Neoponera cooki

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Neoponera cooki
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Neoponera
Species: N. cooki
Binomial name
Neoponera cooki
(Mackay, W.P. & Mackay, E.E., 2010)

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The type specimens were collected foraging on the surface of leaf litter.


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): Neoponera cooki is closely related to Neoponera apicalis, but differs in being covered with long erect hairs and in having fine striae on the dorsum of the head. The metasternal process of N. cooki is distinct in that the posterior faces of the lobes are smooth and shining and notably concave, not striate and weakly concave as in N. apicalis. Neoponera cooki can be easily separated from Neoponera verenae and Neoponera obscuricornis by the same two characteristics. Neoponera cooki lacks the sharp margins on the posterior lateral edges of the petiole, which would easily separate it from N. verenae. The yellow-tipped funiculus of N. cooki would distinguish it from N. obscuricornis as well as from N. verenae. Neoponera cooki could be confused with Neoponera fauveli in which specimens from Colombia and Ecuador can have a yellow-tipped funiculus. It can be easily separated as N. fauveli lacks the striae on the dorsum of the head.


COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, BRASIL. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 2.58° to -0.4°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (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.


Unknown, specimens were collected between 215 - 200 meters. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)




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

  • cooki. Pachycondyla cooki Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 276, figs. 36, 164, 270, 271, 404 (w.) BRAZIL (Amazonas), COLOMBIA, ECUADOR.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 1 paratype worker.
    • Type-locality: holotype Brazil: Amazonas, Manaus, EEST, INPA, km. 44.5 on BR-174, 6.viii.1981, phenology area (W.W. Benson); paratype with same data.
    • Type-depositories: MCZC (holotype); WEMC (paratype).
    • Combination in Neoponera: Schmidt, C.A. & Shattuck, 2014: 151.
    • Status as species: Feitosa, 2015c: 99; Fernández & Guerrero, 2019: 533.
    • Distribution: Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador.

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



The worker is a moderate sized (total length 13 mm) black ant with a yellow-tipped funiculus. The mandibles are elongated (total length 2.05 mm); the clypeus is broadly rounded anteriorly. The head is widest near the eyes and noticeably narrowed both anteriorly and posteriorly. The post-erior margin of the head is nearly straight. The malar carina is well developed; the eye is large (maximum diameter 0.8 mm). The eye is located slightly posteriorly to the middle of the head when viewed in full-face view (measured from the anterior edge of the clypeus). It is located slightly less then one maximum diameter from the anterior edge of the head (as seen in side view). The head length is 2.54 mm; the head width is 2.14 mm. The scape is relatively long (2.74 mm) and extends about 2½ funicular segments past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The pronotal shoulder forms a carina, which slightly overhangs the side of the pronotum. The metanotal suture is depressed on the dorsum of the mesosoma (seen in profile) and breaks the sculpturing on the dorsum. The propodeal spiracle is slit-shaped. The petiole is thick when viewed in profile with a long broadly convex anterior face and a weakly convex posterior face with the two faces meeting at an angle near the posterior edge of the petiole. Part of the anterior face forms a strongly sloping dorsal face. The subpetiolar process is poorly developed and consists of a rounded anterior process with a sharp ventrally directed angle followed by a gradually diminishing thickened area. The stridulatory file on the second pretergite is well developed and the arolia are present. The metasternal lobes are well separated as in the other species of the apicalis species complex, but are wider and more bluntly rounded than in the other species. They are also concave posteriorly and lack the horizontal striae, both characteristics of Neoponera apicalis.

Erect hairs are long (0.25 - 0.70 mm) abundant and present on the mandibles clypeus, dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, sides of the head, posterior margin of the head, dorsum of the mesosoma, dorsum of the petiole, the subpetiolar process and all surfaces of the gaster, the hairs on the legs are erect to suberect. Appressed whitish pubescence is sparse. The mandibles are covered with poorly defined striae and are partially smooth and glossy, the dorsum of the head is covered with fine longitudinal striae, which diverge posteriorly, the dorsum of the pronotum is covered by very fine mostly transverse striae, which form concentric circles on the posterior half, the mesonotum is covered with longitudinal striae, the dorsum of the propodeum with transverse striae, the striae on the side of the pronotum are poorly developed, as they are on the remainder of the side of the mesosoma. The side of the petiole is mostly covered with very fine striae, which pass across the front of the petiole; the striae on the posterior face are very fine, giving it a silky appearance. The gaster is very finely punctate. The head is weakly shining; the remainder of the ant is mostly dull.


Queens are not known for this species.


Males are not known for this species.

Type Material

Holotype worker Museum of Comparative Zoology, 1 paratype worker (CWEM). BRAZIL, Am, Manaus


This new species is named in honor of Jerry Cook, close friend and fellow myrmecologist.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • 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, 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.
  • 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