked. Most species have small colonies with less than 100 workers, and workers will lie motionless when disturbed. Nests can occur in soil usually under rocks, in cracks in rocks or in rotten logs. Only a single rainforest species is known to nest arboreally. Foraging is usually on the ground at night but occasionally they are found foraging on mallee. They are also commonly found in leaf litter.



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

  • foliacea. Epopostruma foliacea Emery, 1897c: 573, pl. 15, figs. 20, 21 (w.) NEW GUINEA. Combination in Alistruma: Brown, 1948e: 117; in Colobostruma: Bolton, 1995b: 146. See also: Shattuck, in Bolton, 2000: 40.

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



TL 2.5 - 2.9, HL 0.66 - 0.75, HW 0.66 - 0.80, CI 100 - 107, ML 0.19 - 0.23, MI 27 - 31, SL 0.29 - 0.34, SI 38 - 44, PW 0.38 - 0.50, AL 0.68 - 0.86 (4 measured). Head grossly flattened, its lateral margin a narrow convexity, the eyes even with, and extending between, the dorsal and ventral surfaces. Mandibles broadly triangular, their dorsal surfaces weakly concave and parallel with the dorsal surface of the head. Hairs absent from dorsum of head. Posterior margin of head uniformly concave. Antenna with 6 segments. Scape strongly elbowed and with the widest point at the elbow, but without a subbasal lobe. Propodeum moderately high, its posterior face distinct and with dorsal posteriorly directed extensions which are connected to the ventral regions by a thin lamella; in profile the dorsal, mesonotal and propodeal surfaces essentially flat. Lateral postpetiole drawn outwards into thin flange-like wings, the wings with translucent windows along both their anterior and posterior margins, the windows separated by a narrow band of thickened integument and the anterior windows smaller than the posterior windows. First gastral tergite smooth and shiny, superimposed with a fine reticulate network; a narrow row of low carinae present along the extreme anterior margin. Body colour varying from yellow to dark red-brown, antennae, mandibles and tibiae always yellow.

Type Material

Holotype worker, PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Aitepe (= Berlinhafen) (L. Biró) (TM) [not seen].


  • Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 65: 1-1028 (page 40, see also)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1948e. A preliminary generic revision of the higher Dacetini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 74: 101-129 (page 117, Combination in Alistruma)
  • Shattuck, S. O. 2000. Genus Colobostruma. Genus Mesostruma. Genus Epopostruma. Pp. 31-67 in: Bolton, B. The ant tribe Dacetini. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 65: 1-1028.