Tetraponera polita

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Tetraponera polita
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Pseudomyrmecinae
Genus: Tetraponera
Species: T. polita
Binomial name
Tetraponera polita
Ward, 2001

Tetraponera polita casent0902835 p 1 high.jpg

Tetraponera polita casent0902835 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The type collection (Danum Valley, Sabah) was taken from a colony found in a secondary forest. Other Borneo collections include rainforest edge and secondary vegetation. Workers were found on vegetation and in stems of Uncaria.


Ward (2001) - This attractive species can be recognised by the conspicuous short standing pilosity covering most body surfaces and the scarcity of appressed pubescence, especially on the gaster. Other hairy species are either larger (nigra-complex) and/or have denser pubescence on the gaster. Other characteristic features of T. polita include the relatively small eyes and long scapes, broad petiole and postpetiole, and the black shiny appearance.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 4.966666667° to 4.966666667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo (type locality), Indonesia, Malaysia.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • polita. Tetraponera polita Ward, 2001: 640, figs. 70, 78 (w.) BORNEO.

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



HW 0.82-0.89, HL 1.01-1.11, LHT 0.70-0.76, CI 0.79-0.81, FCI 0.15-0.16, REL 0.33-0.36, REL2 0.42-0.45, SI 0.61-0.65, SI3 1.35-1.48, FI 0.46-0.49, PLI 0.62-0.68, PWI 0.61-0.66, PDI 0.98-1.04, LHT/HW 0.85-0.87, CSC 20-28, MSC 38-54.

Medium-sized, black shiny species; anterior clypeal margin broadly convex, very slightly crenulate medially; distance between frontal carinae slightly exceeding maximum scape width; eyes relatively small, much shorter than scape length; profemur moderately robust (see FI values); lateral margins of pronotum not well defined; mesopropodeal impression with an open, transverse strip of integument anteriorly, with fine longitudinal carinae or rugulae (most pronounced on sides), posterior to this is a pit-like depression, whose interior surface is mostly smooth and shining; propodeum about as high as wide (PDI - 1.00), the summit broadly rounded when seen in posterior view; in lateral profile, dorsal face rounding gradually into the declivitous face; petiole about 1.5x longer than high or wide, and with a short robust anterior peduncle; postpetiole broader than long, in dorsal view; metabasitarsal sulcus somewhat inconspicuous but occupying more than two-thirds the length of the metabasitarsus. Integument smooth and shiny, with scattered fine punctures of variable size; punctures coarsest on malar area (up to 0.02 mm in diameter) and accompanied here by irregular longitudinal rugulae immediately above the mandibular insertions. Short, standing pilosity common on body and appendages; setae on dorsum of head and mesosoma mostly 0.04-0.08 mm long; appressed pubescence sparse and generally inconspicuous (except on the mesopleuron); appressed hairs on abdominal tergite IV separated by much more than their lengths. Body black; legs dark brownish-black, becoming slightly paler apically; mandible, scape and first funicular segment medium-brown to reddish-brown, and contrasting with dark brown funicular segments 2-11.

Type Material

Holotype. Worker, Danum Valley, Sabah, Malaysia, 30.viii.1995 (S. Yamane) (Universiti Malaysia Sabah). Paratypes. 7 workers, same data as holotype (Australian National Insect Collection, The Natural History Museum, KUES, Philip S. Ward Collection, UMSC).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Pfeiffer M.; Mezger, D.; Hosoishi, S.; Bakhtiar, E. Y.; Kohout, R. J. 2011. The Formicidae of Borneo (Insecta: Hymenoptera): a preliminary species list. Asian Myrmecology 4:9-58
  • Ward P. S. 2001. Taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of the ant genus Tetraponera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Oriental and Australian regions. Invertebrate Taxonomy 15: 589-665.
  • Ward, P. S. 2001. Taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of the ant genus Tetraponera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Oriental and Australian regions. Invertebrate Taxonomy 15:589-665.