Hypoponera leveillei

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Hypoponera leveillei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Hypoponera
Species: H. leveillei
Binomial name
Hypoponera leveillei
(Emery, 1890)

Pachycondyla leveillei casent0903935 p 1 high.jpg

Pachycondyla leveillei casent0903935 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): A worker from Bolivia was collected from the extraction of a litter sample.


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): Shares characteristics with Pachycondyla, especially the elongate slender well-developed appendages on the metasternal process, a condition similar to other members of the stigma species complex. The mandibular teeth are poorly developed or exist as only denticles, similar to the mandibles of apparently all New World species of Hypoponera, except for Hypoponera iheringi, in which the mandibular teeth are often developed apically. Hypoponera iheringi has the other characteristics of Hypoponera, including single apical spurs on the middle and posterior tibia and a poorly developed metasternal process. The presence of actual teeth on the basal half of the mandible and the well-developed metasternal process would place this species in the stigma species complex of Pachycondyla. It links Pachycondyla and Hypoponera and is closely related to Hypoponera cf. iheringi from Panamá (CWEM # 17840). This latter species of Hypoponera has a poorly developed metasternal process, but the two lobes of the process can be seen and it is thus more developed than in other species of Hypoponera.

Hypoponera leveillei appears to be similar to Mayaponera conicula, but can be easily separated by its brown color (M. conicula is black). Additionally the metasternal process of M. conicula consists of broad triangles.

The specimen from Bolivia differs from the specimens from Mendes, Brasil in being smaller (total length slightly over 4 mm), has fewer (7) and more developed mandibular teeth and the dorsum of the mandibles is smooth and shiny, not with scattered dense punctures as is found in the specimens from Brasil. They are probably not conspecific, but we will consider them to be H. leveillei until more specimens are available.


PANAMÁ, VENEZUELA, BRASIL, BOLIVIA. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 10.34833333° to -29.65°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Venezuela (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.



These ants have been collected in cloud forest. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)



Known only from the worker caste.


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

  • leveillei. Ponera leveillei Emery, 1890a: 61 (w.) VENEZUELA. Combination in Euponera (Mesoponera): Emery, 1901a: 46; in Mesoponera: Kempf, 1972a: 141; in Pachycondyla: Brown, in Bolton, 1995b: 306; incertae sedis in Hypoponera: Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 64. See also: Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 433.

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



From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The worker is a small (total length less than 5 mm) medium brown mostly shiny specimen. The mandible has about 7 - 12 defined teeth with basalmost teeth poorly defined (possibly more than 12 teeth and tiny denticles, if they are all counted). Most are poorly defined, except for the long apical tooth and possibly the next two teeth. The head is nearly heart-shaped, narrowed anteriorly and with the posterior border concave. The clypeus is indented medially along the anterior border; the eye is small (maximum diameter 0.07 mm) located nearly three diameters from the anterior edge of the head (side view). It has approximately ten ommatidia. The malar carina is absent. The antennal scape barely reaches the posterior lateral corner of the head. The pronotal shoulder is rounded, the mesonotum is convex dorsally and the metanotal suture is deeply depressed. The dorsal face of the propodeum is approximately equal in length to the posterior face. The pronotal spiracle is circular to slightly elongate. The petiole is narrow when seen in profile with a straight anterior face and a weakly convex posterior face. The subpetiolar process is broadly rounded and thickened. The anterior face of the postpetiole is rounded into the dorsal face. The stridulatory file is absent from the second pretergite of the gaster. The middle and posterior tibia have a single spine (noted by Forel, 1912). The metasternal process is long slender and fang-like in side view, as in members of the stigma complex.

Erect hairs are abundant on most surfaces and are mostly short (0.1 mm), although the hairs on the clypeus and gaster are longer (0.25 mm). The hairs on the legs are mostly appressed, those on the coxae are suberect and those on the flexor surface of the mid and hind tibiae are suberect. Appressed pubescence is abundant on most surfaces, including the head, dorsum of mesosoma and gaster and is whitish in color.

Most surfaces are at least moderately shining. The mandibles are shiny but with scattered moderately coarse punctures. The head is densely and evenly but finely punctate. The dorsum of the mesosoma is very finely but densely punctate and smooth and glossy, the sides of the pronotum are similar, the mesopleuron has faint indications of striae, as does the propodeum. The anterior face of the petiole is densely punctate, the side is weakly punctate, the posterior face is mostly smooth and glossy. The gaster is covered with scattered coarse dense punctures, but is moderately shining.

Type Material

Venezuela, Mérida: Colonia Tovar (Mackay and Mackay 2010)


This species was named to honor Mr. Albert Leveille. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Emery C. 1890. Voyage de M. E. Simon au Venezuela (Décembre 1887 - Avril 1888). Formicides. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (6)10: 55-76.
  • Emery C. 1911. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118: 1-125.
  • Fernández F., and T. M. Arias-Penna. 2008. Las hormigas cazadoras en la región Neotropical. Pp. 3-39 in: Jiménez, E.; Fernández, F.; Arias, T.M.; Lozano-Zambrano, F. H. (eds.) 2008. Sistemática, biogeografía y conservación de las hormigas cazadoras de Colombia. Bogotá: Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt, xiv + 609 pp.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).