Leptogenys alatapia

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Leptogenys alatapia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Leptogenys
Species group: truncatirostris
Species complex: arcirostris
Species: L. alatapia
Binomial name
Leptogenys alatapia
Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2014

Leptogenys alatapia casent0489586 p 1 high.jpg

Leptogenys alatapia casent0489586 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Leptogenys alatapia is restricted to the plateau in the south of Madagascar and particularly in Uapaca woodland habitats in the PN Isalo. Specimens of this species have been found foraging on the ground and they nest under rocks.


A member of the arcirostris complex of the truncatirostris species group. Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) - Worker. Clypeus with median carina; distance between anterior level of torulus and anteromedial clypeal margin roughly less than maximum width of scape, head short; clearly broader than long in full-face view and broadened anteriorly.

The broader head (CI: 105–109) and relatively shorter scape (SI: 98–100) of L. alatapia make it easy to distinguish from Leptogenys arcirostris and Leptogenys borivava. In L. arcirostris, the scape is much longer (SI: 103–112). In L. borivava, in addition to its longer scape (SI: 111–129), the dorsum of its head, mesosoma, petiole, and gaster are covered with long erect and suberect hairs.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The Leptogenys genus page has more details about the general biology of ants in this genus. The following synopsis provided by Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) offers an overview of the Malagasy Leptogenys: Recent surveys of arthropods in the Malagasy region uncovered a wealth of new species and showed that Leptogenys is one of the dominant ponerine ants widely distributed across all types of forest habitats. Workers are usually found foraging on the forest floor or in the leaf litter and only rarely on vegetation. They nest terrestrially under the soil, rocks, logs, or rootmat ground layers and in rotten logs, branches, in rotting bamboo, and rotten tree stumps. Most of the Malagasy species are endemic to Madagascar. In all Malagasy species, winged queens are absent, which limits their ability to disperse across the complex topography and various ecological barriers in the region. In the absence of alate queens, reproduction of Leptogenys in the region may be by fission, which enhances population viscosity and may result in important morphological variation across a species' geographic range. Though queens do not fly, males of Leptogenys are alate and are one of the most frequently collected ant genera in Malaise traps throughout Madagascar. Leptogenys exhibits a wide range of phenotypic diversity segregated both among spatially isolated habitats and along continuous environmental gradients.



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

  • alatapia. Leptogenys alatapia Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2014: 140, figs. 1C, 14A, 159, 168 (w.) MADAGASCAR.

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



(4 specimens). HW: 1.54–1.63, HL: 1.44–1.50, CI: 105–109, SL: 1.53–1.60, SI: 98–100, PW: 0.93–1.00, WL: 2.32–2.48, PNH: 0.74–0.78, PNL: 0.60–0.67, PNW: 0.63–0.71, DNI: 103–110, LNI: 113–129.

In full-face view, head broader than long and remarkably broadened anteriorly; sides distinctly diverging from back to base of mandible; posterior margin weakly concave medially. Eye medium, located in frontal portion of head and not breaking outline of lateral cephalic border. Antennal scape relatively short. Clypeus broad and evenly rounded anteriorly, anterior margin bordered by whitish lamella; median portion with longitudinal carina; median lobe narrow, width as great as widest part of scape. With head in full-face view and mandible fully closed, blades superimposed each other, whole internal face of first blade tightly closed against clypeus along its length and most of distal portion of the second against external surface of the distal portion of the first. In dorsal view, metanotal groove impressed and transversely striate; with mesosoma in profile, propodeal lobe lacking. With petiole in lateral view, outline of the node a convex line from anterior margin to posterodorsal angle, which ends in slight, anteriorly sloping posterior margin. Mandible basally longitudinally striate, with scattered punctures, and smooth in the distal third of blades. Dorsum of head, mesosoma and petiolar node covered with dense and fine reticulate-punctures to dense and fine reticulate-rugae. Third abdominal tergite densely punctate. Erect hairs few and short; pubescence abundant. Integument black to dark brown, with brown appendages whose apices are lighter in color.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Holotype worker: Madagascar, Fianarantsoa, Forêt d'Analalava, 29.6 km 280° W Ranohira, -22.5917, 45.1283, 700 m, Uapaca woodland, under stone, 1–5 Feb 2003 (Fisher, Griswold et al.) collection code: BLF07470, specimen code: CASENT0489586 (California Academy of Sciences). Paratypes: series of 8 workers, with same data as holotype but specimen coded as: CASENT0489585, CASENT0489587, CASENT0489588, CASENT0196382, CASENT0247219, CASENT0247220, CASENT0247221, CASENT0247222 (CASC, The Natural History Museum, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Parc Botanique et Zoologique de Tsimbazaza).


  • Rakotonirina, J.C. & Fisher, B.L. 2014. Revision of the Malagasy ponerine ants of the genus Leptogenys Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 3836, 1-163.