Tuesday 16 October 2018

Lasius tapinomoides: A new species of Ant from Crete.

Ants of the genus Lasius are found across Eurasia, with most species being wide-ranging and dominant members of the local Ant community. The genus contains very few endemic species (species with limited distributions), with these mostly found on islands or occasionally mountains. There are currently seven members of the genus reported on Crete, one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean, with a diverse, mountainous, landscape, though the Ant fauna of the island is not well studied.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 10 October 2018, Sebastian Salata and Lech Borowiec of the Department of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Taxonomy at the University of Wrocław, describe a new species of Lasius from Crete.

The new species is named Lasius tapinomoides, for its similarity to Ants of the genus Tapinoma. These Ants are dark brown in colour, with orange antennae and legs. The head is oval, and slightly longer than wide, the eyes also oval and 25% as long as the head. The species is covered in a dense coat of hairs and is believed to be endemic to Crete.

Lasius tapinomoides, worker in lateral view. Salata and Borowiec (2018). 

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