Ponera taiyangshen

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Ponera taiyangshen
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Ponera
Species: P. taiyangshen
Binomial name
Ponera taiyangshen
Terayama, 2009

Ponera taiyangshen side (www.niaes.affrc.go.jp).jpg Ponera taiyangshen top (www.niaes.affrc.go.jp).jpg Specimen labels

Nothing is known about the biology of Ponera taiyangshen.


In Taiwan, separated from Ponera tamon by the rectangular petiolar node (in profile) of Ponera taiyangshen. Appears more closely related Ponera japonica, a species distributed from Hokkaido to Kyushu in Japan. However, it is separated from japonica by the longer head with concave dorsal margin.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: Taiwan (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.

  • taiyangshen. Ponera taiyangshen Terayama, 2009: 112, figs. 59-61 (w.) TAIWAN.

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



Terayama 2009 figs. 39-64

Holotype. Head microreticulate, 1.21 times as long as wide, with concave posterior margin and parallel sides. Antennal scape short, not reaching the posterior margin of head; SI = 73; club consist of 5 segments. Eye small.

Alitrunk with straight dorsal margin; posterodorsal corner of propodeum dully angulate. Petiolar node rectangular, with parallel anterior and posterior margins and weakly convex dorsal margin; posterodorsal corner forming an angle; in dorsal view, dorsal disc with convex anterior margin and straight posterior margin. Subpetiolar process with dorsoventral teeth.

Measurements (mm). HL 0.50, HW 0.41, SL 0.30, WL 0.69, PL 0.16, PH 0.30, DPW 0.24, TL 2.1.

Color. Brown; head darker than alitrunk; mandible, antenna and legs yellow.

Type Material

Holotype. Worker, Taipingshan, Yilan Pref., 28. vii. -2. viii. 1988. 11 workers, same data as the holotype.


The specific epithet is the Chinese noun Taiyangshen, which is the name of a Taiwanese god.


  • Taylor, R. W. 1967. A monographic revision of the ant genus Ponera Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pacific Insects Monograph, 13: 1–112. PDF