Leptogenys famelica Emery 1896

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker lateral view

worker face view

Images of petiole, lateral view, dorsal view.

Species page on AntWeb.


Costa Rica to western Colombia, Amazon watershed, Guianas. Costa Rica: La Selva Biological Station, north slope Volcan Barba at 500m, Penas Blancas Valley.


In usual resting position, mandibles flush against anterior border of clypeus; masticatory margin of mandible subequal in length to basal margin, and with 4-5 blunt teeth; clypeus large and triangular, completely concealing labrum; eye prominent, subglobulose, its diameter is one-third of lateral cephalic margin; scape extends beyond posterior cephalic margin by over half its length; mesosoma with prominent median constriction; pronotum smooth and shining, propleuron smooth laterally, transversely striate ventrally; rest of mesosoma mostly with fine transverse, parallel striae; petiole elongate, pedunculate and triangular in lateral view.

Worker metrics (n=6). HL (2.02-2.42); HW (1.31-1.62); ML (1.01-1.41); EL (0.40-0.51); SL (3.33-4.65); WL (4.34-5.15) mm. CI (0.62-0.67); MI (0.77-0.88); OI (0.27-0.38); SI (2.54-2.93).

Natural History

Most nests are recorded as coming from rotten logs on the ground of moist forested areas. An underground nest was found in Costa Rica, and one locality in Brazil is Cerrado, a more xeric life zone. Even though this species cannot be considered uncommon and numerous nests have been excavated, morphologically distinct queens have yet to be found. This species is another candidate within the genus for worker reproduction. Longino reports observing a worker in the field carrying a phalangid harvestman.


This is one of the largest species in the genus, perhaps the longest of the New World species, but L. ingens from the northern Costal Range of South America is more robust. The range for this species is one of the broadest for the New World species of this genus, stretching from Costa Rica into western Colombia, as well as the Amazon watershed, and Guianas. Costa Rican specimens have a densely punctate cephalic dorsum,and occasionally scattered shallow punctae on the cephalic ventral face. Most of the propleuron is smooth and shining in material from Central America and northern South America, but Brazilian specimens tend to have the propleuron with fine transverse striae.

Type data

Leptogenys famelica Emery 1896:91, pl. 1, fig. 6. Worker holotype by monotypy: Costa Rica, Suerre, near Jimenez (Alfaro).

Literature Cited

Emery, C. 1896. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XVII-XXV. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 28:33-107.

Page authors:
John E. Lattke piquihuye@gmail.com
John T. Longino longinoj@evergreen.edu

Date of this version: 3 March 2009.
Previous versions of this page: 28 May 1999.
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