Neoponera donosoi

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

These ants were nesting in two hollow twigs (diameter 1 cm and 7 cm) that were lying on the forest floor (composed of a clay loam soil). They were extremely fast and difficult to capture. Most of the specimens of the first nest escaped with most of the brood in less than two seconds. Brood and a male were found in the second twig in July.


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The worker of N. donosoi is nearly identical to that of Neoponera goeldii. It can be separated in lacking a strongly concave region on the subpetiolar process (which is present in N. goeldii), smooth mandibles (completely striate in N. goeldii) and by the sparse erect hairs on the tibiae, which are mostly shorter than the tibiae (very abundant and most greater in length than the diameter of the tibiae in N. goeldii). The shape of the petiole would separate N. donosoi from most of the other species in crenata species complex.

The males of N. donosoi are very different from those of N. goeldii. They are much smaller than the workers, not approximately the same size as the workers as in N. goeldii. They are dark brown, not yellowish - orange as in N. goeldii. Finally the subpetiolar process is only slightly concave, not strongly concave as in males of N. goeldii.



Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -0.3136° to -0.3188888889°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Ecuador (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.


Neoponera donosoi occurs in tropical rain forest at 770 m elevation. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)




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

  • donosoi. Pachycondyla donosoi Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 303, figs. 73, 81, 236, 308, 428-432 (w.m.) ECUADOR.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 6 paratype workers, 1 paratype male.
    • Type-locality: holotype Ecuador: Pichincha, La Unión del Rio Toachi, 15.vii.2005, #21156, and #21179 (W. & E. Mackay); paratypes with same data.
    • Type-depositories: MCZC (holotype); CASC, IAVH, MZSP, PUCE, USNM, WEMC (paratypes).
    • Combination in Neoponera: Schmidt, C.A. & Shattuck, 2014: 151.
    • Distribution: 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 medium sized (total length 7 mm) dark reddish brown specimen with slightly lighter brown colored appendages. The mandibles have 13 or 14 teeth. The anterior margin of the clypeus is strongly angulate and overhangs the anteclypeus medially. The head is 1.6 mm in length and 1.3 mm in width. The posterior lateral region of the head is rounded and posterior border is nearly straight. The sides of the head are narrowed slightly anteriorly and posteriorly to the eyes. The malar carina is well developed and extends nearly to the level of the anterior margin of the eye. The eyes are relatively large (maximum diameter 0.46 mm) located less than one diameter from the anterior margin of the head (side view). The scape (1.7 mm) extends more than ⅓ times its length past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The pronotal shoulder forms a sharp carina, which slightly overhangs the side of the pronotum. The metanotal suture is slightly depressed on the dorsum of the mesosoma, but barely breaks the sculpture. The propodeal spiracle is elongated. The subpetiolar process has an anterior ventrally directed small angle, followed by slight concave region and another small angle, with the remainder of the process narrowing posteriorly. The anterior face of the petiole forms a broad, curved surface and meets the posterior face near the middle of the apex. The stridulatory file on the second pretergite is well developed; the arolia are poorly developed.

Erect hairs are abundant on the mandibles, clypeus, dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, posterior margin, the dorsum of the mesosoma, dorsum of the petiole, on the subpetiolar process and all surfaces of the gaster, hairs on the legs are mostly suberect. Appressed golden pubescence is mostly sparse, but obvious on the head, dorsum of the mesosoma, petiole and gaster.

The mandibles are very finely sculptured with scattered punctures and are moderately smooth and shining. The medial process on the clypeus has poorly defined longitudinal striae. The dorsum of the head has fine punctures and is mostly glossy, as are the dorsum of the pronotum, the mesonotum and the dorsal face of the propodeum. The side of the pronotum is smooth and glossy and the side of the remainder of the mesosoma is mostly smooth and glossy, with scattered very fine punctures. The sculpture on the petiole and gaster is similar with scattered punctures; the surface between the punctures is smooth and glossy.


Queens are not known for this species.


The male is a small (total length 6 millimeters) dark brown ant. The head length is 1.0 mm; the head width is 0.8 mm. The eye length (seen from the side) is 0.6 mm, the median ocellus is 0.13 mm in width located slightly more than one diameter from the lateral ocellus. The malar carina and pronotal carina are poorly developed. The parapsidal sutures and Mayrian furrows are well developed. The propodeal spiracle is slit-shaped. The anterior face of the petiole is nearly straight, the posterior face slightly convex and the two faces meet near the middle of the petiole and form an angle. The region posterior to the spiracular horns forms a sharp carina that is greatly elevated from the remainder of surface. The anterior part the subpetiolar process is swollen into a broad lobe, followed by an elongated, slightly concave region formed from the greatly narrowing of the process posteriorly.

Erect hairs are scattered on the dorsum and sides of the head, the malar area, a few hairs on the scape are elevated from the surface, erect hairs are scattered on the dorsum of the mesosoma, dorsum of the petiole, on the subpetiolar lobe and all surfaces of the gaster; the hairs on the legs are mostly suberect.

The head, mesosoma, petiole and gaster are mostly smooth and glossy.

Type Material

Ecuador, Pichincha, La Unión del Río Toachi. Holotype worker Museum of Comparative Zoology, 6 paratype workers (California Academy of Sciences, CWEM, QCAZ, IAVH, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, National Museum of Natural History) and 1 paratype male (CWEM)


This species is named in honor of our friend and colleague, mirmecólogo David Donoso of the Pontifica Universidad Católica del Ecuador, who took us to one of his favorite collecting spots, where we collected two colonies of this new species.