Colobostruma leae

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Colobostruma leae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Colobostruma
Species: C. leae
Binomial name
Colobostruma leae
(Wheeler, W.M., 1927)

Colobostruma leae side (MCZC).jpg

Colobostruma leae top (MCZC).jpg

Specimen labels

This rare tropical species is found in rainforest and is likely arboreal (although nests have yet to be found).

At a Glance • Phragmotic  



This rare species is the only member of the genus with a phragmotic head (although Colobostruma lacuna, and to a lesser extent Colobostruma bicorna and Colobostruma unicorna, are subphragmotic). This distinctive head shape will readily separate this species from all others in the genus (Shattuck 2000).

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

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 leae. 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.

  • leae. Epopostruma (Colobostruma) leae Wheeler, W.M. 1927f: 32, fig. 40 (q.) AUSTRALIA. Combination in Colobostruma: Brown, 1948e: 118. See also: Shattuck, in Bolton, 2000: 44.

Type Material

  • Epopostruma (Colobostruma) leae Wheeler, 1927: Holotype, queen, Cairns district, Queensland, Australia, A. M. Lea, Museum of Comparative Zoology.

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



Shattuck (2000) - Anterior region of head extremely flattened and disc-like, the clypeus and frontal lobes expanded laterally into thin, sharply-edged flanges, the anterior sections of head separated from posterior sections by an angle at about the level of the eyes. Frontal lobes and lateral margins of clypeus smooth relative to the surrounding surface of the head. Mandibles broadly triangular. Hairs absent from dorsum of head. Posterior margin of head uniformly concave. Antenna with 6 segments, the scape weakly elbowed and without a subbasal lobe. Propodeum high, its posterior face approximately the same height as the petiolar node and with broad, thin lamellae. 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 band of thickened integument and the anterior windows always smaller than the posterior windows. First gastral tergite very weakly and delicately sculptured , superimposed with low, closely spaced carinae on the anterior one-quarter. Body colour yellow, the gaster with an indistinct, broad medial band.


Named for the collector of the type specimens.


  • Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 65: 1-1028 (page 44, 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 118, Combination in Colobostruma)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1927f. The physiognomy of insects. Q. Rev. Biol. 2: 1-36 (page 32, queen described)
  • 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.