Lepisiota nigra

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Lepisiota nigra
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Plagiolepidini
Genus: Lepisiota
Species: L. nigra
Binomial name
Lepisiota nigra
(Dalla Torre, 1893)

Lepisiota nigra casent0179896 p 1 high.jpg

Lepisiota nigra casent0179896 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Due to the great variation within several taxa of Lepisiota it is likely that at least some records of L. nigra concern dark forms of other species and this taxon needs further taxonomic study (Borowiec, 2014).


Collingwood and Agosti (1996) - HW 0.63-0.64, SI 150-165. This is a black shining ant, similar to Lepisiota gracilicornis in body shine but morphologically closer to Lepisiota frauenfeldi.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 44.866667° to 28.4125°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.
Palaearctic Region: Balearic Islands, Bulgaria, Croatia, Egypt, Greece (type locality), Iberian Peninsula, Iran, Israel, Italy (type locality), Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Spain.

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.


Association with Other Organisms

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This species is associated with the aphids Aphis fabae, Aphis gossypii, Brachycaudus helichrysi, Brachycaudus tragopogonis, Chaitophorus israeliticus, Cinara pini, Hyalopterus amygdali, Macrosiphon rosae, Periphyllus bulgaricus, Pterochloroides persicae and Schizaphis nigerrima (Saddiqui et al., 2019 and included references).



Images from AntWeb

Lepisiota nigra casent0905148 h 1 high.jpgLepisiota nigra casent0905148 p 1 high.jpgLepisiota nigra casent0905148 d 1 high.jpgLepisiota nigra casent0905148 l 1 high.jpg
Syntype of Acantholepis frauenfeldi nigraWorker. Specimen code casent0905148. Photographer Z. Lieberman, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MSNG, Genoa, Italy.
Lepisiota splendens casent0906265 h 1 high.jpgLepisiota splendens casent0906265 p 1 high.jpgLepisiota splendens casent0906265 d 1 high.jpgLepisiota splendens casent0906265 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0906265. Photographer Estella Ortega, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMUK, London, UK.


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

  • nigra. Acantholepis frauenfeldi var. nigra Dalla Torre, 1893: 171 (w.q.m.) ITALY (attributed to Emery).
    • Emery, 1916b: 222 (w.q.m.).
    • Combination in Lepisiota: Bolton, 1995b: 228.
    • Subspecies of frauenfeldi: Dalla Torre, 1893: 171; Ruzsky, 1905b: 461; Emery, 1908d: 24; Karavaiev, 1910b: 45; Forel, 1911d: 351; Emery, 1914d: 158; Emery, 1916b: 221; Santschi, 1917d: 47 (in key); Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1923: 248; Müller, 1923b: 115; Emery, 1925b: 25; Soudek, 1925b: 16; Menozzi, 1926b: 182; Donisthorpe, 1927a: 8; Menozzi, 1929e: 128; Finzi, 1930d: 316; Cori & Finzi, 1931: 240; Menozzi, 1934: 164; Grandi, 1935: 102; Finzi, 1936: 186; Ceballos, 1956: 310; Tarbinsky, 1976: 130 (redescription).
    • Synonym of karawaiewi: Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1929c: 483.
    • [Note: Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1929c: 483 gives karawaiewi as senior synonym, but nigra has priority.]
    • Junior synonym of frauenfeldi: Collingwood, 1978: 71.
    • Status as species: Zimmermann, 1935: 45; Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 175; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 281 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 228; Collingwood & Agosti, 1996: 368; Bračko, 2006: 150; Legakis, 2011: 24; Collingwood, et al. 2011: 467; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2012: 508; Borowiec, L. 2014: 95; Sharaf, Monks, et al. 2016: 9 (in key); Salata & Borowiec, L., 2018: 20.
  • splendens. Acantholepis frauenfeldi var. splendens Karavaiev, 1912b: 586 (w.q.) GREECE.
    • Combination in Lepisiota: Bolton, 1995b: 228.
    • Subspecies of frauenfeldi: Santschi, 1917d: 47 (in key); Emery, 1925b: 25; Finzi, 1928c: 791; Finzi, 1936: 186.
    • Status as species: Agosti & Collingwood, 1987a: 57; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 281 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 228; Lapeva-Gjonova, et al. 2010: 35; Legakis, 2011: 25; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2012: 509; Borowiec, L. 2014: 96.
    • Junior synonym of nigra: Salata & Borowiec, L., 2018: 20.

Type Material

  • Acantholepis frauenfeldi splendens: Syntype, 2 workers, near Chania, Crete, Greece, 13 October 1910, Th. Shebunin & N. Tshebotarev, MCZC #28769, Museum of Comparative Zoology; on the sea beach "in Tuff".

The following notes on V.A. Karavaiev type specimens have been provided by Martynov & Radchenko (2016) based on material held in the Institute of Zoology, Ukrainian Academy of Science:

Type locality(-ies): “Umgegend von Kanea, Kreta, am Meeresstrand “in Tuff” (13.III.1910. Th. Shebunin und N. Tshebotarev), ww und 1 flugelloses q (Königin).—Ebenda, auf einem Kartoffelfeld unter einem Steine (5.III.1910, Dieselben Sammler), ww”.

Original Karawajew label(-s): “Acantholepis / frauenfeldi / v. splendens Kar. / typus”, “Крит, Канея [= Crete, Kanea] / Шебунин и Чеботарев [= Shebunin and Chebotarev] / 1910 г.”.

Material: SYNTYPES, 7 w (newly mounted, IN 314/6/2), 403 w (in alcohol, IN 314/BAMS1/Karaw63).

Salata and Borowiec (2018) - L. nigra, syntype (w): var. nigra Emery; Is. Tremiti, S. Domino, Cecconi; ANTWEB,CASENT0905148 (MSNG); L. splendens, syntypes (5w): v. splendens; Критъ, Канеа,; Шебунин и Чеботарёв; 4204., Coll. Karawajewi; Acantholepis frauenfeldi, Mayr, v. splendens, Kar. typus (Institute of Zoology, Ukrainian Academy of Science).

Taxonomic Notes

Salata & Borowiec, L., 2018: Karavaiev (1912), in the description of L. splendens, mentioned the following features to distinguish it from L. nigra: more smooth and slender body surface, head shape and size of propodeal spines. Examination of type specimens and study on samples collected from different Cretan sites manifested wide variability within features mentioned by Karavaiev. Also, we didn’t find any strong features that support an existence of two different species. Therefore we consider L. splendens as a junior synonym of L. nigra.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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