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Leptomyrmex darlingtoni

Leptomyrmex darlingtoni

Class : Insects (Insecta)
Order : Hymenoptera (Hymenoptera)
Family : Ants (Formicidae)
Subfamily : Glandular Ants (Dolichoderinae)
Genre : Leptomyrmex
Scientific name
Mayr , 1862

Leptomyrmex ( Alt Gr. Λεπτός LEPTOS "thin" and μύρμηξ múrmex, Myrmex "ant") is a genus of ants (Formicidae) from the subfamily of the dolichoderinae (Dolichoderinae).


Representatives of this genus are quite large and have long legs, which is why they are also called "Spider Ants" in English. The narrow body is usually clearly black or reddish-yellow in color, but also two-tone black and reddish. The scapi of the antennae are very long. Well over half of the scapus protrudes over the head silhouette. On the underside of the head a semicircular notch can be found in the center below the mandibles . The mandibles have 7 to 15 teeth and another 5 to 12 small teeth. In this genus, ergatomorphic queens are the rule. These are wingless and differ from the workers only in their greater overall length and a larger crowd . Reproduction is only taken over by gynomorphic queens in two species . Similar to Crematogaster (Myrmicinae), the animals bend their guests over the mesosoma to squirt defensive secretions forward.

Similar genera

Because of their size and spider-like legs, the species of the Leptomyrmex can hardly be confused with other gland ants. However, smaller species have a certain similarity to Iridomyrmex .


The 17 known species and their subspecies are only native to Australia , New Guinea and New Caledonia and a few smaller neighboring islands. They colonize moist savannah forests and rainforests, although at least one species is known from arid areas. The area of ​​distribution must have been much larger in the past, because fossil finds in Central America are known.

Way of life

The nests are located underground in the open field or under trees. Deadwood is also less common . The animals move when searching for food on the surface of the earth, either individually or in small groups, usually in twos or threes. They are active both day and night. When they discover larger sources of food, more colony members are recruited from the nest for transport. Some species in arid areas have specialized workers called repletes that store liquid food in their abdomen ( honeydew ants ).


The following species make up the genus Leptomyrmex :


The juveniles of the Australian ghost insect resemble this genus with their black body and red head. As a result, they simulate a lack of defensibility ( Batessche mimicry ).


Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Genus Leptomyrmex. AntWiki, accessed July 20, 2013 .
  2. Leptomyrmex Taxon Count. (No longer available online.) Hymenoptera Name Server, archived from the original on December 31, 2015 ; Retrieved July 20, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / osuc.biosci.ohio-state.edu
  3. ^ Leptomyrmex. Tree Of Life web project, accessed July 1, 2008 .


Web links

Commons : Leptomyrmex  - collection of images, videos and audio files