Bothroponera masoala

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Bothroponera masoala
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Bothroponera
Species: B. masoala
Binomial name
Bothroponera masoala
(Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2013)

Pachycondyla masoala casent0317384 p 1 high.jpg

Pachycondyla masoala casent0317384 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

One nest was found under a dense layer of roots and litter on a rock, but the species generally forages on the forest floor and through leaf litter.


Rakotonirina & Fisher (2013) - With head in full-face view, antennal scape not surpassing the posterior cephalic margin; dorsum of head and mesosoma not finely striate; dorsum of the body with erect slender hairs and pubescence; erect hairs and pubescence on dorsum of propodeum absent or reduced in number; petiole node anteroposteriorly flattened and tapered towards its apex, about twice as broad as long in dorsal view.

Bothroponera masoala can be confused with a form of Bothroponera cambouei because of the absence of erect haris on the propodeal dorsum. However, a flattened petiole node, which shows a shorter dorsal margin in profile, separates it from P. cambouei, which has a thick petiole node.

Keys including this Species


Known from the lower elevations of humid forests in northeastern Madagascar around the PN Masoala, and in the Makirovana forest near Sambava.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 15.6813° to -15.6813°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.



Images from AntWeb

Pachycondyla masoala casent0317384 p 2 high.jpg
Holotype of Bothroponera masoalaWorker. Specimen code casent0317384. Photographer Jean Claude Rakotonirina, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • masoala. Pachycondyla masoala Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2013a: 123, figs. 7, 40, 41, 52, 58 (w.q.) MADAGASCAR.
    • Combination in Bothroponera: Joma & Mackay, 2013: 2; Schmidt, C.A. & Shattuck, 2014: 76.

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



(n=10): HL: 1.69–1.83, HW: 1.54–1.67, CI: 91–93, SL: 1.22–1.31, SI: 76–82, PW: 1.16–1.31, WL: 2.04–2.26, NL: 0.69–0.81, NW: 1.02–1.14, NH: 1.18–1.29, HTL: 1.19–1.29, DNI: 135–159, LNI: 156–178.

Worker. Head somewhat elongate, sides almost straight behind level of eyes and narrowest in front, posterior margin noticeably medially excised. Compound eyes moderately large, but diameter smaller than maximum width of antennal scape. Scape relatively short, not surpassing posterior margin of head, leading edge rounded. Clypeus anteriorly truncate, and slightly notched medially. Mandibles triangular, the apical margins armed with seven to eight teeth and denticles. With mesosoma in lateral view, dorsal margin not forming a continuous convexity; propodeal dorsum and declivity separated by distinct angle; mesopleural suture visible. Propodeum slightly compressed laterally. In lateral view, node of petiole squeezed anteroposteriorly, anterior margin inclined posteriorly and posterior margin truncate, making dorsal margin shorter relative to ventral border. With petiole in dorsal view, node broader than long, posterior margin excavated medially. Head sculpture densely and finely reticulate–rugulose, superimposed with punctures which are larger in the dorsum behind level of eyes and become larger towards posterior margin.

Mandibles striate, interspersed with shallow piligerious punctures. Dorsum of pronotum and mesonotum densely reticulate-rugulose and covered with dense, coarse punctures; propodeum generally with fine reticulate punctures or rugulose. Sides of mesosoma densely and finely reticulate-rugulose. Petiole node laterally almost smooth and shining; small dorsal surface covered with closely spaced large and shallow punctures; adjacent punctures separated by sharp ridge. Third and fourth abdominal tergites with dense and large shallow punctures, which become sparse and irregularly scattered on the posterior half of the latter segment. Pilosity present on dorsum of body except on propodeum; pubescence reduced. Integument shiny, reddish brown or dark brown to black in color with lighter gaster and appendages.


(n=1): HL: 1.94, HW: 1.88, CI: 97, SL: 1.42, SI: 75, EL: 0.344, OI: 18, PW: 1.45, WL: 2.83, NL: 0.74, NW: 1.33, NH: 1.26, DNI: 180, LNI: 170.

Morphologically similar to worker except modifications of the queen caste, with head slightly broader, body size notably much larger.

Type Material

Holotype worker: Toamasina, 6.3 km S Ambanizana, Andranobe, -15.6813, 49.958, 25 m, sifted litter, rainforest, 14 Nov 1993 (B.L. Fisher), collection code: BLF00886, specimen code: CASENT0317384 (California Academy of Sciences). Paratypes: 8 workers with the same data as holotype but specimen coded: BLF0886(13)-2, BLF0886(48)-2; 13 Nov 1993 (B.L. Fisher), collection code: BLF0882, specimen codes: BLF0882(23)-2, BLF0882(2)-2, BLF0882(5)-1, BLF0882(32)-1, BLF0882(34)-1, BLF0882(42)-1 (The Natural History Museum, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, Museum of Comparative Zoology, CASC, Parc Botanique et Zoologique de Tsimbazaza).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Rakotonirina J. C., and B. L. Fisher. 2013. Revision of the Pachycondyla wasmannii-group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the Malagasy region. Zootaxa 3609: 101-141.