Ponera chiponensis

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Ponera chiponensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Ponera
Species: P. chiponensis
Binomial name
Ponera chiponensis
Terayama, 1986

Ponera chiponensis F38 P.jpg

Ponera chiponensis F38 D.jpg

Nothing is known about the biology of Ponera chiponensis.


Terayama (1996) - This new species resembles Ponera japonica, Ponera incerta, or Ponera swezeyi by the 5-segmented antennal club and size of body (HW 0.32-0.50 mm in workers), but can be distinguished by the shape of petiole and the absence of mesonotal-propodeal suture on the dorsum of alitrunk.

Leong et al. (2019) - Worker. This species is characterized by a short antennal scape; a petiolar node in lateral view thick and trapezoid, with a slightly convex posterior margin; a subpetiolar process with large fenestra and large teeth; and its third abdominal tergum as long as broad. Ponera chiponensis presents similarities with Ponera baka, Ponera xantha, and Ponera swezeyi, but the body size of Ponera chiponensis (HW: 0.39–0.43 mm) is larger than Ponera baka (HW: ca. 0.33 mm), Ponera xantha (HW: ca. 0.35 mm), and Ponera swezeyi (HW: 0.32–0.34 mm). The posterior margin of the petiolar node is convex in Ponera chiponensis, but straight in Ponera baka, Ponera xantha, and Ponera swezeyi.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 22.16° to 22.16°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: Taiwan (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.


Explore-icon.png Explore Overview of Ponera biology 
The general biology of species in the genus was summarized by Taylor (1967): Ponera are small ants that nest in rotting logs in forested areas or under stones in nonforested situations. In the tropical areas specimens are rarely encountered away from rain forest. In temperate areas, however, species may occur in relatively lightly forested areas. This appears to be the case with Ponera japonica, Ponera pennsylvanica and especially with Ponera coarctata. The Australian Ponera leae is essentially limited to rain forest in the northern parts of its range, but further south it may be found in dry, lightly forested areas.

Foraging is probably cryptobiotic, though some New Guinea species have been taken straying on the ground surface. Little information is available concerning feeding. However, most species are probably insectivorous. I have conducted feeding experiments with some of the New Guinea and Samoan species, including Ponera xenagos, Ponera elegantula, Ponera tenuis, Ponera incerta and Ponera woodwardi. These were unsuccessful with the larger species, except elegantula, which accepted moderately large (8-12 mm) campodeid and japygid Diplura. Tenuis and incerta accepted smaller (4-6 mm) campodeids, isotomid and sminthurid Collembola, and small newly hatched spiders (2 mm long). Negative feeding response was obtained with eggs and larvae of various ants, small crushed insects of various orders, and small myriapods. Stray workers were never observed carrying prey, and distinct middens of insect or other remains were not located near nests.

Colonies usually contain about 30 workers. Larvae and pupae are not segregated in most cases, but occasionally aggregations of pupae were observed. These may have included the total brood of the colonies involved. Larvae are attached to the floor or walls of the nest galleries by the glutinous abdominal tubercles described above, and the ants move them high up on the walls or ceilings of artificial nests, if they are flooded. Details of nuptial behavior of pennsylvanica were given by Wheeler (1900), and Haskins & Enzmann (1938). The flights appear to be of a pattern typical for ants, with the alates meeting in the air and mating there or on the ground. Colony foundation is non-claustral and independent in pennsylvanica (Kannowski 1959); judging from my observations this is typical for the genus. ‎



Leong et al. 2019. Figure 39. Paratype dealate queen.


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

  • chiponensis. Ponera chiponensis Terayama, 1986: 593, figs. 6-10 (w.q.) TAIWAN.

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



Terayama 1986 figs. 6-10

Holotype. HL 0.53 mm; HW 0.40 mm; SL 0.35 mm; C180; S184; WL 0.73 mm; PW 0.73 mm; PH 0.31 mm; PNL 0.18 mm; DPW 0.25 mm; TL ca. 2.0 mm.

Head subrectangular, with weakly convex sides and slightly concave occipital border. Mandibles with 3 developed teeth occupying approximately apical 2/5 of masticatory border; remaining border with a series of 5 small regular denticles. Clypeus slightly produced in the middle, with very weak median tooth. Eyes extremely small, composed of single facet, situated about 0.8 x the distance from lateral occipital border to midpoint of anterior genal border. Antennae 12-segmented, remarkably short and thick; scape not reaching median occipital border; antennal club 5-segmented, ratio of length from the base about 3: 5: 6: 6: 14, apical segment 1. 75 x as long as broad.

Dorsal outline of alitrunk horizontal; mesonotum weakly convex; posterolateral corners of propodeum not markedly pronounced, forming blunt angles; declivitous face of propodeum barely straight to feebly concave. Mesonotal-propodeal suture not incised on the dorsum of alitrunk. Petiolar node in profile, thick, rectangular; anterior border straight, dorsal border horizontal, posterior border very weakly angulated near the middle; dorsal face, viewed from above, trapezoidal as in Fig. 8, posterior border concaved. Fenestra of subpetiolar process large, oval; posterolateral teeth well developed.

Head, scapes, and gaster closely punctated; alitrunk less density punctated than head; 2nd gastric tergite somewhat less punctated than 1st gastric tergite. Posterior 1/2 of dorsal face of propodeum and dorsal face of petiolar node smooth and shining with a few scattered punctures. Mandibles smooth and shining. Pubescence moderately abundant, distributed evenly over the entire body. Erect or suberect pilosity present on antennal scapes, head, dorsum of alitrunk, and gaster.

Color brown to light brown; mandibles, antennae, legs, subpetiolar process, and tip of gaster yellowish.

Paratypes. Five paratype workers from the same series as holotype with following dimentions and indices: HL 0.51-0.53 mm; HW 0.40-0.42 mm; CI 78-79; SI 83-88; WL 0.70-0.74 mm; A W 0.30-0.31 mm; PH 0.30-0.33 mm; PNL 0.18-0.20 mm; DPW 0.25 mm.

Leong et al. (2019) - (n=6): HL 0.50–0.56; HW 0.39–0.43; SL 0.32–0.37; A06L 0.02; A07L 0.02; A08L 0.04; A09L 0.06; A10L 0.07; PrW 0.32–0.33; WL 0.64–0.71; PeH 0.30–0.34; PeNL 0.18–0.22; PeW 0.26–0.29; ATL 0.39–0.40; ATW 0.40–0.41; CI 77–78, SI 81–86, PeI 81–86, LPeI 61–67, DPeI 128–148, ATI 93–98.

Head. In full-face view, head rectangular and distinctly longer than broad (CI: 77–78), with almost straight posterior margin, slightly convex lateral margins, and broadly rounded posterolateral corners. Eye small; composed of a total of 3–4 indistinct facets. Anterior clypeal margin with blunt medial tooth. Masticatory margin of mandible with a series of about seven indistinct denticles, and three large teeth on the apical part. Antennal scape, when laid backward, with a remaining distance of about 10% of the scape length to the posterolateral corner; average ratio of the length of antennomeres 7/6:8/6:9/6:10/6 = 1.06: 1.88: 2.69: 3.39 (n=6).

Mesosoma. Mesosomal dorsum in lateral view almost straight. Pronotum in dorsal view with acutely convex anterior margin and moderately convex lateral margins. Metanotal groove distinctly and finely incised. Lateral mesopleural suture in lateral view weakly incised. Propodeal dorsum in dorsal view broad, with straight lateral margins. Propodeal corner in lateral view angular; propodeal dorsum and declivity forming approximatively a 125 degree angle.

Metasoma. Petiolar node in dorsal view trapezoidal and remarkably thick, with almost straight anterior margin, slightly convex posterior margin, and slightly convex lateral margins. Petiolar node in lateral view remarkably thick and trapezoid, with straight anterior margin, moderately convex posterior margin, and slightly convex dorsal margin; posterodorsal corner as high as anterodorsal corner. Subpetiolar process large with very big and circular fenestra, anteroventral corner blunt, ventral margin concave, and posteroventral corner concave with a pair of developed and acute teeth. Third abdominal tergum slightly broader than long (ATI: 93–98), with straight anterior margin and almost straight lateral margins.

Sculpture. Head densely punctate. Mandible sparsely punctate. Pronotum and mesonotum evenly punctate. Mesopleuron, metapleuron evenly striate. Propodeal dorsum sparsely punctate. Propodeum in lateral view with evenly striate lower portion and evenly punctate upper portion. Propodeal declivity smooth and shining. Lateral face of petiole evenly punctate, posterior face smooth, dorsum sparsely punctate. The third and fourth abdominal segments densely punctate, other segments smooth and shining with few punctures.

Pubescence. Head, antennae, mesosoma, petiole, and gaster with evenly distributed short hairs; mesopleuron, metapleuron, propodeum and lateral face of petiole with scattered hairs. Dorsal and ventral faces of head, anterior margin of clypeus, sides of mandibles, dorsum of petiolar node and gaster with many long erect hairs. Subpetiolar process with a few long erect hairs.

Color. Body color dark brown. Mandible, clypeus, antennae, legs, and apex of gaster yellowish orange.


Paratypes. HL 0.54-0.56 mm; HW 0.43-0.45 mm; SL 0.36-0.38 mm; CI 80; SI 81; WL 0.83-0.88 mm; A W 0.36-0.40 mm; PH 0.33-0.35 mm; PNL 0.20-0.21 mm; DPW 0.28-0.31 mm; TL ca. 2.4 mm. (Two females were measured.)

Head subrectangular as in Fig. 9, with almost subparallel sides and slightly concave occipital border. Antennal club 5-segmented. Maximum diameter of compound eye 0.10 mm. Mesosoma and petiole as in Fig. 10. Pilosity and coloration as in worker.

Leong et al. (2019) - (n=1): HL 0.53; HW 0.42; SL 0.36; A06L 0.02; A07L 0.02; A08L 0.04; A09L 0.06; A10L 0.08; PrW 0.37; WL 0.81; PeH 0.35; PeNL 0.21; PeW 0.29; ATL 0.41; ATW 0.43; CI 78, SI 86, PeI 86, LPeI 67, DPeI 148, ATI 98.

Type Material

Holotype. Worker, 22. VII. 1982, Chihpen, Taitung City, Taiwan, M. Terayama leg.

Paratypes. One female, 8 workers, from the same nest as holotype; 1 worker, 23. VII. 1982, same locality, M. Terayama leg.; 3 workers, 24. VII. 1982, same locality, M. Terayama leg.; 1 female, 10. VIII. 1980, same locality, M. Terayama leg.

Type depository. The holotype and some paratypes will be deposited in the National Science Museum, Tokyo, and the other paratypes in the National Institute of Agro-Environmental Science, Japan, and the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute.

Leong et al. (2019): Type material examined: TAIWAN. Paratypes, 2 workers, Taitung City, Chihpen, 22 VII 1982, M Terayama leg (Maromu Terayama Collection: LCM_MT-Ponera-17). 1 worker, Taitung city, Chihpen, 24 VII 1982, M Terayama leg (Maromu Terayama Collection: LCM_MTPonera-18). 1 dealate queen, Taitung city, Chihpen, 24 VII 1982, M Terayama leg (Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Guénard B., and R. R. Dunn. 2012. A checklist of the ants of China. Zootaxa 3558: 1-77.
  • Hu C.-H. 2006. Indigenized conservation and biodiversity maintenance on Orchid Island. PhD Thesis, graduate school of the University of Minnesota. 150 pages.
  • Leong C. M., B. Guénard, S. F. Shiao, & C. C. Lin. 2019. Taxonomic revision of the genus Ponera Latreille, 1804 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Taiwan and Japan, with a key to East Asian species. Zootaxa 4594: 1-86.
  • Li Z.h. 2006. List of Chinese Insects. Volume 4. Sun Yat-sen University Press
  • Terayama M. 1986. Two new ants of the genus Ponera (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Taiwan. Kontyû 54: 591-595.
  • Terayama M. 2009. A synopsis of the family Formicidae of Taiwan (Insecta: Hymenoptera). Research Bulletin of Kanto Gakuen University. Liberal Arts 17:81-266.
  • Terayama, M. 2009. A synopsis of the family Formicidae of Taiwan (Insecta; Hymenoptera). The Research Bulletin of Kanto Gakuen University 17: 81-266.
  • Xu Z. H., B. L. Yang, and G. Hu. 1999. Formicidae ant communities in fragments of montane rain forest in Xishuangbanna, China. Zoological Research 20(4): 288-293.
  • Xu Z. 2001. Four new species of the ant genus Ponera Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Yunnan, China. Entomotaxonomia 23(3): 217-226