Megalomyrmex leoninus

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Megalomyrmex leoninus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Megalomyrmex
Species group: leoninus
Species: M. leoninus
Binomial name
Megalomyrmex leoninus
Forel, 1885

Megalomyrmex leoninus casent0178669 profile 1.jpg

Megalomyrmex leoninus casent0178669 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Dr. Klaus Jaffe kindly forwarded me a colony of M. leoninus collected by him at Cucuta, Merida, Venezuela among stones. He did not notice any definite entrances, galleries or chambers. The colony contained 450 workers and 35 males, but no immatures, nor queens. (Brandão 1990)

At a Glance • Ergatoid queen  


Brandão (1990) - M. leoninus is the type species of the genus by monotypy. It's original description includes some highly variable characters as color, size and pilosity. M. leoninus presents the widest range of variation on the morphometric measurements taken. This variation is followed by an extreme variation in color pattern, from a bright red to a deep brown, almost black.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 10.36888889° to -64.36°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Colombia (type locality), Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

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.




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

  • leoninus. Megalomyrmex leoninus Forel, 1885a: 372 (w.) COLOMBIA.
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Brandão, 1990b: 436), 2 paralectotype workers.
    • Type-locality: lectotype Colombia: (no further data) (Landolt); paralectotypes with same data.
    • Type-depositories: MHNG (lectotype); MHNG, MZSP (paralectotypes).
    • Status as species: Emery, 1890a: 65; Emery, 1890b: 47 (footnote, in key); Dalla Torre, 1893: 71; Forel, 1901h: 61; Forel, 1905b: 159; Wheeler, W.M. 1909b: 237 (in key); Emery, 1922e: 190; Wheeler, W.M. 1925a: 34 (in key); Ettershank, 1966: 105; Kempf, 1972a: 140; Brandão, 1990b: 436 (redescription); Brandão, 1991: 355; Bolton, 1995b: 249; Brandão, 2003: 153; Fernández & Serna, 2019: 806.
    • Distribution: Brazil, Colombia, Suriname, Trinidad, Venezuela.

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



Brandão (1990) - Mandibles smooth: anterior clypeal border round with median denticle: 3-segmented antennal club: frontal suture impressed; 22 ocular facets at compound eye largest diameter; occipital margin raised but not visible in head full face view; promesonotal suture impressed; mesosternum and metasternum without acrotergites; declivity smooth: epipetiolar carina complete; nonpedunculate petiole with anteroventral tooth but no flange; dorsal margin of petiolar node, in side view. concave; dorsal margin of petiole, in frontal view, round; postpetiole ventral face without process; apex of femura acuminate.

Color: reddish-brown (gaster may be darker than rest of the body).

Type Material

Colombia. Lectotype designation: Lectotype and paralectotype at Museum de la Ville de Geneve. Paralectotype at Museu de Zoologia da USP.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Brandao, C.R.F. 1991. Adendos ao catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao neotropical (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 35: 319-412.
  • Brandão C. R. F. 1990. Systematic revision of the Neotropical ant genus Megalomyrmex Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae), with the description of thirteen new species. Arquivos de Zoologia (São Paulo) 31: 411-481
  • Emery C. 1890. Voyage de M. E. Simon au Venezuela (Décembre 1887 - Avril 1888). Formicides. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (6)10: 55-76.
  • Fernandes I., and J. de Souza. 2018. Dataset of long-term monitoring of ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the influence areas of a hydroelectric power plant on the Madeira River in the Amazon Basin. Biodiversity Data Journal 6: e24375.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Forel A. 1901. Formiciden des Naturhistorischen Museums zu Hamburg. Neue Calyptomyrmex-, Dacryon-, Podomyrma- und Echinopla-Arten. Mitt. Naturhist. Mus. Hambg. 18: 43-82.
  • Forel A. 1905. Miscellanea myrmécologiques II (1905). Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 49: 155-185.
  • Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
  • Leponce M., J. H. C. Delabie, J. Orivel, J. Jacquemin, M. Calvo Martin, and A. Dejean. 2019. Tree-dwelling ant survey (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in Mitaraka, French Guiana, in Touroult J. (ed.), “Our Planet Reviewed” 2015 large-scale biotic survey in Mitaraka, French Guiana. Zoosystema 41 (10): 163-179.
  • Salinas P. J. 2010. Catalogue of the ants of the Táchira State, Venezuela, with notes on their biodiversity, biogeography and ecology (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Amblyioponinae, Ponerinae, Proceratiinae, Myrmicinae, Ecitoninae, Formicinae, Pseudomyrmecinae, Dolichoderinae). Boletín de la SEA 47: 315-328.