Smith, D.J. & Shattuck, 2009
|Based on Barden et al., 2017. Note only selected Leptomyrmex species are included.|
This species is known from only a single locality. It occurs in rainforest.
Head elongated head (CI less than 79), antennal scape very elongated (SI greater than 220) and extending beyond the vertex of the head by 2/3 their length. Palps very long. Anterior mesonotum with a weak “bump”. Pilosity short adpressed hairs. Sympatric with Leptomyrmex garretti but readily separated from it by the extremely long scapes of L. dolichoscapus. (Smith and Shattuck 2009)
Identification Keys including this Taxon
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
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These conspicuous ants are most often encountered individually or as small groups of 2 or 3 foragers on the surface of the ground any time of the day or night. Because of their long legs and thin bodies, they superficially resemble spiders. This is especially true when they are disturbed, as they extend their legs, raise their gasters, and run quickly to escape danger. This has led to their being given the common name "spider ants."
Nests are found in soil or in dead wood, either standing or on the ground, and are often at the base of trees. Colony sizes average a few hundred workers and a single queen. In all but a handful of species, the queen is wingless and worker-like, differing from workers only in being slightly larger and with an enlarged mesosoma. In a few species the queens are fully winged, as they are in most other ants.
When a large source of food is found, workers of Leptomyrmex will return to their nest and recruit additional workers to help utilise the newly found resource. They also use workers as "living storage vessels". These special workers, called repletes, accept liquids from returning foragers who transfer their liquid foods to these selected workers. These special workers continue to accept liquids until their gasters become greatly enlarged and extended. When enlarged, repletes cannot escape the nest and remain inside suspended from the ceiling. They can retain these fluids for extended periods and dispense it on demand when food is in short supply.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.
- dolichoscapus. Leptomyrmex dolichoscapus Smith, D.J. & Shattuck, 2009: 61, figs. 7-9, 19, 20, 22 (w.) AUSTRALIA.
- Holotype, worker, Mary Creek, Queensland, Australia, Queensland Museum.
- Paratype, 2 workers, Mary Creek, Queensland, Australia, Queensland Museum.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
In full face view vertex of head convex, rounding into sides of head, sides of head weakly rounded, widest at mid-length, eyes placed at mid-length of head capsule. Palps long extending to posterior of head capsule or just beyond. Pronotum above level of promesonotal suture, posterior margin of pronotum rounding sharply to the suture; anterior portion of the mesonotum initially in same plane as pronotum then rounding sharply into descending plane of remainder of mesonotum (Fig. 8) producing a weakly raised anterior mesonotal “bump”. Legs long; hind tibial spurs with reduced barbules, barbules absent from basal ¼. Dark brown in colour.
(n = 3) -CI 63–66; EL 0.20–0.22; HL 0.92–0.95; HW 0.58–0.63; MTL 0.98–1.04; SI 230–239; SL 1.37–1.44; WL 1.48–1.64.
- Lucky, A. 2011. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of the spider ants, genus Leptomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59: 281-292. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.03.004
- Lucky, A. & Ward, P.S. 2010. Taxonomic revision of the ant genus Leptomyrmex Mayr. Zootaxa 2688: 1-67. PDF
- Smith, D. J. and S. O. Shattuck. 2009. Six new, unusually small ants of the genus Leptomyrmex(Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 2142: 57-68.