Leptogenys langi

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Leptogenys langi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Leptogenys
Species: L. langi
Binomial name
Leptogenys langi
Wheeler, W.M., 1923

Leptogenys langi casent0178776 profile 1.jpg

Leptogenys langi casent0178776 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Unlike the vast majority of Leptogenys species that have wingless reproductives, L. langi and L. nigricans are the only species with winged queens (Lattke 2011). Leptogenys langi have been found in mature rainforest in clay soil turned over by a tree fall and at the base of a large dead tree in the humus below the leaf litter.


Lattke (2011) - A member of the langi species group. Head slightly elongate in full-face view; eye convex, occupying less than one-fourth of lateral margin; scape surpasses posterior cephalic border by more than 2 apical widths; mandibles when closed leave gap at base of clypeal lobe almost one-half their median width; mandible subparallel, weakly widens apicad. Node elongate in dorsal view; lateral margins semiparallel, just slightly divergent posterad; anterior margin rounded, almost as wide as posterior margin; posterior margin straight to slightly convex.

Keys including this Species


Known from Amazon-Orinoco watershed, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 10.43333333° to -12.497473°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana (type locality), Peru, Suriname, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The biology of Leptogenys langi is poorly known.

The Leptogenys genus page has more details about the general biology of ants in this genus, some of which is summarized in what follows. New World species have relatively small ranges, generally occur in humid forests and prey on isopods. Colonies may occur in high densities on a local scale, with up to 5 or 6 species present. Nest size tends to be small with just 20 or 30 individuals in a mature colony. Nests of most species may be found in rotten wood on the ground, usually within cavities in logs or large branches, and also beneath bark. Wood-soil and rock-soil interfaces are another common nesting location, as well as rock crevices, and a few species may nest directly in the soil. Reproduction is most commonly via ergatoid females and, in many species, may include egg-laying workers.


Wheeler (1923c) described the wings of queens as "rather small and narrow", and flying ability remains undetermined.

Worker (3.5-4 mm in length) and winged queen (4.5-4.8 mm in length) of L. langi. Note the more voluminous gaster of the queen. From Wheeler 1923c

Male unknown.


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

  • langi. Leptogenys (Lobopelta) langi Wheeler, W.M. 1923d: 5, fig. 1 (w.q.) GUYANA. See also: Lattke, 2011: 179.

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

Wheeler’s description of L. langi differs from the Brazilian and Peruvian samples in the more elongate third antennal segment, and smaller ventral petiolar process. The head is described and illustrated as posteriorly narrower than anterad, but this is not apparent in a syntype depicted on the Museum of Comparative Zoology website nor in the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo syntypes. The curvature of the pygydium may vary when comparing specimens, but this depends on the degree of gastral extrusion. (Lattke 2011)



Lattke (2011) - Metrics (n = 5): HL 0.80 – 0.87; HW 0.53 – 0.57; ML 0.38 – 0.43; EL 0.13 – 0.15; SL 0.70 – 0.75; PW 0.45 – 0.48; WL1.12 – 1.22; PH 0.47 – 0.50; PL 0.43 – 0.45; DPW 0.33 – 0.35 mm. CI 0.65 – 0.67; MI 0.70 – 0.76; OI 0.24 – 0.28; SI 1.29 – 1.36; LPI 1.04 – 1.15; DPI 0.74 – 0.81.

Head slightly elongate in full-face view; posterior margin straight to slightly concave; lateral margin broadly convex; eye convex, occupying less than one-fourth of lateral margin, lens of each ommatidium distinctly convex, but indistinct at perimeter, tending to fuse; clypeal margin laterally sinuate, converging anterad to slender and acutely pointed median lobe. Median cephalic sulcus shallow, barely impressed, its width about one-third the length of frontal carinae. Scape surpasses posterior cephalic border by more than 2 apical widths; basal funicular segments subequal in length, each width more than one-half the length; basal funicular segments with strong constriction. Mandibles when closed leave gap at base of clypeal lobe almost one-half their median width; mandible subparallel, weakly widens apicad; basal margin convex with 3 stout hairs at mid-length; masticatory margin with angle or small pre-apical denticle, masticatory margin edentate, slightly sinuate; dorsum smooth and shining, basal sulcus well developed. PF: 4,3. Ventral cephalic face smooth and shining; hypostomal tooth triangular, not visible in dorsal cephalic view; maxillae and labium smooth and shining.

Mesosoma with promesonotal margin forming single convexity in lateral view; metanotal groove well impressed; propodeal dorsal margin broadly convex to straight; declivity straight to broadly convex, with lobe-like denticle at spiracular height. Pro- and mesosternum smooth and shining. Mesosoma mostly smooth and shining; ventral pronotal groove fine; mesometapleural suture well impressed; propodeal spiracle oval, facing posterolaterally. Mesonotum with curved anterior margin in dorsal view, posterior margin transverse and straight; propodeal declivity mostly smooth and shining with single transverse carina uniting base of propodeal denticles.

Petiole with vertical anterior margin not higher than half posterior margin in lateral view, vertical and dorsal margins form curve, highest posterad, posterior margin slightly convex. Anterior postpetiolar face flattened, anterior margin mostly straight, reaching three-fourths height of posterior node margin. Subpetiolar process with brief convex anterior margin in lateral view, less than half the length of posterior margin, posterior margin concave, ventral margin straight. Node elongate in dorsal view; lateral margins semi-parallel, just slightly divergent posterad; anterior margin rounded, almost as wide as posterior margin; posterior margin straight to slightly convex. Gaster smooth and shining, constriction well marked; pygidial margin in lateral view broadly convex anterad, curvature becoming sharper close to posterior apex with posterior one-fourth broadly convex to straight. Body has sparse decumbent to semi-erect hairs, no pubescence. Procoxa smooth and shining in lateral view; antennae, mandibles, legs and gastral apex yellow to brownish-yellow; body ferruginous brown. Tibial apices wanting setae; posterior margin of tarsi has 2 pairs of setae.


Metrics: HL 1.00; HW 0.70; ML 0.44; EL 0.20; SL 0.88; PW 0.64; WL 1.54; PH 0.66; PL 0.50; DPW 0.44 mm. CI 0.70; MI 0.63; OI 0.29; SI 1.26; LPI 1.32; DPI 0.88. Head with 3 ocelli on posterior frons; compound eye proportionally larger than worker, more convex; mesopleuron with transverse mesopleural suture that curves sharply ventrad briefly before disappearing; anteroventral mesopleural carina lacking; katepisternum 2 x length of anepisternum. Mesoscutum as wide as long in dorsal view, anterior margin wider than posterior margin; anterior margin convex, lateral margin concave; metanotum transverse in dorsal view, arched, anterior and posterior margins parallel; axillae separated from scutellum by shallow sulcus. Wings present. Petiolar node as wide as long in dorsal view, posterior margin of node wider than anterior margin.

Type Material

Syntype workers and queens: Guyana (= British Guiana), Kamakusa, 2.xi.1922 (H. Lang) (Museum of Comparative Zoology, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo) [examined].


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
  • Groc S., J. H. C. Delabie, F. Fernandez, F. Petitclerc, B. Corbara, M. Leponce, R. Cereghino, and A. Dejean. 2017. Litter-dwelling ants as bioindicators to gauge the sustainability of small arboreal monocultures embedded in the Amazonian rainforest. Ecological Indicators 82: 43-49.
  • Groc S., J. H. C. Delabie, F. Fernandez, M. Leponce, J. Orivel, R. Silvestre, Heraldo L. Vasconcelos, and A. Dejean. 2013. Leaf-litter ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a pristine Guianese rainforest: stable functional structure versus high species turnover. Myrmecological News 19: 43-51.
  • Kempf W. W. 1961. A survey of the ants of the soil fauna in Surinam (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Studia Entomologica 4: 481-524.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Lattke J. E. 2011. Revision of the New World species of the genus Leptogenys Roger (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae). Arthropod Systematics and Phylogeny 69: 127-264
  • Olson D. M. 1991. A comparison of the efficacy of litter sifting and pitfall traps for sampling leaf litter ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in a tropical wet forest, Costa Rica. Biotropica 23(2): 166-172.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1923. The occurrence of winged females in the ant genus Leptogenys Roger, with descriptions of new species. American Museum Novitates 90: 1-16.