A taxonomic revision of the new world Hypoponera Santschi, 1938 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Shawn Thomas Dash, University of Texas at El Paso


The New World taxa of the pantropic ant genus Hypoponera (Ponerinae: Ponerini) is revised for the first time. The 55 previously recognized taxa have been evaluated using morphological and, when possible, ecological and biogeographical data to resolve taxon validity and species limits. Currently I recognize 42 species of Hypoponera, a number of which are new. I propose the following taxonomic outline: Hypoponera agilis (Borgmeier), Hypoponera aliena (F. Smith), Hypoponera antoniensis (Forel) stat. nov., Hypoponera apateae sp. nov., Hypoponera capilosa sp. nov., Hypoponera clinei sp. nov., Hypoponera clavatula (Emery) [= fiebrigi (Forel) syn. nov., = neglecta (Santschi) syn. nov.], Hypoponera coveri sp. nov., Hypoponera creola (Menozzi), Hypoponera distinguenda (Emery) [= argentina (Santschi) syn. nov., = distinguenda dispar (Santschi) syn. nov., = distinguenda histrio (Forel) syn. nov.], Hypoponera faceta (Menozzi) incertae sedis, Hypoponera fallax (Forel) stat. nov., Hypoponera famini (Forel) stat. nov., Hypoponera fenestralis (Gallardo) incertae sedis, Hypoponera foeda (Forel) [= gracilicornis (Menozzi) syn. nov.], Hypoponera foreli (Mayr), Hypoponera gleadowi (Forel), Hypoponera idelettae (Santschi), Hypoponera iheringi (Forel), Hypoponera ignigera (Menozzi), Hypoponera impartergum sp. nov., Hypoponera inexorata (Wheeler), Hypoponera inexpedita (Forel) stat. nov., Hypoponera leninei (Santschi), Hypoponera leveillei (Emery) comb. nov., Hypoponera menozzii (Santschi) incertae sedis, Hypoponera nitidula (Emery), Hypoponera opaciceps (Mayr) [= opaciceps gaigei (Forel) syn. nov., = opaciceps postangustata (Forel) syn. nov.], Hypoponera opacior (Forel) [= opaciceps jamaicensis (Aguayo) syn. nov., = opacior chilensis (Forel) junior syn.], Hypoponera pampana (Santschi) stat nov. [= opaciceps cubana (Santschi) syn. nov.], Hypoponera parva (Forel) [= reichenspergeri (Santschi) syn. nov.], Hypoponera perplexa (Mann), Hypoponera punctatissima (Roger) [= beebei (Wheeler) syn. nov., = ergatandria (Forel) syn. nov.], Hypoponera schmalzi (Emery), Hypoponera schwebeli (Forel), Hypoponera stoica (Santschi), Hypoponera subsarissa sp. nov., Hypoponera transiens (Santschi) stat. nov., Hypoponera trigona (Mayr) [= distinguenda vana (Forel) syn. nov., = trigona cauta (Forel) syn. nov., = collegiana (Santschi) syn. nov., = collegiana paranensis (Santschi) syn. nov.], Hypoponera vernacula (Kempf) and Hypoponera viri (Santschi). All recognized species are illustrated and described with notes on natural history and biogeography. Additionally, type images for these species are provided, serving as a photographic record. Also present is the first key to treat the New World species. This assessment provides a framework that will aid in biodiversity surveys since Hypoponera is one of the most commonly collected ants in Neotropical regions. Hypoponera is a good candidate for conservation efforts because of the genus' importance in brown food webs, its abundance, and the fact that numerous species are known only from type localities. Additionally, distributional patterns suggest Hypoponera is limited to tropical and subtropical climates with limited ranges in temperate areas. When found in temperate areas, microhabitat selection favors warm areas. I propose the use of Hypoponera monitored in ant assemblages as a metric for evaluating the effects of climate change on ant communities. The revised taxonomy of the New World Hypoponera and the recent treatment of the African fauna is a major leap forward in understanding the diversity of Hypoponera and the Ponerinae as a whole.

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Recommended Citation

Dash, Shawn Thomas, "A taxonomic revision of the new world Hypoponera Santschi, 1938 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)" (2011). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3457748.