Lasius lasioides

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Lasius lasioides
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Lasius
Section: niger clade
Species group: brunneus
Species complex: brunneus
Species: L. lasioides
Binomial name
Lasius lasioides
(Emery, 1869)

Lasius lasioides casent0906077 p 1 high.jpg

Lasius lasioides casent0906077 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Nests in the presence of trees, from forests to open areas with at least a few trees present, across a wide range of habitats. In Greece this is a common species, known from all provinces. It prefers warm habitats, such as pastures, mediterranean bushes, luminous deciduous forests. In Achaia, a single nest was reported under a stone in a mountain pasture (Borowiec & Salata, 2021).


Seifert (2020) - Palaearctic Lasius s. str. species belonging to the Lasius brunneus species complex. It can be separated from its semipatric relatives Lasius brunneus and Lasius silvaticus by smaller head width, longer scape and larger torulo-clypeal distance.

Confusion with Lasius himalayanus is excluded by zoogeography. The potentially sympatric Iranian desert species Lasius excavatus differs by head shape and coloration. Coloration in L. lasioides: head, mesosoma, gaster, femora and tibiae dark to medium brown; tibio-femoral joint region, scape and (frequently) anterior margin of clypeus pale yellowish-brown.

The Holomediterranean population of L. lasioides is polymorphic; there is in particular an extreme variance in scape length. This polymorphism shows a rather clear geographic structuring. Exclusively the long-scaped morph, which corresponds to the types of L. lasioides, was found in Italy and Greece and the islands of Mallorca, Malta, and Sardinia. Only the short-scaped morph, which corresponds to the types of Lasius barbarus, was found in the Spanish mainland and on Cyprus. Sympatric occurrence of both morphs is observed in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, and Israel. The Iberian shortscaped population and the Italian long-scaped population are in contact in southern France.

Keys including this Species


Seifert (2020) - Lasius lasioides is a Holomediterranean species and presumably the lack of records from Libya and Egypt are caused by a lack of sampling. The most southwestern site is in Morocco at 30.8°N, 8.8° W. The northern distributional border runs along 43.5° N in France, 44.6° N in Italy, 40.5°N in Greece and Turkey whereas the easternmost truly Mediterranean site is at 35.6°N, 36.2°E in Syria. The distribution farther east is poorly known. Samples from two sites in the East Anatolian highland (PR_N 502, 39.43°N, 39.88°E, 1800 m; PR_N 460, 38.63°N, 43.45°E, 2300 m) might possibly represent a separate population or even species with special adaptation to a cold winter climate. A sample from Ghaemshar / Iran (36.46°N, 52.86°E, 49 m) represents the easternmost known site and raises the question if there is a continuous distribution from Syria and Israel east to the northern Iran. The highest latitude site in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains is at 33.00°N, 5.07°W, at 2240 m. It may be expected to have colonized all sufficiently large islands in the Mediterranean Sea which have some tree stands.

This is a common species, known from all Greek provinces (Borowiec et al., 2022).

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 43.9512° to 29.833333°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Albania, Azerbaijan, Balearic Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Georgia, Greece, Iberian Peninsula, Iran, Israel, Italy (type locality), Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, Portugal, Spain, Türkiye.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.


Seifert (1992) - Lasius lasioides is found in all habitats where at least few trees were present. Recorded were: a sand dune with trees (Malta), pastures with scattered trees which are often Quercus species (4 observations), open Quercus forests (2 observ.), dense Quercus forests (4 observ.), a dense Pinus nigra forest and a dense Abies pinsapo forest (Spain). Despite of similarities in habitat, there is only one observation of syntopic occurrence with L. brunneus in Spain.


Rigato & Toni (2011) - Species known from Mediterranean Europe, Anatolia and along the Atlas mountains (Morocco). This is the first published record for Sardinia. Pashaei Rad et al. (2018) found this species in Iran on parkland ground in a moderate rainfall area.

Seifert (2020) - Lasius lasioides is apparently dependent on the presence of trees. It inhabits diverse types of broad-leafed or coniferous forest, both such with closed canopies or more open stands, as well as urban areas, gardens, pastures and road sides with at least a few scattered trees. The nests may be found under bark of the trees, on the ground in dead logs, or under stones. Their behavior is similar to L. brunneus: it is fugitive and not aggressive and workers prefer runways in crevices of bark or other surface structures. Development of alates differs throughout the whole geographic range in dependence from latitude and altitude. Eleven observations of alates occurred 30 April – 29 July, ten of these before 8 July.

Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Association with Other Organisms

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Images from AntWeb

Lasius lasioides casent0906078 h 1 high.jpgLasius lasioides casent0906078 p 1 high.jpgLasius lasioides casent0906078 d 1 high.jpgLasius lasioides casent0906078 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0906078. Photographer Shannon Hartman, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


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

  • lasioides. Prenolepis lasioides Emery, 1869b: 6, pl. 1, fig. 3 (w.q.m.) ITALY.
    • Combination in Lasius: Emery, 1869b: 25 (in text); Emery, 1870: 194;
    • combination in Lasius (Lasius): Forel, 1915d: 53;
    • combination in Donisthorpea: Donisthorpe, 1915d: 347;
    • combination in Formicina (Donisthorpea): Emery, 1916b: 241;
    • combination in Formicina: Bondroit, 1918: 27;
    • combination in Acanthomyops: Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1927e: 189;
    • combination in Acanthomyops (Donisthorpea): Donisthorpe, 1927b: 400;
    • combination in Lasius: Müller, 1923b: 126; Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1929b: 38.
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Forel, 1904b: 386; Ruzsky, 1905b: 310.
    • Junior synonym of fumatus: Emery & Forel, 1879: 452.
    • [Note: the reference Emery & Forel, 1879: 452, reverses the seniority of lasioides established by Emery, 1870: 194, but does not affect the synonymy and is discounted here.]
    • Junior synonym of alienus: Wilson, 1955a: 77; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1435; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987a: 58; Arakelian, 1994: 117.
    • Subspecies of alienus: Dalla Torre, 1893: 182; Cagniant, 1964: 92; Forel, 1915d: 53 (in key); Emery, 1916b: 241; Menozzi, 1925d: 34; Zimmermann, 1935: 49; Finzi, 1936: 191.
    • Subspecies of niger: Forel, 1911d: 352; Forel, 1913d: 434; Forel, 1915d: 53 (in key); Donisthorpe, 1915d: 347; Emery, 1916b: 241; Santschi, 1921e: 170; Kulmatycki, 1922: 81; Finzi, 1923: 4; Emery, 1925b: 230; Schkaff, 1925: 275; Soudek, 1925b: 15; Donisthorpe, 1927b: 400; Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1927e: 189; Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1929b: 37; Finzi, 1936: 191; Bernard, 1945: 137.
    • Status as species: Emery, 1870: 194; Bondroit, 1918: 27; Stärcke, 1926: 124 (in key); Stärcke, 1944a: 155; Consani & Zangheri, 1952: 44; Seifert, 1992b: 8 (redescription); Bolton, 1995b: 223; Mei, 1995: 768; Poldi, et al. 1995: 7; Schembri & Collingwood, 1995: 156; Bračko, 2006: 149; Cagniant, 2006a: 194; Gratiashvili & Barjadze, 2008: 136; Paknia, et al. 2008: 154; Casevitz-Weulersse & Galkowsky, 2009: 484; Vonshak, et al. 2009: 40; Karaman, M.G. 2011: 85; Legakis, 2011: 27; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2012: 501; Kiran & Karaman, 2012: 12; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2013: 357; Borowiec, L. 2014: 87; Bračko, et al. 2014: 20; Lebas, et al. 2016: 218; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2018: 6; Salata & Borowiec, 2018b: 157 (in key); Salata & Borowiec, 2018c: 46.
    • Senior synonym of barbarus: Seifert, 1992b: 8; Bolton, 1995b: 223; Seifert, 2020: 49.
    • Senior synonym of fumatus: Emery, 1870: 194; Dalla Torre, 1893: 182; Forel, 1915d: 53; Emery, 1925b: 230; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1435; Seifert, 1992b: 8; Bolton, 1995b: 223; Seifert, 2020: 49.
    • Senior synonym of fuscula: Dalla Torre, 1893: 182; Forel, 1915d: 53; Emery, 1916b: 241; Emery, 1925b: 230; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1435; Bolton, 1995b: 223; Seifert, 2020: 49.
    • Senior synonym of nigrobrunneus: Seifert, 2020: 49.
  • barbarus. Lasius alienus var. barbarus Santschi, 1931a: 11.
    • [First available use of Lasius niger st. lasioides var. barbara Santschi, 1921e: 170 (w.) MOROCCO, TUNISIA; unavailable (infrasubspecific) name.]
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Emery, 1925b: 230; Bernard, 1945: 137.
    • Subspecies of brunneus: Santschi, 1936c: 208.
    • Junior synonym of alienus: Wilson, 1955a: 78; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1435.
    • Junior synonym of lasioides: Seifert, 1992b: 8; Bolton, 1995b: 221; Seifert, 2020: 49.
  • fumatus. Lasius fumatus Emery, 1869b: 26, fig. 3 (w.q.) ITALY.
    • Synonym of lasioides: Emery & Forel, 1879: 452.
    • Subspecies of niger: Emery & Forel, 1879: 452.
    • [Note: the species which is referred to as Prenolepis lasioides in the text of Emery, 1869b: 6, is referred to in the list of figures for that paper (p. 26) as Lasius fumatus. Both names refer to the same specimens and hence are automatically synonymous (Bolton, 1995b: 223).]
    • Junior synonym of lasioides: Emery, 1870: 194; Dalla Torre, 1893: 182; Forel, 1915d: 53; Emery, 1925b: 230; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1435; Seifert, 1992b: 8; Bolton, 1995b: 223; Seifert, 2020: 49.
  • fuscula. Prenolepis fuscula Emery, 1869b: 8, pl. 1, fig. 4 (w.) ITALY.
    • Combination in Lasius: Emery, 1869b: 25 (in text), 26 (in figure captions).
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Emery & Forel, 1879: 452.
    • Junior synonym of lasioides: Dalla Torre, 1893: 182; Forel, 1915d: 53; Emery, 1916b: 241; Emery, 1925b: 230; Bolton, 1995b: 223; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1435; Seifert, 2020: 49.
  • nigrobrunneus. Acanthomyops (Donisthorpea) brunneus var. nigrobrunneus Donisthorpe, 1926b: 18 (w.) ITALY.
    • Subspecies of brunneus: Donisthorpe, 1927a: 8.
    • Junior synonym of brunneus: Wilson, 1955a: 47; Bernard, 1967: 358; Seifert, 1992b: 6; Bolton, 1995b: 224; Radchenko, 2016: 366.
    • Junior synonym of lasioides: Seifert, 2020: 49.

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



Seifert (1992) - HL 848.1 ± 42.6 (64), HL/HW 1.0688 ± 0.0147 (64), SL/HL 0.9482 ± 0.0269 (64), CLCA 0.38 ± 0.14 (63), PDCL 31.41 ± 7.79 (63), nHS 0.0, nHHT 0.0, nBH 3.23 ± 1.27 (64), nUH 0.20 ± 0.34 (64), UHL/HL 0.0227 ± 0.0361 (64), PNHL/HL 0.1130 ±0.Ql08 (63).

Head: HL/HW (900) 1.059, SL/HL (900) 0.942. Mandibles normally 7-toothed (7.02 ± 0.53, 6-8, n = 27). Frontal line clearly visible. Carina well developed in center of clypeus, in anterior and posterior part frequently absent, lateral clypeal profile very convex. Genal setae completely absent. Mesosoma: reminiscent of Lasius brunneus; propodeum in lateral view with very straight posterior slope and conic dome, which is frequently slightly higher than promesonotum, mesopropodeal depression on average deeper than in L. brunneus. ScaIe: in anterior view wider than in L. brunneus and with moderately convex sides, always at least slightly emarginated; scale in lateral view thin and with convex anterior and straight posterior profile. Scape and hindtibia: seta and pubescence condition as in L. brunneus. Surface characters: very similar to L. brunneus; dorsal head with rather dilute, very appressed (0-10°) pubescence, PLF 20-26 µm; cuticular surface mildly shining, with weak micropunctures and weak microreticulum. Frontal pronotum with fine microreticulum and less dilute pubescence compared to head. Clypeal pubescence very sparse. Colour: head, meso soma, gaster, femora and tibiae dark to medium brown; tibio-femoral joint region, scape and (frequently) anterior margin of clypeus pale yellowish brown.

Borowiec and Salata (2022) - Moderately large, HL 0.705-0.934 (mean 0.841), HW 0.650-0.936 (mean 0.784), ML 0.78-1.08. Scape moderately elongate, SL 0.704-0.907 (mean 0.802). Color. Body, femora and tibiae usually unicolor pale brown except yellowish to pale yellowish- brown to reddish brown tibio-femoral joint region, scape and often also anterior margin of clypeus. Occasionally mesosoma slightly paler than head and gaster or whole body pale yellowish-brown but body never appears distinctly bicolor. Structure and setation. Head oval, slightly longer than wide, with rounded sides, occipital margin of head straight to slightly concave. Occipital part of head with 6-8 erected setae also mesosomal dorsum with only few erected setae, genal setae absent. Below propodeal spiracle 0-3 erected setae. Mandibles usually with 7 dents. Antennal scapi and tibiae with smooth pubescence lacking erected setae. Ventral surface of fore femora with 3-6 and mid femora 1-4 erected setae, of hind femora without setae or 1-3 in basal half of femur, anterior surface of fore coxa with several long erected setae. Pubescence on the whole body and appendages very smooth, appressed and short. Pubescence of clypeus short and sparse. Frontal and mesosomal pubescence very smooth, appressed and short, all body surface completely smooth, surface moderately shinning, with weak microsculpture. Gaster with very smooth, appressed and short pubescence, surface of gastral tergites distinctly sculptured , First gastral tergite in central part with several erected setae. Propodeum in lateral view with straight anterior and posterior surface, conical and equal in height to mesonotum, metanotal groove deep.


Seifert (1992) - N=7: HL 1234.9 ± 26.8, HW 1396.3 ± 50.4, ML 2470.9 ± 64.7, HL/HW 0.885 ± 0.0243, SL/HL 0.887 ± 0.0137, SL/HW 0.785 ± 0.0191, MH/ML 0.462 ± 0.0172, PDCL 20.86 ± 4.71, nHS 0.0, nHHT 0.0, nBH 1.14 ± 0.80, nUH 0.71 ± 1.07, PNHL 139.1 ± 12.4. Lectotype (n=1) NHMW: HL 1225, HW 1401, ML 2535, HLlHW 0.874, SLlHL 0.883, SLIHW 0.772, MH/ML0.471, PDCL 18.6, nHS 0, nHHT 0, nB H 0.5, nUH 0, PNHL 118, MW/ML 0.632.

Head: short, occipital margin straight; frontal groove fully developed from frontal triangle to midocellus, set in the middle of a shallow trough; mandibles in the 4 specimens with fully visible masticatory border 7-toothed. Genal setae completely absent. Mesosoma: strongly flattened, much wider than high. Scale: wide, clearly emarginate and with more rounded dorsal corners compared to Lasius brunneus. Scape and hindtibia: seta and pubescence condition as in worker. Surface characters: frontal head in overall appearance very smooth and moderately shining, micropunctures slightly weaker than in L. brunneus, weak microreticulum; pubescence 10-20°, PLF 30-45 !lm. Colour: head, mesosoma and gaster dark reddish brown; scape and tibiae yellowish.

Type Material

Seifert (2020) - Lectotype, an alate gyne, labelled by Mayr ”Neapel Emery“, ”Collect. G.Mayr“, ”L. fumatus m., lasioides m., det. Emery“ and ”lectotype, des. E.O.Wilson“; 1 paralectotype worker labelled by Mayr ”Neapel Col. G.Mayr“, ”L. fumatus m., lasioides m., det. Emery“ and ”Typus“; both specimens in Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna.

Seifert (1992) - The lectotype queen in the NHMW is in good condition and is labelled: 'L. fumatus m., lasioides m., det. Emery, Neapel, Emery, Collect. G. Mayr' and 'Lectotype, des. E. O. Wilson.' The lectotype is probably the only original material of Emery that is still available (a search in the Emery collection in Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève was negative). The specimen compares well with the worker attributed queens from Malta, Mallorca, and Algeria.


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