Bharti and Rilta (2015) - The Chinese P. paedericera is now know to occur in India. This species is remarkably different from the other known Indian Ponera species by the following combination of characters: anterior margin of clypeus with a distinct blunt median tooth; antennal club with 3 segments; posterodorsal corners of propo¬deum rounded, declivity depressed, lateral sides of propodeum distinctly marginate; anterior face of petiole straight, dorsal and posterior faces form a single arched surface, anterodorsal corner blunt, dorsal surface smooth and shining, subpetiolar process with relatively large posteroventral teeth; head, mesosoma and the two basal segments of gaster densly and finely punctate; blackish in colour.
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
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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.
- paedericera. Ponera paedericera Zhou, 2001b: 38, 228, figs. 35-38 (w.q.) CHINA.
- Bharti, H., Rilta, J.S. 2015. Taxonomic studies on the ant genus Ponera Latreille, 1804 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), with the description of a new species from India. ZooKeys. 526:9–18. (doi: 10.3897/zookeys.526.5971).
- Zhou, S. 2001. Ants of Guangxi. Guilin, China: Guangxi Normal University Press, 255 pp.: 255pp (page 38, 228, figs. 35-38 worker, queen described)