Vollenhovia nipponica

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Vollenhovia nipponica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Vollenhovia
Species: V. nipponica
Binomial name
Vollenhovia nipponica
Kinomura & Yamauchi, 1992

This species is a workerless inquiline parasitising Vollenhovia emeryi.

At a Glance • Workerless Inquiline  • Brachypterous Queen  



Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States.
Palaearctic Region: Japan (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



The genome of P. nipponica was sequenced for a study examining how this and other parasitic ants with no worker caste may have altered their genome to arrive at a workerless state. In comparison to ants with a full complement of castes, there appeared to be no loss of genes in the parasitic ants. This suggests regulatory differences and not sequence differences predominate in gains and losses of castes (phenotypes). (Smith et al. 2015)


Queen described as brachypterous (Ohkawara and Satoh 2015)




The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • nipponica. Vollenhovia nipponica Kinomura & Yamauchi, 1992: 203, figs. 1, 2 (q.m.) JAPAN.



  • Buschinger, A. (2009). Social parasitism among ants: a review. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 12: 219-235.
  • Kinomura, K.; Yamauchi, K. 1992. A new workerless socially parasitic species of the genus Vollenhovia (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Japan. Jpn. J. Entomol. 60: 203-206 (page 203, figs. 1, 2 queen, male described)
  • Ohkawara K. and Satoh A. 2015 Rare production of brachypterous queens in a social parasitic ant, Vollenhovia nipponica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Asian Myrmecology 7: 133–136
  • Smith, C. R., S. H. Cahan, C. Kemena, S. G. Brady, W. Yang, E. Bornberg-Bauer, T. Eriksson, J. Gadau, M. Helmkampf, D. Gotzek, M. O. Miyakawa, A. V. Suarez, and A. Mikheyev. 2015. How Do Genomes Create Novel Phenotypes? Insights from the Loss of the Worker Caste in Ant Social Parasites. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 32:2919-2931. doi:10.1093/molbev/msv165