Lepisiota spinisquama

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Lepisiota spinisquama
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Plagiolepidini
Genus: Lepisiota
Species: L. spinisquama
Binomial name
Lepisiota spinisquama
(Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1929)

Lepisiota spinisquama casent0912407 p 1 high.jpg

Lepisiota spinisquama casent0912407 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nests may include several queens and many hundreds of workers. These ants are general scavengers and will attack other insects (Collingwood et al. 2004). Pashaei Rad et al. (2018) found this species in Iran in a pitfall trap from a montane area with moderate rainfall.


Collingwood et al. (2004) - this shiny black ant is characterised by spinal ornamentation on both the propodeum and the petiole.

Keys including this Species


This species has a wide distribution in central Asia but on the Arabian Peninsula it has been recorded only in Oman and Socotra (Collingwood 1985; Collingwood and Agosti 1996; Collingwood et al. 2004, Sharaf et al., 2017).

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 23.6° to 23.07237°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Saudi Arabia, Socotra Archipelago, Yemen.
Palaearctic Region: Iran, Kazakhstan (type locality), Oman.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Collingwood et al. (2004) - The occurrence of L. spinisquama on Socotra, where it appears to be one of the commonest ants, is something of a riddle. The species is distributed in central Asia, and there are records from coastal southern Arabia (Collingwood 1985, Collingwood & Agosti 1996), but otherwise introductions have not been reported. In Socotri, "nimihil haher" (black ant) will usually refer to this species.

Sharaf et al. (2017) - Lepisiota spinisquama was collected in Yemen from dry soil under a date palm tree by sifting. A colony was found nesting under a stone in Dixam Plateau. A nest was collected from under a dead palm tree where the soil had a high degree of humidity and was rich in organic material. Another colony was found under a stone where exoskeletons of minor workers of a yellow Camponotus sp. were present. Workers were observed foraging on the trunk of Boswellia carteri Flueck. (Burseraceae) where many worker of Trichomyrmex mayri (Forel) were also found at the trunk base and the soil was dry. Several mealybugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) were observed under the bark of the tree. The species was also found nesting under a stone with several dead tenebrionid beetles and a species of the family Lygaeidae (Hemiptera). Several workers of L. spinisquama were foraging on ground where soil was sandy and dry. Several individuals were collected from a dry leaf litter by sifting. A nest was located in a relatively moist, compact clay soil under a stone. Previous observations indicate that this species apparently prefers dry habitats.

Sharaf et al (2018) - Oman: This species was found nesting under a stone in an area of cultivated pomegranate trees and roses.



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

  • spinisquama. Acantholepis frauenfeldi subsp. spinisquama Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1929c: 483, fig. 3 (w.) KAZAKHSTAN. Combination in Lepisiota: Bolton, 1995b: 228. Raised to species: Pisarski, 1967: 410. Junior synonym of semenovi: Dlussky, Soyunov & Zabelin, 1990: 163. Revived from synonymy: Collingwood & Agosti, 1996: 369.



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.
  • Collingwood C. A. 1985. Hymenoptera: Fam. Formicidae of Saudi Arabia. Fauna of Saudi Arabia 7: 230-302.
  • Collingwood, C. A., and Donat Agosti. "Formicidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) of Saudi Arabia (Part 2)." Fauna of Saudi Arabia 15 (1996): 300-385.
  • Collingwood, C. A.. "Hymenoptera: Fam. Formicidae of Saudi Arabia." Fauna of Saudi Arabia 7 (1985): 230-302.
  • Kuznetsov-Ugamsky N. N. 1929. Die Gattung Acantholepis in Turkestan. Zoologischer Anzeiger 82: 477-492.
  • Monks J., S. Ross, M. Geiser, J. De Prins, M. Sharaf, N. Wyatt, S. Al Rijeibi, and A. Polaszek. 2019. A preliminary survey of the insect fauna of the Hajar Mountain Range, Oman. Journal of Natural History 53(15-16): 939-963.
  • Pashaei Rad S., B. Taylor, R. Torabi, E. Aram, G. Abolfathi, R. Afshari, F. Borjali, M. Ghatei, F. Hediary, F. Jazini, V. Heidary Kiah, Z. Mahmoudi, F. Safariyan, and M. Seiri. 2018. Further records of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Iran. Zoology in the Middle East 64(2): 145-159.
  • Pisarski B. 1964. Fauna Mrowek Afganistanu. Bibliogr. k. 160-166, Nieoprawiony maszynopis pracy, Praca doktorska. Instytut Zoologiczny PAN, 1964, Bibliogr. p. 160-166
  • Sharaf M. R., B. L. Fisher, H. M. Al Dhafer, A. Polaszek, and A. S. Aldawood. 2018. Additions to the ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Oman: an updated list, new records and a description of two new species. Asian Myrmecology 10: e010004