Leptanilla israelis

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Leptanilla israelis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Leptanillinae
Tribe: Leptanillini
Genus: Leptanilla
Species: L. israelis
Binomial name
Leptanilla israelis
Kugler, J., 1987

Leptanilla israelis is only known from males collected at light traps.


Kugler (1987) - Male The male of Leptanilla israelis is similar to the males of Leptanilla bifurcata, Leptanilla tanit' and Leptanilla tenuis, by its relatively short head and by the more or less bifurcated gonostylus. It differs from L. bifurcata mainly by its genitalia, the gonapophyses are only slightly separated at the tip in 2 short lobes, which touch one another, and the gonostylus is only slightly bifurcated at the tip. In L. bifurcata the gonapophyses are much more widely separated in 2 “horns” and the gonostylus is divided into 2 long arms.

The male of Leptanilla israelis is similar to L. tanit by the form of the head and antennae, the wing venation and genitalia. The head is short, only 1.20-1.25 times as long as wide; 2nd funicular segment as long as 1st segment; wing venation as figured by Petersen for L. tanit (1968 Fig. 14), gonostylus in both species with broad end only slightly bifurcated. L. israelis differs from L. tanit by the form of petiolar node. In L. tanit, the node in profile is strongly convex and the anterior margin is nearly vertical, while in L. israelis, the dorsal margin of node is evenly slanting anteriorly. L. tenuis has a similar petiolar mode, but L. israelis differs from L. tenuis by its shorter head, and longer 2nd funicular segment. In L. tenuis the head is 1.33 times longer than wide and the 2nd funicular segment is shorter than the 1st segment and equal in length to the 3rd segment. In L. israelis the head is 1.20-1.25 longer than wide and the 2nd funicular segment is as long as the 1st segment and longer than the 3rd segment.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Israel (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.




Known only from the male caste.



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

  • israelis. Leptanilla israelis Kugler, J. 1987: 50, figs. 10-13 (m.) ISRAEL.

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



Length: 1.3 mm.

Colour: Head, scapus, dorsal part of mesothorax and gaster dark brownish black; lateral sides of thorax and propodeum light brown; funiculus, legs and genitalia yellowish.

Head: 1.20-1.25 as long as wide; eyes nearly reaching the base of mandibles, very convex, diameter 0.30-0.42 as long as head, sparsely hairy; antenna 13-segmented; scapus 3 times as long as wide; 1st funicular segment twice as long as wide, pear-shaped; 2nd funicular segment as long as 1st segment, longer than 3rd segment; last segment 3.5 times as long as wide, other segments nearly equal in size, about twice as long as wide; c1ypeal area very short, anterior margin slightly convex. Mandibles toothless, very short, not reaching one another, spoon-like, with a dorsal excavation, maxillae and labium very short, labial palps I-segmented, maxillary palps not visible.

Alitrunk: long, laterally compressed; mesonotum in lateral view not bulging anteriorly above pronotum; in dorsal view, margin of propodeum an oblique slightly convex line.

Legs: Femora nearly equal in length; anterior femur slightly thicker than mid and hind femora; mid-tibia with 1 short spur, bearing some appressed bristles; hind tibia with 2 spurs, 1 similar to the spur of the mid tibia, the 2nd nearly twice as long.

Wings: Forewing with narrow sub costa, long, thick marginalis, straight, tapering radialis and short, thin analis; basal vein thick anteriorly, fading posteriorly, not closing a basal cell.

Petiole: With short anterior stalk; in profile peariform, dorsal margin of node evently slanting toward stalk.

Gaster: In dry specimens gaster contracted, peariform, with 6 visible tergites; dorsally, only the distal part of the gonocoxite and united gonapophyses are visible; in ventral view gonocoxites and inwardly bent gonostyli are visible; the sub genital plate is covered by other sternites.

Genitalia: Gonocoxites large, valve-like, dorsally very narrow, widely separated not covering the gonapophyses, ventrally touching one another, gonostyli in dry specimens horizontal, directed inwards and touching one another. In specimens treated in KOH the gaster is more attenuated, the gonostyli move backwards to a straight line with the gonocoxites; each gonostylus is slightly bifurcated at its broad end, the outer tip forming a strongly sc1erotized, sharp tooth, the inner tip forming a short and broad lobe. Volsellae covered by gonocoxites, the volsellar plates united with inner margins of gonocoxites; volsellar digiti with pointed posterior tips bearing long bristles; gonapophyses united, forming a dorsally convex shield; bifurcating near the distal tip into short lobes, tips of lobes touching one another. Sub genital plate has a finger-like posterior projection with long bristles on tip.

Type Material

Holotype male, Israel, Bet Shean, 5,X1.1981; paratypes, 4 males Shluchot, 26.vU984; same locality 6 males, 16.IX.1984, 7 males, 18.x.1984, male En Gedi 2.VIII.1981; (all collected by light trap). The holotype and the paratypes are deposited in the Zoological Museum of the TAU.


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.
  • Boudinot B. E. 2015. Contributions to the knowledge of Formicidae (Hymenoptera, Aculeata): a new diagnosis of the family, the first global male-based key to subfamilies, and a treatment of early branching lineages. European Journal of Taxonomy 120: 1-62.
  • Kugler J. 1987. The Leptanillinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Israel and a description of a new species from India. Israel Journal of Entomology 20: 45-57.
  • Scupola A., and R. Ballarin. 2009. The genus Leptanilla Emery, 1870 in Sicily (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecologische Nachrichten 12: 129-132.
  • Vonshak M., and A. Ionescu-Hirsch. 2009. A checklist of the ants of Israel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Israel Journal of Entomology 39: 33-55.