Plagiolepis

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Plagiolepis
Temporal range: 37.2–0 Ma Eocene – Recent
Plagiolepis pygmaea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Plagiolepidini
Genus: Plagiolepis
Mayr, 1861
Type species
Formica pygmaea, now Plagiolepis pygmaea
Diversity
74 species
10 fossil species
(Species Checklist, Species by Country)

Plagiolepis pygmaea casent0173129 profile 1.jpg

Plagiolepis pygmaea

Plagiolepis pygmaea casent0173129 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Synonyms
Evolutionary Relationships
Formicinae

Myrmelachistini
  (2 genera)




Lasiini
  (11 genera)




Melophorini
  (9 genera)




Formicini
  (8 genera)





Gesomyrmex, Oecophylla


Plagiolepidini

Anoplolepis
  (15 species)





Tapinolepis
  (18 species)




Aphomomyrmex
  (1 species)



Petalomyrmex
  (1 species)







Lepisiota
  (144 species)




Acropyga
  (41 species)



Agraulomyrmex
  (3 species)










Gigantiops, Myrmoteras, Santschiella



Camponotini
  (8 genera)








Based on Ward et al. 2016.

Hita Garcia, Wiesel and Fischer (2013) - A moderate sized genus with 57 valid species (Bolton, 2012). These ants are restricted to the tropical and temperate regions of the Old World (Robertson, 2000). No modern revision or a key to species exist, which is a serious obstacle for the identification of Plagiolepis species. Very little is known about their biology; they are small formicines nesting on trees, rotten wood, twigs, or in the soil (Bolton, 1973a).

Photo Gallery

  • This Plagiolepis worker, most likely Plagiolepis lucidula, was found on a Powderbark tree near Toodyay, Western Australia. They are general predators that also tend Hemiptera for honeydew, and are generally winter-active. Photo by Farhan Bokhari, 2 July 2009.
  • Worker. Photo by Michal Kukla.
  • Queen. Photo by Michal Kukla.

Identification

AntWeb icon 02.png See images of species within this genus

Keys including this Genus

 

Keys to Species in this Genus

Distribution

Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps

Fossils

Fossils are known from: Baltic amber (Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene), Bitterfeld amber (Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene), Danish-Scandinavian amber (Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene), Rovno amber (Priabonian, Late Eocene) and Sicilian amber, Italy (Late/Upper Miocene).

Biology

These ants are easily overlooked owing to the number of minute and similarly coloured species of Iridomyrmex, Tapinoma, Bothriomyrmex or Nylanderia encountered almost everywhere in the Australian bush. (Wheeler 1934)

Association with Other Organisms

All Associate Records for Genus

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Taxon Relationship Associate Type Associate Taxon Associate Relationship Locality Source Notes
Plagiolepis ampeloni workerless inquiline ant Plagiolepis pallescens host de la Mora et al., 2021; Seifert, 2018
Plagiolepis delaugerrei workerless inquiline ant Plagiolepis pallescens host Corsica, France Casevitz-Weulersse, 2014
Plagiolepis grassei workerless inquiline ant Plagiolepis pygmaea host de la Mora et al., 2021; Schifani, 2017; Trontti, 2006
Plagiolepis pallescens host ant Plagiolepis ampeloni workerless inquiline
Plagiolepis pallescens host ant Plagiolepis delaugerrei workerless inquiline Corsica, France Casevitz-Weulersse, J. 2014
Plagiolepis pallescens host fungus Myrmicinosporidium durum parasitoid Austria Sanchez-Peña et al., 1993; Espadaler & Santamaria, 2012 as ''Plagiolepis vindobonensis''
Plagiolepis pallescens host fungus Myrmicinosporidium durum parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission within nest
Plagiolepis pallescens mutualist aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum trophobiont Mortazavi et al., 2015; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pallescens mutualist aphid Aphis craccivora trophobiont Özdemir et al., 2008; Shiran et al., 2013; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pallescens mutualist aphid Aphis fabae trophobiont Shiran et al., 2013; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pallescens mutualist aphid Aphis frangulae trophobiont Shiran et al., 2013; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pallescens mutualist aphid Aphis spiraecola trophobiont Akyildirim et al., 2014; Saddiqui et al., 2019 as ''Plagiolepis taurica''
Plagiolepis pallescens mutualist aphid Brachycaudus (Appelia) tragopogonis trophobiont Özdemir et al., 2008; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pallescens mutualist aphid Brachycaudus tragopogonis trophobiont Mortazavi et al., 2015; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pallescens mutualist aphid Callaphis juglandis trophobiont Mortazavi et al., 2015; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pallescens mutualist aphid Hyalopterus amygdali trophobiont Shiran et al., 2013; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pallescens mutualist aphid Staegeriella necopinata trophobiont Özdemir et al., 2008; Saddiqui et al., 2019 as ''Plagiolepis vindobonensis''
Plagiolepis pallescens mutualist aphid Tinocallis platani trophobiont Shiran et al., 2013; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pallescens mutualist aphid Toxoptera aurantii trophobiont Akyildirim et al., 2014; Saddiqui et al., 2019 as ''Plagiolepis taurica''
Plagiolepis pygmaea host ant Plagiolepis grassei workerless inquiline
Plagiolepis pygmaea host ant Plagiolepis xene workerless inquiline
Plagiolepis pygmaea host diapriid wasp Plagiopria passerai parasitoid Quevillon, 2018 encounter mode independent; direct transmission; transmission outside nest
Plagiolepis pygmaea host fungus Myrmicinosporidium durum pathogen Italy, Spain, Yugoslavia Sanchez-Peña et al., 1993; García & Espadaler, 2010; Espadaler & Santamaria, 2012
Plagiolepis pygmaea mutualist aphid Aphis craccivora trophobiont Mortazavi et al., 2015; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pygmaea mutualist aphid Aphis fabae trophobiont Akyürek et al., 2016; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pygmaea mutualist aphid Aphis gerardianae trophobiont Akyürek et al., 2016; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pygmaea mutualist aphid Aphis gossypii trophobiont Akyürek et al., 2016; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pygmaea mutualist aphid Aphis spiraecola trophobiont Akyürek et al., 2016; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pygmaea mutualist aphid Brachycaudus cardui trophobiont Akyürek et al., 2016; Saddiqui et al., 2019
Plagiolepis pygmaea mutualist butterfly Leptotes pirithous Obregon et al. 2015
Plagiolepis pygmaea mutualist butterfly Pseudophilotes abencerragus Obregon et al. 2015
Plagiolepis pygmaea mutualist butterfly Tomares ballus Obregon et al. 2015
Plagiolepis xene workerless inquiline ant Plagiolepis pygmaea host Aron et al., 2004; de la Mora et al., 2021; Mardulyn et al., 2014; Passera et al., 2001; Seifert, 2018; Trontii, 2006
Plagiolepis xene workerless inquiline ant Plagiolepis sp. (taurica group) host de la Mora et al., 2021; Seifert, 2018

Flight Period

All Flight Records for Genus

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Taxon Month Source Notes
Plagiolepis pallescens Jun Jul Aug antkeeping.info
Plagiolepis xene Jul Aug antkeeping.info

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 0-5000 (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Compound colony type: inquilinism (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Nest site: hypogaeic; arboreal (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Diet class: omnivore (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging stratum: subterranean/leaf litter (Greer et al., 2021)

Castes

Morphology

Worker Morphology

• Antennal segment count: 11 • Antennal club: absent-gradual, weak • Palp formula: 6,4 • Total dental count: 5-6 • Spur formula: 0, 0 • Eyes: 11-100 ommatidia • Scrobes: absent • Pronotal Spines: absent • Mesonotal Spines: absent • Propodeal Spines: absent • Petiolar Spines: absent • Caste: monomorphic, at least one species polymorphic • Sting: absent • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: present

Karyotype

Species Uncertain

  • 2n = 18 (Indonesia) (Imai et al., 1985).
  • 2n = 18 (Malaysia) (Imai et al., 1983).

All Karyotype Records for Genus

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Taxon Haploid Diploid Karyotype Locality Source Notes
Plagiolepis 18 Indonesia Imai et al., 1985
Plagiolepis 18 Malaysia Imai et al., 1983
Plagiolepis pygmaea 9 18 Croatia; Spain; Switzerland Hauschteck-Jungen & Jungen, 1983
Plagiolepis pygmaea 9 18 14M+2SM+2ST Spain Palomeque et al., 1993a
Plagiolepis schmitzii 9 18 Tunisia Hauschteck-Jungen & Jungen, 1983 as ''Plagiolepis barbara''
Plagiolepis schmitzii 9 18 12M+2A+2T Spain Palomeque et al., 1990b; Palomeque et al., 1993a as ''Plagiolepis barbara''

Nomenclature

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

  • PLAGIOLEPIS [Formicinae: Plagiolepidini]
    • Plagiolepis Mayr, 1861: 42. Type-species: Formica pygmaea, by monotypy.
    • Plagiolepis senior synonym of Aporomyrmex, Paraplagiolepis: Bolton, 1994: 51.
    • Plagiolepis senior synonym of †Rhopalomyrmex: Dlussky, 1997: 59.
    • Plagiolepis senior synonym of Anacantholepis: Bolton, 2003: 105, 268.
  • ANACANTHOLEPIS [junior synonym of Plagiolepis]
    • Anacantholepis Santschi, 1914e: 36 [as subgenus of Plagiolepis]. Type-species: Plagiolepis (Anacantholepis) decora, by original designation.
    • Anacantholepis raised to genus: Chapman & Capco, 1951: 212.
    • Anacantholepis junior synonym of Plagiolepis: Bolton, 2003: 105, 268.
  • APOROMYRMEX [junior synonym of Plagiolepis]
    • Aporomyrmex Faber, 1969: 52. Type-species: Aporomyrmex ampeloni, by original designation.
    • Aporomyrmex junior synonym of Plagiolepis: Bolton, 1994: 51.
  • PARAPLAGIOLEPIS [junior synonym of Plagiolepis]
    • Paraplagiolepis Faber, 1969: 65 [as subgenus of Plagiolepis]. Type-species: Plagiolepis xene, by monotypy.
    • Paraplagiolepis junior synonym of Plagiolepis: Bolton, 1994: 51.
  • RHOPALOMYRMEX [junior synonym of Plagiolepis]
    • Rhopalomyrmex Mayr, 1868c: 41. Type-species: †Rhopalomyrmex pygmaeus, by monotypy.
    • Rhopalomyrmex junior synonym of Plagiolepis: Dlussky, 1997: 59.

References