Poneracantha triangularis

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Poneracantha triangularis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ectatomminae
Tribe: Ectatommini
Genus: Poneracantha
Species: P. triangularis
Binomial name
Poneracantha triangularis
(Mayr, 1887)

Gnamptogenys triangularis casent0103948 profile 1.jpg

Gnamptogenys triangularis casent0103948 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label


A millipede feeder that is found in humid forests. The USA record (Deyrup, et. al. 1989:93) is undoubtedly a recent introduction and they have apparently found prey in the local species of millipedes, as they are well established. (Lattke 1995)


A member of the rastrata complex (in the rastrata subgroup of the rastrata species group). Promesonotal suture weakly impressed; node dorsum with transverse costulae and subquadrate costulae and subquadrate subpetiolar process; first gastric sternum with transverse costulae; metacoxal tooth long and thin. Piceous body. (Lattke 1995)

Keys including this Species


Introduced into Alabama and Florida (Dade and Escambia counties) from Central or South America. It is not as yet common there, but seems well established. First published Florida record: Deyrup et al. 1989; earlier specimens: 1985. (Deyrup, Davis & Cover, 2000.)

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 25.68015° to -34.583333°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States.
Neotropical Region: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, Uruguay (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.



This species was studied in Venezuela by Lattke (1990). He found nests in fallen logs and branches, inhabited by 80-120 individuals. In the four nests examined he found only the remains of millipedes, in the form of disarticulated segmental rings, surrounding the area of the nest. Larvae were found with their heads thrust into the body of a dead millipede. Many millipedes secrete powerful defensive secretions, including cyanide. Lattke found that both adults and larvae of P. triangularis are resistant to cyanide, surviving for three hours in a potassium cyanide killing jar that killed other ants in less than five minutes. Even the P. triangularis were dead in twelve hours.

A colony from Homestead, Florida, had many millipede fragments in the nest (Gary Umphrey 1987, pers. comm.; Deyrup, Davis & Cover, 2000).

Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Source: antkeeping.info.





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

  • triangularis. Ectatomma (Gnamptogenys) triangulare Mayr, 1887: 544 (q.) URUGUAY.
    • Type-material: holotype queen.
    • Type-locality: Uruguay: (no further data) (C. Berg).
    • Type-depository: NHMW.
    • Emery, 1906c: 113 (w.).
    • Combination in E. (Parectatomma): Emery, 1911d: 44;
    • combination in Gnamptogenys: Brown, 1958g: 230;
    • combination in Poneracantha: Camacho, Franco, Branstetter, et al. 2022: 11.
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 26; Emery, 1896g: 46 (in key); Emery, 1906c: 113; Emery, 1911d: 44; Bruch, 1914: 213; Santschi, 1916e: 366; Gallardo, 1918b: 39; Luederwaldt, 1918: 34; Borgmeier, 1923: 59; Kusnezov, 1953b: 336; Brown, 1958g: 229, 323; Kusnezov, 1969: 35 (in key); Kempf, 1972a: 116; Zolessi, et al. 1988: 2; Bolton, 1995b: 211; Lattke, 1995: 190; Deyrup, 2003: 45; Lattke, et al. 2004: 349; MacGown & Forster, 2005: 68; Lattke, et al. 2007: 263 (in key); Lattke, et al. 2008: 100; MacGown & Wetterer, 2011: 1; Feitosa, 2015c: 98; Guénard & Economo, 2015: 226; Deyrup, 2017: 21; Feitosa & Prada-Achiardi, 2019: 673; Camacho, et al. 2020: 461 (in key); Camacho, Franco, Branstetter, et al. 2022: 11.
    • Senior synonym of aculeaticoxae: Lattke, 1995: 190; Camacho, Franco, Branstetter, et al. 2022: 11.
    • Senior synonym of richteri: Brown, 1958g: 230, 323; Kempf, 1972a: 116; Bolton, 1995b: 211; Lattke, 1995: 190; Camacho, Franco, Branstetter, et al. 2022: 11.
    • Distribution: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, U.S.A., Venezuela.
  • aculeaticoxae. Ectatomma (Parectatomma) aculeaticoxae Santschi, 1921g: 82 (w.m.) FRENCH GUIANA.
    • Type-material: 2 syntype workers, 1 syntype male.
    • Type-locality: French Guiana: Haute Carsevenne, 1898 (F. Geay).
    • Type-depositories: MNHN, NHMB.
    • Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1971b: 1201 (l.).
    • Combination in E. (Poneracantha): Santschi, 1929h: 476;
    • combination in Gnamptogenys: Brown, 1958g: 227.
    • Status as species: Santschi, 1929h: 476; Brown, 1958g: 227, 300; Kempf, 1961b: 491; Kempf, 1972a: 111; Deyrup, et al. 1989: 93; Lattke, 1990b: 5; Brandão, 1991: 345; Bolton, 1995b: 208; Deyrup, et al. 2000: 295 (error).
    • Junior synonym of triangularis: Lattke, 1995: 190; Camacho, Franco, Branstetter, et al. 2022: 11.
  • richteri. Ectatomma (Parectatomma) triangulare r. richteri Forel, 1913l: 203 (w.) ARGENTINA (Buenos Aires).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-localities: Argentina: Buenos Aires, Belgrano (Richter), Buenos Aires, Rojas (Weiser).
    • Type-depositories: MHNG, NHMB.
    • Forel, 1914d: 265 (q.).
    • Subspecies of triangularis: Forel, 1914d: 265; Bruch, 1914: 213; Gallardo, 1918b: 41.
    • Junior synonym of triangularis: Brown, 1958g: 230, 323; Kempf, 1972a: 116; Bolton, 1995b: 210; Lattke, 1995: 190; Camacho, Franco, Branstetter, et al. 2022: 11.

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

Lattke (1995) - The number of transverse costulae on the petiolar dorsum can vary from 8 to 14, and those on the pronotum from 13 to 23. Specimens from Argentina tend to have a higher count but there is no gap separating the values. The length of the coxal teeth is variable and bears no relation to the number of petiolar costulae. Propodeal teeth also show variation form a low mound to the usual low, sharp teeth. Occasional specimens can have up to 4 transverse costulae on the anterior pronotal face, and rarely longitudinal costulae on the petiolar node. Other traits used by Santschi to separate Gnamptogenys aculeaticoxae, such as degree of impression of the promesonotal suture, gastric constriction and gauge of hairs, length vs. width of petiolar node and the mandibular costulation all show continuous variation that is best described as infraspecific.



  • 2n = 24, karyotype = 18m + 6sm (Brazil) (Teixeira et al., 2019).
  • n = 10, 2n = 20 (French Guiana) (Mariano et al. 2015).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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  • Borgmeier T. 1923. Catalogo systematico e synonymico das formigas do Brasil. 1 parte. Subfam. Dorylinae, Cerapachyinae, Ponerinae, Dolichoderinae. Archivos do Museu Nacional (Rio de Janeiro) 24: 33-103.
  • Brown W. L., Jr. 1958. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. II. Tribe Ectatommini (Hymenoptera). Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 118: 173-362.
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  • Gallardo A. 1918. Las hormigas de la República Argentina. Subfamilia Ponerinas. Anales del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Buenos Aires 30: 1-112.
  • INBio Collection (via Gbif)
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  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
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