Lasius neoniger, copyright Tom Murray.

Belongs within: Lasiini.

Lasius, moisture ants, is a genus of largely nocturnally foraging ants that is widespread in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Characters (from Bingham 1903; Wheeler & Wheeler 1990): Worker: Mandibles short, elongate, triangular, masticatory margin dentate and somewhat oblique, the apical tooth long, curved and acute; clypeus trapeziform, convex from side to side, its anterior margin rounded, posterior margin distinct; frontal area not distinctly limited, about twice as broad as high; antennal carinae short, wide apart, parallel and vertical; antennae 12-segmented, originating close to rear margin of clypeus, scape surpassing occipital margin by less than one-third its length, often much shorter; eyes of moderate size; ocelli present, but not distinct, very small. Thorax with pronotum rather short, strongly rounded, mesonotum broad, convex; metanotum short, basal level portion about half length of obliquely sloping flat apical portion; pro-mesonotal suture very distinct; thorax at mesometanotal suture deeply emarginate; propodeal spiracle round; legs somewhat short and stout, claws simple. Pedicel with small quadrangular, more or less laminate node; abdomen massive, broadly oval, not produced in front or overhanging the pedicel. Erect body hairs short and golden, not coarse. Queen: Head and pedicel as in worker; ocelli larger and more distinct. Thorax very massive, pronotum short, vertical, not forming part of dorsum; mesonotum very large, convex; scutellum broad, somewhat flat; metanotum short, rounded posteriorly; abdomen large, oval. Male: Mandibles broad, masticatory margin acute, with only one apical tooth, or whole masticatory margin dentate. Antennae 13-segment, flagellum filiform, segments nearly equal in length, first segment thicker than others. Antennal carinae short, diverging posteriorly. Genitalia very small on under side of abdomen, covered by tectiform dorsum of apical abdominal segments. Exterior genital plates narrowing towards apex, twice as long as at base, broad, and rounded apical plate crescentic. Ventral plate not emarginate.

<==Lasius Fabr. 1804 B03
    |--*L. niger B03
    |--L. affinis MS01
    |--L. alienobrunneus Forel 1894 [=L. niger brunneus var. alienobrunneus] B03
    |--L. alienoflavus Forel in Bingham 1903 B03
    |--L. alienus (Förster 1850) B03 [=Formica aliena B03, L. niger alienus MS01]
    |--L. atopus Cole 1958 WW90
    |--L. brunneus W01
    |--L. californicus BS06
    |--L. crinitus (Smith 1858) [=Formica crinita] B03
    |--L. distinguendus ES12
    |--L. flavus S61
    |--L. fuliginosus (Latr. 1798) [=Formica fuliginosa] B03
    |--L. grandis ES12
    |--L. hikosanus Yamauchi 1979 I92
    |--L. himalayanus Forel 1894 [=L. niger brunneus var. himalayanus] B03
    |--L. murphyi ES12
    |--L. neglectus ES12
    |--L. neoniger GE05
    |--L. nevadensis Cole 1956 WW90
    |--L. nitigaster WD16
    |--L. pallitarsis ES12
    |--L. platythorax WD16
    `--L. umbratus A71

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A71] Askew, R. R. 1971. Parasitic Insects. Heinemann Educational Books: London.

[B03] Bingham, C. T. 1903. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Hymenoptera vol. 2. Ants and Cuckoo-Wasps. Taylor and Francis: London.

[BS06] Brady, S. G., T. R. Schultz, B. L. Fisher & P. S. Ward. 2006. Evaluating alternative hypotheses for the early evolution and diversification of ants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 103 (48): 18172–18177.

[ES12] Espadaler, X., & S. Santamaria. 2012. Ecto- and endoparasitic fungi on ants from the Holarctic region. Psyche 2012: 168478.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[I92] Iwahashi, J. (ed.) 1992. Reddo Deeta Animaruzu: a pictorial of Japanese fauna facing extinction. JICC: Tokyo.

[MS01] Mocsáry, A., & V. Szépligeti. 1901. Hymenopterák [Hymenopteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 121–169. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[S61] Southcott, R. V. 1961. Studies on the systematics and biology of the Erythraeoidea (Acarina), with a critical revision of the genera and subfamilies. Australian Journal of Zoology 9: 367–610.

[WW90] Wheeler, G. C., & J. Wheeler. 1990. Insecta: Hymenoptera Formicidae. In: Dindal, D. L. (ed.) Soil Biology Guide pp. 1277–1294. John Wiley & Sones: New York.

[WD16] Wrzosek, M., G. Dubiel, M. Gorczak, J. Pawłowska, M. Tischer & S. Bałazy. 2016. New insights on the phylogeny and biology of the fungal ant pathogen Aegeritella. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 133: 1–7.

[W01] Wurst, E. 2001. The life cycle of Lemanniella minotauri n. sp. and the erection of the new family Lemanniellidae (Acari: Astigmata). Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde Serie A (Biologie) 621: 1–34.

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