Megaponera analis

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Megaponera analis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Megaponera
Species: M. analis
Binomial name
Megaponera analis
(Latreille, 1802)

Pachycondyla analis sam-hym-c008323b profile 1.jpg

Pachycondyla analis sam-hym-c008323b dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

At a Glance • Ergatoid queen  

Known as the Matabele ant, this species are highly specialised termite predators. Mass raids on termite nests occur throughout the day and into the evening, lasting up to one hour. Raiding columns are often seen when they cross a road. Occasionally colonies relocate and a large column of workers carrying brood, males and myrmecophilous thysanurans and staphylinids follow a trail to the new nest site.



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea (type locality), Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

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Colonies have a single ergatoid queen (Villet 1990). She is the only large individual that is carried during colony emigrations. The queen is often surrounded by many workers, and this attractiveness is based on chemical signals, possibly released by the thick glandular epithelium lining her entire body (Hölldobler et al. 1994).

This is one of the few ponerine species with a diverse assemblage of myrmecophiles living in their nests. The staphylinid beetles Degalliera megaponerae, D. peetersi and Ponerilla hoelldobleri were collected from an emigration column in Kenya (Kistner 1993).



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

  • foetens. Formica foetens Fabricius, 1793: 354 (w.) GUINEA. [Junior primary homonym of Formica foetens Olivier, 1792: 503.] Replacement name: Formica analis Latreille, 1802c: 282. Emery, 1897e: 597 (m.); Arnold, 1915: 48 (q.); Wheeler, W.M. 1918c: 298 (l.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1952c: 612 (l.). Combination in Megaponera: Mayr, 1862: 753. Senior synonym of abyssinica, laeviuscula: Roger, 1860: 310; of dohrni: Forel, 1909b: 64. See also: Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 64; Longhurst & Howse, 1978: 1213.
  • analis. Formica analis Latreille, 1802c: 282. Replacement name for Formica foetens Fabricius, 1793: 354. [Junior primary homonym of Formica foetens Olivier, 1792: 503.] Combination in Pachycondyla: Brown, in Bolton, 1995b: 302; in Megaponera: Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 107. [For earlier references and synonymy see under foetens Fabricius.] Current subspecies: nominal plus amazon, crassicornis, rapax, subpilosa, termitivora.
  • abyssinica. Ponera abyssinica Guérin-Méneville, 1849: 352, pl. 7, fig. 6 (w.) ETHIOPIA. Junior synonym of foetens: Roger, 1860: 310.
  • laeviuscula. Ponera laeviuscula Gerstäcker, 1859: 262 (w.) MOZAMBIQUE. [Also described as new by Gerstäcker, 1862: 505.] Junior synonym of foetens: Roger, 1860: 310.
  • dohrni. Megaponera dohrni Emery, 1902c: 30 (w.) GHANA. Junior synonym of foetens: Forel, 1909b: 64.