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Protanilla rafflesi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Leptanillinae
Tribe: Anomalomyrmini
Genus: Protanilla
Taylor, 1990
Type species
Protanilla rafflesi
13 species
(Species Checklist, Species by Country)

Protanilla rafflesi casent0102375 profile 1.jpg

Protanilla rafflesi

Protanilla rafflesi casent0102375 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Evolutionary Placement

  (1 species)

some Protanilla
  (13 species)

  (3 species)

some Protanilla

  (3 species)

some Leptanilla
  (49 species)

some Leptanilla

some Leptanilla

  (1 species)

Based on Griebenow, 2021. The genus Scyphodon is excluded as it has yet to be studied in detail.

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.


Keys including this Genus


Keys to Species in this Genus


Man et al (2017) - Protanilla beijingensis represents the northernmost record of the genus Protanilla and is the first collection of the genus recorded in the Palaearctic of China.

Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps


It is unclear if these ants are rare or woefully undersampled. The genus is one of those ant taxa that lives a subterranean existence and myrmecologists have yet to implement adaquate techniques to sample the world's underground ant fauna. The most recently discovery species, Protanilla beijingensis, was taken from a subterranean pitfall trap using a sampler that could prove useful for future surveys.



Worker Morphology

Male Morphology

 • Caste unknown


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.
  • 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.