AntWiki: The Ants --- Online

Protanilla usually occur in well-developed forests but can sometimes be found along forest edges. They nest in rotten wood fragments and in soil (Vietnam, Eguchi et al 2014). In Borneo colonies, complete with dealate queens, were found in very rotten wood (one log, one partially buried stump) which were in an advanced stage of decay, the bulk of the colony being in the soil-wood layer immediately above the underlying clay soil.


Satria, Putri & Ahda (2023) - Characterized by its fully exposed antennal sockets in full-face view; clypeal disc trapezoidal, raised and flattened, and margined laterally with a sharp edge; inner surface of mandible with peg-like teeth; promesonotal suture present and flexible (Eguchi et al. 2014).

Keys including this Genus


Keys to Species in this Genus


Distributed across the Indo-Malayan, Warm-temperate Palaearctic, Australasian and southern-Paleotropical regions of the world.

Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps

Species by Region

Number of species within biogeographic regions, along with the total number of species for each region.

Afrotropical Region Australasian Region Indo-Australian Region Malagasy Region Nearctic Region Neotropical Region Oriental Region Palaearctic Region
Species 0 0 2 0 0 0 7 7
Total Species 2840 1735 3042 932 835 4378 1740 2862


Cryptic and hypogeaic ants, it is unclear if they are rare or woefully undersampled. Myrmecologists have yet to implement adaquate techniques to sample the world's underground ant fauna. One recently discovery species, Protanilla beijingensis, was taken from a subterranean pitfall trap using a sampler that could prove useful for future surveys.



Worker Morphology

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Male Morphology

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 • Caste unknown



Opamyrma  (1 species, 0 fossil species)


Leptanilla  (62 species, 0 fossil species)

Protanilla  (18 species, 0 fossil species)

See Phylogeny of Leptanillinae for details.


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

  • PROTANILLA [Leptanillinae: Anomalomyrmini]
    • Protanilla Taylor, in Bolton, 1990b: 279. Type-species: Protanilla rafflesi Taylor, in Bolton, 1990b: 279, by original designation.
    • Protanilla in Leptanillinae: Anomalomyrmini: Bolton, 1990b: 279; Hölldobler & Wilson, 1990: 12; Kugler, C. 1992: 107; Bolton, 1994: 70; Bolton, 2003: 152.
    • Protanilla as genus: all authors.
    • Protanilla as senior synonym of Furcotanilla: Hsu, et al. 2017: 119, 128.
    • Protanilla catalogues: Bolton, 1995b: 369.
  • ANOMALOMYRMA [junior synonym of Protanilla]
    • Anomalomyrma Taylor, in Bolton, 1990b: 278. Type-species: Anomalomyrma taylori, by original designation.
    • Anomalomyrma junior synonym of Protanilla: Griebenow, 2024: 117.
  • FURCOTANILLA [junior synonym of Protanilla]
    • Furcotanilla Xu, 2012c: 481. Type-species: Protanilla furcomandibula Xu & Zhang, 2002: 140, by original designation.
    • Furcotanilla in Leptanillinae, Anomalomyrmini: Xu, 2012c: 482.
    • Furcotanilla junior synonym of Protanilla: Hsu, et al. 2017: 119; Griebenow, 2024: 117.