Open Access: CC BY 4.0


Griebenow, Z.

Year: 2020


Delimitation of tribes in the subfamily Leptanillinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with a description of the male of Protanilla lini Terayama, 2009

Journal: Myrmecological News

Volume: 30

Pages: 229-250

Type of contribution: Original Article

Supplementary material: No


The subfamily Leptanillinae Emery, 1910 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is a clade of cryptic subterranean ants, which is restricted to the tropics and warm temperate regions of the Old World. Due to acquisition bias against the minute and hypogaeic workers, most known leptanilline specimens are male, with four genera described solely from males. The sexes have been associated in only two out of 69 described species, meaning that redundant naming of taxa is likely. Herein, the male of Protanilla lini Terayama, 2009 is associated with corresponding workers collected on Okinawa-jima, Japan, by means of genome-scale data, allowing the first published description of male ants belonging to the Anomalomyrmini Taylor, 1990, one of the two established tribes within the Leptanillinae. The first male-based diagnoses of these tribes are provided, based on a phylogeny of the Leptanillinae inferred from ultra-conserved elements using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian inference, along with a dichotomous key to all described male-based species within the Leptanillinae and to undescribed male morphospecies sequenced in this study. With molecular data enabling the association of separately collected sexes and phylogenomic inference contextualizing morphological observations, the parallel taxonomy that afflicts this enigmatic group of ants can begin to be resolved.

Open access, licensed under CC BY 4.0. © 2020 The Author(s).

Key words: Leptanillinae, Anomalomyrmini, male morphology, phylogenomics.

Publisher: The Austrian Society of Entomofaunistics

ISSN: 1997-3500

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