Hypoponera molesta

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Hypoponera molesta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Hypoponera
Species: H. molesta
Binomial name
Hypoponera molesta
Bolton & Fisher, 2011

Hypoponera molesta P casent0218482.jpg

Hypoponera molesta D casent0218482.jpg

Specimen Label

Collections have been made from sifted rainforest leaf-litter.


A member of the abeillei group. See the nomenclature section of Hypoponera dema for identification remarks.

Keys including this Species


Known from Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Hypoponera inhabit and nest in leaf litter, the surface layer of soil, downed rotten wood, and soil around plant roots. Nests are typically found by turning objects on the ground, like downed wood and rocks, or through the ripping away of bark found on rotting downed wood or at the base of dead trees. Litter samples in tropical areas, especially in moist forested sites, often contain individuals of this genus. All Hypoponera are thought to be predators of small arthropods but published details about their diet are sparse. A lack of information about other aspects of their biology is also typical for most species.

The genus is most diverse in the tropics. Species found in higher latitudes tend to be more widespread, common and abundant than their tropical and subtropical congeners.



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

  • molesta. Hypoponera molesta Bolton & Fisher, 2011: 73, figs. 78-81 (w.q.) GABON.

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



(holotype in parentheses). Measurements: HL 0.60–0.64 (0.60), HW 0.46–0.48 (0.48), HS 0.530–0.555 (0.540), SL 0.40–0.43 (0.40), PrW 0.36–0.38 (0.37), WL 0.80–0.84 (0.80), HFL 0.44–0.45 (0.44), PeNL 0.19–0.20 (0.20), PeH 0.39–0.42 (0.40), PeNW 0.34–0.36 (0.34), PeS 0.307–0.320 (0.313) (6 measured). Indices: CI 75–80 (80), SI 83–90 (83), PeNI 89–94 (92), LPeI 48–50 (50), DPeI 170–180 (170).

Eyes of 1–2 small, usually depigmented, ommatidia. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, conspicuously fails to reach the midpoint of the posterior margin in full-face view; SL/HL 0.64–0.69. Pronotal dorsum superficially punctate, less densely sculptured than the finely reticulate-punctate cephalic dorsum. Metanotal groove absent from dorsum of mesosoma. Propodeum weakly marginate between declivity and side. Petiole in profile relatively stout, the node quite thick from front to back and with an almost flat to shallowly convex dorsum. In dorsal view the petiole node very broad and relatively long from front to back. Posterior surface of petiole node without cuticular ridges that radiate upward from the peduncle. Subpetiolar process with a blunt ventral angle. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view greater than width of second gastral tergite at its midlength. Cross-ribs at base of cinctus of second gastral tergite distinct. Midline length of second gastral posttergite, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, slightly less than the width of the segment at its midlength. Disc of second gastral tergite with sharply incised, small punctures that are separated by areas of glossy cuticle; the diameters of the punctures are distinctly less than the distances that separate them. First gastral tergite dorsally pubescent, and with numerous conspicuous standing setae that are clearly longer and more erect than the pubescence.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Holotype worker, Gabon: Prov. Woleu-Ntem, 31.3 km. 108° ESE Minvoul, 2°04.8’N, 12°24.4’E, 600 m., 11.ii.1998, #1684(47)-4, sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood) rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (California Academy of Sciences).

Paratypes. 6 workers with same data as holotype but coded #1684(7)-3, #1684(9)-4, #1684(21)-4, #1684(23)-5, #1684(27)-6, #1684(28)-5; 1 dealate queen with same data but coded #1648(49)-7 (CASC, The Natural History Museum).


  • Bolton, B. & Fisher, B.L. 2011. Taxonomy of Afrotropical and West Palaearctic ants of the ponerine genus Hypoponera Santschi. Zootaxa 2843: 1-118. PDF