The Ants of Africa
SUBFAMILY LEPTANILLINAE
Contents - Leptanillinae

Subfamily Leptanillinae (Wheeler, 1923f: 335)

Bolton (1990c) revised the higher classification of the subfamily. At that point he transferred the Tribe Apomyrmini from Ponerinae to Leptanillinae, but this was changed again by the erection of the new Subfamily Apomyrminae by Baroni Urbani, Bolton & Ward (1992).

Presently, the subfamily includes the Tribes Leptanillini (Emery, 1910b: 32), with only the genus Leptanilla having members in Africa, and Anomalomyrmini, with members in the Oriental and Indo-Australian Regions.


Genus Leptanilla Emery 1870: 196

In Tribe LEPTANILLINI.

Diagnostic Features - Pedicel of two segments; pygidium not impressed; head with frontal carinae vertical, failing to cover the antennal insertions, eyes absent, antennae 12-segmented (Emery, 1870: 196; genus revision by Baroni Urbani, 1977c: 427 - see http://antbase.org/ants/publications/6319/6319.pdf).


{Leptanilla tenuis male}Emery's genus definition is at {original description} (images unavailable).

The male was first defined by Santschi (1907); this is at {original description}.
An example from that paper, Leptanilla tenuis from Tunisia, is shown right.


Described by Bolton (1973a) as minute ants, usually less than 1.5 mm in length, with army ant habits, living below ground and depigmented, colour yellow. Hölldobler & Wilson (1990, page 594) state that most feed on large arthropods. Bolton (1990c) noted that a full revision was needed, with "numerous undescribed species present in museum collections". He has illustrations of unnamed specimens. Members of the Genus are found throughout the Old World Tropics and subtropics, with the greatest diversity of species being found in the circum-Mediterranean countries.

African species
Leptanilla africana - male only known
Leptanilla australis - male only known
Leptanilla boltoni - worker only known

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© 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
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