Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Worker small to very small, monomorphic, the body, legs, and scapes usually beset with sparse, coarse, erect, blunt hairs. Head rounded subrectangular or subelliptical, with rather narrow, dentate mandibles, their apical borders oblique. Clypeus large, convex, its anterior border entire or sinuately emarginate in the middle, not or scarcely produced over the bases of the mandibles. Frontal carinae very short and straight; frontal area poorly denned. Antennary and clypeal fossae not confluent. Maxillary palpi 6-jointed; labial palpi 4-jointed. Antennae 12-jointed, inserted near the posterior angles of the clypeus; scapes elongate, funiculi filiform or slightly thickened distally. Eyes moderately large; ocelli absent. Thorax short, more or less constricted in the mesonotal region. In some species the mesonotum is elongate and subcylindrical. Promesonotal and mesoepinotal sutures distinct. Epinotum more or less convex above, unarmed. Petiole with an anteroposteriorly compressed scale, which is inclined forward. Gaster oval, convex in front, where the first segment covers the petiole, the tip pointed. Legs slender. Gizzard long and narrow, its calyx straight at the base, with the sepals reflected at their anterior tips.
Female decidedly larger than the worker. Head proportionally small; thoraxand gaster massive; pronotum short, vertical; mesonotum broad, flattened, with distinct parapsidal furrows; scutellum convex, often longitudinally impressed in the middle. Wings with a single cubital cell; discoidal cell present or lacking.
Male scarcely larger than the worker. Head resembling that of the worker and female. Mandibles usually edentate. Antennae 13-jointed; scapes rather long; funiculi filiform. Petiolar node thick. Genital valves rather small and narrow, varying conside ably in the details of their structure in different species. Wings as in the female.
The PUPAE are not enclosed in cocoons.
This genus is cosmopolitan, but most abundantly represented in the Indomalayan and Neotropical Regions. There are few species in Africa. Two, P. longicornis HNS and vividula HNS , have been widely distributed by commerce and, though originally tropical, often manage to live permanently in northern hothouses or even in apartment houses that are heated throughout the winter. Nearly all the members of the genus nest in the ground in small craters or under stones and usually form only moderately populous colonies. They are timid, harmless ants of little or no economic importance. Emery has divided the genus into three subgenera: Prenolepis HNS , sensu stricto, Euprenolepis HNS , and Nylanderia HNS , the last containing the great majority of the species.