Zatania electra

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Zatania electra
Temporal range: Burdigalian, Early Miocene Dominican amber, Dominican Republic
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Zatania
Species: Z. electra
Binomial name
Zatania electra
LaPolla, Kallal & Brady, 2012

LaPolla Kallal Brady 2012-10Zatania-electra2.jpg

LaPolla Kallal Brady 2012-10Zatania-electra3.jpg


This is the only fossil species known in the genus. The workers, with respect to some morphological features, resemble the workers of Zatania albimaculata and Zatania karstica, especially with regards to the relatively small size of the compound eyes and the constriction of the mesosoma immediately behind the pronotum. The dome-like propodeum is most similar to Zatania gibberosa and Z. karstica. The apparently uniform body colour of the fossil species is only shared with Z. karstica among extant species. Interestingly, however, despite the similarities of the workers to the three mentioned extant species, the narrow male parameres most closely resemble those of Zatania cisipa and Zatania gloriosa. The narrow head of the Z. electra worker is most similar to what is observed in Z. gloriosa. It therefore appears that Z. electra has an interesting combination of morphological features observed among all of the known extant species.


This taxon was described from Dominican amber, Dominican Republic (Burdigalian, Early Miocene).



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

  • electra. †Zatania electra LaPolla, Kallal & Brady, 2012: 206, figs. 30a-b, 31a-b (w.m.) DOMINICAN AMBER.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Dominican Amber fossil, AMNH DR10-159; one paratype worker, Dominican Amber fossil (Museum of Comparative Zoology); and one paratype male, AMNH PB-118-25.

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



Dominican amber fossil species.

Measurements (n = 1): TL 2.80 mm; HW 0.57 mm; HL 0.73 mm; EL 0.17 mm; SL 1.18 mm; PW 0.41 mm; WL 1.14 mm; PrFL 0.84 mm; PrFW 0.16 mm; GL 0.94 mm.

Indices: CI 78; REL 23; SI 207.

Coloration difficult to ascertain in amber matrix, but appears to be either uniformly dark or reddish brown. Head distinctly longer than wide (CI 78) and strongly oval in shape; mandibles seemingly with five teeth; posterolateral corners of head indistinct and rounded; posterior margin short; scattered macrosetae on head; difficult to ascertain if pubescence is present. Scapes surpass posterior margin by about length of first six or seven funicular segments; scapes with thin, short erect setae, difficult to ascertain if pubescence present. Eyes relatively small, but distinctly convex. Pronotum with scattered erect setae; erect setae on notum; propodeal erect setae shorter than other notal setae; distinct constriction present immediately behind pronotum; metanotal area long; dorsal face of propodeum dome-like, higher than remainder of notum; gaster with scattered erect macrosetae.




Coloration difficult to ascertain in amber matrix but appears to be either uniformly dark or reddish brown. Head slightly wider than long, dominated by large, convex compound eyes that take up most of lateral margin of head; mandibles, with prominent, pointed apical tooth; masticatory margin partly obscured, but seemingly with indistinct denticles, similar to what is observed in Z. gibberosa males; head with scattered erect macrosetae; difficult to ascertain if pubescence present. Scapes surpass posterior margin by about length of first five or six funicular segments; scapes with short, thin erect setae. Mesosoma modified for presence of wing; erect setae scattered across mesonotum and metanotum; propodeum indistinct with very short dorsal face and long declivitous face. Gaster with scattered erect setae; genitalia with long, narrow parameres, similar to what is observed in Z. cisipa and Z. gloriosa.

Measurements (n = 1): TL 2.85 mm; HW 0.68 mm; HL 0.62 mm; EL 0.29 mm; SL 0.98 mm; PW 0.51 mm; WL 1.28 mm; PrFL 1.01 mm; PrFW 0.15 mm; GL 0.95 mm.

Indices: CI 101; REL 47; SI 145.


The species epithet is in reference to the fact that this is a fossil species found in amber (electra is Greek for amber).