Prenolepis rinpoche

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Prenolepis rinpoche
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Prenolepis
Species: P. rinpoche
Binomial name
Prenolepis rinpoche
Williams, 2022

Prenolepis rinpoche is known from one locality southwest of Jomsom, Nepal, and was collected in temperate forest in the Kali Gandaki Gorge, between the peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna.


Similar species: Prenolepis darlena, Prenolepis fisheri, Prenolepis fustinoda, Prenolepis nepalensis and Prenolepis shanialena.

Prenolepis rinpoche most strongly resembles five other high elevation species found in South and Southeast Asia: P. darlena, P. fisheri, P. fustinoda, P. nepalensis, and P. shanialena. It is similar to P. darlena, P. fisheri, P fustinoda, and P. nepalensis in the proportions of the head in full-face view: The heads of these species are broad and subtriangular to quadrate, with widely set eyes. However, unlike these other four, P. rinpoche has a much more pronounced medial clypeal keel, decumbent (as opposed to erect) scape macrosetae, and almost entirely lacks sculpturing on the head and mesosoma. The four other species also have an elongated petiole with a rounded apex of the scale, whereas P. rinpoche has a petiole more comparable to what is found in most other Prenolepis species: It is subtriangular and not elongate (Fig. 5D), with a forward inclined, pointed apex of the scale.

Williams' PCA plot (Fig. 4) shows that all three specimens of P. rinpoche form a distinct cluster in morphospace, well outside the range of [[P. shanialena]. Similarly, index plots (Figs. 5 and 6) indicate distinct clustering of these two species. Biogeography also provides support for this new species description: P. rinpoche appears to be endemic to Nepal, well outside the Southeast Asian range of P. shanialena.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 28.6° to 28.6°.

Tropical South
  • Source: Williams, 2022

Distribution based on type material

Nepal (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.

  • rinpoche. Prenolepis rinpoche Williams, 2022: 4, figs. 1-3 (w.) NEPAL.

Type Material

  • Holotype worker: Nepal, Gandaki Province, Mustang District, 20 km SSW Jomsom, 28.6167 N, 83.6333 E, 2300 m, 4 Dec 1988, Phil S. Ward #9645 (deposited in MCZC).
  • Paratypes: 2 workers with same locality information as holotype (deposited in MCZC).

Taxonomic Notes

The specimen previously identified in Nepal as Prenolepis fisheri (CASENT0281462) is now the type specimen of P. nepalensis.