Hypoponera pulchra

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

Hypoponera pulchra casent0915205 p 1 high.jpg

Hypoponera pulchra casent0915205 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Known only from the holotype worker.


At first glance this species resembles a large specimen of Hypoponera coeca, but its head is much larger, HW 0.51 and HS 0.575, as opposed to HW 0.42 or less and HS 0.465 or less in coeca. Also, the petiole node in profile has anterior and posterior faces that are almost parallel, rather than faces that obviously converge dorsally as in coeca and its immediate allies. In the key, the LPeI 45 places Hypoponera pulchra neatly between the species related to Hypoponera fatiga (LPeI 37–44) and those related to coeca and its allies (LPeI 46–70). Because only a single specimen of pulchra is known its range of LPeI cannot be guessed. pulchra also closely resembles Hypoponera fatiga, but the latter is darker in colour, distinctly smaller (HW 0.40 or less, SL 0.33 or less, PeH 0.32 or less, PeS 0.227 or less) and has a higher DPeI (155–180).

A member of the abeillei group.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Equatorial Guinea (type locality).

Check distribution from AntMaps.

Distribution based on specimens

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The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Hypoponera pulchra for further details


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.


Queens and males have not been collected.


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

  • pulchra. Hypoponera pulchra Bolton & Fisher, 2011: 85, (w.) EQUATORIAL GUINEA.

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



Holotype. Measurements: HL 0.64, HW 0.51, HS 0.575, SL 0.44, PrW 0.38, WL 0.83, HFL 0.44, PeNL 0.17, PeH 0.38, PeNW 0.25, PeS 0.267. Indices: CI 80, SI 86, PeNI 66, LPeI 45, DPeI 147.

Eyes absent. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, just fails to reach the midpoint of the posterior margin in full-face view (by a distance ca 0.04); SL/HL 0.69. Funiculus distinctly with 5 enlarging apical segments. Dorsum of head finely and densely reticulate-punctate; lateroventral surfaces of head with minute scattered punctures and pronotal dorsum with inconspicuous punctulae, almost smooth. Metanotal groove entirely absent from dorsum of mesosoma, without any trace of its former path. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture absent from side of mesosoma. Propodeal declivity separated from sides by narrowly angular margins; without acutely raised laminae. Posterior surface of petiole node without short cuticular ridges that radiate from just above the peduncle. Node of petiole in profile fairly tall and slender (LPeI 45), the anterior and posterior faces almost parallel for most of their height (i.e. PeNL 0.17, node length immediately below dorsal curvature 0.16, length at commencement of dorsal curvature 0.14); dorsal surface is shallowly convex, with the posterodorsal angle longer and distinctly more broadly rounded than the anterodorsal. Subpetiolar process in profile with a recurved, descending anterior face that terminates in a distinct ventral angle. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view is only fractionally less than width of second gastral tergite at its midlength (0.44, 0.45 respectively). Sides of second gastral tergite shallowly convex in dorsal view. Midline length of second gastral posttergite, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, is less than the maximum width of the segment (0.43, 0.45). Cross-ribs at base of cinctus of second gastral segment short and closely packed, delicate and fine. Sculpture on disc of second gastral tergite of spaced small punctures, more widely spaced than is usual in section 1 of the abeillei group but not as widely separated as is usual in species of section 2. First and second gastral tergites dorsally pubescent and with a few short standing setae that project just above the level of the pubescence. Full adult colour dull yellow.

Type Material

Holotype worker. Equatorial Guinea: Bioko I. (“Spanisch Guinea, Fernando Poo” on label), 16.i.1940 (Schlüter) (Naturhistorisches Museum Basel). As well as these data, the pin bears a Menozzi determination label “Ponera coeca” and a handwritten label in red “bermanni n.sp.”, on the reverse of which is now written “cleaned/remounted, B. Bolton, ix.2010”. The name bermanni was never used and has no taxonomic status.


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