Leptogenys santacruzi

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Leptogenys santacruzi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Leptogenys
Species: L. santacruzi
Binomial name
Leptogenys santacruzi
Lattke, 2011

Leptogenys santacruzi P.jpg

Leptogenys santacruzi D.jpg

Specimen Label

This is an arid zone specialist as conditions on Santa Cruz Island are very dry during most of the year, except for a brief rainy season. The vegetation is deciduous and typically xeric, with the frequent presence of Opuntia, Jasminocereus cacti, and Bursera graveolens Kunth (Triana & Planch.), the incense tree (McCullen 1999).


Pronotum with fine longitudinal striae in lateral view; propleuron striate; node rectangular and higher than long in lateral view, mostly smooth with scattered piligerous punctae, wider than long in dorsal view; body color brown.

The shape of the node is quite distinctive amongst the arcuata species group with the posterior face not as sharply separated from the lateral node face and distinctly higher than long in lateral view, as well as wider than long in dorsal view. In all other arcuata group species the node is mostly striate laterally, but not in L. santacruzi, which is mostly smooth, and consequently the lateroventral flat smooth area is not as apparent as in the other species. The brown body color is also distinctive in the arcuata group.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Ecuador (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The biology of Leptogenys santacruzi 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.


Queens and males are unknown.


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

  • santacruzi. Leptogenys santacruzi Lattke, 2011: 151, fig. 9 (w.) ECUADOR (Galapagos Is).

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



Metrics, holotype (paratypes, n = 3): HL 1.29 (1.21-1.29); HW 1.06 (0.99-1.09); ML 0.86 (0.76-0.91); EL 0.30 (0.25-0.28); SL 1.34 (1.24-1.37); PW 0.81 (0.76-0.83); WL 2.02 (1.87-2.07); PH 0.81 (0.78-0.86); PL 0.56 (0.56-0.58); DPW 0.56 (0.53-0.61) mm. CI 0.82 (0.81-0.84); MI 0.81 (0.77-0.84); OI 0.29 (0.26-0.27); SI 1.26 (1.26-1.27); LPI 1.45 (1.41-1.55); DPI 1.00 (0.95-1.05).

Head subquadrate in full-face view; lateral margins broadly curved and weakly diverging anterad; posterior margin convex. Eye convex and large, spanning more than one-fourth of lateral cephalic margin, slightly dorso-laterally situated. Cephalic dorsum mostly smooth and shining with sparse piligerous punctae, striate-punctae between eye and antennal sclerite, and anterad of eye. Scape mostly smooth and shining, surpassing posterior cephalic margin by close to one-third its length; length of antennal segment III more than 2 x its width. Anterior clypeal margin laterally converging to median lobe, process about as long as wide, margins translucent, apex with 4 – 3 setae. Mandible slightly arched, parallel-sided with brief and weakly concave edentate masticatory margin, basal angle with short denticle; mandible leaves gap between clypeus when closed, at widest more than twice the mandibular width. Scape with abundant decumbent hairs. Apex of hypostomal tooth just visible in cephalic full-face view.

Mesosoma with prominent metanotal groove in lateral view: pronotal margin convex, mesonotum forms weak convexity, dorsal propodeal margin forms broad convexity, declivitous margin weakly convex to straight, unarmed. Lateral pronotal face with longitudinal striae, except for smooth strip along ventral margin; propleuron striate. Mesometapleural suture well impressed. Mesopleuron with variably sculptured or flat smooth areas; sculpture striate to rugulose, longitudinal or transverse; mesopleural carina developed along anterior half; metapleural-propodeal suture ill-defined. Mesonotum of similar length and width in dorsal view, anterior margin convex, posterior margin straight; metanotal groove scrobiculate. Metapleuron and propodeal lateral face with transverse to oblique striae, and irregular smooth areas, mesosomal dorsum mostly smooth and shining with broad, shallow piligerous punctae; spiracle opening elongate, directed posterolaterally. Tubercle of metathoracic spiracle rugulose.

Petiolar node with strongly convex anterior margin that overhangs anteroventral margin in lateral view, convexity continues to dorsal margin, posterior margin broadly convex; node higher than long. Node with weak longitudinal to oblique striae on side; posterior face mostly smooth and shining, separated from rest of node by strong curvature. Node as wide as long in dorsal view, anterior margin convex, almost as wide as posterior margin, posterior margin weakly convex. Gaster smooth and shining with sparse punctulae. Head, mesosoma and abdomen dark brown; clypeus, mandibles, antennae, and legs ferruginous brown; gastral apex ferruginous brown. Body without appressed pilosity, with numerous decumbent to subdecumbent hairs.

Type Material

Holotype worker. Ecuador, Islas Galapagos, Isla Santa Cruz, 2.5 km from SPNG limit, Pto. Ayora-Baltra Road, 29.iii.1982, Y.D. Lubin 123. Deposited in Museum of Comparative Zoology. – Paratypes. 9 workers with the same data as the holotype. MCZC.


The species name alludes to the name of Santa Cruz Island of the Galapagos Archipelago, the locality from which this species has been recorded.