Paraphaenogaster loosi

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Paraphaenogaster loosi
Temporal range: Oligocene Enspel Formation, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Genus: Paraphaenogaster
Species: P. loosi
Binomial name
Paraphaenogaster loosi
Jessen, 2020


Jessen (2020) - Characterised by its combination of BL > 9 mm, an arched promesonotum with a protruding scutellum, straight and well-developed propodeal spines, a high, steeply ascending petiolar node, and a nodular postpetiole. As an essential difference to Paraphaenogaster tertiaria, this species has a convexly curved clypeus margin and does not show any median indentation (see Dlussky and Putyatina 2014). The clypeus of P. tertiaria is not convexly curved but horizontal in itself, and has a median depression at the anterior clypeus margin.


This taxon was described from Enspel Formation, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany (Oligocene).



Jessen Supp. 1 2020 F1.jpgJessen Supp. 1 2020 F2.jpg


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

  • loosi. †Paraphaenogaster loosi Jessen, 2020: 6, figs. 3a, b (q.) GERMANY.

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



Holotype BLw/oG: 6.87, HL: 1.98, HW: 1.58 (est.), ED: 0.44, GeL: 0.59, ML: 0.96, MML: 0.59 SL: 1.56, AL: 2.91, FWL: 7.69 (est.), ScuL: 1.52, ScutL: 0.62, HiTL: 2.02, PL: 0.90, PH: 0.71, PPL: 0.5, PPH: 0.69, HeH: 0.43, G1L: 1.68 (est.), G1H: 1.53. Wing venation: 2M+Cu: 0.75, 1Cu: 0.71, 1M: 0.38, m-cu: 0.47, 1RS+ M: 0.38, 2RS+M: 0.49. Indices: CI: 79.98, SI: 98.85, IED/HL: 22.32, IHL/AL: 67.98, Imcu: 54.17, I2RS+M/1RS+M: 126.92, I2RS+M/m-cu: 95.62, I2RS+M/2M+Cu: 64.71.

Position: Head dorsal, alitrunk, petiole, postpetiole, gaster (partly) lateral.

Colour: Brown, both plates a and b existing.

BL about 9.73. Head distinctly longer than wide, with feebly concave sides, smoothly rounded occipital corners. Head length is about 68% of alitrunk length. Anterior margin of clypeus smooth. Eyes slightly longer than wide, located at mid length of head, eye diameter is about 22.3% of head length. Gena well developed. Mandibles sub-triangular, with eight well-developed triangular-shaped teeth; the two first apical teeth larger than the others. Twelve-segmented antenna, no distinct club. Scape just protrudes beyond occipital margin. Surface of the head is sculptured with wide striae. At the occiput striae are also combined with transversal structures, resulting in a reticulate pattern. Alitrunk high, mesonotum arched. Scutum anteriorly covers pronotum. Scutellum thickened and distinctly upraised. It is transverse oval shaped with tapered ends. Propodeal slope steep, propodeum armed with two long spines, directed straight backwards. No propodeal lobes developed. Tibial spurs combed at fore leg, simple at hind leg; for the mid leg it is not clear. Pronotum, propleuren striated, propodeum with transversal strong striae, other parts of alitrunk unspecificly rugose. Mesopleuron large. Posteroventral margin of metasternum almost forms a right angle. Wing venation as in genus description. Apical part of vein 5RS is not preserved, so it is uncertain if cell 3r is closed here. Petiole with long peduncle and distinct node. Peduncle anteroventral with small protrusion. Petiole dorsally with distinct sutures, along peduncles midline and marking the transition from peduncle to node. Node with steep ascending anterior face and steep descending posterior face, dorsally structured rugose. Postpetiole with rounded node. Helcium articulates with petiole at about mid length of posterior face of petiole. Gaster is damaged. However, two continuous break lines prove that the first gastral tergite is the longest one, which is typical for myrmicine ants. Sculpture on first gastral tergite is unspecific rugose, not shiny.

Type Material

Holotype: NHMM-PE1995/5503-LS a+b, winged gyne. Enspel Oilshale, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Enspel Formation, Upper Oligocene, MP 28; (24.56–24.79 Ma, Mertz et al. 2007), layer S16.

Abbreviation of specimen numbers:NHMM= Naturhistorisches Museum Mainz; PE = Palaeontology Entomology; 2009 = found in 2009; 6281 = running inventory number of the year; LS = Landessammlung (State Collection). Information on the layer is given. They refer to the standard profile in Felder et al. (1998).

Currently stored in the Directorate General for Cultural Heritage Rhineland-Palatinate, Directorate Archaeology, Department Earth History, Mainz, Germany. In the long term, they will be deposited in the “Typothek” of the State Collection of Natural History Rhineland-Palatinate/Museum of Natural History Mainz, Mainz, Germany (NHMM).


Honouring former municiple mayor Gerhard Loos (Westerburg, Germany), in place of all town mayors, local authorities and the county council, who all were engaged to develop the Fossil-Lagerstätte Enspel to the main touristic centrum Stöffel-Park (Enspel, Westerwald Mountains, Germany) by fundraising political and financial support from the state Rhineland-Palatinate and the European Union.