Ponera longlina

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Ponera longlina
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Ponera
Species: P. longlina
Binomial name
Ponera longlina
Xu, Z., 2001

The type collection is from a ground sample in mountain rain forest.


This new species is close to Ponera oreas from Philippines, but eye only with one facet. Petiolar node relatively narrow, DPW 0.25, PNI 71. In profile view subpetiolar process with posteroventral tooth smaller and posteriorly pointed. (Xu 2001)

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: China (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.

  • longlina. Ponera longlina Xu, 2001a: 56, figs. 16-18 (w.) CHINA.

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



Xu 2001 figs. 28-39

Holotype. TL 2.2, HL 0.50, HW 0.45, CI 90, SL 0.35, SI 78, PW 0.35, AL 0.63, ED 0.03, ML 0.25, PNL 0.18, DPW 0.25, PM 0.33, PN 71 , LPI 54. Head roughly square, slightly longer than broad, narrowed forward. Occipital margin weakly concave, occipital corners roundly prominent, lateral sides evenly convex. Mandible with 3 enlarged apical teeth followed by a series of minute denticles. Anterior margin, of clypeus weakly convex. Apex of scape reached to 9/10 of the distance from antennal socket to occipital corner, antennal club consisted of the 4 apical segments. Eye with one facet. In profile view dorsum of alitrunk weakly convex, promesonotal suture distinct, metanotal groove absent. Dorsum of propodeum about as long as declivity, declivity flat, posterodorsal corner quite blunt. In profile view petiolar node weakly tapering upward, anterior and posterior faces straight, dorsal face evenly convex, anterodorsal corner blunt, posterodorsal corner more blunter. Subpetiolar process with small circular fenestra, anteroventral corner blunt, posteroventral corner with an enlarged tooth. In dorsal view the node roughly semicircular, anterior and lateral borders ,formed a single arch, posterior border weakly concave. Gaster weakly constricted between the two basal segments. Mandibles smooth and shining, sparsely punctured. Head densely and finely punctured, dim. Prothorax, mesothorax and gaster densely and weakly punctured, less shining; Propodeum and petiole smooth and shining, sparsely punctured. Surface of the whole body and appendages with dense decumbent pubescence, erect hairs only present on anterior portion of head and posterior half of gaster. Body in color reddish brown, head black, mandibles, antennae and legs yellowish brown.

Type Material

Holotype: worker. No. A97-1315, 1050 m, Longlin Village, Mengla County, Yunnan Province, 11-VIII -1997, collected in a ground sample of mountain rain forest by He Yunfeng.

The type specimens are deposited in the Insect Collection, Southwest Forestry College, Kunming, Yunnan Province, P.R. China.


  • Taylor, R. W. (1967). A monographic revision of the ant genus Ponera Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pacific Insects Monograph, 13: 1–112. PDF
  • Xu, Z.-H. 2001b. A systematic study on the ant genus Ponera Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of China. Entomotaxonomia 23: 51-60 (page 56, figs. 16-18 worker described)