Vollenhovia sakishimana

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Vollenhovia sakishimana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Vollenhovia
Species: V. sakishimana
Binomial name
Vollenhovia sakishimana
Terayama & Kinomura, 1997

Terayama and Kinomura 1997 F9.jpg

Common Name
Language: Japanese

This species nests in the soil or rotten wood in forests. It is polygynous with an an average of 3.8 queens per nest ([1]).

At a Glance • Polygynous  


Terayama & Kinomura (1997) - Closely resembles Vollenhovia emeryi, but differs from the latter by:

  • absence of a large brown-black spot on frons (above the clypeus)
  • subparallel clypeal carinae
  • anterior border of postpetiolar sternum almost straight in profile
  • yellowish body color
  • smaller body size (HL 0.52-0.55 mm and HW 0.43-0.45 mm in sakishimana workers; HL 0.55-0.59 mm and HW 0.50-0.54 mm in emeryi workers).

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Japan (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.


Life History Traits

  • Queen number: polygynous



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

  • sakishimana. Vollenhovia sakishimana Terayama & Kinomura, 1997: 5, figs. 5, 9 (w.q.) JAPAN.

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



Holotype. HL 0.54 mm; HW 0.45 mm; SL 0.33 mm; CI 83; SI 73; WL 0.66 mm; PL 0.24 mm; PH 0.28 mm; DPW 0.15 mm; TL 2.1 mm.

Head longer than wide, with subparallel sides and concave posterior margin in frontal view. Mandibles with 7 teeth; basalmost tooth minute. Clypeal carinae subparallel. Antennae with 12 segments; scape 0.61 x head length. Eyes 0.12 mm in diameter.

Alitrunk with largely straight dorsal margin of promesonotum in profile; metanotal groove not incised dorsally; dorsal margin of propodeum weakly convex; posterodorsal comer of propodeum with a small tooth and is as long as basal width in profile.

Petiole slightly higher than long. with convex dorsal margin in profile; anterodorsal comer dully angulate; posterodorsal comer convex, not forming angle. Subpetiolar process large, with rounded ventral margin; its thin lamellar wall 0.06 mm in height. Postpetiole as long as high. highest at midlength, with relatively strongly convex dorsal outline in protile; posterodorsal margin convex.

Head and dorsum of promesonotum shagreened and moderately punctated; unsculptured longitudinal band absent on promesonotal dorsum; mesopleura and lateral surfaces of propodeum coarsely punctated; petiole and postpetiole reticulate; sculpture on postpetiole weaker than that on petiole, and much shinier; gaster and legs smooth and subopaque.

Color: yellowish brown including mandibles, antennae and legs; frons without large brown spot.


Paratype. HL 0.60 mm; HW 0.55 mm; SL 0.38 mm; CI 92; SI 69; WL 0.90 mm; PL 0.28 mm; PH 0.33 mm; DPW 0.20 mm; TL 2.6 mm(one measured).

Head slightly longer than wide. with weakly concave posterior margin; eyes 0.17 mm in diameter; ocelli forming obtuse triangle.

Alitrunk 0.53 mm in maximum dorsal width; mesonotal dorsum weakly shagreened and moderately punctated, without unsculptured longitudinal band medially; posterodorsal corner of propodeum with distinct tooth in profile.

Petiole higher than long, with convex dorsal outline in profile. Subpetiolar process large and high, with relatively strongly convex ventral margin. Postpetiole highest at midlength, with convex dorsal outline in profile; posterodorsal margin convex.

Color: yellowish brown; ocellar triangle blackish brown; frons without large brown spot.

Variation. Five paratype workers with the following measurements and indices: HL 0.50-0.53 mm; HW 0.46-0.48 mm; SL 0.31-0.33 mm; CI 88-93; SI 67-68; WL 0.68-0.70 mm; PL 0.24-0.25 mm: PH 0.28-0.30 mm; DPW 0.15-0.16 mm; TL 2.0-2.1 mm.

The subpetiolar process of the Ogasawara and Yonaguni specimens are somewhat smaller than that of the Iriomote and Ishigaki specimens. In some paratype specimens the basalmost tooth of the mandibles is obscure and the propodeal tooth is much shorter than that of the holotype.

Type Material

Holotype. Worker, Iriomote-jima, Okinawa Pref., 28.III.1991, M. Terayama leg. Paratypes. 8 workers, same data as holotype; 1 female, 1 worker, Ohtomi, Iriomote-jima, Okinawa Pref., 6.VIII.1985, K. Yamauchi leg., 1 female, 3 workers, Yoshino, Ishigaki-jima. Okinawa Pref., 16.VIII.1985, K. Yamauchi leg.

Type depository. The holotype and some paratypes are deposited in the Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo, and the other paratypes are in the National Institute of Agro-Environmental Sciences, Tsukuba, and National Science Museum, Tokyo.


The specific epithet refers to the type locality.

Determination Clarifications

This new species corresponds to Vollenhovia sp. 5 (“Sakishima-umematsuari” in Japanese name) in Terayama and Yamauchi (1992) and V. sp. B in Onoyama (1976).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Terayama M., S. Kubota, and K. Eguchi. 2014. Encyclopedia of Japanese ants. Asakura Shoten: Tokyo, 278 pp.
  • Terayama M., and S. Kubota. 2002. Ants of Tokyo, Japan. ARI 26: 1-32.
  • Terayama M.; Kinomura, K. 1997. Taxonomic studies of Japanese Formicidae, part 3. Genus Vollenhovia Mayr. Nature & Human Activities 2:1-8.
  • Yamane S., S. Ikudome, and M. Terayama. 1999. Identification guide to the Aculeata of the Nansei Islands, Japan. Sapporo: Hokkaido University Press, xii + 831 pp. pp, 138-317.
  • Yamane S.; Ikudome, S.; Terayama, M. 1999. Identification guide to the Aculeata of the Nansei Islands, Japan. Sapporo: Hokkaido University Press, xii + 831 pp. pp138-317.