Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Subfamily Ponerinae

Alate Formicid? - Brachyponera chinensis - male Pale color - Brachyponera chinensis Hypoponera - Hypoponera opacior - female Wasp - Ponera pennsylvanica Hypoponera? - Pachycondyla harpax Pachycondyla harpax Leptogenys elongata - male Hypoponera - Hypoponera opacior
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
Superfamily Formicoidea (Ants)
Family Formicidae (Ants)
Subfamily Ponerinae
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
see(1)
Explanation of Names
see Ponera
Numbers
All ponerine females and workers have the ancestral 12-segmented antennae, males 13-segmented.
Size
2.5-13 mm
Identification
Range
Most tropical or subtropical, Ponera extends to southeastern Canada, Hypoponera also extends to SE Canada but only indoors, and Pachycondyla chinensis has been discovered in New York and Wisconsin.
Habitat
Typically nest in soil, forest litter, or rotting logs.
Food
Predacious. Some are specialist predators, such as the two US Leptogenys spp., which prey on terrestrial isopods, and Gnamptogeys which may be a specialist on certain millipedes.
Life Cycle
Most ponerines live in small colonies of a few dozen to 200 or so workers. Reproduction is usually by means of winged sexuals mating outside of the nest, and the females founding a new colony in a small nest, from which she occasionally forages for prey for her larvae. Some genera have either reproductive females (Leptogenys) or males (some Hypoponera) wingless, with modified repoduction. See genera for details.
Remarks
Males of some species do not have elbowed antennae and resemble braconid wasps.