Nylanderia metacista,

Kallal, Robert J., 2019, Nylanderia of the World Part III: Nylanderia in the West Indies, Zootaxa 4658 (3), pp. 401-451: 422-424

publication ID


publication LSID


persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Nylanderia metacista

sp. nov.

Nylanderia metacista  , sp. nov.

Figs. 43–45View FIGURES 43–45 (worker); 46–51 (male)

Holotype worker, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Cachote Forest , 18° 04.01’N, 71° 10.768’W, elev. 1054 m, cloud forest, nest under bark of rotting, fallen tree, 28.vii.2009, J.S. LaPolla & S.A. Schneider ( USNM00754797View Materials) ( NMNH). 3 paratype workers, 1 paratype male with same locality data as holotype (specimens are from the same nest as holotype) ( NMNH & MCZC).GoogleMaps 

Worker diagnosis: Brown head, mesosoma, and gaster contrasting with yellow legs and antennae; gastral tergites I & II with a dense layer of pubescence.

Compare with: N. bibadia  , N. pini  , N. fuscaspecula 

WORKER. Measurements (n=7): TL: 2.50–2.80; HW: 0.53–0.59; HL: 0.64–0.68; EL: 0.17–0.19; SL: 0.74– 0.78; WL: 0.80–0.89; GL: 0.90–1.30. SMC: 18–25; PMC: 3–6; MMC: 2. Indices: CI: 83–88; REL: 25–28; SI: 132–142; SI2: 22–24.

Head: sides of head in full face view nearly parallel; posterolateral corners rounded; posterior margin straight, occasionally very slight emarginated medially; anterior clypeal margin emarginate; ocelli absent; eye well-developed. Mesosoma: in lateral view, pronotum convex; anterior margin of mesonotum raised slightly above posterior pronotal margin; metanotal area without short flat area before spiracle; dorsal face of propodeum slightly convex; dorsal face of propodeum and mesonotum approximately the same height in lateral view. Color and pilosity: body brown; mandible, scape, legs, mesocoxa and metacoxa lighter brown; cephalic pubescence sparse; pronotum, mesonotum, anterior portion of propodeum with sparse pubescence; gastral tergites I & II with dense pubescence dorsally.

QUEEN. Measurements (n=1): TL: 4.80; HW: 0.86; HL: 0.87; EL: 0.3; SL: 0.92; WL: 1.6; GL: 2.3. SMC: 8; PMC: 5; MMC: 27. Indices: CI: 98; REL: 34; SI: 107. Generally, as in worker with modifications expected for caste and with the following noted difference: lighter brown (to yellow) than seen in workers.

MALE. Measurement (n=1): TL: 2.40; HW: 0.53; HL: 0.56; EL: 0.23; SL: 0.85; WL: 0.85; GL: 1.00. SMC: 4; PMC: 0; MMC: 8. Indices: CI: 94; REL: 41; SI: 161.

Head: sides of head in full face view nearly parallel becoming distinctly broader posterior to eyes; clypeus evenly rounded anteriorly; mandible with distinct apical tooth and much smaller subapical tooth adjacent to apical tooth; basal angle rounded and indistinct. Mesosoma: in lateral view, dorsal margin of mesoscutum same as height as dorsal margin of mesoscutellum; propodeum steeply sloping without distinct dorsal and declivitous faces. Genitalia: gonopod apex coming to triangular point in lateral view; in dorsal view, gonopod margin curves away from penial sclerite; digitus with pointed apex that bends away from penial sclerite; cuspis tubular, rounded at apex bending sharply towards digitus; anteroventral process of penial sclerite comes to a point with ventral margin of process emarginate; valvura of penial sclerite placed ventral to midline (fig. 105). Color and pilosity: yellow to light brown; head darker than remainder of body; head, scapes, mesosomal notum, legs and gastral dorsum with a layer of short pubescence; fine, wispy, silvery pubescence between the ocelli and the compound eyes.

Other material examined: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Pedernales Pr., Sierra de  Bahoruco NP, 18.14764 - 71.162321 +/- 70 m, 1320 m, III-2014GoogleMaps  , Lubertazzi, DL 03720-001; Pedernales Pr., Sierra de Bahoruco NP, 18.15016 -71.62487 +/- 110 m, 1290 m, III-2014GoogleMaps  , Lubertazzi, DL03741:003; Pedernales, Jaragua National Park , 18.07332 -71.65203 +/- 120 m, 400 m, 27-III-2014GoogleMaps  .

Etymology: Species epithet is a combination of cista (L. = box) with the prefix meta- (L. = end), named for thickened tips of the penial sclerites found in this species.

Notes: Workers of this species can usually be separated from N. fuscaspecula  and N. pini  based on the presence of dense pubescence of the first gastral tergite. Males of N. metacista  males have a fine, wispy, silvery pubescence between the ocelli and the compound eyes. In contrast, N. pini  has short, thick, dark brown pubescence and some pubescence free areas between the ocelli and the compound eyes. Separating N. metacista  from N. bibadia  can generally be done with color: N. metacista  has lighter brown workers, with distinct yellow antennae and legs, which contrasts against the darker workers of N. bibadia  . However, color is not always reliable and can be difficult to qualitatively assess. Nylanderia metacista  is overall smaller than N. bibadia  (especially with regards to head length and width).

Male morphology provides some further characters for separating the two species. Males of N. metacista  are brownish-yellow whereas N. bibadia  are dark brown. Additionally, in N. metacista  the gastral pubescence is very appressed against the cuticle. In contrast N. bibadia  possess gastral pubescence that is less appressed, the gaster having a shaggy appearance. The anteroventral process of the penial sclerites in N. metacista  is distinctly emarginate in contrast to the broadly rounded anteroventral process of N. bibadia  . Uniquely among West Indian Nylanderia  N. bibadia  , N. metacista  and N. pubens  have rather elongated penial sclerites. The valvurae of the penial sclerites in all three species are also ventral to the midline of the penial sclerites (fig. 105). It is not surprising that N. metacista  and N. bibadia  workers can be challenging to separate from each other because molecular analyses indicate they are sister taxa ( Gotzek et al. 2012).


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History