Lioponera nayana

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Lioponera nayana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Lioponera
Species: L. nayana
Binomial name
Lioponera nayana
Bharti & Akbar, 2013

Cerapachys nayana 2.jpg

This species is widely distributed in the Western Ghats. It was collected from non-forested and forest habitats from small bushes, and foraging over dry soil surfaces.


Bharti & Akbar (2013) - With the marginate dorsolateral sides of its petiole, this species is easily distinguished from other Indian species of its genus. The new species shares most characters with C. anokha from which it is separated by the combination of characters given in the diagnosis of the latter species. C. nayana is compared with Lioponera longitarsus which also has marginate dorsolateral sides to the petiole; however, the two species can be easily separated. C. longitarsus has characteristic bicolouration, with the head brown, trunk red or brown, petiole and postpetiole light to dark reddish and the gaster brown or black, while C. nayana is uniformly black coloured with mandibles, antennae and legs castaneous. The new species also resembles the Philippines, Lioponera luzuriagae (Wheeler & Chapman, 1925) but can be easily separated from it. C. nayana is coloured black with the petiole broader than long, and with concave anterior and transverse posterior faces, the postpetiole with dense punctures and without dentition; while C. luzuriagae is reddish brown with the petiole as long as broad, with convex anterior and truncate posterior faces; postpetiole without dense punctures, and mandibles with prominent dentition.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 11.8° to 9.766666667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: India (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.




Cerapachys nayana eq 1.jpgCerapachys nayana eq 2.jpg


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

  • nayana. Cerapachys nayana Bharti & Akbar, 2013a: 90, figs. 3B, 4B, 17-22 (w. ergatoid q.) INDIA (Kerala, Karnataka).
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 10 paratype workers, 4 paratype ergatoid queens.
    • Type-locality: holotype India: Kerala, Silent Valley Nat. Park, 11°5’N, 76°26’E, 897 m., 25.ix.2011, hand picking (S.A. Akbar); paratypes: 2 workers, 1 ergatoid queen with same data, 6 workers, 2 ergatoid queens Karnataka, Gundlupet, 11°8’N, 76°68’E, 800 m., 27.ix.2010 (S.A. Akbar), 2 workers, 1 ergatoid queen Kerala, Periyar Tiger Reserve, 9°46’N, 77°14’E, 1005 m., 10.x.2011 (S.A. Akbar).
    • Type-depositories: PUAC (holotype); BMNH, PUAC (paratypes).
    • Combination in Lioponera: Borowiec, M.L. 2016: 164.
    • Status as species: Bharti, Guénard, et al. 2016: 22.
    • Distribution: India.

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



Measurements (holotype in brackets): HL 0.55–0.66(0.66); HW 0.48–0.51 (0.51); EL 0.24–0.27(0.25); WL 0.60–0.66(0.66); MH 0.34–0.37(0.34); PrW 0.33–0.38(0.34); PL1 0.20–0.23(0.23); PW1 0.25–0.29(0.29); IIIAL 0.30–0.44(0.44); IIIAW 0.37–0.47(0.37); SL 0.21–0.27 (0.27); IVAL 0.58–0.61(0.61); IVAW 0.47–0.52(0.52). Indices: CI 77–87(77); SI 44–53(53); PI 125–126(126) (n=10).

Head. Rectangular, longer than broad, widest at about its midlength; sides parallel, vertexal margin transverse to shallowly concave, posterior lateral corners weakly acute. Parafrontal ridges present but not raised, very low. Eyes large prominent. Mandibles subtriangular; masticatory margin without a row of small denticles. Lateroclypeal teeth small and reduced. Antennae 12 segmented; scapes short, reaching up to 4/5th of posterior margin of head.

Mesosoma. Moderately stout, rectangular in dorsal view; dorsal surface flattened, bordered laterally by a distinct angle, but no margin. Declivous face of propodeum with cariniform margins across the top and along the lateral margins.

Metasoma. Petiole broader than long, with strong overhanging dorsolateral margins. Anterior face concave while posterior face is transverse. Subpetiolar process small with stout acute apex, directed forward, located beneath anterior 1/3rd of the petiole; no fenestra present. Postpetiole sub trapezoidal, wider behind with the posterolateral angles uniformly rounded. Gaster elongate; base of cinctus of first gastral tergite with cross ribs; sting exerted.

Sculpture. Mandibles smooth and shining. Head with small punctures, spaced wider than their diameter, dorsum of head also with faint rugae in between the punctures. Similar sculpture on dorsal surface of mesosoma and petiole. Small continuous punctures produce a matt like appearance on the dorsum of the postpetiole. Gaster with similar matt-like appearance but less prominent. Cinctus of 1st gastral segment smooth and shining.

Vestiture. Body covered with moderate decumbent or subdecumbent hairs most prominent on postpetiole and gaster, head devoid of such hairs, only a few along sides; apical funicular segments with standing hairs.

Colour. Black with mandibles, antennae and legs castaneous.

Variations. There is a considerable amount of size variation between individual specimens, the smaller workers are lighter in body colouration compared with larger specimens; the body sculpture and pilosity also differs between individuals.


Ergatoid. HL 0.66–0.77; HW 0.55–0.60; EL 0.22–0.24; WL 0.79–0.82; MH 0.36–0.41; PrW 0.44–0.47; PL1 0.24–0.27; PW1 0.44–0.47; IIIAL 0.44–0.47; IIIAW 0.51–0.55; SL 0.18–0.22; IVAL 0.58–0.63; IVAW; 0.60–0.66. Indices: CI 77–83; SI 33–37; PI 174–183 (n=3).

Like the workers of the same colony, but larger, with thicker body, especially mesosoma and gaster. Ocelli present on vertex, prominent. The pilosity is much more prominent compared to workers. Distinction between ergatoid queens and worker is vague, with size variation of workers very high.

Type Material

Holotype worker: India: Kerala, Silent valley national park, 11°5'N, 76°26'E, 897m a.s.l., 25.ix.2011, hand picking. Paratypes: 2 workers and 1 ergatoid queen with same data as holotype; 6 workers and 2 ergatoid queens, India, Karnataka, Gundlupet 11°8'N, 76°68'E, 800m a.s.l., 27.ix.2010, hand picking; 2 workers and 1 ergatoid queen, India, Kerala, Periyar tiger reserve, 9°46'N, 77°14'E, 1005m a.s.l., 10.x.2011, hand picking (coll. Shahid A. Akbar). Holotype in Punjabi University Ant Collection and paratype in The Natural History Museum.


The species epithet is Sanskrit for “eyes”, in reference to the large eye size of the species.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Dad J. M., S. A. Akbar, H. Bharti, and A. A. Wachkoo. 2019. Community structure and ant species diversity across select sites ofWestern Ghats, India. Acta Ecologica Sinica 39: 219–228.