Lepisiota nigra

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Lepisiota nigra
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Plagiolepidini
Genus: Lepisiota
Species: L. nigra
Binomial name
Lepisiota nigra
(Dalla Torre, 1893)

Lepisiota nigra casent0179896 p 1 high.jpg

Lepisiota nigra casent0179896 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels



Collingwood and Agosti (1996) - HW 0.63-0.64, SI 150-165. This is a black shining ant, similar to Lepisiota gracilicornis in body shine but morphologically closer to Lepisiota frauenfeldi.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.
Palaearctic Region: Balearic Islands, Bulgaria, Croatia, Egypt, Greece (type locality), Iberian Peninsula, Iran, Israel, Italy (type locality), Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, Spain.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • nigra. Acantholepis frauenfeldi var. nigra Dalla Torre, 1893: 171 (w.q.m.) ITALY (attributed to Emery).
    • Emery, 1916b: 222 (w.q.m.).
    • Combination in Lepisiota: Bolton, 1995b: 228.
    • Subspecies of frauenfeldi: Dalla Torre, 1893: 171; Ruzsky, 1905b: 461; Emery, 1908d: 24; Karavaiev, 1910b: 45; Forel, 1911d: 351; Emery, 1914d: 158; Emery, 1916b: 221; Santschi, 1917d: 47 (in key); Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1923: 248; Müller, 1923b: 115; Emery, 1925b: 25; Soudek, 1925b: 16; Menozzi, 1926b: 182; Donisthorpe, 1927a: 8; Menozzi, 1929e: 128; Finzi, 1930d: 316; Cori & Finzi, 1931: 240; Menozzi, 1934: 164; Grandi, 1935: 102; Finzi, 1936: 186; Ceballos, 1956: 310; Tarbinsky, 1976: 130 (redescription).
    • Synonym of karawaiewi: Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1929c: 483.
    • [Note: Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1929c: 483 gives karawaiewi as senior synonym, but nigra has priority.]
    • Junior synonym of frauenfeldi: Collingwood, 1978: 71.
    • Status as species: Zimmermann, 1935: 45; Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 175; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 281 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 228; Collingwood & Agosti, 1996: 368; Bračko, 2006: 150; Legakis, 2011: 24; Collingwood, et al. 2011: 467; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2012: 508; Borowiec, L. 2014: 95; Sharaf, Monks, et al. 2016: 9 (in key); Salata & Borowiec, L., 2018: 20.
  • splendens. Acantholepis frauenfeldi var. splendens Karavaiev, 1912b: 586 (w.q.) GREECE.
    • Combination in Lepisiota: Bolton, 1995b: 228.
    • Subspecies of frauenfeldi: Santschi, 1917d: 47 (in key); Emery, 1925b: 25; Finzi, 1928c: 791; Finzi, 1936: 186.
    • Status as species: Agosti & Collingwood, 1987a: 57; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 281 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 228; Lapeva-Gjonova, et al. 2010: 35; Legakis, 2011: 25; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2012: 509; Borowiec, L. 2014: 96.
    • Junior synonym of nigra: Salata & Borowiec, L., 2018: 20.

Type Material

  • Acantholepis frauenfeldi splendens: Syntype, 2 workers, near Chania, Crete, Greece, 13 October 1910, Th. Shebunin & N. Tshebotarev, MCZC #28769, Museum of Comparative Zoology; on the sea beach "in Tuff".

The following notes on V.A. Karavaiev type specimens have been provided by Martynov & Radchenko (2016) based on material held in the Institute of Zoology, Ukrainian Academy of Science:

Type locality(-ies): “Umgegend von Kanea, Kreta, am Meeresstrand “in Tuff” (13.III.1910. Th. Shebunin und N. Tshebotarev), ww und 1 flugelloses q (Königin).—Ebenda, auf einem Kartoffelfeld unter einem Steine (5.III.1910, Dieselben Sammler), ww”.

Original Karawajew label(-s): “Acantholepis / frauenfeldi / v. splendens Kar. / typus”, “Крит, Канея [= Crete, Kanea] / Шебунин и Чеботарев [= Shebunin and Chebotarev] / 1910 г.”.

Material: SYNTYPES, 7 w (newly mounted, IN 314/6/2), 403 w (in alcohol, IN 314/BAMS1/Karaw63).

Taxonomic Notes

Salata & Borowiec, L., 2018: Karavaiev (1912), in the description of L. splendens, mentioned the following features to distinguish it from L. nigra: more smooth and slender body surface, head shape and size of propodeal spines. Examination of type specimens and study on samples collected from different Cretan sites manifested wide variability within features mentioned by Karavaiev. Also, we didn’t find any strong features that support an existence of two different species. Therefore we consider L. splendens as a junior synonym of L. nigra.