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Dolioponera fustigera
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Alliance: Plectroctena genus group
Genus: Dolioponera
Brown, 1974
Type species
Dolioponera fustigera
1 species
(Species Checklist, Species by Country)

Dolioponera fustigera casent0412032 profile 1.jpg

Dolioponera fustigera

Dolioponera fustigera casent0412032 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Only known from the single species Dolioponera fustigera. In addition to the types, specimens have been collected from rainforest leaf litter samples from Cameroon and the Central African Republic (Fisher, 2006), Ivory Coast (B. Bolton, pers. comm.) and Yemen (Collingwood & van Harten, 2005). The true extent of its range is uncertain.


Schmidt and Shattuck (2014) - Dolioponera are among the most morphologically distinctive of all ponerines. Their long sinuous bodies are unmistakable, and their unusual setose mandibular teeth are also autapomorphic. Other diagnostic characters (in combination) include their blunt anteromedial clypeal projection, laterally expanded triangular frontal lobes, tiny or absent eyes, clubbed antennae, fusion of mesopleuron with the mesonotum, and relatively high helcium.

Brown (1974) - This genus is related to Pachycondyla s. lat., but to exactly which group of Pachycondyla it is hard to say without knowing the sexual castes and the larvae. In the loss of the secondary (lateral) apical spurs of the middle and hind tibiae, Dolioponera resembles the crassa group (Bothroponera); the petiolar form may also indicate affinities in this direction, though it is distinctive in its own right. The broad, truncate median free clypeal lobe is like those of the Indo-Australian groups that have been classified as Trapeziopelta and Pseudoponera. The mandibles are unlike those of any Pachycondyla, particularly in their dentition.

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Keys including this Genus



Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps


Schmidt and Shattuck (2014) - Virtually nothing is known about the habits of Dolioponera. All known specimens were collected from soil or leaf litter, and their morphological characteristics strongly suggest a cryptobiotic lifestyle. Their tiny body size and unusual sinuous body form suggest that they inhabit and forage in very tight spaces, and their strange mandibular dentition and medial clypeal projection suggest that they are specialist predators, though the identity of their prey is unknown.


Only known from the worker caste.



Worker Morphology

  • Antennal segment count: 12
  • Antennal club: gradual
  • Palp formula: ?
  • Spur formula: 1 pectinate, 1 pectinate (from literature)
  • Sting: present

Male Morphology

 • Caste unknown


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

  • DOLIOPONERA [Ponerinae: Ponerini]
    • Dolioponera Brown, 1974e: 31. Type-species: Dolioponera fustigera, by original designation.



Small Ponera-sized, slender, body cylindrical. Head narrow, parallel-sided, with minute anteriorly placed compound eyes. Frontal lobes broad, placed anteriorly so as to overlap clypeus, separated only by a fine median sulcus. Median free lobe of clypeus briefly produced, broad, truncate. Mandibles short, triangular, with distinct basal and masticatory borders meeting at a rounded angle; masticatory border concave, armed with an acute apical tooth and one smaller subapical tooth; basad of this the masticatory border is cultrate, but arising from its inner ventral side are 6 fine, short, acute separated teeth that are not part of the regular serial dentition, but may be modified setae. Antennae robust, l2-merous, with a very much enlarged apical segment. Trunk narrow, separated into 2 parts by an apparently flexible promesonotal suture a little in front of the midlength, but the dorsal outline forms one gently convex curve from front to rear, without other sutures. Propodeum bluntly biangulate. Only 1 broad pectinate spur on each tibial apex. Tarsal claws small, simple. Petiolar node sessile, barrel-shaped and moderately elongate axially. Postpetiole also barrel-shaped, a little longer and broader than petiole; next gastric (IV abdominal) segment cylindrical, axially aligned with postpetiole and similar to it in height, but much longer and a little wider. Small apical segments of gaster moderately downcurved; sting long, slender, curved, exserted. Sculpture densely and finely punctulate, predominantly opaque. Pilosity very short, appressed to decumbent, almost pruinose, with some short suberect hairs under the petiole and gaster, on the clypeal lobe, mouthparts, and at gastric apex. Color brownish ferruginous; mandibles and appendages lighter, more yellowish.


Schmidt and Shattuck (2014) - Similar to worker except eyes present and conspicuous, moderately large and well in front of midlength of head capsule (maximum length of eye about equal to maximum width of scape; much larger than in the specimens reported by Fisher (2006)); large ocelli present. Mesosoma considerably more voluminous than in worker, and with a full complement of flight sclerites.