Mayaponera constricta

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Mayaponera constricta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Mayaponera
Species: M. constricta
Binomial name
Mayaponera constricta
(Mayr, 1884)

Pachycondyla constricta casent0217555 p 1 high.jpg

Pachycondyla constricta casent0217555 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): Mayaponera constricta nests in dead branches (~ 8 cm diameter), logs and trunks on the forest floor or simply in the soil (often under stones) and is commonly collected in litter samples on clay soils. Baena (1993) reported that it nests near ants of the genus Solenopsis. Nests contain 5 - 29 workers with a few reproductives (Baena, 1993). Brood was collected in August (Costa Rica). Winged males were collected in nests in April and late November (Colombia) and between January and July (Ecuador, canopy fogging). A dealate female was collected in September (Colombia) and loose males were collected in March (Perú) and July (Costa Rica). Most flights occur in the middle of the summer (Kaspari et al., 2001). Flights occur between 1800 and 05:00 hrs (Costa Rica). These ants are commonly collected in Winkler extractions of litter and in pitfall traps.

At a Glance • Tandem running  


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The worker of M. constricta is easily separated from all of the other species of New World Mayaponera by the deeply depressed metanotal suture and the noticeably convex dorsal surface of the mesonotum. It is not closely related to any of the other New World species. Perhaps its closest relative is Mesoponera australis (Forel) from Australia. Although they are very similar in most aspects, the mandibles of M. australis are finally punctate (not striate as in M. constricta), the mesosoma is not as deeply constricted in M. australis and the subpetiolar process is abruptly truncated posteriorly, not gradually decreasing in width as in M. constricta.

The female of M. constricta could easily be confused with that of Mayaponera arhuaca. It differs in the lack of a carina on the pronotal shoulder, which is present in the female of M. arhuaca. The small size of the male of M. constricta and the near absence of erect hairs would separate it from the males of most similar species.


Central America through central South America. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 15.692937° to -64.36°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana (type locality), Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.

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.


This species has been found in lowland wet rain forest, riparian rainforest, mature rain forest, in a secondary forest, in an ecotone between tropical forest and grasslands, yungas forest [premontane forest], a swamp forest, in steep primary forest and in a cacao plantation (Roth et al., 1994) and other farm habitats, at elevations of 5 - 2500 meters. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)


Mayaponera constricta apparently uses tandem running to recruit nestmates to food sources (S. Levings, pers. comm. cited in Hölldobler & Wilson, 1990).

Association with Other Organisms

Explore-icon.png Explore: Show all Associate data or Search these data. See also a list of all data tables or learn how data is managed.
  • This species is a host for the collembolan Cyphoderus similis (a myrmecophile) in Brazil (Castaño-Meneses et al., 2014).
  • This species is a host for the collembolan Sphaeridia serrata (a myrmecophile) in Brazil (Castaño-Meneses et al., 2014).

Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Source: Kaspari et al., 2001.



Images from AntWeb

Pachycondyla constricta casent0249137 h 1 high.jpgPachycondyla constricta casent0249137 p 1 high.jpgPachycondyla constricta casent0249137 d 1 high.jpgPachycondyla constricta casent0249137 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0249137. Photographer Ryan Perry, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by PSWC, Philip S. Ward Collection.



Mayaponera constricta

Mayaponera arhuaca

Mayaponera becculata

Mayaponera pergandei

Relationships among selected species of Mayaponera by Longino & Branstetter (2020).


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

  • constricta. Ponera constricta Mayr, in Radoszkowsky, 1884: 31 (w.) FRENCH GUIANA.
    • Type-material: holotype worker.
    • Type-locality: French Guiana (“Cayenne Française”): 1868 (Jelski).
    • Type-depository: NHMW.
    • Forel, 1908b: 37 (q.m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1952c: 624 (l.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1976a: 53 (l.).
    • Combination in Euponera (Mesoponera): Emery, 1901a: 46;
    • combination in Mesoponera: Kempf, 1961b: 494;
    • combination in Pachycondyla: Brown, in Bolton, 1995b: 304;
    • combination in Mayaponera: Schmidt, C.A. & Shattuck, 2014: 145.
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 39; Forel, 1895b: 115; Emery, 1896g: 53 (in key); Forel, 1899c: 15; Forel, 1908b: 37; Emery, 1911d: 82; Forel, 1912c: 40; Wheeler, W.M. 1916c: 3; Wheeler, W.M. 1916d: 323; Santschi, 1921g: 87; Wheeler, W.M. 1922c: 3; Mann, 1922: 8; Borgmeier, 1923: 71; Kempf, 1961b: 494; Kempf, 1972a: 141; Bolton, 1995b: 304; Mackay, Mackay, et al. 2008: 189; Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 269 (redescription); Bezděčková, et al. 2015: 123; Feitosa, 2015c: 99; Fernández & Guerrero, 2019: 528.
    • Senior synonym of josephi: Dalla Torre, 1893: 39; Forel, 1895b: 115; Forel, 1899c: 15; Emery, 1911d: 82; Borgmeier, 1923: 71; Kempf, 1972a: 141; Bolton, 1995b: 304; Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 269.
    • Distribution: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad, Venezuela.
  • josephi. Ponera josephi Forel, 1886b: xl (w.) BRAZIL (Bahia).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Brazil: Bahia, Caravellas (O. Joseph).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Junior synonym of constricta: Dalla Torre, 1893: 39; Forel, 1895b: 115; Forel, 1899c: 15; Emery, 1911d: 82; Borgmeier, 1923: 71; Kempf, 1972a: 141; Bolton, 1995b: 304; Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 269.

Type Material

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



The worker of this species is easily recognized as it is relatively small (about 5 mm total length) with the mesosoma strongly and deeply constricted at the metanotal suture. It is dark reddish brown with lighter reddish brown appendages, including the mandibles. The anterior border of the clypeus is broadly rounded; the malar carina is absent between the eye and the anterior edge of the head (side view). The scape extends the first two funicular segments past the posterior lateral corner; the eyes are located about one diameter from the anterior edge of the head (side view). The propodeal spiracle is circular. The petiole is shaped somewhat as a triangle with the anterior and posterior faces converging to a bluntly rounded apex. The stridulatory file is present on the second pretergite on the dorsum of the gaster. The metasternal process consists of two elongated slender fang-like appendages, similar to the processes in the stigma species complex.

Erect hairs are present on most surfaces, including the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, the dorsum of the mesosoma, the dorsum of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster, the hairs on the tibiae are suberect. The scape has a few scattered erect hairs. Appressed pubescence is sparse, but is present on the head, especially the dorsum, the top of the mesosoma and on the gaster. The head and mesosoma are densely but finely punctate, as is the anterior face of the petiole, the posterior face is more finely sculptured, but dull, the dorsum of the gaster is mostly finely punctate.


The female is a small (total length 8 mm) dark reddish brown ant. The mandibles have approximately 12 teeth; the anterior border of the clypeus is broadly convex. The malar carina is absent, the eyes are relatively large (maximum diameter 0.35 mm) located about ½ diameter from the anterior margin of the head. The scape extends about ⅓ times its length past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The pronotal shoulder is not swollen; the propodeal spiracle is nearly circular. The petiole is narrow when viewed in profile with the anterior and posterior faces being nearly straight and meeting at a relatively sharp apex. The subpetiolar process consists of a moderately sharp anterior section followed by a narrow concave region and a rounded posterior section.

Short (0.1 mm) erect hairs are present on most surfaces, including the mandibles, clypeus, dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, sides of the head, posterior margin, scapes, mesosoma, petiole and gaster; similar hairs are present on the legs. Appressed golden pubescence is present on most surfaces. The mandibles are finely striate, the dorsum of the head is very finely punctate, as is the mesosoma, petiole and gaster and all surfaces are dull or only moderately shining.


The male is a small (total length 5.5 mm) dark brown specimen. The pronotal shoulder is not swollen, the spiracle is nearly circular and the petiole is narrow when viewed in profile. Both the anterior and posterior faces of the petiole are slightly convex and the apex is moderately sharp. The subpetiolar process is angulate anteriorly and diminishes in width posteriorly.

Erect hairs are very sparse and only obvious on the clypeus and the apex of the gaster. Most surfaces are punctate with a few poorly defined striae on the side of the pronotum and surfaces are dull or only slightly shining.


  • n = 15, 2n = 30, karyotype = 30A (Brazil) (Mariano et al., 2007; Mariano et al., 2015) (as Pachycondyla constricta).


The derivation of the name of this species is from the Latin word constrictus, meaning contracted, referring to the constriction at the metanotal suture.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Achury R., P. Chacon de Ulloa, and A. M. Arcila. 2008. Ant composition and competitive interactions with Wasmannia auropunctata in Tropical Dry Forest fragments. Revista Colombiana de Entomología 34 (2): 209-216.
  • Achury R., and A.V. Suarez. 2017. Richness and composition of ground-dwelling ants in tropical rainforest and surrounding landscapes in the Colombian Inter-Andean valley. Neotropical Entomology
  • Alonso L. E., J. Persaud, and A. Williams. 2016. Biodiversity assessment survey of the south Rupununi Savannah, Guyana. BAT Survey Report No.1, 306 pages.
  • Alonso L., M. Kaspari, and A. Alonso. 2001. Assessment of the Ants of the Lower Urubamba Region, Peru. Pp 87-93. In: Alsonso A, Dallmeier F, Campbell P, editors. Urubamba: The biodiversity of a Peruvian rainforest. SI/MAB Biodiversity Program-Smithsonian Institution. 204 p.
  • Baena, M.L. 1993. Hormigas cazadoras del genero Pachcondyla (Hymenoptera: Ponerinae) de la Isla Gorgona y la Planicie Pacifica Colombiana. Bol. Mus. Ent. Univ. Valle 1(1):13-21
  • Basset Y., L. Cizek, P. Cuenoud, R. K. Didham, F. Guilhaumon, O. Missa, V. Novotny, F. Odegaards, T. Roslin, J. Schmidl et al. 2012. Arthropod diversity in a tropical forest. Science 338(6113): 1481-1484.
  • Branstetter M. G. and L. Sáenz. 2012. Las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Guatemala. Pp. 221-268 in: Cano E. B. and J. C. Schuster. (eds.) 2012. Biodiversidad de Guatemala. Volumen 2. Guatemala: Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, iv + 328 pp
  • Castano-Meneses G., J. G. Palacios-Vargas, J. H. C. Delabie, R. de Jesus Santos, and C. S. F. Mariano. 2014. Springtails (Collembola) from nest of Ponerinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) ants in Brazilian Cacao plantations. Florida Entomologist 97(4): 1862-1864.
  • Castano-Meneses G., R. De Jesus Santos, J. R. Mala Dos Santos, J. H. C. Delabie, L. L. Lopes, and C. F. Mariano. 2019. Invertebrates associated to Ponerine ants nests in two cocoa farming systems in the southeast of the state of Bahia, Brazil. Tropical Ecology 60: 52–61.
  • Chacon de Ulloa P., A. M. Osorio-Garica, R. Achury, and C. Bermudez-Rivas. 2012. Hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) del Bosque seco tropical (Bs-T) de la cuenca alta del rio Cauca, Colombia. Biota Colombiana 13(2): 165-181.
  • Delabie J. H. C., R. Céréghino, S. Groc, A. Dejean, M. Gibernau, B. Corbara, and A. Dejean. 2009. Ants as biological indicators of Wayana Amerindian land use in French Guiana. Comptes Rendus Biologies 332(7): 673-684.
  • Donoso D. A. 2014. Assembly mechanisms shaping tropical litter ant communities. Ecography 37 doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2013.00253.x
  • Emery C. 1896. Formiche raccolte dal dott. E. Festa nei pressi del golfo di Darien. Bollettino dei Musei di Zoologia ed Anatomia Comparata della Reale Università di Torino 11(229): 1-4.
  • Emery C. 1911. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118: 1-125.
  • Fernandes I., and J. de Souza. 2018. Dataset of long-term monitoring of ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the influence areas of a hydroelectric power plant on the Madeira River in the Amazon Basin. Biodiversity Data Journal 6: e24375.
  • Fernández F. 2008. Subfamilia Ponerinae s.str. Pp. 123-218 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., E. E. Palacio, W. P. Mackay, and E. S. MacKay. 1996. Introducción al estudio de las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Colombia. Pp. 349-412 in: Andrade M. G., G. Amat García, and F. Fernández. (eds.) 1996. Insectos de Colombia. Estudios escogidos. Bogotá: Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, 541 pp
  • 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.
  • Fichaux M., B. Bechade, J. Donald, A. Weyna, J. H. C. Delabie, J. Murienne, C. Baraloto, and J. Orivel. 2019. Habitats shape taxonomic and functional composition of Neotropical ant assemblages. Oecologia 189(2): 501-513.
  • Forel A. 1912. Formicides néotropiques. Part I. Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique. 56: 28-49.
  • Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
  • Groc S., J. H. C. Delabie, F. Fernandez, F. Petitclerc, B. Corbara, M. Leponce, R. Cereghino, and A. Dejean. 2017. Litter-dwelling ants as bioindicators to gauge the sustainability of small arboreal monocultures embedded in the Amazonian rainforest. Ecological Indicators 82: 43-49.
  • Groc S., J. H. C. Delabie, F. Fernandez, M. Leponce, J. Orivel, R. Silvestre, Heraldo L. Vasconcelos, and A. Dejean. 2013. Leaf-litter ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a pristine Guianese rainforest: stable functional structure versus high species turnover. Myrmecological News 19: 43-51.
  • Groc S., J. Orivel, A. Dejean, J. Martin, M. Etienne, B. Corbara, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2009. Baseline study of the leaf-litter ant fauna in a French Guianese forest. Insect Conservation and Diversity 2: 183-193.
  • INBio Collection (via Gbif)
  • Jeanne R. J. 1979. A latitudinal gradient in rates of ant predation. Ecology 60(6): 1211-1224.
  • Kamura C. M., M. S. C. Morini, C. J. Figueiredo, O. C. Bueno, and A. E. C. Campos-Farinha. 2007. Ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in an urban ecosystem near the Atlantic Rainforest. Braz. J. Biol. 67(4): 635-641.
  • Kaspari M., D. Donoso, J. A. Lucas, T. Zumbusch, and A. D. Kay. 2012. Using nutritional ecology to predict community structure: a field test in Neotropical ants. Ecosphere 3(11): art.93.
  • Kempf W. W. 1961. A survey of the ants of the soil fauna in Surinam (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Studia Entomologica 4: 481-524.
  • Kempf W. W. 1978. A preliminary zoogeographical analysis of a regional ant fauna in Latin America. 114. Studia Entomologica 20: 43-62.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Lapolla, J.S., T. Suman, J. Soso-Calvo and T.R. Schultz. 2006. Leaf litter ant diversity in Guyana. Biodiversity and Conservation 16:491–510
  • Leal I. R., S. de O. Ferreira, and A. V. L. Freitas. 1993. Diversidade de formigas de solo em um gradiente sucessional de Mata Atlantica, ES, Brasil. Biotemas 6(2): 42-53.
  • Longino J. T. 2013. Ants of Nicargua. Consulted on 18 Jan 2013.
  • Longino J. T. L., and M. G. Branstetter. 2018. The truncated bell: an enigmatic but pervasive elevational diversity pattern in Middle American ants. Ecography 41: 1-12.
  • Longino J. T., and R. K. Colwell. 2011. Density compensation, species composition, and richness of ants on a neotropical elevational gradient. Ecosphere 2(3): 16pp.
  • Longino J. et al. ADMAC project. Accessed on March 24th 2017 at
  • Lozano-Zambrano F. H., E. Jimenez, T. M. Arias-Penna, A. M. Arcila, J. Rodriguez, and D. P. Ramirez. 2008. Biogeografía de las hormigas cazadoras de Colombia. Pp. 349-406. 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.
  • Mackay, W.P. and E.E. MacKay. 2010. The systematics and biology of the New World ants of the genus Pachycondyla (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press Lewiston, NY
  • Maes, J.-M. and W.P. MacKay. 1993. Catalogo de las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Nicaragua. Revista Nicaraguense de Entomologia 23.
  • Miranda P. N., F. B. Baccaro, E. F. Morato, M. A. Oliveira. J. H. C. Delabie. 2017. Limited effects of low-intensity forest management on ant assemblages in southwestern Amazonian forests. Biodivers. Conserv. DOI 10.1007/s10531-017-1368-y
  • Morini M. S. de C., C. de B. Munhae, R. Leung, D. F. Candiani, and J. C. Voltolini. 2007. Comunidades de formigas (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) em fragmentos de Mata Atlântica situados em áreas urbanizadas. Iheringia, Sér. Zool., Porto Alegre, 97(3): 246-252.
  • Pires de Prado L., R. M. Feitosa, S. Pinzon Triana, J. A. Munoz Gutierrez, G. X. Rousseau, R. Alves Silva, G. M. Siqueira, C. L. Caldas dos Santos, F. Veras Silva, T. Sanches Ranzani da Silva, A. Casadei-Ferreira, R. Rosa da Silva, and J. Andrade-Silva. 2019. An overview of the ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the state of Maranhao, Brazil. Pap. Avulsos Zool. 59: e20195938.
  • Radoszkowsky O. 1884. Fourmis de Cayenne Française. Trudy Russkago Entomologicheskago Obshchestva 18: 30-39.
  • Resende J. J., G. M. de M. Santos, I. C. do Nascimento, J. H. C. Delabie, and E. M. da Silva. 2011. Communities of ants (Hymenoptera – Formicidae) in different Atlantic rain forest phytophysionomies. Sociobiology 58(3): 779-799.
  • Salazar F., and D. A. Donoso. 2013. New ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) records for Ecuador deposited at the Carl Rettenmeyer ant collection in the QCAZ Museum. Boletín Tecnico 11, Serie Zoológica 8-9: 151 – 177.
  • Santos P. P., A. Vasconcelos, B. Jahyny, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2010. Ant fauna (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) associated to arboreal nests of Nasutitermes spp. (Isoptera, Termitidae) in a cacao plantation in southeastern Bahia, Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 54(3): 450–-454.
  • Santschi F. 1921. Ponerinae, Dorylinae et quelques autres formicides néotropiques. Bulletin de la Société Vaudoise des Sciences Naturelles 54: 81-103.
  • Silva R.R., and C. R. F. Brandao. 2014. Ecosystem-Wide Morphological Structure of Leaf-Litter Ant Communities along a Tropical Latitudinal Gradient. PLoSONE 9(3): e93049. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093049
  • Suguituru S. S., D. R. de Souza, C. de Bortoli Munhae, R. Pacheco, and M. S. de Castro Morini. 2011. Diversidade e riqueza de formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) em remanescentes de Mata Atlântica na Bacia Hidrográfica do Alto Tietê, SP. Biota Neotrop. 13(2): 141-152.
  • Suguituru S. S., R. Rosa Silva, D. R. de Souza, C. de Bortoli Munhae, and M. Santina de Castro Morini. Ant community richness and composition across a gradient from Eucalyptus plantations to secondary Atlantic Forest. Biota Neotrop. 11(1): 369-376.
  • Valdes-Rodriguez S., P. Chacon de Ulloa, and I. Armbrecht. 2014. Soil ant species in Gorgona Island, Colombian Pacific. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (1): 265-276.
  • Vasconcelos, H.L., J.M.S. Vilhena, W.E. Magnusson and A.L.K.M. Albernaz. 2006. Long-term effects of forest fragmentation on Amazonian ant communities. Journal of Biogeography 33:1348-1356
  • Wheeler W. M. 1916. Ants collected in British Guiana by the expedition of the American Museum of Natural History during 1911. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 35: 1-14.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1922. The ants of Trinidad. American Museum Novitates 45: 1-16.
  • Wheeler, William Morton. 1916. Ants Collected in Trinidad by Professor Roland Thaxter, Mr. F. W. Urich, and Others. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparitive Zoology at Harvard University. 40(8):322-330
  • da Silva de Oliveira A. B., and F. A. Schmidt. 2019. Ant assemblages of Brazil nut trees Bertholletia excelsa in forest and pasture habitats in the Southwestern Brazilian Amazon. Biodiversity and Conservation 28(2): 329-344.