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Heteroponera ants live in small colonies (< 200 worker) in the leaf litter of tropical forests in Central- and South America. They are rarely seen and little is known about their biology.

Definition of measurements are given at the end of this page.

Heteroponera angulata Borgmeier 1959

on Hymenoptera Name Server

HL 0.86-0.92, HW 0.71-0.76, CI 83-84, SL 0.50-0.54, SI 69-71; WL 1.08-1.11 (n = 4)

H. angulata was described by Borgmeier in 1959 and is only known from the type specimens (7 workers) collected in Santa Teresa, Esprito Santo in Brazil. Size, color and sculpture of cuticula are highly variable within species of Heteroponera and are therefore of minor importance for delimination of species.

Color: Type specimens are red-yellow. Specimens from Cachoeira Reserve range in color from yellow to red-brown.
Size: Specimens from Cachoeira are larger than noted by Kempf and Borgmeier.
Cuticula sculpture: Borgmeier describes the sculpturing as „überall ziemlich grob genetzt-punktiert und zum Teil gerunzelt“ whereas Kempf states: „Dorso do torax, do peciolo e dos tergitos I and II do gáster com pontos grossos, os intervalos não formando reticulação de rugas entrelaçadas e elevadas, sendo planos, lisos e brilhantes.“ The material from Cachoeira Reserve is covered with large foveae. The spaces between the pits are elevated to ridges which form a reticulum.

The form of the petiolus matches well the figures given in Borgmeier (1959). In the illustration of Borgmeier the petiolar node is more inclined backwards (as is the case for the collected specimens) than in Kempf.
I have collected a single dealate queen from leaf-litter in a Winkler sample. I have also collected a specimen which may be an ergatoid queen. This ant is slightly larger than other workers in the nest fragment and has a single median ocellus.
Images of queen: head view, lateral view

Petiolus (dorsal /lateral view)

Head view

Lateral view

Heteroponera angulata - petiolus (dorsal / lateral view)

Heteroponera angulata (worker) - head view

Heteroponera angulata (worker) - lateral view

Heteroponera dentinodis (Mayr 1887)

on Hymenoptera Name Server

HL 0.94-1.00, HW 0.82-0.87, CI 87-89, SL 0.50-0.54, SI 60-64, WL 1.23-1.27, (n=4)
H. dentinodis is similar to H. mayri. It differentiates from H. mayri by its slightly larger size. The posterio-dorsal petiolar tooth is detached and salient.

Heteroponera dentinodis - petiolus (dorsal / lateral view) Heteroponera dentinodis - head view Heteroponera dentinodis - lateral view

Heteroponera inermis (Emery 1894)

on Hymenoptera Name Server

HL 0.85-0.94, HW 0.65-0.76, CI 75-81; SL 0.52-0.59, SI 77-84, WL 1.09-1.23, (n=5)
Petiolar node subglobular, not pointed or equipped with a tooth on posterio-dorsal corner. Eyes with 9 or more omatidia along maximum longest axis.

Heteroponera inermis - petiolus (dorsal / lateral view) Heteroponera inermis - head view Heteroponera inermis - lateral view

Heteroponera mayri Kempf 1962

on Hymenoptera Name Server

HL 0.75-0.78, HW 0.59-0.63, CI 79-81, SL 0.45-0.48, SI 72-76, WL 0.98-1.04, (n=4)
Similar to H. dentinodis. Posterior-dorsal corner of petiolus pointed but without a detached tooth as in H. dentinodis.

Heteroponera mayri - petiolus (dorsal / lateral view) Heteroponera mayri - head view Heteroponera mayri - lateral view

Heteroponera microps Borgmeier 1957

on Hymenoptera Name Server

A very small species with minute eyes and a rather scale-like petiolar node.
H. microps has a quite peculiar distribution with collections from southeastern Brazil and northern South America ( Colombia , Venezuela ).
Images of queen: head view, lateral view

Heteroponera microps (worker) - petiolus (dorsal / lateral view) Heteroponera microps (woker) - head view Heteroponera microps (woker) - lateral view

Offline References for Heteroponera

Borgmeier, T. (1957): Myrmecologische Studien I. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 29(1): 103-128. Description of H. microps.

Borgmeier, T. (1959): Myrmecologische Studien II. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 31(2): 309-319. Description of H. angulata.

Kempf, W.W. (1962): Retoques a classificação das formigas neotropicais do gênero Heteroponera Mayr (Hym. Formicidae). Papéis avulsos do Departamento de Zoologia 15(4): 29-47. Revision of Heteroponera.

Online References for Heteroponera

Definintion of Measurements

Head length (HL): maximum longitudinal length from the anteriormost portion of the clypeus to the midpoint of a line drawn across the posterior margin of the head from its highest points.

Head width (HW): maximum head width, excluding eyes.

Cephalic Index (CI): HW/HL*100.

Scape length (SL): scape length, not including basal constriction and condyle.

Scape Index (SI): HW/SL*100.

Mesosoma Length (WL): The length of the mesosoma from the anterior most point of the mesosoma to the posteriormost point of the metapleuron.

Date of this version: 3/27/2007

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
page author: Jochen H. Bihn
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