Harpegnathos venator

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Harpegnathos venator
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Harpegnathos
Species: H. venator
Binomial name
Harpegnathos venator
(Smith, F., 1858)




Harpegnathos venator is rare in Vietnam. It probably occurs in forest edges and relatively sparse forests. We found an undergound nest along a dirt trail in a sparse forest. (Eguchi et al. 2014)

Photo Gallery

  • Harpegnathos venator dealate queen, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. Photo by Yathumon M A.



Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 32.7009° to 22.1344°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore.
Oriental Region: Bangladesh, India (type locality), Laos, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam.
Palaearctic Region: China.

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.


Nesting Habits

Nests are complex constructions as in Harpegnathos saltator. In northern Thailand, the entrance is funnel-shaped and raised above the ground (C. Peeters & F. Ito, unpubl.). See Malagidris sofina for comparison

Nest with a single inhabited chamber from northern Thailand. Note the empty space below that may serve to evacuate flood water. Photo by Christian Peeters.
Inhabited chamber with cocoons and scattered eggs. Note the smooth inner walls that are wall-papered with empty cocoons. Photo by Christian Peeters.
Funnel entrance of a nest in an embankment. Photo by Christian Peeters.


Harpegnathos-venator-hef1.jpgHarpegnathos-venator-hef6 3.jpgHarpegnathos-venator-hal071.jpgHarpegnathos-venator-had071.jpgHarpegnathos-venator-lbs.jpg
. Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Images from AntWeb

Harpegnathos venator casent0179013 head 1.jpgHarpegnathos venator casent0179013 profile 1.jpgHarpegnathos venator casent0179013 dorsal 1.jpgHarpegnathos venator casent0179013 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0179013. Photographer Noel Tawatao, 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.

  • venator. Drepanognathus venator Smith, F. 1858b: 82 (w.) INDIA. Forel, 1900c: 64 (q.m.). Combination in Harpegnathos: Emery, 1889b: 494. Current subspecies: nominal plus chapmani, rugosus. See also: Bingham, 1903: 51.

The following notes on F. Smith type specimens have been provided by Barry Bolton (details):

Drepanognathus venator

Holotype worker in The Natural History Museum. Labelled “Madras. 50/103.” Acc. Reg.: “1850 no. 103. Madras (French rocks). Presented by Mrs Capt. Hamilton.”



Bingham (1903): Black; mandibles, clypeus, antennal cariute and legs brownish yellow, antennae castaneous, apex of the abdomen ferruginous; head and thorax closely coarsely cribrate punctate; abdomen finely densely reticulate punctate, opaque, with some large shallow punctures. Head, thorax and abdomen covered with rather sparse, short, erect pale hairs; pubescence miuute but fairly plentiful, to be seen only in certain lights. For the rest the characters of the genus.

Length: 16 - 18 mm


Bingham (1903): Similar to the worker, but the abdomen with long oblong punctures, the ocelli in the middle of the front. Thorax and abdomen more massive and as in D. saltator.

Length: 18 - 20 mm


Bingham (1903): '"Mandibles broad at the base, attenuate, narrow and slender towards the apex, which is directed forwards. Head rectangular, somewhat rounded, broader than long. Eyes rather smaller than in the queen. Short depression between the mesonotum and scutellum. bordered by carinas and strongly striate inside. Smooth and shining, save the thorax, which is coarsely rugose, punctate or striate (longitudinally on the metanotum). Covered by a tine yellowish pilosity, dense on the legs, less abundant elsewhere. Pubescence very sparse. The 1st abdominal segment is pyriform and has the appearance of forming a 2nd node to the pedicel, a slight constriction between the 2nd and 3rd segments. Thorax and pedicel of a brownish black, head and basal segment of the abdomen reddish yellow. Rest of the abdomen yellow with a tinge of red. Legs and antennae very pale testaceous."

Length: 10 mm


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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