Zatania darlingtoni

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Zatania darlingtoni
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Zatania
Species: Z. darlingtoni
Binomial name
Zatania darlingtoni
(Wheeler, W.M., 1936)

Zatania darlingtoni p.jpg

Zatania darlingtoni dor.jpg

Known only from the type collection. Wheeler (1936) reported: Described from seven workers taken by Dr. Darlington between La Visite and Kenscoff, Haiti, at an altitude of 5000-7000 ft. Except in the structure of the thorax, this ant seems to be more like a Prenolepis than a Nylanderia. The larger specimens are true repletes, with greatly distended gaster, like the repletes of our common North American Prenolepis imparis.

At a Glance • Replete Workers  


Williams and LaPolla (2016) - There are several aspects of worker morphology that suggest that this species really belongs in Zatania and not Nylanderia. Among those are:

  • long scapes with no erect setae but with decumbent pubescence
  • elongate legs with no erect macrosetae but with dense pubescence
  • an elongate, slender mesosoma
  • relatively high placement of the eyes above the midline of the head

Wheeler (1936) noted the unusual morphology of the worker of this species and this is why he placed in Nylanderia and not Paratrechina.

There is some observed variability in color among the type series, with some specimens more yellow and others much darker brown. Otherwise all other aspects of their morphology are similar so they are here considered conspecific.

The genus Zatania now has five extant species known to occur in the Greater Antilles and one species in Central America. Zatania darlingtoni is the second species reported from Haiti, the other being Zatania gibberosa (LaPolla et al. 2012). Zatania darlingtoni appears to be most similar to Zatania cisipa based on overall worker morphology. The two differ in several ways, but the most obvious is that Z. cisipa has darker (contrasting with its lighter cuticular color) and more abundant macrosetae on the head than Z. darlingtoni, and the eyes of Z. cisipa are much more convex than the relatively flat eyes of Z. darlingtoni.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 18.45° to 18.36°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Greater Antilles, Haiti (type locality).

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.




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

  • darlingtoni. Nylanderia darlingtoni Wheeler, W.M. 1936b: 210 (w.) HAITI.
    • Combination in Paratrechina: Brandão, 1991: 366.
    • Combination in Nylanderia: LaPolla, Brady & Shattuck, 2010a: 127.
    • Combination in Zatania: Williams & LaPolla, 2016: 252.

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



Length 1.8 -2.4 mm.

Head subrectangular, slightly longer than broad, as broad in front as behind, with feebly and evenly convex sides and straight posterior border. Eyes rather large, moderately convex, at the middle of the sides. Mandibles narrow, with oblique 6-toothed blades, the third and fifth tooth from the apex smaller than the others. Clypeus convex and subcarinate in the middle, its anterior border entire and broadly rounded. Frontal area large but indistinct. Antennae long and slender; scapes extending about two-fifths of their length beyond the posterior border of the head; second funicular joint small, broader than long, joints 3-10 subequal, nearly twice as long as broad, terminal joint nearly as long as the two preceding joints together. Thorax in profile with feebly convex promesonotum, gradually rising to the mesoepinotal impression which is very short, abrupt and shallow, the epinotum rising somewhat behind it to form a very short base and then falling in a very flat curve to the metasternal angles. Seen from above the thorax is about two and one-half times as long as broad, somewhat broader through the pronotum than through the posterior rectangular portion of the epinotum; pronotum broader than long, mesonotum longer than broad; metanotal spiracles not prominent, separated by a distance equal to fully three times their diameter. Petiole with low, thick, anteriorly inclined node, half as broad as the epinotum, with straight, transverse, blunt summit, its sides converging inferoposteriorly, its posterior surface feebly convex. Gaster rather large, convex dorsally, with acute tip, the first segment shaped as in Prenolepis imparis, with a concavity for the reception of the petiolar scale, medially marginate above and acutely angular on each side. Legs rather long and slender.

Very smooth and shining, with fine, sparse, piligerous punctures; gaster delicately shagreened. Mandibles finely, longitudinally striolate. Legs arid scapes less shining, very finely and densely punctulate.

Hairs on gaster and dorsal surface of head and pronotum yellowish, erect, sparse and tapering. Pubescence appressed, rather long on the head, shorter and denser on the gaster and even finer and denser on the legs. There are no bristle-like erect hairs on the legs and scapes.

Sordid, pale yellowish brown or brownish yellow; dorsal surface of gaster darker brown; scapes and median portions of femora and tibial feebly infuscated; coxae, trochanters and tarsi pale yellow; mandibles reddish, with darker reddish teeth.

Williams and LaPolla (2016) - (n=3): HL: 0.49–0.59; HW: 0.48–0.54; SL: 0.66–0.74; TL: 1.77–2.30; WL: 0.80–0.90; BLI: 167; CI: 91–94; SI: 136–147.

Head in full-face view ovate, distinctly longer than broad; posterolateral corners rounded; posterior margin straight; scapes surpassing posterior margin of head by about the length of first 3–4 funicular segments combined; ocelli not apparent; in full frontal view, eyes not breaking the lateral margins of head. In profile anterior face of pronotum forming an angle of approximately 45°; pronotum and mesonotum forming a continuous dorsal outline; mesonotal area not distinctly impressed; propodeum low, in lateral at about same level as mesonotum, with a gently rounded dorsal face descending uninterruptedly into declivitous face. Body smooth and shiny, yellow to brown; with lighter yellow to brownish-yellow antennae, mandibles and legs; scapes with short decumbent pubescence; cephalic pubescence densest above eyes; mesosoma with pubescence dorsally on pronotum, mesonotum and anterior portion of propodeum; first and second gastral segments with dense pubescence dorsally.

Type Material

Described from seven workers taken by Dr. Darlington between La Visite and Kenscoff, Haiti, at an altitude of 5000-7000 ft.

  • Lectotype (designated by Williams & LaPolla, 2016: 252), worker, between La Visite and Kenschoff, 5000–7000ft, Haiti, P.J. Darlington, MCZENT00021675, Museum of Comparative Zoology.
  • Paralectotype (designated by Williams & LaPolla, 2016: 252), 6 workers, between La Visite and Kenschoff, 5000–7000ft, Haiti, P.J. Darlington, Museum of Comparative Zoology.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Brandao, C.R.F. 1991. Adendos ao catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao neotropical (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 35: 319-412.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Perez-Gelabert D. E. 2008. Arthropods of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti): A checklist and bibliography. Zootaxa 1831:1-530.
  • Wheeler, William Morton. 1936. Ants From Hispaniola and Mona Island. Bulletin: Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College. 80(2):192-211.