Zatania gibberosa

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Zatania gibberosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Zatania
Species: Z. gibberosa
Binomial name
Zatania gibberosa
(Roger, 1863)

Zatania gibberosa casent0905841 p 1 high.jpg

Zatania gibberosa casent0905841 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Mann (1920) and Fontenla (2000) report Zatania gibberosa from forests; Mann observed nests in decayed logs. Where it occurs, it is apparently an active (workers move about quickly) and abundant species.


This species has the largest and most robust workers within the genus; the large, pilose workers of this species effectively separate it from other species. It possesses abundant erect setae on the head and mesosoma, including the propodeum, which is in contrast to Zatania albimaculata, the species most likely to be confused with Z. gibberosa.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 23.133° to 18.53°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • gibberosa. Prenolepis gibberosa Roger, 1863a: 161 (w.) CUBA. Combination in Zatania: LaPolla, Kallal & Brady, 2012: 209. Senior synonym of rogeri: Fontenla Rizo, 2000: 82. See also: Mann, 1920: 433.
  • rogeri. Prenolepis (Prenolepis) gibberosa var. rogeri Mann, 1920: 434 (w.) CUBA. Aguayo, 1932: 225 (q.). Junior synonym of gibberosa: Fontenla Rizo, 2000: 82.

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

LaPolla et al. (2012) - Mann (1920) described a variety of Z. gibberosa (var. rogeri, then in Prenolepis) based on the gaster being shiny as opposed to opaque. Fontenla (2000) stated that this character was variable and that the morphological division between opaque and shiny gasters was unclear. In fact we have seen specimens in which the gaster is both shiny in some places and opaque in other places. There is also some variation in the size of workers (suggesting workers might be slightly polymorphic), worker coloration and mesosomal setation (Fontenla, 2000), but with the fairly low number of specimens available for this study we cannot correlate these morphological characters in such a way that suggests there is more than one species present (as opposed to geographical variation). However, this species is reported from across Cuba and into Haiti (although interestingly it has not be collected from the Dominican Republic), and a more detailed study is needed to determine if cryptic species are present. For now we maintain the synonymy established by Fontenla (2000), until additional data suggest otherwise.



LaPolla et al. (2012) - Large, robust species; head and mesosoma reddish brown, with darker gaster; entire body distinctly opaque (although there is some variation in gaster opacity, see below) with abundant erect setae and pubescence; scapes with very dense layer of suberect pubescence; dorsal face of propodeum distinctly dome-like and with abundant erect setae.

Measurements (n = 3): TL 3.0–3.1 mm; HW 0.9–0.96 mm; HL 1.0–1.1 mm; EL 0.22–0.25 mm; SL 1.63–1.8 mm; PW 0.6–0.65 mm; WL 1.73–1.85 mm; PrFL 1.32–1.35 mm; PrFW 0.17–0.24 mm; GL 1.2–1.3 mm.

Indices: CI 82–87; REL 20–24; SI 180–189.

Type Material

LaPolla et al. (2012) - Holotype worker, Cuba: Yateras District, Guantanamo, San Blas (National Museum of Natural History) (examined).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Aguayo C. G. 1932. Notes on West Indian ants. Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society 27: 215-227.
  • Alayo D. P. 1974. Introduccion al estudio de los Himenopteros de Cuba. Superfamilia Formicoidea. Academia de Ciencias de Cuba. Instituto de Zoologia. Serie Biologica no.53: 58 pp. La Habana.
  • Fernández Triana J. L., J. L. Fontenla, E. Portuondo Ferrer, and J. A. Genaro. 2005. Especies de himenópteros registrados en el Parque Nacional La Bayamesa, Cuba, 17-22 de junio del 2003 y 2-10 de febrero del 2004. In Maceira F., D., A.Fong G., W. S. Alverson, y/and T. Wachter, eds. 2005. Cuba: Parque Nacional La Bayamesa. Rapid Biological Inventories Report 13. The Field Museum, Chicago.
  • Fontanla Rizo J.L. 1997. Lista preliminar de las hormigas de Cuba. Cocuyo 6: 18-21.
  • Fontenla J. L., and J. Alfonso-Simonetti. 2018. Classification of Cuban ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) into functional groups. Poeyana Revista Cubana de Zoologia 506: 21-30.
  • Fontenla Rizo J. L. 1997. Lista preliminar de las hormigas de Cuba (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Cocuyo 6: 18-21.
  • Fontenla Rizo J. L. 2000. The genus Prenolepis Mayr, 1861 (Formicidae) in the Greater Antilles, with an outline of phylogenetic relationships. Caribb. J. Sci. 36: 76-86.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Kusnezov N. 1963. Zoogeografia de las hormigas en sudamerica. Acta Zoologica Lilloana 19: 25-186
  • LaPolla J. S., R. J. Kallal, S. G. Brady. 2012. A new ant genus from the Greater Antilles and Central America, Zatania (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), exemplifies the utility of male and molecular character systems. Systematic Entomology 37: 200-214.
  • Mann W. M. 1920. Additions to the ant fauna of the West Indies and Central America. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 42: 403-439.
  • Mann W. M. 1924. Notes on Cuban ants. Psyche (Cambridge) 31: 19-23.
  • Perez-Gelabert D. E. 2008. Arthropods of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti): A checklist and bibliography. Zootaxa 1831:1-530.
  • Portuondo E. F., and J. L. Reyes. 2002. Mirmecofauna de los macizos montañosos de Sierra Maestra y Nipe-Sagua-Baracoa. Cocuyo 12: 10-13
  • Portuondo E. F., and J. L. Reyes. 2006. Species of Hymenoptera recorded in the Reserva Ecológica Pico Mogote, Santiago de Cuba Province, 20-25 September 2002. In: Maceira F., D., A. Fong G., y/and W. S. Alverson, eds. 2006. Cuba: Pico Mogote. Rapid Biological Inventories Report 09. The Field Museum, Chicago.
  • Portuondo Ferrer E., and J. L. Fernández Triana. 2005. Species of hymenopterans (bees, wasps, and ants) recorded in Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, from literature records, revision of the collection at BIOECO, and collections before and during the rapid inventory, 12-22 February 2004. In Fong G., A., D. Maceira F., W. S. Alverson, y/and T. Wachter, eds. 2005. Cuba: Parque Nacional “Alejandro de Humboldt.” Rapid Biological Inventories Report 14. The Field Museum, Chicago.
  • Portuondo Ferrer, E. and J. Fernandez Triana. Biodiversidad del orden Hymenoptera en Los Macizos Montanosos de Cuba Oriental. Boletin S.E.A. 35:121-136.
  • Reyes, J. L. "Inventario de la colección de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) del Centro Oriental de Ecosistemas y Biodiversidad, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba." Boletín de la Sociedad Aragonesa 36 (2005): 279-283.
  • Santschi F. 1930. Quelques fourmis de Cuba et du Brésil. Bulletin. Société Entomologique d'Egypte. 14: 75-83.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1913. The ants of Cuba. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 54: 477-505.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1930. The ant Prenolepis imparis Say. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 23: 1-26.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1937. Ants mostly from the mountains of Cuba. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. 81: 439-465.