Leptothorax goesswaldi

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
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  


Keys including this Species


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

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.


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).


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.