Leptanilloides nubecula

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Leptanilloides nubecula
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Leptanilloides
Species: L. nubecula
Binomial name
Leptanilloides nubecula
Donoso, Vieira & Wild, 2006

Leptanilloides nubecula casent0052779 profile 1.jpg

Leptanilloides nubecula casent0103062 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Donoso et al. (2006) - The type series was a colony found under a rotten log. A second colony, with males, was found on a second excursion to the same study site. The diagnosis of the ergatogynes may be incomplete in reference to color and other age-related traits, as the collected ergatogyne individuals were teneral, showing pale coloration, absence of abdominal fat bodies, and undeveloped ovaries.

At a Glance • Ergatoid queen  


A member of the Leptanilloides legionaria species-group.

Donoso et al. (2006) - Relatively large and slender ants. Polymorphic in color pattern. Without genal teeth. Anterior clypeal margin and the lamella apron triangular. Hypostomal teeth inconspicuous. Postpetiole relatively small. Abdominal segment 4 about the same length as following segments combined.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -0.3136° to -1.683055556°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Ecuador (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.



Images from AntWeb

Leptanilloides nubecula casent0103062 head 1.jpgLeptanilloides nubecula casent0103062 profile 1.jpgLeptanilloides nubecula casent0103062 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0103062. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by QCAZ, Quito, Ecuador.


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

  • nubecula. Leptanilloides nubecula Donoso, et al. 2006: 53, figs. 3, 4, 11- 28 (w.q.m.) ECUADOR.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, paratype workers (number not stated), 2 paratype ergatoid queens, 1(?) paratype male.
    • Type-locality: holotype Ecuador: Cotopaxi Prov., Bosque Integral Otonga, 1978 m., 00°25.158’S, 79°0.197’W, 24.vi.2004, under log (D.A. Donoso); paratypes with same data.
    • Type-depositories: PUCE (holotype); CASC, MCZC, MZSP, PUCE, UCDC (paratypes).
    • [Note: more paratypes are stored in ethanol at PUCE.]
    • Status as species: Borowiec, M.L. & Longino, 2011: 26 (in key); Delsinne, et al. 2015: 7 (in key).
    • Distribution: Ecuador.

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



Head elongate and subrectangular (CI 75–79), slightly wider anteriorly. Lateral margins of head nearly straight and parallel. Posterior corners rounded and posterior border concave. Clypeus short with anterior margin triangular. Clypeal apron translucent and triangular pointed anteriorly projecting some setae. Frontal carina very short. Frontal lobes distinct, merging between antenna. Gena without teeth. Hypostomal teeth present but inconspicuous on ventrum of head. Mandibles slender, with distinct basal and apical portions separated by a rounded angle. Masticatory margin edentate, although bearing several small denticles. Eyes absent. Antenna 12 segmented. Antennal scape slender and extending further than medial distance to posterior margin. First funicular segment longer than broad, submoniliform. Antenna gradually increases in size toward apex but without forming a distinctive antennal club.

Donoso, Vieira & Wild, 2006. Figure 7-18.

Mesosoma elongate, not slender and flattened. Pronotal suture conspicuous and flexible. Metanotal groove obsolete. Propodeum unarmed, rounded and long. Propodeal declivity very short and rounding into dorsal face. Propodeal spiracle conspicuous and rounded, slightly below the middle of the sclerite. Metapleural gland noticeable, with flanges rounded posteriorly.

Petiole in dorsal view longer than postpetiole, both segments subequal in width and slightly narrowed from front to rear, lateral borders straight. In profile, segments heart shaped, tergites always bigger than sternites. Petiolar sternite bearing large rounded process. Postpetiole ventral process not as large as petiole process. Petiolar spiracle situated at the anterior margin of the tergite (Figures 11–14).

Metasoma short and compact. Abdominal segment 4 about the same length as following abdominal segments combined. Abdominal segment 5 not ring-like but conceals abdominal segment 6. Abdominal segments 4–5 and 5–6 separated by constrictions. Spiracle of abdominal segment 4 conspicuous and located at 1/3 length of tergite. Spiracle of abdominal segment 5 conspicuous and located more anteriorly. Spiracle of abdominal segment 6 easily seen and located very anterior in the tergite. Pygidium concealed by preceding segment and displaying typical U-shape.

Legs long (FL 0.53–0.56). Tibia enlarged apically. Tibia of foreleg with a long and pectinate spur. Metatibial gland absent. Claws simple.

Body color varies from testaceus to reddish brown, always shining. Head and mesosoma always darker than gaster. Head foveolate. Mesosoma and abdomen finely and sparsely foveolate. Head, body and appendages with abundant short, erect, light hairs.

(holotype, min.-max. of 5 specimens): HL 0.69, 0.69–0.72; HW 0.54, 0.54–0.56; SL 0.42, 0.42–0.44; FL 0.54, 0.53–0.56, LHT 0.60, 0.59–0.65; WL 0.87, 0.86–0.90; PL 0.17, 0.15–0.17; PPL 0.11, 0.11–0.15; CI 78, 75–79; SI 78, 76–81.


Donoso, Vieira & Wild, 2006. Figure 19-24.

Subdichtadiigyne. Approximately 1/4 larger than workers. Head rounded, lateral borders convex. Compound eyes present and comprised of about 10 facets. Mandibles subtriangular, masticatory margin edentate. Clypeal lamella apron present. Apterous, wings and wing buds absent. Petiole enlarged, taller and broader but similarly proportioned to worker petiole but without dorsal or lateral horns typical of ecitonine and doryline gynes. Distinct postpetiole absent, third abdominal segment broadly attached to following segments, with tergosternal fusion. Petiolar and postpetiolar spiracles located as in workers. Promesonotal suture present and articulated. All segments covered with dense pubescence.

(One gyne measured): HL 0.78; HW 0.74; SL 0.44; LHT 0.75; WL 1.08; PL 0.20; CI 94; SI 59.

Ergatoid. Similar to workers but lighter in color and lacking a separate postpetiole (Figure 21–22). Gaster enlarged. Ovarioles present but not active. See Figures 15–24.

(Min.-max. of 3 specimens measured): HL 0.62–0.65; HW 0.53; SL 0.41–0.42; LHT 0.59–0.60; WL 0.78–0.81; PL 0.11–0.12; CI 85–81; SI 77–80.


Donoso, Vieira & Wild, 2006. Figure 25-28.

Mandibles falcate and overlapping at closure. The masticatory margin edentate. Genal teeth and hypostomal teeth lacking. Pronotum U-shaped in dorsal view and reduced anteromedially to a thin horizontal strip, set well below the level of the mesonotum. Pronotum triangular in profile, with pointed posterior apex; metapleural gland reduced and inconspicuous; propodeal spiracle small, circular, positioned at about midheight of propodeum. Medial vein diverging from radial vein more anteriorly than in L. mckennae; hindwing lacking closed cells. Integument mostly smooth and shiny, with scattered piligerous punctures; pilosity common on most of body, head and mandibles, suberect to decumbent. See Figures 25–26.

(One male measured): HL 0.32; HW 0.32; SL 0.14; EL 0.14; FL 0.36; LHT 0.40; WL 0.64; PL 0.11; CI 100; SI 41; REL 45.

Type Material

Holotype worker, male and gyne deposited at Museo de Zoologia. Type locality: Ecuador, Cotopaxi Province, Bosque Integral Otonga, 1978m, 79°0.197’W; 00°25.158’S, 24-Jun-2004, D.A. Donoso Leg. Under log. Some paratypes pinned and stored in the following museums: California Academy of Sciences, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo and University of California, Davis. Additional paratypes are stored in 95% ethanol at ambient temperature at Museo de Zoologia museum.


The Latin word nubecula literally means little cloud and was chosen in reference to the cloud forest where this species was first collected. This is a noun in apposition.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Delsinne T., G. Sonet, and D. A. Donoso. 2015. Two new species of Leptanilloides Mann, 1823 (Formicidae: Dorylinae) from the Andes of southern Ecuador. European Journal of Taxonomy 143: 1–35.
  • Donoso D. A., F. Salazar, F. Maza, R. E. Cárdenas, and O. Dangles. 2009. Diversity and distribution of type specimens deposited in the Invertebrate section of the Museum of Zoology QCAZ, Quito, Ecuador. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 45(4): 437-454.
  • MacGown J. A., T. L. Schiefer, and M. G. Branstetter. 2015. First record of the genus Leptanilloides (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dorylinae) from the United States. Zootaxa 4006 (2): 392–400.