Leptanilla santschii

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Leptanilla santschii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Leptanillinae
Tribe: Leptanillini
Genus: Leptanilla
Species: L. santschii
Binomial name
Leptanilla santschii
Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, E.W., 1930


Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -6.587° to -6.587°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Indonesia (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 males.


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

  • santschii. Leptanilla santschii Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, E.W. 1930: 197, fig. 2 (m.) INDONESIA (Java). See also: Petersen, 1968: 595.

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

Taxonomic Notes

Petersen (1968) - This species was based on a single male from Buitenzorg, Java. In general features it fits well into the group of species assigned to Leptanilla and Phaulomyrma. However, according to the description and figure in the original paper, the genitalia have a rather aberrant shape. In fact it is surprising that the authors did not create a new genus for this species as they did for Leptanilla javana described in the same paper; the genitalia of L. santschii obviously deviate much more from Leptanilla genitalia than those of javana. The greatest difference lies in the reduction of the gonocoxites and the absence of gonostyli. Also the volsellar digiti are differently shaped, being very large, with knob-like apices.

Although L. santschii is thus clearly different from Leptanilla and Phaulomyrma, I refrain from erecting a new genus for this species based only on the conditions of the genitalia, as I did in the case of Leptanilla astylina. Unfortunately the type of L. santschii cannot be studied as it is probably lost, according to a personal communication from Dr. R. W. Taylor.

Within the male-based species assigned to the Leptanillinae, L. santschii is closest to L. astylina as gonostyli are lacking in both species. Otherwise their genitalia are not very similar. The shape of the digiti and their association with the aedeagus in L. santschii may have some resemblance to the conditions in Leptanilla copiosa.



Length—l.2 mm.

Head large, about one-sixth the entire length of the body, one and four-fifths times as long as wide, somewhat narrowed behind.

Eyes large, protruding, diameter about one-third the length of the head, situated far forward, hairy, posterior margin slightly emarginate. Median ocellus oval, the others rounded and placed near the vertex.

Antennae thirteen-jointed, little more than one-half the length of the body. Insertions twice as far apart as the distance from the eye, and situated close to the mouth. First segment almost one-third as wide as long; second and third each, nearly one-half the length of the first; fourth to twelfth, one-third longer than wide; last joint, slightly longer than the first and about one-half as wide.

Mandibles minute. Palpi prominent, single jointed. Frontal carinm and clypeus indistinct.

Thorax compressed laterally, thinner above than below, depressed at mesoscutellum measuring one-third the entire length of the body, one-half again as long as deep, ourfifths as wide in dorsal view as the head. Epinotum rounded.

Anterior legs very thick; mesothoracic legs shorter and more slender than the others. Femora thick. Mesothoracic tibia with one spur, metathoracic with two. Hind legs extending beyond the end of the abdomen.

Fore wing two and one-half times as long as its greatest width, which is at one-third the length from the apex. Costal vein and a cross-vein near the base very faintly suggested.

Hind wing ten times as long as its greatest width, which is near the middle, and two-thirds as long as the fore wing.

Abdomen one-third the length of the body and two-thirds the width of the head, rather straight to the sixth segment, which turns downward abruptly, so that the genitalia are at right angles to the rest of the abdomen. Genitalia one-sixth the length of the body. Node one and one-half times as long as high. Pedicel very short.

Genitalia conspicuous and probably non-retractile. Sagittm rather thick, bent forward at the tip, slightly longer than the volsellm which are curved, slender with knob-like apices and several long hairs. Stipites short, broad, and blunt, less than one-half as long as the sagittae.

Hairs abundant, longer on mouth parts, front, dorsa of the thorax, node, and abdomen; longest on the sixth abdominal segment; shorter on the antennae sparser and much shorter ventrally. Eyes with many, very short hairs. Wings conspicuously hairy; the surface hairs short; those fringing the margin twice as long. Genitalia naked, except the volsellae.

Color ferrugino-testaceous; legs, genitalia, and mouthparts lighter.

Integument smooth.

Type Material

Described from a single male rom Buitenzorg, Java. (Ex coll. W. M. Wheeler.)


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Baroni Urbani C. 1977. Materiali per una revisione della sottofamiglia Leptanillinae Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Entomologica Basiliensia 2: 427-488.
  • Chapman, J. W., and Capco, S. R. 1951. Check list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Asia. Monogr. Inst. Sci. Technol. Manila 1: 1-327
  • Chapman, J.W. and S.R. Capco. 1951. Check list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Asia. Monographs of the Institute of Science and Technology (Manila) 1: 1- 327
  • Petersen B. 1968. Some novelties in presumed males of Leptanillinae (Hym., Formicidae). Entomologiske Meddelelser 36: 577-598.
  • Wheeler G. C.; Wheeler E. W. 1930. Two new ants from Java. Psyche (Cambridge) 37: 193-201.
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, E. W. 1930. Two new ants from Java. Psyche (Cambridge) 37:193-201.
  • Yasumatsu K. 1960. The occurrence of the subfamily Leptanillinae in Japan (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Esakia 1:17-20.
  • Zolessi, L.C. de and Y.P. de Abenante. 1973. Nidification y mesoetologia de Acromyrmex en el Uruguay III. Acromyrmex (A.) hispidus Santschi 1925 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Revista de Biologia del Uruguay 1(2):151-165