The Ants of Africa
Genus Ponera
Ponera coarctata (Latreille)

Ponera coarctata (Latreille)

return to key return to keyHypoponera key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type-species for the genus (Formica coarctata, Latreille, 1802b: 65, illustrated, worker and queen; Bondroit, 1918: 82, male). Type location Luxembourg
Junior synonyms
contracta (Formica contracta, Latreille, 1802c: 195, illustrated, worker & queen; synonymy by Roger, 1863b: 16) from Luxembourg
atlantis (Ponera coarctata Latr., var. atlantis, n. var., Santschi, 1921e: 166, illustrated, worker) from Tunisia - see below.
crassisquama (Ponera coarctata Latr., var. crassisquama, n. var., Emery, 1916a: illustrated, worker) from Italy - see listed on Antweb as a junior synonym of testacea.
lucida (Emery, 1898c: 130, worker) from Turkestan - see
testacea (Emery, 1895b: 294 [62 in Bolton 1995], worker & queen) from France - see where it is  listed as a separate species.
unavailable names
colchica (Arnol'di, 1932b: 63, worker) from Caucasus - no images on Antweb (June 2014).
taurica (Arnol'di, 1932b: 65, worker) from Russia - no images on Antweb (June 2014).
(see Bolton, 1995) .

{Ponera coarctata} {Ponera coarctata atlantis}Latreille's (1802c) description is at {original description}. Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau (1835: 195) gave a fuller description of Ponera contracta, this is at {original description}. Smith (1858b) provided an illustrated description; this is at {original description}. Roger (1860) also provided a description; this is at {original description}. Emery's (1916a) notes and description of crassisquama is at {original description}. Bondroit (1918) provided an illustrated description, with a note on testacea; this is at {original description}. Santschi's (1921e) illustrated description of atlantis is at {original description}.

{Ponera coarctata}Taylor (1967a: 21) provided an illustrated modern description; this is at {original description}.
Note the dimensions given by Taylor for the queen appear to be wrong. As published, the queen would be smaller than the worker which is not the case (see the Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau, 1835: 195, dimensions).

WORKER - TL in range 2.5-3.0 mm; head black or rust-red, matt; vertex convex; antennal scape not reaching the vertex of the head; mandibles with 3 long anterior teeth, plus 12-15 shorter teeth; eye set well forward of head mid-length, with 3-5 facets. In profile propodeum with declivity and dorsum of similar length. Petiole scale thick, height less than three times the width (after Bernard, 1952).

Wheeler (1922) gave the type collection details as France - "Jardin de Luxembourg, prčs de Gentilly", Latreille. The typical species distribution was Southern Europe (northward to Paris), the Mediterranean subregion and Caucasus. Subspecies listed were boerorum (from Natal and Tanzania), aemula (from Kibosho, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania) and natalensis (from Natal); all workers only.

Bolton (1995) has aemula as a variety of Hypoponera dulcis; boerorum was raised to full species by Santschi (1937), now Hypoponera boerorum; and natalensis as raised to full species by Santschi (1938b), now Hypoponera natalensis.

Bernard (1952) has it in his key to Ponera (most now regarded as Hypoponera) from West Africa, and noted it as cosmopolitan. As Bernard was familiar with the ants of the north African area and had seen several of the major collections, one has to accept that, without further evidence to the contrary, his identification was correct and did not refer to one of the former subspecies - all being from eastern or southern Africa.

{Ponera coarctata}The photomontage of the type worker of atlantis is collated from

{Ponera coarctata}The photomontage of a specimen from Greece is collated from
Collection Information: Specimen Code CASENT0008634; Locality Greece: 5km NE Kalavrita; 38°03'00"N 022°08'00"E 800 m; Collection codes: PSW11283; Date: 24 Mar 1991; Collected by: P.S.Ward; Method: under stone; Habitat: riparian woodland

Specimens from Western Cape, South Africa, Knysna env., Goukamma, S 34°02.7' E 22°50.2'; sea level; from coastal forest; collector Peter Hlavác; 28.i.2004; that were thought by me prviously to be P. coarctata now appear the match the diagnosis of Hyoponera spei by Bolton & Fisher (2011).

© 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
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