Gnamptogenys major

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Gnamptogenys major
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ectatomminae
Tribe: Ectatommini
Genus: Gnamptogenys
Species: G. major
Binomial name
Gnamptogenys major
(Emery, 1901)

Gnamptogenys major casent0903811 p 1 high.jpg

Gnamptogenys major casent0903811 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nothing is known about the biology of this species.


Lattke (2004) - This is the only known species of Gnamptogenys with elongate propodeal spiracles, instead of the rounded spiracles typical for all other species. The nearest relative with elongate to slit-shaped propodeal spiracles is the Neotropical genus Ectatomma F. Smith, but the spiracles in Ectatomma have a vertical longitudinal axis versus a horizontal axis for Gnamptogenys atrata. Gnamptogenys major bears some resemblance to G. atrata, having similar coloration and dimensions. Both are the largest-bodied species of the epinotalis group, but the clypeal lamella of G. atrata has a medially angular anterior margin, and its petiolar node is rectangular shaped in lateral view.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: New Guinea (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Not much is known about the the biology of Gnamptogenys major. We can speculate that the biology of this species is similar to other species of the genus. Gnamptogenys are predatory ponerine ants that inhabit tropical and subtropical mesic forests. Nesting is typically at ground level in rotten wood or leaf litter. Some exceptions include species that are arboreal, a dry forest species and species that nests in sandy savannahs. Colony size tends to be, at most, in the hundreds. Queens are the reproductives in most species. Worker reproduction is known from a few species in Southeastern Asia. Generalist predation is the primary foraging/dietary strategy. Specialization on specific groups (millipedes, beetles, other ants) has developed in a few species.


The Queen and male are unknown.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • major. Rhopalopone major Emery, 1901h: 154 (w.) NEW GUINEA. Combination in Gnamptogenys: Brown, 1958g: 228. See also: Lattke, 2004: 173.

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

Lattke (2004) - Clypeus longitudinally costulate; metanotal sulcus present; petiolar node slightly triangular with bluntly rounded apex in lateral view; opening of propodeal spiracle elongate, almost slitlike. Body black; antennae, legs, and mandibles brown.



Lattke 2004 Gnamptogenys fig 38-40

Lattke (2004) - Syntype (n = 1): HL 0.95, HW 0.83, ML 0.42, SL 0.70, ED 0.08, WL 1.27 mm. CI 0.87, SI 0.85, MI 0.50, OI 0.09. Anterior clypeal margin evenly convex in dorsal view; clypeus longitudinally costulate; eyes 3 ommatidia in width and 4-5 in length. Mesosomal dorsum with longitudinal strigulae mixed with sparse piligerous punctae, strigulae denser posterad; pronotum longitudinally costulate dorsad and ventrally mostly smooth in lateral view; promesonotal suture weakly impressed; metanotal sulcus present; katepisternum densely strigose; metapleuron fairly smooth and shining, longitudinal costulae present over bulla; dorsal propodeal margin meets declivitous margin through blunt angle in lateral view, declivity with slight convexity caused by spiracle; propodeal spiracle elongate in lateral view, almost slitlike with horizontal longitudinal axis. Petiolar node slightly triangular with bluntly rounded apex in lateral view; dorsum of postpetiole longitudinally rugulose-punctate; postpetiolar sternite weakly strigulose, anterior process with anterior triangular cleft in ventral view; tergite of fourth abdominal segment similar to postpetiolar dorsum but with smaller punctures. Dorsum of thorax and abdominal segments 1-4 with scattered erect to subdecumbent hairs. Body black; antennae, legs, and mandibles brown.

Type Material

Lattke (2004) - Syntype workers: New Guinea, Sattelberg (Biró) (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa) [Examined].


  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1958g. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. II. Tribe Ectatommini (Hymenoptera). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 118: 173-362 (page 228, Combination in Gnamptogenys)
  • Emery, C. 1901k. Formicidarum species novae vel minus cognitae in collectione Musaei Nationalis Hungarici, quas in Nova-Guinea, colonia germanica, collegit L. Biró. Publicatio tertia. Természetr. Füz. 25: 152-160 (page 154, worker described)
  • Lattke, J. E. 2004. A Taxonomic Revision and Phylogenetic Analysis of the Ant Genus Gnamptogenys Roger in Southeast Asia and Australasia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae). University of California Publications in Entomology 122: 1-266 (page 173, fig. 40 worker described)