Ponera kohmoku

AntWiki - Where Ant Biologists Share Their Knowledge
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ponera kohmoku
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Ponera
Species: P. kohmoku
Binomial name
Ponera kohmoku
Terayama, 1996

Ponera kohmoku F5-6.jpg

Nothing is known about the biology of Ponera kohmoku.


Terayama (1996) - Distinguished from the other congeners by the large eyes which consist of more than 20 facets in worker.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Japan (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The general biology of species in the genus was summarized by Taylor (1967): Ponera are small ants that nest in rotting logs in forested areas or under stones in nonforested situations. In the tropical areas specimens are rarely encountered away from rain forest. In temperate areas, however, species may occur in relatively lightly forested areas. This appears to be the case with Ponera japonica, Ponera pennsylvanica and especially with Ponera coarctata. The Australian Ponera leae is essentially limited to rain forest in the northern parts of its range, but further south it may be found in dry, lightly forested areas.

Foraging is probably cryptobiotic, though some New Guinea species have been taken straying on the ground surface. Little information is available concerning feeding. However, most species are probably insectivorous. I have conducted feeding experiments with some of the New Guinea and Samoan species, including Ponera xenagos, Ponera elegantula, Ponera tenuis, Ponera incerta and Ponera woodwardi. These were unsuccessful with the larger species, except elegantula, which accepted moderately large (8-12 mm) campodeid and japygid Diplura. Tenuis and incerta accepted smaller (4-6 mm) campodeids, isotomid and sminthurid Collembola, and small newly hatched spiders (2 mm long). Negative feeding response was obtained with eggs and larvae of various ants, small crushed insects of various orders, and small myriapods. Stray workers were never observed carrying prey, and distinct middens of insect or other remains were not located near nests.

Colonies usually contain about 30 workers. Larvae and pupae are not segregated in most cases, but occasionally aggregations of pupae were observed. These may have included the total brood of the colonies involved. Larvae are attached to the floor or walls of the nest galleries by the glutinous abdominal tubercles described above, and the ants move them high up on the walls or ceilings of artificial nests, if they are flooded. Details of nuptial behavior of pennsylvanica were given by Wheeler (1900), and Haskins & Enzmann (1938). The flights appear to be of a pattern typical for ants, with the alates meeting in the air and mating there or on the ground. Colony foundation is non-claustral and independent in pennsylvanica (Kannowski 1959); judging from my observations this is typical for the genus.




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

  • kohmoku. Ponera kohmoku Terayama, 1996: 9, figs. 1-6 (w.q.) JAPAN.

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



Holotype. HL 0.80 mm; HW 0.68 mm; SL 0.65 mm; CI 84; SI 96; WL 1.25 mm; PW 0.58 mm; PNL 0.35 mm; PH 0.63 mm; DPW 0.45 mm; PNI 78; TL 3.6 mm.

Head subrectangular, with slightly convex sides and almost straight posterior margin in frontal view. Mandibles with 3 developed apical teeth followed by a series of about 10 minute denticles. Clypeus with a blunt but distinct median tooth. Eyes large for this genus, slightly convex, and each consisting of about 25 indistinct facets; maximum diameter 0.10 mm. Antennae with 12 segments; scape relatively long, slightly exceeding median posterior margin of head in frontal view; club not differentiated; 8th to 12th segments in a ratio of about 7:7:9:11:18 in length; terminal segment 1.4 x as long as wide.

General shape of alitrunk and petiole as in Fig. 5; lateral promesonotal and dorsal mesonotal-propodeal sutures distinctly incised; posterolateral corner of propodeum dully angulate. Petiolar node wider than long in dorsal view, with broadly convex anterior margin and straight posterior margin. Subpetiolar process with a pair of strong posterolateral teeth; fenestra relatively rarge and oval.

Head and antennal scapes microreticulate; mandibles smooth and shining. Dorsum of alitrunk and petiole microreticulate and closely punctate; mesepisterna and lateral faces of propodeum shining and weakly punctate; declivitous face of propodeum smooth and shining. Gaster closely punctate; punctures on 2nd gastral tergite weaker than those on the 1st. Pubescence moderately abundant; erect or suberect hairs present on mandibles, antennal scapes, dorsa of alitrunk and petiolar node, and entire gaster.

Body black with brownish tinge; clypeus and subpetiolar process brown; mandibles, antennae, legs and tip of gaster reddish brown.

Variation. Ten paratype workers with the following measurements and indices: HL 0.83-0.89 mm; HW 0.70-0.75 mm; SL0.63-0.66 mm; CI 85-88; SI 97-91; WL 1.20-1.28 mm; PW 0.58-0.61 mm; PNL 0.34-0.35 mm; PH 0.63-0.68 mm; DPW 0.43-0.48 mm; PNI 71-78; TL 3.4-3.7 mm.

Eyes consisting of 22 to 30 indistinct facets.


Paratypes. HL 0.93-0.95 mm; HW 0.78-0.80 mm; SL0.70-0.71 mm; CI 84-85; SI 89-90; WL 1.55-1.18 mm; AW 0.75-0.67 mm; PNL 0.38-0.39 mm; PH 0.68-0.70 mm; DPW 0.51-0.53 mm; PNI 74-75; TL4.0-4.3 mm (n = 4).

Head and alitrunk as inFigs. Eyes large, 4.0-4.3 mm in diameter. Ocelli small, forming an acute triangle. Antennal scapes exceeding posterior margin of head. Petiolar node converging above in lateral view; disc 0.53 x as long as wide, with weakly concave posterior margin in dorsal view. Color as in worker.

Type Material

Holotype. Worker, Kurio, Yaku-shima, Kagoshima Pref., 23.III.l981, M. Terayama leg.

Paratypes. 23 workers, 1 female, same data as holotype; 2 females, Kusukawa, Yaku-shima, Kagoshima Pref., 22.III.1981, M. Terayama leg.; 2 workers, Yaku-shima, Kagoshima Pref., 16.X.1984, M. Terayarna leg.; 4 workers, Anbou, Yaku-shima, Kagoshima Pref., M. Terayarna leg.; 3 workers, 20.VIII.1983, Shiroyarna, Kagoshima-shi, Kagoshima Pref., 20.VIII.1983, S. Kubota leg.; 2 workers, same locality, 21.VIII.1983, S. Kubota leg.; 1 worker, Sata-misaki, Kagoshima Pref., 10.VIII.1984, M. Terayarna leg.; 1 female, Yaku-shima, Osumi Is., Kagoshima Pref., 19.VIII.1983, Sk. Yamane leg.; 28 workers, Shimonoseki, Fukuoka Pref., 6.IV.1993, O. Kitade leg.


The specific name is the Japanese noun Kohmoku-ten, which is the name of one of the four guardian deities in buddhism.