Leptothorax goesswaldi

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Leptothorax goesswaldi
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Leptothorax
Species: L. goesswaldi
Binomial name
Leptothorax goesswaldi
Kutter, 1967

Leptothorax goesswaldi casent0281814 p 1 high.jpg

Leptothorax goesswaldi casent0281814 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

This species is a workerless inquiline. Queens live in the nest of a different ant species, have no workers and are entirely dependent on their hosts for food. The queens produce eggs that are cared for and raised to maturity by the host workers.

At a Glance • Workerless Inquiline  




Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 59.94201° to 46.423904°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Leptothorax goesswaldi is a workerless social parasite of Leptothorax acervorum. The parasite queen cuts off the antennae of the host colony queen(s) (L. acervorum is usually polygynous) and replaces them. Only gynes and males are reared from the parasite brood. L. goesswaldi thus is a queen-intolerant inquiline species.

Ødegaard et al. (2015) - In Norway a single dealate was captured in a pan trap in a small sand pit in Aug 2013. The occurrence of this species in Norway is quite surprising, as this is considered one of the rarest ant species in Europe. Elsewhere, Leptothorax goesswaldi is only known from one place in southern Sweden, a few places in the Alps, and from Kazakhstan.



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

  • goesswaldi. Leptothorax goesswaldi Kutter, 1967b: 82, figs. 3-8, 10 (q.) GERMANY. Kutter, 1977c: 129 (m.). Combination in Doronomyrmex: Buschinger, 1981: 215; in Leptothorax: Heinze, 1998: 195 (combination not stated); Bolton, 2003: 270.



  • n = 28 (France; Switzerland) (Fischer, 1987) (as Doronomyrmex goesswaldi).


  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 270, Combination revived in Leptothorax)
  • Buschinger, A. 1974: Zur Biologie der sozialparasitischen Ameise Leptothorax goesswaldi KUTTER (Hym., Formicidae). Ins. Soc. 21, 133-144.
  • Buschinger, A. 1981. Biological and systematic relationships of social parasitic Leptothoracini from Europe and North America. Pp. 211-222 in: Howse, P. E., Clement, J.-L. (eds.) Biosystematics of social insects. Systematics Association Special Volume No. 19. London: Academic Press, 346 pp. (page 215, Combination in Doronomyrmex)
  • Buschinger, A. 2009. Social parasitism among ants: a review (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 12: 219-235.
  • Buschinger, A., Klump, B. 1988: Novel strategy of host-colony exploitation in a permanently parasitic ant, Doronomyrmex goesswaldi. - Naturwissenschaften 75, 577-578.
  • Douwes, Per, Abenius, J., Cederberg, B., Wahlstedt, U. (2012): Steklar: Myror - getingar | Hymenoptera: Formicidae – Vespidae. (Record of L. goesswaldi in S-Sweden)
  • Heinze, J. 1998 [1995]. The origin of workerless parasites in Leptothorax (s. str.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche (Camb.) 102: 195-214 (page 195, Returned to Leptothorax (combination not stated))
  • Kiran, K., Karaman, C., Heinze, J. 2021. First record of the inquiline ant Leptothorax kutteri Buschinger, 1965 from Turkey. Sociobiology 68, e7224 (doi:10.13102/sociobiology.v68i3.7224).
  • Kutter, H. 1967c. Beschreibung neuer Sozialparasiten von Leptothorax acervorum F. (Formicidae). Mitt. Schweiz. Entomol. Ges. 40: 78-91 (page 82, figs. 3-8, 10 queen described)
  • Kutter, H. 1977c. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Insecta Helv. Fauna 6: 1-298 (page 129, male described)
  • Ødegaard, F., K.M. Olsen, A. Staverløkk, and J. O. Gjershaug. 2015. Towards a new era for the knowledge of ants (Hymenoptera,Formicidae) in Norway? Nine species new to the country. Norwegian Journal of Entomology. 62:80-99.
  • Schultz, R., Buschinger, A. (2006): First Asian record of the parasitic ant, Leptothorax goesswaldi KUTTER, 1967 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). - Myrmecologische Nachrichten. 9:33-34.

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • AntArea. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at http://antarea.fr/fourmi/
  • Antarea (at www.antarea.fr on June 11th 2017)
  • ArtDatabanken Bugs (via GBIG)
  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Buschinger A. 1985. New records of rare parasitic ants (Hym., Form.) in the French Alps. Insectes Sociaux 32(3): 321-324.
  • Casevitz-Weulersse J., and C. Galkowski. 2009. Liste actualisee des Fourmis de France (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Bull. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 114: 475-510.
  • Odegaard F., K. M. Olsen, A. Staverlokk, and J. O. Gjershaug. 2015. Towards a new era for the knowledge of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in Norway? Nine species new to the country. Nowegian Journal of Entomology 62: 80–99.
  • Schultz R., and A. Buschinger. 2006. First Asian record of the parasitic ant, Leptothorax goesswaldi Kutter, 1967 (Hymneoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecologische Nachrichten 9: 33-34.