Nylanderia flaviabdominis

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Nylanderia flaviabdominis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Nylanderia
Species: N. flaviabdominis
Binomial name
Nylanderia flaviabdominis
(Wang, W., 1997)

Nylanderia flaviabdominis 127.jpg

Nylanderia flaviabdominis 129.jpg

A worker of this species was collected from a rainforest litter sample.


Williams and LaPolla (2016) - This species has deep and complete mesonotal and metanotal sutures, anteriorly-placed eyes, and macrosetae with thick setal bases all of which are characteristic of Nylanderia. Nylanderia flaviabdominis bears a strong morphological resemblance to Nylanderia emmae and has a similar distribution, but can be distinguished from N. emmae by its rectangular head shape with rounded posterolateral corners, dark orange-brown coloration, dark macrosetae, and rugoreticulation instead of longitudinal striations on the propodeum. Like Nylanderia emmae, this species was likely thought to be a Prenolepis because its elongate mesosoma appears to be constricted. Both of these species however do not have the depression in the dorsal surface of the mesonotum that is seen in Prenolepis species.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: China (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Zhu and Wang (2014) found this species was an important disperser of "Corydalis wilfordii and C. racemosa (Papaveraceae) seeds in a subtropical evergreen forest at the Jiugongshan mountain (Hubei Province, China). The seed size of C. wilfordii is larger than that of C. racemosa, while the elaiosome/seed mass ratio of C. wilfordii is greater than that of C. racemosa. Being the mutual ant dispersers of the two Corydalis taxa, Pristomyrmex pungens (=Pristomyrmex punctatus) (with mass recruitment mode, i.e. to recruit a large number of ants to remove seeds when one ant found seed) and Prenolepis sphingthorax (=Nylanderia flaviabdominis) (with simple cooperative recruitmen mode, i.e. to recruit 5-30 ants to remove seeds when one ant found seed) played a varied role in seed dispersal of two plants. Prenolepis sphingthorax carried all seeds of the C. wilfordii to nests, with the average dispersal distance of 0.45 m and the removal number of seeds per hour of 7.3. Both Pristomyrmex pungens and Prenolepis sphingthorax carried the all seeds of C. racemosa to the nests, with the average dispersal distance of 6.27 m and 6.65 m, and removal number of seeds per hour of 34.2 and 10.6 respectively. The results suggested that seed removal rate of ant with mass recruitment was higher than that of ant with simple cooperative recruitment. The seed dispersal distance and short-term seed fate differed between the two studied plants, depending on ant foraging strategies and behavior and seed characteristics."



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

  • flaviabdominis. Prenolepis flaviabdominis Wang, 1997: 87, figs. 1, 2 (w.) CHINA.
    • Combination in Nylanderia: Williams & LaPolla, 2016: 246.
    • Senior synonym of flaviabdominis: Williams & LaPolla, 2016: 246.
  • sphingthoraxa. Prenolepis sphingthoraxa Zhou & Zheng, 1998a: 42, figs. 1, 2 (w.) CHINA.
    • Status as species: Zhou, 2001b: 170.
    • Junior synonym of flaviabdominis: Williams & LaPolla, 2016: 246.

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



Williams and LaPolla (2016) - (n=4): CMC: 30–31; EL: 0.20–0.24; EW: 0.16–0.17; HL: 0.83–0.92; HLA: 0.37–0.42; HLP: 0.36–0.44; HW: 0.67–0.83; IOD: 0.44–0.47; LF1: 0.22–0.24; LF2: 0.11–0.13; LHT: 1.30–1.32; MMC: 2–3; MTW: 0.45–0.48; MW: 0.29–0.35; PDH: 0.35–0.38; PMC: 2–3; PrCL: 0.59–0.64; PrCW: 0.32–0.35; PrFL: 1.03–1.30; PrFW: 0.21–0.24; PTH: 0.38; PTL: 0.33–0.35; PTW: 0.21–0.24; PW: 0.51– 0.57; SL: 1.32–1.36; TL: 3.26–3.77; WF1: 0.07–0.08; WF2: 0.07; WL: 1.38–1.54; BLI: 184–206; CI: 81–90; EPI: 91–103; FLI: 178–205; HTI: 176–196; PetHI: 101–102; PetWI: 63–69; PrCI: 54–56; PrFI: 18–21; REL: 24–28; REL2: 28–35; REL3: 45–50; SI: 164–196.

Medium to dark orange-brown; cuticle of head finely reticulate; cuticle of pronotum smooth and shiny; cuticle of mesonotum, metanotum, mesopleura, and propodeum rugoreticulate; long, erect macrosetae with thick setal bases on head, pronotum, mesonotum, gaster, and legs; erect setae on scapes; macrosetae darker in color than rest of the cuticle; light, decumbent hairs on the dorsal face of the propodeum; head longer than broad and rectangular in shape with rounded posterolateral corners and a slight medial concavity in the posterior margin; compound eyes are positioned anterior to the midline of the head (EPI < 100); compound eyes are moderately sized and convex, but do not surpass the lateral margins of the head in full-face view; mandibles with 6 teeth on the masticatory margin; cuticle of ectal surface of mandibles smooth and shiny; mesosoma is gracile; in profile view the dorsal surface of the mesonotum is flat and elongate; in profile view, propodeum is highly domed with a rounded dorsal face; dorsal apex of petiole scale is sharply angled and forward-inclined; mesonotal and metanotal sutures are deep and complete.

Type Material

Williams and LaPolla (2016) - Holotype worker, China: Hubei Province, Lichuan City, 29°42.23’N 108°21.21’E, 103.6m, 8.viii.1993 (School of Biological Science and Technology) [examined].


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Chen Z. L., S. Y. Zhou, D. D. Ye, Y. Chen, and C. W. Lu. 2013. Moleular phylogeny of the ant subfamily Formicinae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from China based on Mitochondrial genes. Sociobiology 60(2): 135-144.
  • Fontanilla A. M., A. Nakamura, Z. Xu, M. Cao, R. L. Kitching, Y. Tang, and C. J. Burwell. 2019. Taxonomic and functional ant diversity along tropical, subtropical, and subalpine elevational transects in southwest China. Insects 10, 128; doi:10.3390/insects10050128
  • Guénard B., and R. R. Dunn. 2012. A checklist of the ants of China. Zootaxa 3558: 1-77.
  • Liu C, B. Guénard, F Hita Garcia, S. Yamane, B. Blanchard, and E. Economo. New records of ant species from Yunnan, China. Submitted to Zookeys
  • Ran H., and S. Y. Zhou. 2013. Checklist of Chinese Ants: Formicomorph Subfamilies ( Hymenoptera: Formicidae) (III). Journal of Guangxi Normal University : Natural Science Edition 31(1): 104-111.
  • Wang W. 1997. A new species of the genus Prenolepis Mayr from Hubei Province (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Hubei Institute for Nationalities (Natural Science Edition) 15(6): 87-88.
  • Wang W. 2006. A taxonomic study of Formicidae ants from Hujiaping forest farm in Laifeng County. Journal of Hubei Institute for Nationalities (Natural Science Edition). 24(3): 298-300.
  • Williams J. L., and J. S. LaPolla. 2016. Taxonomic revision and phylogeny of the ant genus Prenolepis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 4200: 201-258.
  • Zhang R. J., L. W. Liang, and S. Y. Zhou. 2014. An analysis on the ant fauna of Nonggang Nature Reserve in Guangxi, China. Journal of Guangxi Normal university: Natural Science Edition 32(3): 86-93.
  • Zhang W., and S. Zhou. 2016. An investigation on Formicidae species of Nanling National Park. Journal of Huizhou University 36(3): 27-30.
  • Zhou S.-Y. and Zheng Z. 1998. Three new species and a new record species of tribe Prenolepidini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Guangxi, China. Entomologia Sinica 5(1): 42-46