Lasius rabaudi

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Lasius rabaudi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Lasius
Section: flavus clade
Species group: umbratus
Species: L. rabaudi
Binomial name
Lasius rabaudi
(Bondroit, 1917)

Lasius rabaudi casent0906273 p 1 high.jpg

Lasius rabaudi casent0906273 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

This species exhibits temporary social parasitism. Queens found new colonies by infiltrating an established nest of Lasius niger, killing the queen and using host workers to care for her initial brood.

At a Glance • Temporary parasite  


A common Palaearctic species very close to Lasius umbratus and safely distinguishable only in the queen caste.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 42.766667° to 30.911944°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Afghanistan, Denmark, France (type locality), Georgia, Iberian Peninsula, Morocco, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey.

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.


While this species is known to be a temporary parasite of Lasius niger, Starcke has suggested, based on observational evidence, that it can serve, in turn, as the host for the temporary parasite Lasius fuliginosus (unconfirmed).

Note that de la Mora et al. (2021) question the identification of the host by Janda et al. (2004), Lasius niger, due to subsequent taxonomic revisions. However, they offer no suggestion of the true host of this species.


Images from AntWeb

Lasius rabaudi casent0906276 p 1 high.jpgLasius rabaudi casent0906276 d 1 high.jpgLasius rabaudi casent0906276 l 1 high.jpg
Specimen code casent0906276. .


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

  • rabaudi. Formicina rabaudi Bondroit, 1917a: 177, fig. 2 (q.) FRANCE.
    • Emery, 1924c: 170 (w.); Wilson, 1955a: 169 (m.).
    • Combination in Lasius (Chthonolasius): Emery, 1925b: 233.
    • Junior synonym of umbratus: Bourne, 1973: 25; van Boven, 1977: 151.
    • Status as species: Bondroit, 1918: 35; Bondroit, 1920a: 144; Wilson, 1955a: 168 (redescription); Bernard, 1967: 364 (redescription); Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 212; Kutter, 1977c: 234; Azuma, 1977: 117; Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 555 (in key); Collingwood, 1978: 89 (in key); Yamauchi, 1979: 169; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 281 (in key); Seifert, 1988a: 159 (redescription); Seifert, 1990: 11; Bolton, 1995b: 225.

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



Wilson (1955) - (1) The most reliable queen character, the flattening of the scape, seems to be reflected in the worker, but there is considerable overlap between the two species, and probably a majority of worker series unaccompanied by queens cannot be certainly placed. Series of Lasius umbratus accompanied by queens are characterized as follows: in workers with maximum midpoint scape width of 0.10-0.12 mm., the minimum midpoint width was always 0.08 mm. or more. In the two series of Lasius rabaudi accompanied by queens ("Morogi-Mura" and Roermond) the minimum width was distinctly less than 0.08 mm. However, other series unaccompanied by queens, and therefore not determinable by reference to the rabaudi type, completely overlapped determined umbratus and extended far below the identified rabaudi series, to minimum width 0.06 mm.

(2) The "Morogi-Mura" and Roermond series and others with greatly flattened scapes also had abundant standing hairs on the scapes, which character is frequent in umbratus only in northern Eurasian samples.


Wilson (1955) - (1) Scapes and tibiae conspicuously flattened, so that the minimum width of the 'scape at the midpoint is 0.10 mm. or less (Fig. 15).

(2) Funicular segments tending to be proportionately longer than in umbratus. In the rabaudi series examined, funicular segment III varied 1.47-1.87 X longer than broad, while an equivalent sample of Eurasian umbratus varied 1.00-1.50 X longer than broad, with only one specimen exceeding the rabaudi minimum of 1.47 X.

(3) The shape of the petiole characteristic, and less variable than in umbratus: in frontal view subquadrate, nearly as broad at the dorsal crest as at the level just above the frontal foramen, and with a rounded to angulate dorsal emargination. European series have concave to straight lateral margins; Japanese series may have convex margins in addition.


Wilson (1955) - Males associated with very flat-scaped workers from Roermond are rather small compared to umbratus (HW about 0.98 mm.) and show certain expected allometric differences in mandibular and petiolar structure, but in this and every other character they are within the extreme range of variation of umbratus. There is no appreciable flattening of the scapes.

Type Material

Wilson (1955) - HOLOTYPE. An alate queen in the Bondroit Collection.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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  • Agosti, D. and C.A. Collingwood. 1987. A provisional list of the Balkan ants (Hym. Formicidae) and a key to the worker caste. I. Synonymic list. Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft, 60: 51-62
  • AntArea. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at
  • Antarea (Personal Communication - Rumsais Blatrix- 27 April 2018)
  • Antarea (at on June 11th 2017)
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  • Bernard F. 1973. Tendances calcicoles ou silicicoles chez les fourmis méditerranéennes. Pp. 16-21 in: International Union for the Study of Social Insects. Congress 1973. Proceedings IUSSI VIIth International Congress, London, 10-15 September, 1973. Southampton: University of Southampton, vi + 418 pp.
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  • Collingwood C. A. 1971. A synopsis of the Formicidae of north Europe. Entomologist 104: 150-176
  • Collingwood C. A. 1976. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from North Korea. Annales Historico-Naturales Musei Nationalis Hungarici 68:
  • Collingwood C.A. 1957. The Species of Ants of the Genus Lasius in Britain. Journal of the Society for British Entomology. 5: 204-214
  • Collingwood C.A. 1961. New Vice-County Records for British Ants. Entomologist. 73: 90-93
  • Collingwood, C. A. 1958b. A key to the species of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) found in Britain. Trans. Soc. Br. Entomol. 13: 69-96
  • Collingwood, C. A. 1964. The Identification of British Ants (Hym. Formicidae). Transactions of the Society for British Entomology. 16:93-121.
  • Collingwood, C. A.. "The Lasius (Chthonolasius) umbratus (Hym., Formicidae) species complex in north Europe." Entomologist (London) 96 (1963): 145-158.
  • Collingwood, C. A.. "The third Danish Expedition to Central Asia. Zoological Results 27. Formicidae (Insecta) from Afghanistan." Videnskabelige Meddelelser fra Dansk Naturhistorisk Forening 123 (1961): 51-79.
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  • Galkowsky, C.. "Lasius rabaudi (BONDROIT, 1917) (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) retrouvé en France." Bull. Soc. Linn. Bordeaux 145 (N. S.) nº 38, no. 2 (2010): 139-147.
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