Dinoponera lucida

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Dinoponera lucida
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Dinoponera
Species: D. lucida
Binomial name
Dinoponera lucida
Emery, 1901

Dinoponera lucida casent0104920 profile 1.jpg

Dinoponera lucida casent0104920 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Dinoponera lucida has been classified as endangered in Brazil by the Ministério do Meio Ambiente (Campiolo et al. 2003) due to habitat destruction in the Atlantic forest.


Lenhart et al. (2013) - Worker. This species can be recognized by the following combination of character states: anterior inferior pronotal corner with tooth-like process, pilosity long and flagellate with white luster, integument smooth and shiny with bluish luster, scape length longer than head width, petiole slanting obliquely on dorsal edge. Total body length ranges from 27–30mm which is between the lengths of Dinoponera australis and the other larger species.

Dinoponera lucida is only slightly larger than D. australis but differs in its integument micro-sculpturing and pilosity type (see above). Dinoponera lucida can be confused with D. australis but is distinguished by its shiny integument and whitish setae, as opposed to the micro-sculptured integument and dull tan setae of D. australis.

Key to Dinoponera workers / Clave para la identificación de las obreras de Dinoponera / Chave para identificação de operários de Dinoponera

Keys including this Species


This species inhabits fragments of Atlantic rainforest in the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo, across the border into Minas Gerais, the southern portion of Bahia and São Paulo. It is possible that D. lucida exists in Rio de Janeiro but we are not aware of any specimens from this area. Refer to Mariano et al. (2008) for information on the biogeography of this species. With the locality data available D. lucida is the only species with no known range overlaps with other Dinoponera species (Lenhart, Dash & Mackay, 2013).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (type locality).

Distribution based on specimens

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The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Dinoponera lucida for further details


Associations with other Insects

Scuttle flies (Diptera: Phoridae) have been found attacking workers of this ant species (Disney et al. 2015). Marcos Teixeira collected Diptera of Apocephalus exlucida and two undescribed species of the genus Megaselia attacking and hovering over Dinoponera lucida in the vicinity of study colonies at Aracruz, Espírito Santo State, in David Farina Park 19°55′54″S 40°07′41″W / 19.93167°S 40.12806°W / -19.93167; -40.12806.


Known only from the worker caste.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • lucida. Dinoponera grandis subsp. lucida Emery, 1901a: 48 (w.) BRAZIL. Raised to species: Kempf, 1971: 376.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



(mm) (n=5) TBL: 27.01–30.39 (28.64); MDL: 3.79–4.31 (3.97); HL: 4.92–5.64 (5.34); HW: 5.02–5.13 (5.07); SL: 5.23–5.64 (5.42); WL: 7.33–8.20 (7.84); PL: 2.25–2.51 (2.39); PH: 3.18–3.28 (3.26); PW: 1.54–1.90 (1.72); GL: 8.00–10.05 (9.10); HFL: 6.87–7.28 (7.18).

A description of the external morphology of the worker is given in Kempf (1971): “Antennal scape distinctly longer than head width. Pubescence on front and vertex of head variable, either short and inconspicuous or longer, denser and quite visible. Gular surface of head finely striate either throughout or at least on anterior half; very seldom the striae are confined to a narrow stripe along the anterior border and obsolescent yet still discernible. Sides of head smooth, not quite glossy but with a silky sheen on account of the superficial reticulate microsculputure. Antero-inferior corner of pronotum dentate. Pronotal disc smooth and shining, lacking wrinkles and dense, fine punctulae; paired swellings quite distinct. Hind tarsus I decidedly longer than head length. Petiole…smooth and polished, its anterior face not excavate, its dorsal face slanted forward; vertical sulcus on posterior face either present or absent; width-length proportion well under 0.80; anterior face lacking dense pubescence. Terga I and II of gaster smooth, highly shining, lacking dense, fine punctulae; pubescence loosely scattered on sides, entirely absent on disc. Stridulatory file on acrotergite of tergum II well developed, nearly crossing the entire tergite.”

Type Material

Lenhart et al. (2013) - Syntype workers BRASIL: Espírito Santo, ex coll Fruhstorfer. (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa) [examined]. (specific locality of Vila Velha (Cidade do Espirito Santo) proposed by Kempf (1971).


  • Barros LAC, Mariano CSF, Pompolo SG and Delabie JHC. 2009. Hsc-FA and NOR bandings on chromosomes of the giant ant Dinoponera lucida Emery, 1901 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Comparative Cytogenetics 3:97–102. doi: 10.3897/compcytogen.v3i2.16
  • Buys SC, Cassaro R and Salomon D. 2010. Biological observations on Kapala Cameron 1884 (Hymenoptera Eucharitidae) in parasitic association with Dinoponera lucida Emery 1901 (Hymenoptera Formicidae) in Brazil. Tropical Zoology 23:29–34.
  • Campiolo S, Delabie JHC and Agosti D. 2003. Distribuição geográfica: uma ferramenta para avaliação do status de conservação de Dinoponera lucida Emery. Anais do XVI Simpósio de Mirmecologia, UFSC, Florianópolis –SC, pp. 359–360.
  • Disney, R. H. L., M. A. L. Braganca, and M. C. Teixeira. 2015. New Species of Scuttle Flies (Diptera: Phoridae) Associated with a Ponerine Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Brazil. Sociobiology. 62:124-127. doi:10.13102/sociobiology.v62i1.124-127
  • Emery, C. 1901b. Notes sur les sous-familles des Dorylines et Ponérines (Famille des Formicides). Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 45: 32-54 (page 48, worker described)
  • Kempf, W. W. 1971. A preliminary review of the ponerine ant genus Dinoponera Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 14: 369-394 (page 376, Raised to species)
  • Lenhart, P.A., Dash, S.T. & Mackay, W.P. 2013. A revision of the giant Amazonian ants of the genus Dinoponera (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 31, 119–164.
  • Mariano, C. S. F.; Delabie, J. H. C.; Ramos, L. S.; Lacau, S.; Pompolo, S. G. 2004. Dinoponera lucida Emery (Formicidae: Ponerinae): the highest number of chromosomes known in Hymenoptera. Naturwissenschaften 91: 182-185 (page 182-185, karyotype described)
  • Mariano CSF, Pompolo SDG, Campos Barros LA, Mariano-Neto E, Campiolo S and Delabie JHC. 2008. A biogeographical study of the threatened ant Dinoponera lucida Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae) using a cytogenetic approach. Insect Conservation and Diversity 1: 161–168. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-4598.2008.00022.x
  • Marques-Silva S, Matiello-Guss CP, Delabie JHC, Mariano CSF, Zanuncio JC and Serrão JE. 2006.Sensilla and secretory glands in the antennae of a primitive ant: Dinoponera lucida (Formicidae:Ponerinae). Microscopy Research and Technique 69: 885–890. doi: 10.1002/jemt.20356
  • Peixoto AV, Campiolo S, Lemes TN, Delabie JHC and Hora RR. 2008. Comportamento e estrutura reprodutiva da formiga Dinoponera lucida Emery (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 52: 88–94. doi: 10.1590/S0085-56262008000100016
  • Santos, I.S., Delabie, J.H.C., Silva, J.G., Costa, M.A., Barros, L.A.C., Pompolo, S.G. & Mariano, C.S.F. 2012. Karyotype differentiation among four Dinoponera (Formicidae: Ponerinae) species. Florida Entomologist 95(3), 737-742
  • Serrão JE, Castro RCA, Zanuncio JC, Mariano CSF and Delabie JHC. 2009. Epidermal glands in the abdomen of a basal ant Dinoponera lucida (Formicidae: Ponerinae). Microscopy Research and Technique 72: 28–31. doi: 10.1002/jemt.20641