Two new species of Leptanilloides Mann, 1823 (Formicidae: Dorylinae) from the Andes of southern Ecuador

  • Thibaut Delsinne Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL), Departamento de Ciencias Naturales, Museo de Colecciones Biológicas (MUTPL), Loja
  • Gontran Sonet Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Joint Experimental Molecular Unit (JEMU) - OD Taxonomy and Phylogeny, Vautierstraat 29, B-1000 Brussels
  • David A. Donoso Universidad de Cuenca, Facultad de Ciencias, Agropecuarias, Ave. 12 de Abril s/n, Cuenca
Keywords: Army ant syndrome, DNA barcoding, male description, metatibial gland, subterranean ants


Two new species of Leptanilloides are described: L. copalinga Delsinne & Donoso sp. nov., and L. prometea Delsinne & Donoso sp. nov., based on workers collected in the leaf litter and soil of the Andes of southern Ecuador. Both species belong to the L. biconstricta species-group (formally diagnosed here). The metatibial gland, considered a synapomorphy for Dorylinae, is observed in L. prometea sp. nov. but seems absent in L. copalinga sp. nov. We provide a COI DNA barcode for both species and a revised key for the worker caste of all known species in the genus. We also describe a single male identified as a potential new Leptanilloides species on the basis of morphology. Furthermore, its mitochondrial COI gene sequence does not match any previously barcoded species. However, we refrain from giving it a specific name because of our lack of knowledge about the worker caste. So far, half of the 14 Leptanilloides species have been discovered above 1500 m in the mountain forests or páramos of the Ecuadorian Andes, confirming, if needed, the biological significance of these threatened habitats.


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How to Cite
Delsinne, T., Sonet, G., & Donoso, D. A. (2015). Two new species of Leptanilloides Mann, 1823 (Formicidae: Dorylinae) from the Andes of southern Ecuador. European Journal of Taxonomy, (143).