Leptogenys famelica

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Leptogenys famelica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Leptogenys
Species: L. famelica
Binomial name
Leptogenys famelica
Emery, 1896

Leptogenys famelica casent0178806 profile 1.jpg

Leptogenys famelica casent0178806 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Lattke (2011) - While most nests are recorded as coming from rotten logs on the ground of moist forested areas, an underground nest was found in Costa Rica, and one locality in Brazil is in Cerrado, a more xeric life zone. Even though this species can not be considered uncommon and numerous nests have been excavated, morphologically distinct queens have yet to be found. This species is another candidate within the genus for worker reproduction. In Lattke & Longino (2009) Longino reports a worker carrying a phalangid harvestman as prey.


Lattke (2011) - A member of the famelica species group. Eye prominent, subglobulose, its diameter one-third of lateral cephalic margin; scape extends beyond posterior cephalic margin by over half its length; mesosoma with prominent median constriction; pronotum smooth and shining, propleuron smooth laterally, transversely striate ventrally; rest of mesosoma mostly with fine transverse, parallel striae; petiole elongate, pedunculate and triangular in lateral view.

This is one of the largest species in the genus, perhaps the longest of the New World species, though Leptogenys ingens is more robust. The largest specimens examined are from southwestern Colombia. Costa Rican material have a densely punctate cephalic dorsum and occasionally scattered shallow punctae on the cephalic ventral face. Most of the propleuron is smooth and shining in material from Central America and northern South America, whilst Brazilian specimens tend to have the propleuron with fine transverse striae.

Keys including this Species


Ranges from Costa Rica to western Colombia, the Amazon watershed and the Guianas. Recorded from Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Panama, Peru (Lattke, 2011).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Bolivia, Costa Rica (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Queens and males are unknown.


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

  • famelica. Leptogenys famelica Emery, 1896g: 91, pl. 1, fig. 6 (w.) COSTA RICA. See also: Forel, 1899c: 18; Lattke, 2011: 168.

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



Lattke (2011) - Metrics (n = 6): HL 2.02-2.42; HW 1.31-1.62; ML 1.01-1.41; EL 0.40-0.51; SL 3.33-4.65; PW 1.21-1.41; WL 4.34-5.15; PH 1.31-1.52; PL 1.72-2.12; DPW 0.71-0.91 mm. CI 0.62-0.67; MI 0.77-0.88; OI 0.27-0.38; SI 2.54-2.93; LPI 0.70-0.76; DPI 0.39-0.47.

Head elongate in full-face view, wider anterad than posterad; lateral cephalic margin broadly convex; posterior cephalic margin convex, vertexal carina prominent; median clypeal process broadly triangular, laminate, apex pointed; lateral clypeal process narrow, joining smoothly with base of median process. Eye prominent, subglobulose, its diameter one-third of lateral cephalic margin, situated dorsolaterally at mid-length of lateral cephalic margin. Cephalic dorsum ranging from mostly smooth and shining with abundant punctulae, and scattered piligerous punctae to densely punctate, striae present between eye and antennal insertion; abundant fine, parallel striae present between eye and clypeus, striae on clypeus oblique to longitudinal, extending onto median lobe; longitudinal sulcus extends posterad from between frontal carinae to one-half eye height; clypeus and frontal carina do not protrude dorsally in lateral view, clypeal margin broadly convex, continuous with rest of cephalic margin; head ventral surface smooth and shining with scattered punctae. Scape densely punctulae, with abundant decumbent pilosity and sparse subdecumbent hairs, scape extends beyond posterior cephalic margin by over half its length; third antennal segment over 6 x longer than apical width, second antennal segment less than half length of third segment; fourth antennal segment over half length of third segment, funicular segments subcylindrical. Mandible triangular, masticatory margin concave, irregularly serrate, occasionally with denticle or two, dorsal mandibular surface striolate with scattered punctae; PF: 4,3.

Mesosoma with prominent median constriction; broad metanotal groove in lateral view separates convex pronotal margin from broadly convex dorsal propodeal margin, mesonotum forms anterior margin of metanotal concavity; pronotum smooth and shining, propleuron smooth laterally, smooth to transversely striate ventrally; rest of mesosoma mostly with fine transverse, parallel striae. Mesometapleural suture scrobiculate, well impressed along mesopleuron; metapleural-propodeal suture lacking; bulla of metathoracic spiracle convex; anteroventral mesopleural carina fine but distinct, forming small angular or rounded lobe anterad; propodeum rounded, without lateral lobe or tooth; spiracle slit-shaped, facing posterolaterally, slightly elevated above surrounding cuticular surface; propodeal dorsum sometimes with variable amounts of smooth to weakly striate areas; mesonotum either indistinct or elongate, smooth and shining, metanotal suture ranging from indistinct to distinctly impressed.

Petiole elongate and triangular in lateral view, sometimes pedunculate. Subpetiolar process shaped as triangular lobe in lateral view. Node shaped as elongate drop in dorsal view, anterior carina prominent; node smooth and shining, posterior face not sharply separated from lateral face. Anterodorsal postpetiolar margin convex in lateral view; gaster with scattered punctulae, constriction between abdominal segments III and IV weak; procoxa mostly smooth and shining in lateral view. Mesosoma with no pubescence, only scattered standing to suberect hairs; decumbent to appressed pubescence present on cephalic dorsum and legs. Head, mesosoma, node and most of gaster black, sometimes with blue iridescence; antennae, mandibles, clypeus, legs, and apex of gaster dark brown. Apex of protibia without setae; apex of meso- and metatibial apex with single external seta.

Type Material

Lattke (2011) - Holotype worker: Costa Rica, [Limón], Jiménez, Suerre (A. Alfaro) (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa) [examined].