Leptanilla zaballosi

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Leptanilla zaballosi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Leptanillinae
Tribe: Leptanillini
Genus: Leptanilla
Species: L. zaballosi
Binomial name
Leptanilla zaballosi
Barandica, López, Martínez & Ortuno, 1994

The type material was collected from a soil sample taken from a small slope of a seasonal water course.



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Iberian Peninsula, Spain (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



López et al. (1994) - Two teratological specimens were found in the material studied. The first one was found in the sample from Navas de Estena. It is a case of synfisocery (Balazuc 1948), having the two first funicular segments fused with the scape (Fig. 3A). The basal constrictions of both segments are visible. The scape is abnormally short. The second teratological case was found in the sample from Caserio Cuatemos. The petiolar and postpetiolar nodes of the specimen are deformed, with nearly parallel sides not widened posteriorly.

L. zaballosi, teratologies of two specimens, A: Antenna with sinfisocery. B: Deformed pet1olar nodes. Both in dorsal view. Pilosity omitted.

Several specimens from three different samples have dark red spots near the anterior margin of head. They correspond to masses of internal tissues of the head, which are seemingly the mandibular muscles. They usually appear as a pair of circular spots placed on both sides of head but are highly variable among individuals, even within the same sample.




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

  • zaballosi. Leptanilla zaballosi Barandica, López, Martínez & Ortuno, 1994: 150, fig. 2 (l.) SPAIN. López, Martínez & Barandica, 1994: 183, figs. 1-4, 11 (w.).

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



CL = 0.22-0.28; CW = 0.17- 0.20; SL = 0.09-0.12; PL = 0.09-0.11; PW = 0.06-0.10; PPL= 0.07-0.10; PPW = 0.09-0.11; TL= 1.21-1.55; CI = 60.87- 83.33; SI = 140.00-214.28; PI= 71.43-100.00; PPI = 100.00- 128.57; PPPI = 71.43- 114.29 (N = 229).

Colour pale yellow, slighty orange-coloured. Legs paler. Margins of alitrunk, petiole, and postpetiole brownish in dorsal and lateral View. Integument very feebly striated on the anterior margins of pronotum and mesonotum, and ventrally on the alitrunk and petiolar node. Pilosity short, scattered, subdecumbent to decumbent in the antennae and tarsa, and erect to suberect on the rest of the body; more scarce on the alitrunk.

Head elongated, flattened above, wider than ali trunk, with subparallel sides. Occiput straight or feebly emarginated. Tentorium with two short divergent arms directed backwards and two long divergent arms directed forwards. The anterior arms are U-shaped. In their mid-part they bear a pair of external, tooth-like protuberances and another pair of internal, roundish plates. Clypeus straight, neither notched nor protuding. Mandibles long and narrow, with 4 teeth: a long apical tooth, two large grouped sharp-pointed basal teeth, and a tiny median tooth placed in the inner part of the mandible, beside the basal teeth. Internal side of mandibles with 3 (usually) or more long setae. Antennae stout, with 12 segments. Scapes slender, distally swollen, reaching the middle of the head, as long as the 5 proximal funicular segments together. First and second funicular segments pedunculate. The first one as long as the 2nd and 3rd together. Funicular segments 2 - 6 wider than long. Segments 7 - 10 quadrate, as wide as long. Last funicular segment elongated, slighty longer than the two preceding segments together, with a sharp-pointed tip.

Alitrunk elongated, but clearly shorter and narrower than the gaster. Prothorax subovoidal, almost as wide as long in dorsal view, separated by a feebly promesonotal furrow from the rest of the alitrunk. Dorsal margin of the pronotum softly convex in lateral view. Prosternum feebly protruded. Mesepinotum also subovoidal, but clearly longer than wide; its dorsal margin is straight in lateral view without depression between the mesonotum and the propodeum. Katepisternum protruded. Hind dorsal margin of propodeum rounded far behind the propodeal spiracle. Legs stout; fore tibiae and all femora swollen. Basitarsus of fore legs with a projection on its ventral anterior margin. Mid tibiae with a small, simple spur. Hind tibiae with this same spur, plus a second one, large and pectinated.

In dorsal view, both petiolar and postpetiolar nodes subquadrangular, clearly wider posteriorly; their anterior margin sometimes feebly emarginated. Petiolar node longer than wide. Postpetiolar node aproximately as long as wide. In lateral view, both nodes dorsally and ventrally convex. Petiolar spiracles clearly visible. Dorsal anterior margin of the petiolar node rounded and directed backwards, ventrally With a tooth-like keel followed by several little teeth of decreasing size. Postpetiolar node clearly emarginated in its anterior margin, without any projection in its ventral margin.

Gaster ovoidal, anterior margin emarginated. First gaster tergite longer than the others. Sting long, not protuding, with the bulb wider than the shaft.

Type Material

Holotype. Worker from Bohonal de Ibor, Caceres, Spain, UTM 30STK80, altitude 350m, 9-V-89, J.P. Zaballos leg. Paratypes. (l) 83 workers from the same sample as the holotype. (2) 5 workers from Casade Campo, Madrid, Spain, UTM 301VK37, altitude 660m, 13-II-1987, L.G. Gomez and C.F. Heman leg. (3) 24 workers from Candeleda, Avila, Spain, UTM 30TUK04, altitude 250m 9-V-1988, J.P. Zaballos leg. (4) 66 workers from Navas de Estena Cfudad Real, Spain, UTM 30SUJ77, altitude 700m, 10-V-1988, v: Ortuiio leg. (5) 59 workers from Caserio Cuatemos, Caceres, Spain, UTM 30TTK73, altitude 250m, 17-V-1988, J.P. Zaballos leg. (6) 1 worker from Vega de Mesillas, Caceres, Spain, UTM 30ITK73, altitude 275m, 1 ~-V -1988, J ._P. Zaballos leg. (7) 50 workers from Valencia de Alcantara, Caceres, Spam, UTM 29SPD56, altitude 500m, 23-III-1990, J.P. Zaballos leg. (8) 67 workers from San Martin de Valdeiglesias, Madrid, Spain. UTM 30TUK87, altitude 670m, 9- XII - 1991, soil sample from a small irrigation ditch, J .C. Atienza leg. (9) 32 workers from Membrio, Caceres, Spain, UTM 29SPD56, altitude 350m, 18- XII- 1991, J .P. Zaballos leg.

The holotype and 372 paratypes are preserved in the Catedra de Entomologia collection, Facultad de Biologia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Three paratypes are preserved in each collection of the following institutions or persons: Naturistorisches Museum (Basel), Museo Civico di Historia Naturale (Genova), Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard). Dr. J. A. Tinaut (Universidad de Granada), Dr. X. Espadaler (Universidad Aut6noma de Barcelona).


This species is dedicated to Dr. Juan P. Zaballos, who collected many of the specimens and gave us useful information about the captures.