Neoponera curvinodis

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

Pachycondyla curvinodis casent0281901 p 1 high.jpg

Fernandes et al. (2014) - Ninety-five individuals of N. curvinodis were obtained of one nest from Mata of Santa Genebra (São Paulo, Brazil), located about one meter above the ground in the cavity of a palm of the genus Syagrus (CHAM.) Glassman (I.O. Fernandes, M.L. De Oliveira & J.H.C. Delabie, unpubl.). The ants did not show any aggressive behavior during the opening of their nest.


From Mackay and Mackay (2010) - The worker of N. curvinodis is nearly identical to that of the common Neoponera villosa. Neoponera curvinodis can be separated from N. villosa by the strongly concave anterior face of the petiole, which is nearly straight in N. villosa as well as in most of the other species of Neoponera .

It is very difficult to distinguish N. curvinodis from Neoponera inversa. They differ in the shape of the petiole with the petiole of N. inversa being narrower (see Fig. 1 in Lucas et al., 2002). Basically N. curvinodis has a longer petiole, with a length greater than 1.3 mm when viewed in profile (measured from the anterior edge of the lateral flanges to the posterior margin above the peduncle). The length of the petiole of N. inversa is less than 1.3 mm. The petiole of N. curvinodis usually has a less concave anterior face, making the angle at the apex less acute. This difference in petiolar shape results in the petiole of N. inversa appearing “taller” and the petiole of N. curvinodis appearing more robust.. There is no consistent difference in the pilosity on the ventral surface of the petiole. The shape of the subpostpetiolar process differs between the two species in both the workers and females. That of N. curvinodis is connected to the remainder of the sternum of the postpetiole by a sharp carina (or at least by a continuously raised area), that of N. inversa has the area between the process and the remainder of the sternum interrupted by a constricted region, making the process or tooth appearing isolated from the rest of the sternum.

Fernandes et al. (2014) - Worker. Median portion of clypeus with strong longitudinal striae; propodeum with sharp carina forming small projections; dorsal surface of petiole forming an acute apex. Male. Male anterior face of petiole concave, lateral face carinate; posterior face of propodeum slightly concave.

Keys including this Species


Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Peru.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 25.68015° to -22.97555556°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala (type locality), Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Fernandes et al. (2014) - This species occurs in wet to moist forest habitats, from sea level to mid-montane forests around 1200 m. Mackay and Mackay (2010) - Individuals have been collected in tropical rain forest, 50 - 600 meters elevation.


Mackay and Mackay (2010) - Specimens from Nicaragua were collected behind a Nasutitermes termite nest in the rotten area of a living tree. A specimen from near Rincón, Costa Rica was collected in hollow stems of Cecropia; a specimen from Perú was collected during the fogging of a tree canopy. Dealate females were collected in May and June (Costa Rica), July (Perú), July and August (Colombia) and December (Costa Rica).

Our limited experience with this species suggests that it is not as aggressive as the closely related Neoponera villosa.

Workers rapidly exit the nest or hide when the nest is disturbed, making specimens difficult to collect.

Fernandes et al. (2014) - The nest sample of Neoponera curvinodis enabled the description of the previously unknown males of this species, including describing their color variation. From the same nest, we collected five males with a brown petiole and yellow gaster and legs, and four males with black petiole, gaster, and legs (I.O. Fernandes, M.L. De Oliveira & J.H.C. Delabie, unpubl.), a character hitherto observed only in males of N. villosa by Mackay and Mackay (2010). In the same nest we obtained 85 workers, one queen and some prepupae, and pupae of both male forms (yellow and black gaster). The males with the two color patterns are morphologically identical. The genitalia are also identical in both male forms, and do not vary significantly in morphology to those of males of other species in the N. foetida complex. Mackay and Mackay (2010) did not report N. curvinodis from Brazil, but it was reported from the states of Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro by Forel (1901, 1907) and occurs in several other Brazilian states and countries of the Neotropical Region.

De Oliveira et al. (2015), studying ant occupancy of Cecropia trees in southwest Bahia, Brazil, found a colony of Neoponera curvinodis nesting in a Cecropia pachystachya tree.



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

  • curvinodis. Pachycondyla villosa r. curvinodis Forel, 1899c: 15, pl. 1, fig. 12 (w.) GUATEMALA, PANAMA.
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-localities: Guatemala: Las Mercedes, Torola (Champion), and Panama: Bugaba, Volcan de Chiriqui (Champion).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 298 (q.); Fernandes, et al. 2014: 145 (m.).
    • Combination in Pachycondyla: Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 297;
    • combination in Neoponera: Emery, 1901a: 47; Schmidt, C.A. & Shattuck, 2014: 151.
    • Subspecies of villosa: Forel, 1901h: 45; Forel, 1905b: 156; Forel, 1907e: 1.
    • Junior synonym of inversa: Emery, 1911d: 73; Borgmeier, 1923: 69; Kempf, 1972a: 163; Bolton, 1995b: 304.
    • Status as species: Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 297 (redescription); Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012: 263; Fernandes, et al. 2014:134 (in key); Bezděčková, et al. 2015: 123; Feitosa, 2015c: 99; Fernández & Guerrero, 2019: 533.
    • Material of the unavailable name subversa referred here by Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 297.
    • Distribution: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Venezuela.

Type Material

Guatemala: Las Mercedes, Torola; Panamá: Bugaba, Volcán de Chiriquí. (Mackay and Mackay 2010) Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Mackay and Mackay (2010) - The worker is a large (total length 13 mm) black ant. The mandible has approximately 15 teeth; the anterior margin of the clypeus is convex, but slightly concave medially. The malar carina is well developed, sharp and extends the entire distance from the anterior edge of the head and the anterior edge of the eye. The head length is 3.2 mm; the head width is 2.7 mm. The scape (3.2 mm) extends approximately the first two funicular segments past the posterior lateral margin of the head. The pronotal shoulder forms a sharp carina, which extends over the side of the pronotum. The mesosoma is depressed at the metanotal suture and the propodeal spiracle is slit-shaped. The anterior face of the petiole is strongly concave and meets the broadly rounded posterior face at an acute angle. The anterior part of the subpetiolar process is angulate and is followed by a process that gradually diminishes in width. The stridulatory file on the second pretergite is well developed, the arolia are poorly developed. The metasternal process consists of two widely separated triangular-shaped lobes.

Erect hairs are present on the mandibles, clypeus, dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, sides of the head, along the posterior margin, on the shaft of the scape, on the dorsum of the mesosoma, dorsum of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster, similar hairs are abundant on all parts of the legs. Golden appressed pubescence is present on the head and on all other surfaces, including the legs.

The mandible is finely sculptured and moderately shining, the remainder of the ant is mostly punctate with parts being moderately shining, including the side of the pronotum, side of the petiole and gaster.

Fernandes et al. (2014) - (n = 182): SL: 2.63-2.70; HW: 2.50-2.59; HL: 2.76-2.81; PW: 1.60-1.68; WL: 4.39-4.48; NLd: 0.90-0.97; NWd: 1.10-1.16; NLl: 1.40-1.45; NHl: 1.18-1.23; NIl: 117.88-118.64; SI: 104.24-105.20.


Mackay and Mackay (2010) - The female (undescribed) is a relatively large (total length 13 mm) dark brown to nearly black specimen. The mandible has approximately 12 teeth, the clypeus is concave medially. The eyes are relatively large (0.85 mm), separated from the anterior edge of the head (side view) by approximately 1 diameter. The malar carina is well developed and extends all the way to the eye. The scape extends one or two funicular segments past the posterior lateral corner of the head; the posterior border of the head is concave. The pronotal shoulder forms a sharp well-developed carina, which overhangs the side of the pronotum. The metanotal suture is well developed and breaks the sculpture on the dorsum of the mesosoma, the metanotum is well defined. The propodeal spiracle is elongated and slit-shaped; the posterior lateral edges of the posterior face of the propodeum are developed into sharp carinae, which rise above the surface. The anterior face of the petiole is strongly concave and meets the broadly rounded posterior face at an angle of approximately 50°. The subpetiolar process is developed into a broad swelling.

Erect hairs are present on most surfaces, including the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, the scape, the sides of the head, the clypeus, the dorsum of the mesosoma, dorsum of the petiole, legs, including the tibiae and all surfaces of the gaster; appressed silver pubescence is present on all surfaces.

Most surfaces are dull and covered with punctures or with coriaceous sculpture; the mesosoma and gaster are moderately shining.

Fernandes et al. (2014) - (n = 38): SL: 3.10-3.17; HW: 3.11-3.15; HL: 3.40-3.45; PW: 2.34-2.40; WL: 5.45 -5.54; NLd: 1.19-1.24; NWd: 1.43-1.52; NLl: 1.50-1.68; NHl: 1.36-1.44; NIl: 110.29-116.66; SI: 99.67-100.63.


Fernandes et al. (2014) - with black gaster (n = 10): HW: 1.96-1.99; HL: 1.51-1.54; PW: 1.38-1.42; WL: 4.02-4.08; NLd: 0.50-0.58; NWd: 0.80-0.91; NHl: 0.59-0.67; NLl: 0.72-0.80; NIl: 119.40-122.03. Measurements of males with yellow gaster (n = 6): HW: 1.95-2.01; HL: 1.51-1.55; PW: 1.42-1.48; WL: 4.00-4.12; NLd: 0.60-0.70; NWd: 0.75-0.83; NHl: 0.54-0.60; NLl: 0.86-0.93; NIl: 155.00-159.26.

Head: mandibles tiny and poorly developed; medial face of clypeus strongly convex and punctate.

Mesosoma: pronotum reduced with highest elevation at shoulders; Mayrian sutures in form of Y, reaching scutum in dorsal view; central face deep between Mayrian sutures; scutellum with axial face concave and with oblique striae; metanotum reduced; posteropropodeum slightly concave.

Petiole: anterior face concave forming apex almost ovate, with lateral carina well developed; sternopetiolar process well developed forming anterior sharp keel.

Gaster: sternopostpetiolar process consisting of lobate projection without carina; stridulatory file present on second pretergite.

Genitalia: as the diagnosis for Neoponera foetida complex.

Sculpture, pilosity and color: integument of head punctate and black; surface covered with long and short golden hairs; golden pubescence on antennae and clypeus; mandibles with basodorsal region brown; palps covered by silver and golden sparse pubescence; antenna with sparse golden pubescence; wings brown and shiny; legs yellow or black covered with silver and golden pubescence; median and posterior tibiae with two apical golden spurs; anterior, median and posterior basitarsi and tarsi brown, with dense golden pubescence on ventral surface; median and posterior tarsi brown with row of golden setae on ventral surface; tarsal claw with median tooth and golden pubescence; arolium brown; surface of mesosoma covered with golden pubescence; integument of petiole shiny, black or brown, with golden pubescence distributed on surface, and long golden hairs; integument of gaster black or yellow with surface punctate; tergites and sternum covered by golden pubescence, and long golden hairs. Erect hairs are abundant on the head, mesosoma, petiole and gaster and appressed golden pubescence is dense on most surfaces.


  • 2n = 28, karyotype = 22M+6A (Brazil) (Mariano et al., 2007) (as Pachycondyla subversa).
  • 2n = 26, karyotype = 4M+22A (Brazil) (Mariano et al., 2007) (as Pachycondyla subversa).


The name is based on two Latin words: curvus, meaning bent and nodus meaning swelling, referring to the curved anterior face of the petiole of the worker (and female) of this species. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • 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
  • Adams B. J., S. A. Schnitzer, and S. P. Yanoviak. 2019. Connectivity explains local ant community structure in a Neotropical forest canopy: a large-scale experimental approach. Ecology 100(6): e02673.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fernandes I. O., M. L. de Oliveira, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2013. Notes on the biology of Brazilian ant populations of the Pachycondyla foetida species complex (Formicidae: Ponerinae). Sociobiology 60(4): 380-386.
  • Fernandes I. O., M. L. de Oliveira, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2014. Description of two new sepcies in the Neotropical Pachycondyla foetida complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae) and taxonomic notes on the genus. Myrmecological News 19: 133-163.
  • Forel A. 1905. Miscellanea myrmécologiques II (1905). Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 49: 155-185.
  • Longino J. T. 2013. Ants of Nicargua. Consulted on 18 Jan 2013.
  • 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
  • Nascimento Santos M., J. H. C. Delabie, and J. M. Queiroz. 2019. Biodiversity conservation in urban parks: a study of ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Rio de Janeiro City. Urban Ecosystems
  • Smith M. A., W. Hallwachs, D. H. Janzen. 2014. Diversity and phylogenetic community structure of ants along a Costa Rican elevational gradient. Ecography 37(8): 720-731.
  • 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.