Lasius rabaudi

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Lasius rabaudi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Lasius
Species: L. rabaudi
Binomial name
Lasius rabaudi
(Bondroit, 1917)

Lasius rabaudi casent0906273 p 1 high.jpg

Lasius rabaudi casent0906273 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

This species exhibits temporary social parasitism. Queens found new colonies by infiltrating an established nest of Lasius niger, killing the queen and using host workers to care for her initial brood.

At a Glance • Temporary parasite  



A common Palaearctic species very close to Lasius umbratus and safely distinguishable only in the queen caste.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Afghanistan, Denmark, France (type locality), Georgia, Iberian Peninsula, Morocco, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Starcke has suggested, based on observational evidence, that rabaudi can serve in turn as the host for Lasius fuliginosus.



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

  • rabaudi. Formicina rabaudi Bondroit, 1917a: 177, fig. 2 (q.) FRANCE.
    • Emery, 1924c: 170 (w.); Wilson, 1955a: 169 (m.).
    • Combination in Lasius (Chthonolasius): Emery, 1925b: 233.
    • Junior synonym of umbratus: Bourne, 1973: 25; van Boven, 1977: 151.
    • Status as species: Bondroit, 1918: 35; Bondroit, 1920a: 144; Wilson, 1955a: 168 (redescription); Bernard, 1967: 364 (redescription); Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 212; Kutter, 1977c: 234; Azuma, 1977: 117; Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 555 (in key); Collingwood, 1978: 89 (in key); Yamauchi, 1979: 169; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 281 (in key); Seifert, 1988a: 159 (redescription); Seifert, 1990: 11; Bolton, 1995b: 225.

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



Wilson (1955) - (1) The most reliable queen character, the flattening of the scape, seems to be reflected in the worker, but there is considerable overlap between the two species, and probably a majority of worker series unaccompanied by queens cannot be certainly placed. Series of Lasius umbratus accompanied by queens are characterized as follows: in workers with maximum midpoint scape width of 0.10-0.12 mm., the minimum midpoint width was always 0.08 mm. or more. In the two series of Lasius rabaudi accompanied by queens ("Morogi-Mura" and Roermond) the minimum width was distinctly less than 0.08 mm. However, other series unaccompanied by queens, and therefore not determinable by reference to the rabaudi type, completely overlapped determined umbratus and extended far below the identified rabaudi series, to minimum width 0.06 mm.

(2) The "Morogi-Mura" and Roermond series and others with greatly flattened scapes also had abundant standing hairs on the scapes, which character is frequent in umbratus only in northern Eurasian samples.


Wilson (1955) - (1) Scapes and tibiae conspicuously flattened, so that the minimum width of the 'scape at the midpoint is 0.10 mm. or less (Fig. 15).

(2) Funicular segments tending to be proportionately longer than in umbratus. In the rabaudi series examined, funicular segment III varied 1.47-1.87 X longer than broad, while an equivalent sample of Eurasian umbratus varied 1.00-1.50 X longer than broad, with only one specimen exceeding the rabaudi minimum of 1.47 X.

(3) The shape of the petiole characteristic, and less variable than in umbratus: in frontal view subquadrate, nearly as broad at the dorsal crest as at the level just above the frontal foramen, and with a rounded to angulate dorsal emargination. European series have concave to straight lateral margins; Japanese series may have convex margins in addition.


Wilson (1955) - Males associated with very flat-scaped workers from Roermond are rather small compared to umbratus (HW about 0.98 mm.) and show certain expected allometric differences in mandibular and petiolar structure, but in this and every other character they are within the extreme range of variation of umbratus. There is no appreciable flattening of the scapes.

Type Material

Wilson (1955) - HOLOTYPE. An alate queen in the Bondroit Collection.


  • Arnol'di, K. V.; Dlussky, G. M. 1978. Superfam. Formicoidea. 1. Fam. Formicidae - ants. Pp. 519-556 in: Medvedev, G. S. (ed.) Keys to the insects of the European part of the USSR. Vol. 3. Hymenoptera. Part 1. Opredeliteli Faune SSSR 119:3-584. (page 555, see also)
  • Bernard, F. 1967a [1968]. Faune de l'Europe et du Bassin Méditerranéen. 3. Les fourmis (Hymenoptera Formicidae) d'Europe occidentale et septentrionale. Paris: Masson, 411 pp. (page 364, see also)
  • Bondroit, J. 1917a. Notes sur quelques Formicidae de France (Hym.). Bull. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 1917: 174-177 (page 177, fig. 2 queen described)
  • Bourne, R. A. 1973. A taxonomic study of the ant genus Lasius Fabricius in the British Isles (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Entomol. Ser. B 42: 17-27 (page 25, Junior synonym of umbratus)
  • Emery, C. 1924c. Formiche di Spagna raccolte dal Prof. Filippo Silvestri. Boll. Lab. Zool. Gen. Agrar. R. Sc. Super. Agric. 17: 164-171 (page 170, worker described)
  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 233, Combination in Lasius (Chthonolasius))
  • GALKOWSKI C., 2010b. – Lasius rabaudi (Bondroit, 1917) retrouvé en France (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Bulletin de la Société Linnéenne de Bordeaux, 145, N.S. 38, 2 : 139-147. PDF
  • Kutter, H. 1977c. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Insecta Helv. Fauna 6: 1-298 (page 234, Revived from synonymy)
  • Seifert, B. 1988a. A revision of the European species of the ant subgenus Chthonolasius (Insecta, Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Entomol. Abh. Staatl. Mus. Tierkd. Dres. 51: 143-180 (page 159, see also)
  • Wilson, E. O. 1955a. A monographic revision of the ant genus Lasius. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 113: 1-201 (page 168, male described, Senior synonym of tibialis)