Plagiolepis abyssinica

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online

Nests in partially rotting wood.

Plagiolepis abyssinica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Plagiolepidini
Genus: Plagiolepis
Species: P. abyssinica
Binomial name
Plagiolepis abyssinica
Forel, 1894

Plagiolepis abyssinica casent0909850 p 1 high.jpg

Plagiolepis abyssinica casent0909850 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Sharaf et al. (2011) - P. abyssinica was originally described as a subspecies of Plagiolepis exigua but differs on a number of points. For P. abyssinica, the body color is brownish and the antennal scapes surpass the posterior margin of the head, whereas in P. exigua the color is yellowish and the antennal scapes do not reach posterior margin. Moreover, the eyes in P. abyssinica are consistently larger (EL 0.24 X HW) with 9 ommatidia in the longest row and exigua is smaller (EL 0.19 X HW), with only 6 ommatidia in the longest row. P. exigua as described by Forel (1894) had a smooth, shiny appearance but with sparse punctations on the head and gaster, P. abyssinica has no obvious punctuation.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 17.266667° to 17.266667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Eritrea, Ethiopia (type locality), Saudi Arabia.

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.


Taken in a roadside tree, nesting in partially rotting wood.


Queens and males are unknown.


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

  • abyssinica. Plagiolepis exigua r. abyssinica Forel, 1894b: 73 (w.) ETHIOPIA. Raised to species: Collingwood, 1985: 297. See also: Sharaf, Aldawood & Taylor, 2011: 204.



Sharaf et al. (2011):

TL 1.20, HL 0.30, HW 0.30, SL 0.29, EL 0.07, PRW 0.18, ML 0.30, CI 97, SI 100.

Collingwood (1985) gave a typical worker from Fayfa, Saudi Arabia, as: TL 1.25, HL 0.35, HW 0.28, CI 80, SI 100, EL 0.05 (0.18 X HW) Body blackish brown, femora yellowish brown, antennae, clypeus and mandibles yellowish, smooth and shining. Head nearly as long as broad with clearly convex sides. Occiput distinctly concave with rounded corners. Head dorsum with scattered short yellow pubescence. Eyes relatively large, 0.24 X HW, with 9 ommatidia in the longest row and occupying less than one quarter of head sides. Antennal scape just surpassing the posterior margin of head. Clypeus and mandibles with relatively abundant long yellow hairs. Area in front of eyes with several pairs of long hairs. Mesosoma and gaster with relatively abundant pubescence. Erect pilosity of gastral tergites long and situated on the posterior margins.

Type Material

Sharaf et al. (2011) - Syntype worker. Ehtiopia, (Ilg) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève) [examined]


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Finzi B. 1939. Materiali zoologici dell'Eritrea raccolti da G. Müller durante la spedizione dell'Istituto Sieroterapico Milanese e conservati al Museo di Trieste. Parte III. Hymenoptera: Formicidae. Atti del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Trieste 14: 153-168.
  • Madl M. 2019. Notes on the ant fauna of Eritrea (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae): type specimens deposited in the Natural History Museum Vienna (Austria) and a preliminary checklist. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 9-18.
  • Sharaf M.R., A. Aldawood, and B. Taylor. 2011. The formicine ant genus Plagiolepis Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Arabian Peninsula, with description of two new species. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 137(1+2): 203-215.
  • Weber N. A. 1943. The ants of the Imatong Mountains, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 93: 263-389.
  • 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