Neoponera bugabensis

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Neoponera bugabensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Neoponera
Species: N. bugabensis
Binomial name
Neoponera bugabensis
Forel, 1899

Pachycondyla bugabensis casent0217570 p 1 high.jpg

Pachycondyla bugabensis casent0217570 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

A widely ranging central American and South American species that inhabits the canopy and subcanopy of various tropical forest habitats.


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): Neoponera bugabensis is nearly identical to Neoponera villosa, but differs in being smaller (head width usually less than 2 mm). Neoponera bugabensis can be separated from the similar Neoponera foetida and Neoponera theresiae as it lacks striae on the side of the petiole (the surface is coriaceous or finely punctate). It is smaller (total length < 10 mm) than other similar species in the genus such as Neoponera insignis and Neoponera dismarginata. Neoponera bugabensis can be separated from Neoponera unidentata by the depression at the metanotal suture, which is not depressed in N. unidentata.

Keys including this Species



Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 14.8701686° to -2.6914°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama (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.



Lowland rain forest, wet forest, primary forest and secondary forest to rocky wet canyons, from 50 - 1650 m elevation. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)



Workers inhabit the canopy and subcanopy, where they are encountered on low vegetation, in treefalls and in fogging samples (Longino 1997); foragers are often found on vegetation.

Longino (1997) encountered a nest in a canopy Guarea tree. It was a small chamber under an epiphyte mat on the side of a trunk about 10 m high. Longino reported another nest high in a canopy tree, which consisted of large chambers under an orchid clump. Brood was abundant, but there were only about 20 workers. A third small nest was found in dead wood suspended in low vegetation along a trail in mature forest (Longino 1997).

The collection in Colombia was nesting in bamboo (Guadua), others in the stems of Cecropia insignis. Longino found two nests embedded in the larger nests of Cyphomyrmex cornutus. The C. cornutus nest consisted of a 30 cm long mass of accreted soil suspended from a low branch.



Images from AntWeb

Pachycondyla bugabensis casent0249131 h 1 high.jpgPachycondyla bugabensis casent0249131 p 1 high.jpgPachycondyla bugabensis casent0249131 d 1 high.jpgPachycondyla bugabensis casent0249131 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0249131. Photographer Ryan Perry, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by PSWC, Philip S. Ward Collection.
Pachycondyla bugabensis casent0907242 h 1 high.jpgPachycondyla bugabensis casent0907242 p 1 high.jpgPachycondyla bugabensis casent0907242 d 1 high.jpgPachycondyla bugabensis casent0907242 l 1 high.jpg
Lectotype of Pachycondyla theresiae bugabensisWorker. Specimen code casent0907242. Photographer Z. Lieberman, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MHNG, Geneva, Switzerland.


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

  • bugabensis. Pachycondyla theresiae var. bugabensis Forel, 1899c: 14 (w.) PANAMA.
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 224).
    • [Note: taxon originally described from at least 2 syntype workers.]
    • Type-locality: Panama: Bugaba (Champion).
    • Type-depository: MHNG (lectotype).
    • Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 225 (q.m.).
    • Combination in Pachycondyla: Brown, in Bolton, 1995b: 303;
    • combination in Neoponera: Emery, 1901a: 47; Schmidt, C.A. & Shattuck, 2014: 151.
    • Subspecies of theresiae: Emery, 1911d: 72; Kempf, 1972a: 162; Bolton, 1995b: 303; Mackay, Mackay, et al. 2008: 198.
    • Status as species: Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 224 (redescription); Fernandes, et al. 2014:135 (in key); Bezděčková, et al. 2015: 123; Fernández & Guerrero, 2019: 533.
    • Distribution: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru.

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 anterior border of the clypeus is broadly convex and the malar carina is well developed, but does not extend to the anterior edge of the eye. The eyes are located slightly posteriorly to the midline of the length of the head (measured from the anterior tip of the clypeus). The scape extends nearly the first two funicular segments past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The pronotal carina is well developed and sharp. The mesosoma is broadly depressed at the metanotal suture, which passes over the dorsum of the mesosoma and breaks the sculpture. The propodeal spiracle is elongated and the posterior lateral edges of the propodeum are marked by a sharp carina. The petiole is thick when viewed in profile with a vertical slightly concave anterior face and a broadly rounded posterior face that meets the anterior face at a right angle.

Erect hairs are present on the dorsum of the head, the scapes, dorsum of the mesosoma, all surfaces of the legs, dorsum of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster. Most surfaces are covered with dense appressed golden pubescence, which partially hides the surface, especially on the dorsum of the head, dorsum of the mesosoma, posterior face of the petiole and the dorsum of the gaster.

The mandibles are finely striated with scattered punctures, but much of the surface is smooth and shining. The dorsum of the head, dorsum and side of the mesosoma, side and posterior face of the petiole and the gaster are finely punctate and dull, with only the gaster being somewhat shining.

Most surfaces are dark reddish brown to black; the tarsi are brown as is the apical ⅔ of the funiculus.


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The female (undescribed) is a moderately sized (total length 14 mm) dark brown ant. The head length is 2.5 mm and the head width is 2.2 mm. The eyes are relatively large (0.65 mm maximum diameter) located about 1 diameter from the anterior edge of the head (side view). The malar carina is sharp and well developed. The scape (2.55 mm) extends about two funicular segments past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The pronotal carina is sharp and overhangs the side of the pronotum. The propodeal spiracle is elongated. The anterior face of the petiole is vertical and slightly concave and meets the broadly rounded posterior face at angle near the anterior edge of the petiole.

Long (up to 0.7 mm in length) hairs are abundant on all surfaces, including the scapes. Most surfaces are covered with fine appressed golden pubescence. Erect hairs are abundant on the mandibles, clypeus, sides of the head, posterior margin of the head, dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, dorsum of the mesosoma, dorsum of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster, the hairs on the coxae are suberect and a few hairs on the femur and tibiae are suberect.

The mandibles of the female are finely striate and partially smooth, the head is densely punctate, forming weak striae; the mesosoma is finely punctate and partially smooth as is the petiole and gaster. The dorsum of the head is densely punctate and moderately shining, most of the mesosoma and petiole have similar sculpture, the gaster has scattered punctures and is mostly smooth and glossy.


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The male (undescribed) is a relatively large (total length about 10 mm) black specimen. The head length is 1.29 mm; the head width is 1.26 mm. The eye is large (maximum diameter 0.73 mm) separated from the lateral ocellus by a distance of 0.35 mm. The ocelli are relatively small (maximum diameter of median ocellus 0.18 mm) the medial ocellus is separated from the lateral ocellus by slightly less then one diameter. The propodeal spiracle is slit-shaped. The petiole is broad when viewed in profile with a straight anterior face and a broadly sloping posterior-dorsal face, which meets the posterior face near the anterior edge.

Type Material

Mackay and Mackay (2010) - Panamá: Bugaba. Lectotype designated, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève.


This species was named for the locality where it was first collected, Bugaba, Panamá. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • 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.
  • Bezdeckova K., P. Bedecka, and I. Machar. 2015. A checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Peru. Zootaxa 4020 (1): 101–133.
  • Emery C. 1911. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118: 1-125.
  • 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
  • INBio Collection (via Gbif)
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • 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. et al. ADMAC project. Accessed on March 24th 2017 at
  • 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
  • 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.