Plagiolepis hoggarensis

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Plagiolepis hoggarensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Plagiolepidini
Genus: Plagiolepis
Species: P. hoggarensis
Binomial name
Plagiolepis hoggarensis
Bernard, 1981

Plagiolepis hoggarensis casent0913616 p 1 high.jpg

Plagiolepis hoggarensis casent0913616 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Plagiolepis hoggarensis is unique in that it is the first Plagiolepis species specifically from the Sahara, being found at the edge of a wadi with Typha elephantina (a very humid location) in southern Algeria. It is apparently only known from the original type series, and has not been reported since its description. Plagiolepis schmitzii also occurs in the Sahara, but has only been found by beating Tamarix trees, which maintain humidity for this hygrophilic species, although it is widespread and occurs in many additional habitats throughout its range.


Despite the strong variability of all Plagiolepis, this Plagiolepis hoggarensis is particularly distinctive because of its white antennae and legs, as well as the stiff and erect hairs on its gaster (like those of a Temnothorax), while other Palearctic species of Plagiolepis have thin and flexible hairs. It will be compared primarily with Plagiolepis schmitzii, the dominant species of the genus in the Maghreb.

  • Average size of workers: 1.94 mm (1.98 mm for P. schmitzii).
  • Head: light brown, without any punctuations (P. schmitzii: 2 to 8 large, spaced pits).
  • Thorax: light brown, smooth in front, but with fairly close large dots on the propodeum; in P. schmitzii, thorax dark brown, sometimes blackish, epinotum smooth.
  • Gaster: medium brown or light brown, 20 to 30 thick, truncated and stiff hairs; in P. schmitzii, the same color but with 18-20 thin and flexible hairs, 1.6-2mm long (they are 1.1 & 1.8 mm in P. hoggarensis).
  • Antennae: white, without hairs; those of P. schmitzii are yellow, fairly hairy.
  • Legs: pale yellow femurs, the rest white; in P. schmitzii, entirely yellow.

Overall, P. hoggarensis has a paler and slimmer appearance. Its biometric proportions are almost all similar to those of P. schmitzii, except for the length/width ratio of the mesonotum. In P. schmitzii, this ratio is on average 0.36, ranging from 0.12 to 0.91. In P. hoggarensis, it is on average 0.47, ranging from 0.36 to 0.57.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Algeria (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.




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

  • hoggarensis. Plagiolepis hoggarensis Bernard, 1981a: 172, fig. 1 (w.) ALGERIA.
    • Type-material: 11 syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: Algeria: edge of wadi Im Laou Lahouène (NE Hoggar, 1600 m.), vi.1961 (F. Bernard).
    • Type-depository: MNHN.
    • Status as species: Bolton, 1995b: 335; Borowiec, L. 2014: 145.
    • Distribution: Algeria.