Leptanilloides femoralis, Borowiec, Marek L. & Longino, John T., 2011

Borowiec, Marek L. & Longino, John T., 2011, Three new species and reassessment of the rare Neotropical ant genus Leptanilloides (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Leptanilloidinae), ZooKeys 133, pp. 19-48: 28-29

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Leptanilloides femoralis

sp. n.

Leptanilloides femoralis   ZBK   sp. n. Figures 2C4 A–I

Type material.

Holotype worker: VENEZUELA, Aragua: Pico Periquito, PN Henri Pittier, 10.339°, −67.706°, 1500m, sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood) 17 August 2008 (P. S. Ward #16198.06) [unique specimen identifier CASENT0106180] [MIZA]. Paratype workers: 22 workers with the same data as holotype, point-mounted and in alcohol [AMNH, BMNH, CASC, FMNH, LACM, MCZC, MIZA, MZSP, NMNH, QCAZ, UCDC].

Worker measurements (holotype): HW 0.25, HL 0.32, SL 0.14, MH 0.12, ML 0.42, PrW 0.15, PW 0.09, PL 0.12, AIIIW 0.13, AIIIL 0.11, AIVW 0.22, AIVL 0.18, FFeW 0.09, FFeL 0.19, HFeL 0.19, HTiL 0.22, CI 78, PI 75, MI 29.

Measurements in mm and indices (7 measured): HW 0.23-0.25, HL 0.32-0.34, SL 0.14-0.16, MH 0.12-0.14, ML 0.41-0.44, PrW 0.15-0.17, PW 0.08-0.10, PL 0.12, AIIIW 0.12-0.14, AIIIL 0.11-0.14, AIVW 0.22-0.23, AIVL 0.17-0.19, FFeW 0.08-0.09, FFeL 0.18-0.19, HFeL 0.19-0.20, HTiL 0.20-0.22, CI 71-78, PI 67-80, MI 29-32.


Worker relatively slender and small compared to most species in the genus, promesonotal connection complete and articulated, abdominal segment III (postpetiole) large relative to petiole, lateroclypeal teeth present, sculpturing moderate, parafrontal ridges present, flange overhanging metapleural gland opening rounded posteriorly. In general habitus and size it is most similar to Leptanilloides gracilis   but can be distinguished by the small opening of petiolar spiracle (situated in large depression in gracilis), the pointed flange over the metapleural gland (rounded in gracilis), single pectinate spur on hind tibia (two simple spurs in gracilis), and relatively broader femur (FFeW 0.08-0.09 in femoralis, 0.06-0.07 in gracilis). Both femoralis and gracilis are similar to biconstricta from Bolivia and improvisa from Ecuador, but can be distinguished by the distinctly bulging sternite of the petiole, with the bulge most prominent medially (versus indistinctly broadened anteriorly in biconstricta and improvisa).

Worker description.

With characters of Leptanilloides   (see Diagnosis of Leptanilloides   based on worker caste, above). Head elongate and rectangular with lateral margins nearly straight and parallel. Posterior corners rounded and posterior border concave. Parafrontal ridge distinct. Clypeus laterally with blunt tooth distinctly pointing outwards. Mandible short, masticatory margin with small teeth and basal margin crenulate. Basal and masticatory margins distinct, but separated by a rounded angle. Maxillary palp two-segmented. Labial palp two-segmented (in situ count). Scape short and clavate. Antennal joints submoniliform, gradually increasing in size toward apex but not forming an antennal club. Mesosoma long, slender and flattened. Pronotum with a flexible promesonotal suture. Metanotal groove absent. Propodeum unarmed. Propodeal declivity very short and rounding into the dorsal face. Propodeal spiracle round, situated posteriorly on the sclerite. Metapleural gland flange conspicuous, translucent and posteriorly blunt. Femur enlarged, broad. Mid tibia with one simple and hind tibia with one pectinate spur. Petiole smaller than abdominal segment III (postpetiole) in dorsal view. Petiole rectangular, uniformly wide across its length in dorsal view and with straight sides and abdominal segment III dilating posteriorly. In lateral view, petiolar tergite with differentiated anterior and posterior faces, posterior tubulated portion short. Petiolar sternite distinctly bulging medially. Abdominal sternite III evenly rounded. Metasoma long and slender. Abdominal segments IV–VI subequal in length in dorsal view and separated by strong constrictions. Pygidium small and mostly concealed by the preceding segment, U-shaped.

Head with abundant punctures with smooth interspaces on average equaling puncture diameter, except on sides where punctures sparser. Mesosoma and abdomen more finely and sparsely punctate. Laterally on mesopleuron, propodeum and petiole fine microreticulate sculpture present. Head, body and appendages with abundant, rather coarse, short and erect hairs. Body color yellowish.

Gyne and male.



Leptanilloides femoralis   is known to occur in montane cloud forest habitat. The single collection was from a Winkler sample of sifted litter and rotten wood from the forest floor.


This species is superficially very similar to Leptanilloides gracilis   and at first sight might be considered an allopatric population of that species. However, molecular data obtained for ten nuclear gene regions from both morphotypes shows a very large amount of sequence divergence, making it extremely unlikely that the ants belong to the same species (Phil Ward, unpublished data).