Echinopla subtilis

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Echinopla subtilis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Echinopla
Species group: subtilis
Species: E. subtilis
Binomial name
Echinopla subtilis
Zettel & Laciny, 2015

Echinopla subtilis casent0914951 p 1 high.jpg

Echinopla subtilis casent0914951 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The type specimens were collected via foggoing from a lower montane mixed dipterocarp forest, > 650 m a.s.l., on Aporusa sp.


Zettel and Laciny (2015) - The lone member of the Echinopla striata species group. Worker: Predominantly black, medium -sized, slender species, TL = 6.1–6.8. Dorsal surface of head and mesonotum with irregularly winding deep impressions, laterally with smaller fractions, tending to become polyporous. Head wider than long (CI = 106–115). Maxillary palpi exceptionally long. Mesosoma about one half longer than wide (MI = 151–156). Pronotum much narrower than head, laterally rounded. Propodeum much shorter than promesonotum; promesonotal suture distinct, medially forming an angle; metanotal suture straight, sharp and deep. Petiole polyporous, longer than high, with irregularly tuberculated dorsal crest and 1–2 teeth below prominent lateral spines. Gaster tergite 1 and visible hind margins of the following tergites 2–4 with very fine, dense puncturation, appearing matt. Setae on dorsal surface white, relatively short.

Echinopla subtilis strongly differs from all hitherto described congeners by its sculpture. The dorsal surface of the head and mesosoma has irregularly winding deep impressions; they are best seen in the centre of the face where the pilosity is reduced. Gaster tergite 1 appears dull due to a very fine and dense puncturation and a relatively dense, appressed pilosity. In contrast to all aforementioned species it does not fully cover the following tergites; this character is shared with the following species that are related to Echinopla lineata and Echinopla striata.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.



Known only from the worker caste.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • subtilis. Echinopla subtilis Zettel & Laciny, 2015: 115, figs. 31-34 (w.) MALAYSIA.

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



Holotype: TL 6.1; HW1 1.52; HW2 1.41; HL 1.33; EL 0.36; SL 1.45; SW 0.17; HaL 0.17; PML 1.04; PMW 1.20; PpL 0.76; PpW 0.91; PH 0.49; PL 0.55; PW 1.00; GL 1.72; GW 1.61. Indices: CI 115; SI 95; MI 151.

Paratype: TL 6.8; HW1 1.65; HW2 1.57; HL 1.57; EL 0.38; SL 1.52; SW 0.18; HaL 0.17; PML 1.13; PMW 1.28; PpL 0.87; PpW 1.00; PH 0.50; PL 0.62; PW 1.08; GL 1.72; GW 1.63. Indices: CI 106; SI 92; MI 156.

Structures: Head slightly wider than long, with convex sides and almost straight hind margin; dorsally with irregularly winding deep impressions, laterally and on clypeus with smaller fractions, tending to become polyporous; ventral surface smooth and shiny. Compound eye slightly protruding, positioned behind midlength of head. Frons with low median carina subdivided by a narrow impression; frontal lobes chiefly horizontally oriented, in full-face view covering most of antennal fossae, maximum distance of margins clearly smaller than half of HW2. Clypeus with low median carina, anterior almost straight (weakly convex). Mandibles striate, masticatory margin with five teeth. Palpi very long. Antennal scape relatively long, weakly s-curved, steadily widened from base to apex; all antennomeres longer than wide.

Mesosoma moderately slender, length slightly more than 1.5 times pronotum width; propodeum much shorter than promesonotum. Dorsal outline of promesonotum and propodeum almost forming a straight line (anteriorly and posteriorly slightly downcurved), interrupted by the incision of a sharp, narrow metanotal groove. Promesonotal suture complete medially forming a blunt angle. Surface as on head, but less conspicuous due to dense pilosity. Few small tubercles along dorsal margins, almost absent from mesonotum. Pronotum anterolaterally rounded, much narrower than head. “Waist” in front of propodeum well developed in dorsal aspect. Legs comparatively long and slender.

Petiole, longer than high, slender subtriangular in lateral, slightly transverse in dorsal aspect; surface sculpture polyporous; dorsal apex bluntly crested, with irregularly set tubercles; below moderately long, apically blunt lateral teeth with one or two smaller teeth. Gaster tergite 1 and visible hind margins of the following tergites 2–4 with very fine, dense puncturation, appearing mat. Gaster tergite 1 slightly longer than wide, with evenly convex, unmodified hind margin; insertions of setae appearing as small punctures.

Pilosity: Trunk dorsally and laterally with very dense, appressed white pilosity, but almost absent from centre of face. Dorsal surface with relatively short whitish standing setae, slightly longer on clypeus, propodeum and anterior part of gaster tergite 1. White standing setae on scape, femora, tibiae, and first tarsomeres relatively long.

Colour: Black, without metallic shimmer, mesosoma appearing grey by whitish pilosity. Gaster of holotype dark brown. Gaster tergites 2–4 with narrow whitish hind margin. Mandible basally black, distally reddish. Other mouthparts pale yellow. Apex of last antennomere, apices of middle and hind coxa, trochanters, and distal parts of tarsi orange coloured.

Type Material

Holotype (worker, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna) from Sabah, Poring Spring, lower montane mixed dipterocarp forest, > 650 m a.s.l., on Aporusa sp., 13.IV.1992, fogging, leg. A. Floren (A62/F1); paratype (worker, NHMW), same locality and collection data, except 9.II.1993, leg. A. Floren (A51/F5).


The Latin adjective subtilis (= fine, subtle) refers to the fine sculpture of gaster tergite 1.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Zettel H., and A. Laciny. 2015. Contributions to the taxonomy of the ant genus Echinopla Smith, 1857 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 62(1): 101-121.