Leptogenys pavesii

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Leptogenys pavesii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Leptogenys
Species group: maxillosa
Species: L. pavesii
Binomial name
Leptogenys pavesii
Emery, 1892

Leptogenys pavesii casent0132269 profile 1.jpg

Leptogenys pavesii casent0132269 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Rarely collected, L. pavesii occupies dry forest habitats, mangrove areas and urban gardens. Workers of the species forage both on the forest floor and on lower vegetation and inhabit rotten logs and tree bark. Collection data indicate that this species is able to colonize coastal regions and human-modified habitats in these islands and it could be introduced to the Malagasy region (Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2014).

At a Glance • Limited invasive  


A member of the maxillosa species group. Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) - Worker. Mandible not closing tightly against clypeus; dorsum of body without standing hairs, but covered with abundant pruinose yellowish pubescence; sculptures shagreenate with sparse punctures; anteromedian lobe of clypeus covered with broadly rounded translucent lamella, pair of peg-like setae projecting anteriorly from near anterior margin of median lobe.

Leptogenys pavesii is very similar to Leptogenys falcigera and Leptogenys maxillosa but can be easily distinguished by the wide and broadly rounded translucent lamella bordering the anteromedian lobe of the clypeus. In L. falcigera and L. maxillosa, this translucent lamella is narrow and angulate.

Keys including this Species


In the Comoros, this species is found on Mayotte and Mohéli. On Madagascar it lives in the extreme north.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 4.18333° to -4.14056°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun, Comoros, Kenya, Somalia (type locality), Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania.
Malagasy Region: Madagascar, Mayotte.

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.


Explore-icon.png Explore Overview of MalLeptogenys biology 
The Leptogenys genus page has more details about the general biology of ants in this genus. The following synopsis provided by Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) offers an overview of the Malagasy Leptogenys: Recent surveys of arthropods in the Malagasy region uncovered a wealth of new species and showed that Leptogenys is one of the dominant ponerine ants widely distributed across all types of forest habitats. Workers are usually found foraging on the forest floor or in the leaf litter and only rarely on vegetation. They nest terrestrially under the soil, rocks, logs, or rootmat ground layers and in rotten logs, branches, in rotting bamboo, and rotten tree stumps. Most of the Malagasy species are endemic to Madagascar. In all Malagasy species, winged queens are absent, which limits their ability to disperse across the complex topography and various ecological barriers in the region. In the absence of alate queens, reproduction of Leptogenys in the region may be by fission, which enhances population viscosity and may result in important morphological variation across a species' geographic range. Though queens do not fly, males of Leptogenys are alate and are one of the most frequently collected ant genera in Malaise traps throughout Madagascar. Leptogenys exhibits a wide range of phenotypic diversity segregated both among spatially isolated habitats and along continuous environmental gradients.



Leptogenys pavesii sam-hym-c002509 head 1.jpgLeptogenys pavesii sam-hym-c002509 profile 1.jpgLeptogenys pavesii sam-hym-c002509 dorsal 1.jpgLeptogenys pavesii sam-hym-c002509 label 1.jpg


Images from AntWeb

Leptogenys pavesii casent0132422 head 1.jpgLeptogenys pavesii casent0132422 profile 1.jpgLeptogenys pavesii casent0132422 profile 2.jpgLeptogenys pavesii casent0132422 profile 3.jpgLeptogenys pavesii casent0132422 dorsal 1.jpgLeptogenys pavesii casent0132422 label 1.jpg
Male (alate). Specimen code casent0132422. Photographer Erin Prado, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


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

  • pavesii. Leptogenys pavesii Emery, 1892a: 111 (w.) SOMALIA. Senior synonym of sericeus: Bolton, 1975a: 255.
  • sericeus. Leptogenys (Leptogenys) maxillosa subsp. sericeus Weber, 1942a: 46 (w.) SUDAN. Junior synonym of pavesii: Bolton, 1975a: 255.

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



Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) - (7 specimens). HW: 1.17–1.33, HL: 1.26–1.39, CI: 93–96, SL: 1.23–1.41, SI: 102–106, PW: 0.85–0.96, WL: 1.98–2.21, PNH: 0.66–0.76, PNL: 0.56–0.69, PNW: 0.56–0.64, DNI: 94–106, LNI: 111–125.

Head broader than long, noticeably increasing in width to front of eyes; lateral border slightly convex. Eye large, breaking outline of sides of head. Antennal scape long, about one fourth of distal portion extending beyond posterior cephalic margin. Anteromedian lobe of clypeus with wide and broadly rounded translucent lamella; a pair of anteriorly projecting peg-like setae present near anterior margin of clypeal median lobe. Node of petiole longer than broad when viewed dorsally. Standing hairs on dorsum of body absent apart from those on clypeus and near apex of gaster, though much longer pruinose yellowish pubescence is abundant. Body heavily shagreenate, superimposed with sparse, shallow punctures. Color black, with dark brown to brown apical portion of appendages and tip of gaster.

Type Material

Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) - Syntype workers, Somalia (Robecchi) (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa) [not examined].


  • Bolton, B. 1975a. A revision of the ant genus Leptogenys Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Ethiopian region with a review of the Malagasy species. Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Entomol. 31: 235-305 (page 255, Senior synonym of sericeus)
  • Emery, C. 1892a. Sopra alcune formiche raccolte dall'Ingegnere L. Bricchetti Robecchi nel paese dei Somali. [part]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. 32[=(2(12): 110-112 (page 111, worker described)
  • Rakotonirina, J.C. & Fisher, B.L. 2014. Revision of the Malagasy ponerine ants of the genus Leptogenys Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 3836, 1-163.

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bolton B. 1975. A revision of the ant genus Leptogenys Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Ethiopian region with a review of the Malagasy species. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 31: 235-305.
  • Emery C. 1911. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118: 1-125.
  • Garcia F.H., Wiesel E. and Fischer G. 2013.The Ants of Kenya (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)—Faunal Overview, First Species Checklist, Bibliography, Accounts for All Genera, and Discussion on Taxonomy and Zoogeography. Journal of East African Natural History, 101(2): 127-222
  • IZIKO South Africa Museum Collection
  • Menozzi C. 1930. Formiche della Somalia italiana meridionale. Memorie della Società Entomologica Italiana. 9: 76-130.
  • Menozzi C. 1939. Hymenoptera Formicidae. Missione Biologica nel Paese dei Borana. 3: 97-110.
  • Menozzi C., M. Consani. 1952. Missione biologica Sagan-Omo diretta dal Prof. E. Zavattari. Hymenoptera Formicidae. Rivista di Biologia Coloniale 11: 57-71.
  • Rakotonirina J. C., and B. L. Fisher. 2014. Revision of the Malagasy ponerine ants of the genus Leptogenys Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 3836 (1): 001–163.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1922. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VIII. A synonymic list of the ants of the Ethiopian region. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45: 711-1004