Prenolepis nepalensis

Williams, Jason L. & Lapolla, John S., 2018, Two new Prenolepis species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Indomalaya and Australasia, with a redescription of P. dugasi from Vietnam, Zootaxa 4441 (1), pp. 171-180: 178-179

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Prenolepis nepalensis

sp. nov.

Prenolepis nepalensis  , sp. nov.

Figs. 13–15 View Figure (worker)

Holotype worker, NEPAL: 4 km SSW Pokhara; 28°12'N, 83°58'E; elev. 900 m; Schima-Castanopsis forest ; low vegetation; 10.xii.1988; P.S. Ward 9670-7 (ANTWEB CASENT0281462) ( USNMAbout USNM).GoogleMaps 

Worker diagnosis: Posterolateral borders of the clypeus are shallow, making the cuticle of the clypeus appear continuous with that of the gena ( Fig 3 View Figure ). Three small ocelli present. Mesosoma is robust and compact. Pronotum is rounded and discontinuous with the mesonotum, which forms a dorsal hump anteriorly ( Fig 6 View Figure ). Petiole is forwardinclined, subtriangular, and not elongate ( Fig 6 View Figure ). A distinct sparsity of long macrosetae on the head and mesosoma. Scapes and legs with an abundance of smaller, decumbent setae and pubescence.

Compare with: P. darlena  , P. fisheri  , P. fustinoda 

WORKER. Measurements (n=1): CMCAbout CMC: 2; EL: 0.19; HL: 0.72; HW: 0.67; MMC: 0; PMC: 2; PrMC: 2; SL: 0.75; TL: 2.86; WL: 0.92; CI: 93; REL: 26; REL2: 28; SI: 112.

Uniformly medium to dark brown head, mesosoma, gaster, legs, and antennae; entire cuticle smooth and shiny, with some light reticulation on head and gaster; sparse erect macrosetae on head and mesosoma; longer erect macrosetae on gaster; no erect macrosetae on scapes or legs, except for long, erect hairs on lateral margins of procoxae; decumbent setae and sparse pubescence cover entire head, mesosoma, and gaster; scapes and legs covered in dense pubescence; head about as broad as long and subtriangular in shape, with indistinct posterolateral corners; three small ocelli present; eyes moderately large and convex, but do not surpass lateral margins of head in full-face view; torulae overlap with posterior border of clypeus; clypeus without prominent anterolateral lobes; posterolateral borders of clypeus also relatively shallow, so that cuticle of clypeus and gena appears continuous ( Fig 3 View Figure ); mandibles with 5 teeth on masticatory margin; ectal surface of mandibles smooth and shiny; in profile view, mesosoma is overall robust and compact; pronotum is rounded and discontinuous with mesonotum, which is also rounded and abruptly rises above pronotum, and declines posteriorly ( Fig 6 View Figure ); metathoracic spiracles abruptly rise above the mesonotum at the point of mesosomal constriction; propodeum is slightly rounded with a flattened dorsal face; dorsal apex of petiole scale is low in profile and forward-inclined ( Fig 6 View Figure ).

Etymology: The specific epithet is named after the country of Nepal, where the holotype was collected.

Notes: This species most strongly resembles the other three that are known from Nepal and nearby regions ( P. darlena  , P. fisheri  , and P. fustinoda  ) but can most readily be distinguished by its lack of long, erect macrosetae and distinct body shape. Of these four species, P. nepalensis  is the only one to have: (1) relatively shallow posterolateral clypeal borders, making the cuticle of the clypeus and gena appear continuous ( Fig 3 View Figure ); (2) a sparse layer of pubescence or decumbent hairs across the mesosoma, rather than an abundance of erect macrosetae; (3) scapes that are densely covered in pubescence and lack erect macrosetae; (4) a distinctly more robust and compact mesosoma, with the mesonotum rounded and rising above the pronotum; and (5) a forward-inclined triangular petiole that is relatively short in length.


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Coleccion Mastozoologica del Centro de Investigacion en Biodiversidad y Conservacion,Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos