Leptothorax gredleri

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Leptothorax gredleri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Leptothorax
Species: L. gredleri
Binomial name
Leptothorax gredleri
Mayr, 1855

Leptothorax gredleri casent0179904 p 1 high.jpg

Leptothorax gredleri casent0179904 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Alate queens of this species practice female calling, i.e., they leave their natal nest, climb onto vegetation, and release pheromone from their extruded sting to attract males.



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Austria (type locality), Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Nest in small sticks in pine forest.

Females practice female calling outside their natal nest, then either found a new nest alone, seek adoption in another nest, or return to their own nest. Colonies that contain more than one queen exhibit functional monogyny.

Bernadou et al. (2016) studied the behavior of newly mated queens. They found queens can distinguish their natal nest using cuticular hydrocarbons found on a substrate. Overall there was a preference for newly mated queens to choose a nest previously used by their natal nestmates. For queens adopted back into their natal nest within laboratory nests, a large majority of these queens were killed within the eight weeks. They concluded newly mated queens may preferentially re-inhabit their natal nest after mating, then subsequently leave before they are killed.

This species is a host for the ant Harpagoxenus sublaevis (a slave maker) (Guillem et al., 2014).





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

  • gredleri. Leptothorax gredleri Mayr, 1855: 438 (w.q.) AUSTRIA. Schenck, 1861: 196 (m.). Combination in L. (Mychothorax): Forel, 1915d: 26. Junior synonym of muscorum: Roger, 1862c: 296. Revived from synonymy as subspecies of muscorum: Forel, 1874: 87. Raised to species: Bondroit, 1918: 122. Subspecies of muscorum: Dalla Torre, 1893: 125; Emery, 1916b: 176; Emery, 1924d: 262; Stitz, 1939: 163; Novak & Sadil, 1941: 90. Junior synonym of muscorum: Brown, 1955a: 47 (in text). Revived from synonymy and status as species: Buschinger, 1966b: 165. See also: Bernard, 1967: 389; Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 98; Pisarski, 1975: 24; Kutter, 1977c: 129; Seifert, 2007: 225.



  • n = 11 (Germany; Switzerland) (Buschinger et al., 1980; Fischer, 1987; Loiselle et al., 1990).


  • Baroni Urbani, C. 1971c. Catalogo delle specie di Formicidae d'Italia (Studi sulla mirmecofauna d'Italia X). Mem. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 50: 5-287 (page 98, Status as species)
  • Bernadou, A., J. Ruther, and J. Heinze. 2015. Avoid mistakes when choosing a new home: Nest choice and adoption of Leptothorax ant queens. Journal of Insect Physiology. 79:88-95. doi:10.1016/j.jinsphys.2015.06.008
  • Bernard, F. 1967a [1968]. Faune de l'Europe et du Bassin Méditerranéen. 3. Les fourmis (Hymenoptera Formicidae) d'Europe occidentale et septentrionale. Paris: Masson, 411 pp. (page 389, Status as species)
  • Blatrix R., Lebas C., Wegnez P., Galkowski C., Buschinger A., 2013. New data on the distribution of Leptothorax pacis and L. kutteri, two very rare parasitic ants, and confirmation of the presence of L. gredleri in France (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Revue de l’Association Roussillonnaise d’Entomologie, 22, 85-91 PDF
  • Bondroit, J. 1918. Les fourmis de France et de Belgique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 87: 1-174 (page 122, Status as species)
  • Buschinger, A. 1966c. Leptothorax (Mychothorax) muscorum Nylander und Leptothorax (M.) gredleri Mayr zwei gute Arten. Insectes Soc. 13: 165-172 PDF (page 165, Status as species)
  • Csosz, S. 2001. Taxonomical and distributional notes on two new and a rare Leptothorax Mayr, 1855 species for the Hungarian ant fauna (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Ann. Hist.-Nat. Mus. Natl. Hung. 93: 99-106 (new record for Hungary)
  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 125, Variety/subspecies of muscorum)
  • Emery, C. 1916a [1915]. Fauna entomologica italiana. I. Hymenoptera.-Formicidae. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 47: 79-275 (page 176, Variety/subspecies of muscorum)
  • Emery, C. 1924f [1922]. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [concl.]. Genera Insectorum 174C: 207-397 (page 262, Variety/subspecies of muscorum)
  • Forel, A. 1874. Les fourmis de la Suisse. Systématique, notices anatomiques et physiologiques, architecture, distribution géographique, nouvelles expériences et observations de moeurs. Neue Denkschr. Allg. Schweiz. Ges. Gesammten Naturwiss. 26: 1-452 (page 87, Revived from synonymy as variety of muscorum)
  • Forel, A. 1915d. Fauna insectorum helvetiae. Hymenoptera. Formicidae. Die Ameisen der Schweiz. Mitt. Schweiz. Entomol. Ges. 12(B Beilage: 1-77 (page 26, Combination in L. (Mychothorax))
  • Guillem, R.M., Drijfhout, F., & Martin, S.J. 2014. Chemical deception among ant social parasites. Current Zoology, 60(1), 62-75 (doi:10.1093/czoolo/60.1.62).
  • Kutter, H. 1977c. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Insecta Helv. Fauna 6: 1-298 (page 129, Status as species)
  • Mayr, G. 1855. Formicina austriaca. Beschreibung der bisher im österreichischen Kaiserstaate aufgefundenen Ameisen, nebst Hinzufügung jener in Deutschland, in der Schweiz und in Italien vorkommenden Arten. Verh. Zool.-Bot. Ver. Wien 5: 273-478 (page 438, worker, queen described)
  • Novák, V.; Sadil, J. 1941. Klíc k urcování mravencu strední Evropy se zvlástním zretelem k mravencí zvírene Cech a Moravy. Entomol. Listy 4: 65-115 (page 90, Variety/subspecies of muscorum)
  • Oberstadt, B.; Heinze, J. 2003. Mating biology and population structure of the ant, Leptothorax gredleri. Insectes Soc. 50: 340-345 (page 340, see also)
  • Pisarski, B. 1975. Mrówki Formicoidea. Kat. Fauny Pol. 26: 3-85 (page 24, Status as species)
  • Roger, J. 1862c. Synonymische Bemerkungen. 1. Ueber Formiciden. Berl. Entomol. Z. 6: 283-297 (page 296, Junior synonym of muscorum)
  • Schenck, C. F. 1861. Zusätze und Berichtigungen zu der Beschreibung der nassauischen Grabwespen (Heft XII), Goldwespen (Heft XI), Bienen (Heft XIV) und Ameisen (Heft VIII und XI). Jahrb. Ver. Naturkd. Herzogthum Nassau Wiesb. 16: 137-206 (page 196, male described)
  • Stitz, H. 1939. Die Tierwelt Deutschlands und der angrenzenden Meersteile nach ihren Merkmalen und nach ihrer Lebensweise. 37. Theil. Hautflüger oder Hymenoptera. I: Ameisen oder Formicidae. Jena: G. Fischer, 428 pp. (page 163, Variety/subspecies of muscorum)