Leptogenys voeltzkowi

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Leptogenys voeltzkowi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Leptogenys
Species group: incisa
Species complex: voeltzkowi
Species: L. voeltzkowi
Binomial name
Leptogenys voeltzkowi
Forel, 1897

Leptogenys voeltzkowi casent0101398 profile 1.jpg

Leptogenys voeltzkowi casent0101398 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

The pattern of distribution for L. voeltzkowi shows that it occupies the dry, transitional humid, lowland, and littoral forests in the north and northeast of Madagascar. It forages in leaf litter and nests mainly in rotten wood and under rocks.


A member of the voeltzkowi complex of the incisa species group. Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) - Worker. Median portion of clypeus projecting anteriorly into short, narrowly rounded lobe; anteriorly projecting peg-like setae present from near anterior margin of median lobe of clypeus, above semi-translucent lamella; antennal scape relatively short (SI: 101–114), less than one fourth its length surpassing posterior margin of head; in full-face view, eye not breaking line of cephalic lateral border; in profile, posterior margin of petiolar node with constriction at posteroventral angle, near junction to gaster; dorsum of body without erect hairs longer than maximum diameter of eye.

This species can be separated from the remainder of the group by the following combination of characters: the very short standing hairs, which may be absent, on dorsum of the body, and the eyes usually not breaking the line of the cephalic lateral margin. Specimens from the forest of Binara near Daraina have a head that is narrower posteriorly, eyes that break the outline of the sides of the head, and mandibles that increase in width from the basal third to near the apical teeth. Workers from RS Manongarivo and RS Marotandrano have a weak convexity at the mid-length of their mandible, and the width of the blades decreases towards the apical portion. Mandibular blades of specimens from both localities are longitudinally striate.

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.

  • voeltzkowi. Leptogenys voeltzkowi Forel, 1897c: 194 (w.) MADAGASCAR.

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




Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) - (9 specimens). HW: 1.30–1.59, HL: 1.39–1.72, CI: 90–95, SL: 1.31–1.60, SI: 101–114, PW: 0.90–1.15, WL: 2.26–2.72, PNH: 0.77–0.92, PNL: 0.62–0.71, PNW: 0.71–0.84, DNI: 113–125, LNI: 123–134.

Head weakly broader at front than behind; sides feebly convex and diverging anteriorly; posterior margin very weakly concave. Eye large, slightly protruding from surface of head, and not breaking outline of side of head. Antennal scape relatively short (SI: 101–114). Clypeus with convex lateral margin, which strongly tapers into narrowly rounded anteromedian lobe; thin, rounded subopaque lamella surrounding anteromedial clypeal lobe. Mandible elongate and slender, feebly angulate near base and not fully closed against clypeus, leaving gap when at rest; basal groove narrowly impressed. In dorsal view, mesosoma with impressed metanotal groove; in profile, mesosoma somewhat high and short, with broadly convex dorsal margin; propodeal lobe absent. Posterior face of petiolar node impressed or with groove at about posteroventral portion, near junction to gaster; in profile, node about as high as broad, anterior face meeting in convex line with dorsal margin, forming distinct angle with posterior face. Constriction between third and fourth abdominal segments weakly noticeable. Mandible generally smooth between sparse punctures, with piligerous pits; head dorsum densely reticulate-rugulose, interspersed with small punctures. Dorsum of mesosoma, node of petiole and abdominal tergites III and IV generally punctate, with fine microreticulation. Sides of mesosoma rugulose at the suture between mesopleuron and metapleuron. Standing hairs and pubescence present on dorsum of head, but very short or absent on other parts of body dorsum. Black species, appendages dark brown with lighter apical portion; tip of gaster brown.

Type Material

Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) - Lectotype worker, present designation, Madagascar, Antsiranana, Nosy-be (Voeltzkow), AntWeb specimen code CASENT0101888 (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève). Paralectotypes: two workers with same data but with the following specimen codes: CASENT0101947, CASENT0101989 (MHNG) [examined].


  • Bolton, B. 1975a. A revision of the ant genus Leptogenys Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Ethiopian region with a review of the Malagasy species. Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Entomol. 31: 235-305 (page 234, see also)
  • Forel, A. 1897d. Ameisen aus Nossi-Bé, Majunga, Juan de Nova (Madagaskar), den Aldabra-Inseln und Sansibar, gesammelt von Herrn Dr. A. Voeltzkow aus Berlin. Mit einem Anhang über die von Herrn Privatdocenten Dr. A. Brauer in Marburg auf den Seychellen und von Herrn. Abh. Senckenb. Naturforsch. Ges. 21: 185-208 (page 194, worker described)
  • Rakotonirina, J.C. & Fisher, B.L. 2014. Revision of the Malagasy ponerine ants of the genus Leptogenys Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 3836, 1-163.