Prenolepis nitens

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Prenolepis nitens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Prenolepis
Species: P. nitens
Binomial name
Prenolepis nitens
(Mayr, 1853)

Prenolepis nitens casent0179603 p 1 high.jpg

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Specimen Labels


Prenolepis nitens has been reported to be active during winter at approximately 2℃–3℃ (Lőrinczi, 2016). It is an uncommon species in Greece, although it is known from all mainland provinces, Aegean Islands and Ionian Islands. It prefers deciduous and mixed forests. In Achaia, it was collected in a stream valley with plane trees inside coniferous forest (Borowiec & Salata, 2021).

Photo Gallery

  • Prenolepis nitens queen. Photo by Michal Kukla.


Williams and LaPolla (2016) - Obtusely angled propodeum with flat dorsal and posterior faces; entire cuticle smooth and shiny; ectal surface of mandibles with deep longitudinal striations.

This species is nearly identical to Prenolepis imparis in worker morphology, but has a more robust mesosoma at the mesonotal constriction . The male genitalia of P. nitens bear a few key differences from those of P. imparis: (1) in P. nitens the genitalia are oriented posteriorly and in P. imparis they are oriented ventrally, curving downward; (2) in P. nitens the ental surface of the parameres is strongly concave and scoop-like and in P. imparis the ental surface is flattened; (3) in P. nitens the cuspi are longer; and (4) the genitalia of P. nitens are overall less hirsute than those of P. imparis.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 47.7425° to 37.73165°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Albania, Austria (type locality), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Türkiye, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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.


Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec




Images from AntWeb

Prenolepis nitens casent0901941 h 1 high.jpgPrenolepis nitens casent0901941 p 1 high.jpgPrenolepis nitens casent0901941 d 1 high.jpgPrenolepis nitens casent0901941 l 1 high.jpg
Holotype of Tapinoma politaWorker. Specimen code casent0901941. Photographer Ryan Perry, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by OUM, Oxford, UK.
Prenolepis nitens casent0906085 h 1 high.jpgPrenolepis nitens casent0906085 p 1 high.jpgPrenolepis nitens casent0906085 d 1 high.jpgPrenolepis nitens casent0906085 p 2 high.jpgPrenolepis nitens casent0906085 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0906085. Photographer Shannon Hartman, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Prenolepis nitens 107-108.jpg


Prenolepis nitens 109-114.jpg


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

  • nitens. Tapinoma nitens Mayr, 1853a: 144 (w.) AUSTRIA. André, 1882b: 205 (q.m.). Combination in Prenolepis: Mayr, 1861: 52. Junior synonym of imparis: Emery, 1893i: 635. Subspecies of imparis: Dalla Torre, 1893: 178; Forel, 1895d: 229; Ruzsky, 1905b: 262; Emery, 1910a: 128; Emery, 1914d: 159; Wheeler, W.M. 1930b: 19; Novak & Sadil, 1941: 99; Röszler, 1942a: 56. Status as species: Finzi, 1922: 120; Müller, 1923: 118; Emery, 1925b: 225; Baroni Urbani, 1962: 136; Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 556. Senior synonym of crepusculascens: Roger, 1862b: 256; of polita: Roger, 1863b: 10.
  • polita. Tapinoma polita Smith, F. 1855a: 112 (w.) GREAT BRITAIN. Junior synonym of nitens: Roger, 1863b: 10.
  • crepusculascens. Formica crepusculascens Roger, 1859: 238 (q.) TURKEY. Junior synonym of nitens: Roger, 1862b: 256.

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



Williams and LaPolla (2016) - (n=29): CMC: 14–18; EL: 0.24–0.29; EW: 0.20–0.22; HL: 0.77–0.94; HLA: 0.40–0.48; HLP: 0.21–0.30; HW: 0.70–0.90; IOD: 0.47–0.55; LF1: 0.20–0.25; LF2: 0.09–0.12; LHT: 1.03– 1.14; MMC: 2–3; MTW: 0.41–0.50; MW: 0.28–0.37; PDH: 0.29–0.38; PMC: 3–5; PrCL: 0.45–0.50; PrCW: 0.25– 0.31; PrFL: 0.76–0.93; PrFW: 0.17–0.22; PTH: 0.37–0.38; PTL: 0.32–0.38; PTW: 0.26–0.33; PW: 0.48–0.57; SL: 0.93–1.11; TL: 2.80–3.93; WF1: 0.06–0.08; WF2: 0.06–0.08; WL: 0.94–1.30; BLI: 123–144; CI: 90–100; EPI: 160– 211; FLI: 203–240; HTI: 135–141; PetHI: 119–121; PetWI: 81–86; PrCI: 53–62; PrFI: 22–25; REL: 28–34; REL2: 30–36; REL3: 49–57; SI: 119–135.

Light to dark brown with head and gaster sometimes darker than mesosoma; entire cuticle smooth and shiny; abundant decumbent setae on scapes and legs; erect macrosetae on head, mesosoma, and gaster; head about as broad as long and square in shape with rounded posterolateral corners and a straight posterior margin; eyes moderately large and convex, but not surpassing the lateral margins of the head in full-face view; torulae overlap with the posterior border of the clypeus; anterior border of clypeus with a pair of prominent anterolateral lobes; mandibles with 6 teeth on the masticatory margin; ectal surface of mandibles with deep longitudinal striations; in profile view, propodeum is obtusely angled with a flat dorsal face; dorsal apex of petiole scale is sharply angled and forward-inclined.


Williams and LaPolla (2016) - (n=1): EL: 0.47; HL: 1.24; HW: 1.46; SL: 1.44; TL: 8.51; WL: 2.76; BLI: 189; CI: 118; REL: 38; REL2: 32; SI: 99. Much larger and distinctly lighter in color than male; light to medium brown; abundant short, erect macrosetae on head, mesosoma, and gaster; entire cuticle covered in dense pubescence; head broader than long and square in shape; three ocelli present; compound eyes large and convex, barely surpassing the lateral margins of the head in full-face view; antennae with 12 segments; scapes long, surpassing the posterior margin of the head; mandibles with 6 teeth on the masticatory margin; ectal surface of mandibles with longitudinal striations; mesosoma large to accommodate flight muscles and without a constriction; small collar-like pronotum; large and strongly convex shelf-like mesonotum; petiole is forward-inclined and triangular, as seen in worker; dorsal apex of petiole scale is sharply angled.


Williams and LaPolla (2016) - (n=1): EL: 0.40; HL: 0.74; HW: 0.79; SL: 0.73; TL: 3.53; WL: 1.46; BLI: 184; CI: 107; REL: 54; REL2: 50; SI: 92. Much smaller and distinctly darker than queen; dark brown; abundant long, erect macrosetae on head, mesosoma, and gaster; entire cuticle covered in dense pubescence; head broader than long and oval in shape; three large ocelli present; compound eyes very large and convex, surpassing the lateral margins of the head in full-face view; antennae with 13 segments; scapes very short, barely surpassing the posterior margin of the head; mandibles with a single apical tooth on the masticatory margin; ectal surface of mandibles with deep longitudinal striations; mesosoma large to accommodate flight muscles and without a constriction; small collar-like pronotum; large and strongly convex shelf-like mesonotum; petiole is forward-inclined and triangular, as seen in worker; dorsal apex of petiole scale is sharply angled; genitalia oriented posteriorly; parameres elongate, roughly triangular, and curved medially; ental surface of parameres strongly concave; digiti are long and slender; cuspi are broad, triangular, and short relative to the rest of the genitalia; parameres are covered in very long, erect macrosetae; edges of cuspi are covered in short, erect macrosetae; 9th sternite is large and broad.

Type Material

Williams and LaPolla (2016) - Syntype worker, Slovenia: Siska, Ljubljana (Hauff) (Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna: CASENT0915728) [examined]. Syntype worker, (no specific locality provided) (Berlin Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität: FOCOL2729) [not examined]. André, 1882: 205 (q. m.). 2 syntype queens, (no specific locality provided) (ZMHB: FOCOL2728, FOCOL2730) [not examined]. Syntype male(s?), (no specific locality provided) (depository unknown) [not examined].


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