Hypoponera surda

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Their Stories Are Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Hypoponera surda
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Hypoponera
Species: H. surda
Binomial name
Hypoponera surda
Bolton & Fisher, 2011

Hypoponera surda P casent0226544.jpg

Hypoponera surda D casent0226544.jpg

Specimen Label

Nothing is known about the biology of Hypoponera surda, which is only known from type material.


Bolton and Fisher (2011) - Among the species that possess cuticular ridges at the base of the posterior face of the petiole node, Hypoponera surda is fairly distinct. The two species Hypoponera faex and Hypoponera hebes have very coarse cephalic and pronotal sculpture, whereas in surda the cephalic sculpture is fine and almost effaced on the pronotum. In addition, faex is much larger (HW 0.72) and has well-developed eyes, while hebes has a broader petiole node (PeNI 80–84) and very obvious long, standing setae on the first and second gastral tergites dorsally; these are much longer and more conspicuous than those of surda. The remaining species, Hypoponera mixta, Hypoponera jeanneli, Hypoponera jocosa, Hypoponera quaestio and Hypoponera ursa, have more densely packed punctate sculpture on the disc of the second gastral tergite, and have petiole nodes that are not distinctly thickly D-shaped in dorsal view.

A member of the abeillei group.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Kenya (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Hypoponera inhabit and nest in leaf litter, the surface layer of soil, downed rotten wood, and soil around plant roots. Nests are typically found by turning objects on the ground, like downed wood and rocks, or through the ripping away of bark found on rotting downed wood or at the base of dead trees. Litter samples in tropical areas, especially in moist forested sites, often contain individuals of this genus. All Hypoponera are thought to be predators of small arthropods but published details about their diet are sparse. A lack of information about other aspects of their biology is also typical for most species.

The genus is most diverse in the tropics. Species found in higher latitudes tend to be more widespread, common and abundant than their tropical and subtropical congeners.



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

  • surda. Hypoponera surda Bolton & Fisher, 2011: 104, figs. 118-120 (w.) KENYA.

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



(holotype in parentheses). Measurements: HL 0.63–0.68 (0.66), HW 0.52–0.56 (0.54), HS 0.585–0.620 (0.600), SL 0.46–0.48 (0.48), PrW 0.40–0.42 (0.42), WL 0.86–0.90 (0.88), HFL 0.48 (0.48), PeNL 0.19–0.21 (0.20), PeH 0.40–0.45 (0.45), PeNW 0.28–0.30 (0.30), PeS 0.297–0.317 (0.317) (5 measured). Indices: CI 82–83 (82), SI 86–91 (89), PeNI 69–71 (71), LPeI 44–50 (44), DPeI 140–150 (150).

Eyes absent. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, just fails to reach, or just touches, the midpoint of the posterior margin in full-face view; SL/HL 0.71–0.75. Cephalic dorsum finely reticulate-punctate. Pronotal dorsum almost smooth, obviously much less strongly and densely sculptured than cephalic dorsum. Metanotal groove absent from dorsum of mesosoma. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture absent from side of mesosoma. Propodeum weakly marginate between declivity and side. Posterior surface of petiole node with a series of very short cuticular ridges that radiate upward from the peduncle. Node of petiole in profile with the anterior and posterior faces parallel, the dorsum shallowly convex. Petiole node in dorsal view thickly D-shaped, posterior face transverse and anterior face strongly and quite narrowly convex. Subpetiolar process blunt or with a feeble ventral angle. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view greater than width of second gastral tergite at its mid-length. Cross-ribs at base of cinctus of second gastral tergite conspicuous. Midline length of second gastral posttergite, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, is about equal to the width of the segment at its midlength. Disc of second gastral tergite with small punctures that are relatively widely spaced and separated by areas of glossy cuti-cle; the diameters of the punctures are less than the distances that separate the punctures. First and second gastral tergites dorsally pubescent and with a number of short standing setae that project above the level of the pubescence.

Paratype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Holotype worker (upper of two specimens on pin), Kenya: Embu, Kirimiri For. W. of Runyenje, 1550 m., 3.x.1977 (V. Mahnert & J.-L. Perret) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève).

Paratypes. 8 workers with same data as holotype (MHNG, The Natural History Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Barry Bolton Reference Collection).


  • Bolton, B. & Fisher, B.L. 2011. Taxonomy of Afrotropical and West Palaearctic ants of the ponerine genus Hypoponera Santschi. Zootaxa 2843: 1-118. PDF