Lasius turcicus

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Lasius turcicus
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: turcicus
Species: L. turcicus
Binomial name
Lasius turcicus
Santschi, 1921

Lasius turcicus casent0906080 p 1 high.jpg

Lasius turcicus casent0906080 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Pashaei Rad et al. (2018) found this species in Iran on the ground in moist forest and montane areas with moderate rainfall. Borowiec & Salata (2021) report it as an uncommon species in Greece and report it from all Greek provinces except Thessaly. In Achaia they found workers in a rest area around a large plane tree.


Seifert (2020) - Palaearctic Lasius s. str. species belonging to the Lasius turcicus species complex. Differences in their natural history are detailed in the biology section of L. precusor.

Keys including this Species


Seifert (2020) - From the Aegean islands Andros (37.83°N, 24.87°E, westernmost site), Kos and Rhodos over Anatolia east to the N Iran (36.8°N, 54.4° E). The southernmost known site is Wadi Barad in Syria (33.58°N, 36.20°E). The altitudinal distribution in West Anatolia ranges from 1 to 1170 m.

Seifert (1992) - Altitudinal records concentrate near sea level but in Anatolia xerothermous steppe and karst habitats above 1000 m are inhabitated. Vertical distribution in whole range: 0-150 m (n = 15), 200-500 m (n=4), 500-1000 m (n=3), 1000-1500 m (n=4) and 1900 m (n= 1). Coastal areas along the Caspian, Black and Mediterranean Seas are obviously very frequently inhabited.

This is a moderately common species, recorded from the Aegean Islands, Crete, Cyclades, the Dodecanese, Epirus, Macedonia, Peloponnese and Thrace (Borowiec et al., 2022).

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 43.6° to 33.5°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Georgia, Greece, Iberian Peninsula, Iran, Russian Federation, Spain, Turkey (type locality).

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) - The recorded habitats indicate an eurypotent species which occurs in steppes, karst areas, sand dunes, pastures, tree rows, road sides, forest margins and very frequently in urban areas. At low altitudes L. turcicus is often found in more shaded habitats (e. g. city parks and gardens with tree canopy); in regions with cooler macroclimate direct solar insolation of the ground surface is needed.


Seifert (1992) - Polygynous colonies may develop into huge supercolonies, displacing or exterminating most of the other ant species and getting increasing importance as pest species as reported for the city of Budapest (Van Loon et al. 1990). There it is described as a "very opportunistic species occupying all available nest space and monopolizing virtually all trees for tending and harvesting aphids". A similar, but less extreme situation was observed by the author in the Tiflis Botanical Garden. On another site, a N-exposed steppe slope in a suburb of Tiflis, under nearly every stone moved, nest parts of a big polygynous colony were found. In polygynous colonies the nuptial flight is (perfectly?) reduced and intranidal mating takes place (Van Loon et al. 1990). The same authors reported alate queens inside a polygynous colony not later than 10 July. An alate queen from a (probably monogynous) nest near Kastamonu / Turkey was taken by A. Schulz on 5 July 1989. 

Association with Other Organisms

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This species is associated with the aphids Acyrthosiphon gossypii, Acyrthosiphon pisum, Anoecia corni, Aphis brunellae, Aphis craccivora, Aphis fabae, Aphis farinosa, Aphis gossypii, Aphis pomi, Aphis sambuci, Aphis spiraecola, Brachycaudus amygdalinus, Brachycaudus cardui, Brachycaudus helichrysi, Chaetosiphon tetrarhodum, Chaitophorus hillerislambersi, Chaitophorus salicti, Cinara cupressi, Cinara pilicornis, Cinara pini, Cinara tujafilina, Myzus cerasi, Myzus lythri, Myzus varians, Neobetulaphis pusilla, Phleomyzus passerini, Protaphis terricola, Pterochloroides persicae, Pterocomma populeum and Toxoptera aurantii (Saddiqui et al., 2019 and included references).



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

  • turcicus. Lasius niger st. turcica Santschi, 1921a: 115 (w.q.) TURKEY. Subspecies of alienus: Emery, 1925b: 230; Stärcke, 1944a: 157 (in key). Junior synonym of alienus: Wilson, 1955a: 78 [Repeat of this synonymy in Arakelian, 1994: 117, is ignored.]. Revived from synonymy and raised to species: Seifert, 1992b: 10.

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

Seifert (2020) - Preliminary investigations of Iranian samples show significant character differences to the Anatolian population. Assessment of the taxonomic status of the former needs a special, more extensive study.



Seifert (2020) - Body size larger than in sister species Lasius precursor (CS 855 µm). Number of mandibular dents low (MaDe900 7.7). Clypeal pubescence dilute (sqPDCL900 5.34). Pronotal setae rather short (PnHL/CS900 0.127) as long as gular setae (GuHL/ CS900 0.127). Petiole scale in profile view rather thin with an acute dorsal tip. Pubescence hairs on frons rather long (PLF 34.7 µm). Dorsum of scape and hind tibiae without or occasional setae. It differs from Lasius neglectus by larger size, more developed gular pilosity (nGu900 3.96 vs. 2.92, GuHL/CS900 0.127 vs. 0.115) and less developed pilosity on posterior margin of head (nOcc900 6.88 vs. 9.77). For the most significant differences to L. precursor see there and Tab. 3. Coloration: In medium sized specimens head and gaster dark brown, mesosoma often suggested lighter; mandibles, antennae, lateral part of clypeus, tibiae and tarsae light yellowish-brown. Large specimens often show more yellowish-reddish color components on mesosoma and lateral clypeus.

Also see table 2 in Seifert 2020 for additional morphometric measurements, ratios, and functions. Abbreviations given above for measurements, ratios and functions are defined here: Seifert 2020 Lasius characters.


Seifert (1992) - HL 1230.0±36.1 (9), HW 1380.8±28.8 (9), AL 2533.4±67.1 (9), HL/HW 0.8909±0.0104 (9), SL/HL 0.8612±0.0222 (9), SL/HW 0.7672±0.0204 (9), MH/ML 0.4984±0.0264 (9), PDCL 22.33±7.09 (9), nHS 1.39±1.88 (9), nHHT2.39±2.S5 (9), nBH 13.61±2.37 (9), nUH 6.17±1.32 (9), PNHL 164.2±14.4 (9), UHL l71.7±12.8 (9)

Head: frontal groove fully developed from midocellus to frontal triangle but weakly impressed; mandibles with 7 to 8 dents (7.33 ± 0.50, n = 9), number of genal setae 2.89 ± 1.39 (n = 9). Mesosoma: in lateral view flat. Scale: Always emarginate with an angle of 110-160°, upper corners rounded to angularly rounded. Sides slightly converging dorsadly. Scape: pubescence 30°, relatively smooth, single setae 30-60° and 25-60 µm. Hind tibia: pubescence 30°, few setae of 30-60° and 30-52 µm may be present. Surface characters: overall impression of dorsal head weakly shining, pubescence dense, 25-35° and PLF 35-52µm. In one queen from Turkey (probably from a monogynous nest) dorsal head with well-developed micropunctures of 7-9 µm diameter and ± 13 µm central distance; these punctures are more weakly developed in queens from big polygynous colonies. Color: head, mesosoma and gaster dark brown; scape, mandibles and tibiae yellowish; femora yellowish brown.

Type Material

Seifert (2020) - Lectotype worker on the same pin with a Prenolepis gyne, labelled ”Asie min. Angora G.d.Kerville“, ”Lasius turcicus Sant SANTSCHI det. 1920“, ”lectotype € desig. by E.O.Wilson“, ANTWEB CASENT 0912297; 2 paralectotype workers on another pin labelled ”Asie min. Angora G.d.Kerville)“, ”Lasius turcicus Sant type SANTSCHI det.1920“, ”K. 201“; depository Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Borowiec L., and S. Salata. 2012. Ants of Greece - Checklist, comments and new faunistic data (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus 23(4): 461-563.
  • Borowiec L., and S. Salata. 2013. Ants of Greece – additions and corrections (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 24(3-4): 335-401.
  • Borowiec L., and S. Salata. 2018. Notes on ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Samos Island, Greece. Annals of the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom Entomology 27: 1-13.
  • Czechowski W., A. Radchenko, W. Czechowska and K. Vepsäläinen. 2012. The ants of Poland with reference to the myrmecofauna of Europe. Fauna Poloniae 4. Warsaw: Natura Optima Dux Foundation, 1-496 pp
  • Dubovikoff D. A., and Z. M. Yusupov. 2018. Family Formicidae - Ants. In Belokobylskij S. A. and A. S. Lelej: Annotated catalogue of the Hymenoptera of Russia. Proceedingss of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences 6: 197-210.
  • Ghahari H., C. A. Collingwood, M. Tabari, and H. Ostovan. 2009. Faunistic notes on Formicidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) of rice fields and surrounding grasslands in northern Iran. Mun. Ent. Zool. 4(1): 184-189.
  • Gratiashvili N., Barjadze S. 2008. Checklist of the ants (Formicidae Latreille, 1809) of Georgia. Proceedings of the Institute of Zoology (Tbilisi) 23: 130-146.
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  • Menozzi C. 1928. Note sulla mirmecofauna paleartica. Bollettino del Laboratorio di Zoologia Generale e Agraria della Reale Scuola Superiore d'Agricoltura. Portici. 21: 126-129.
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