Bothroponera montivaga

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Bothroponera montivaga
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Bothroponera
Species group: pumicosa
Species: B. montivaga
Binomial name
Bothroponera montivaga
Arnold, 1947

Bothroponera cavernosa montivaga hal.jpg

Bothroponera cavernosa montivaga had.jpg

Type Specimen Label

Bothroponera montivaga specimens were collected from the Steenberg Mountains of the Cape Peninsula of South Africa. Label details about the habitat are lacking, but this area is predominately Fynbos and Thicket biomes.


Joma and Mackay (2015) - A member of the Bothroponera pumicosa species complex. The worker is large, total length 12.20 - 12.65 mm. The 2nd gastral segment of the B. montivaga worker is smooth and moderately shiny with a few shallow scattered punctures. The anterior border of the clypeus is convex, “v” shaped with a smooth anterior medial raised area and with a carina on the posterior half.

The workers of B. montivaga are nearly identical to those of Bothroponera cavernosa and Bothroponera umgodikulula. They differ from B. cavernosa and B. umgodikulula in the following ways: the surface of the 4th abdominal segment is smooth, but slightly less shiny, with tiny scattered punctures in B. montivaga while it is somewhat rough and shiny in B. umgodikulula and B. cavernosa. The anterior medial area of the clypeus is raised, but does not form a complete clypeal carina in B. montivaga, B. umgodikulula and B. cavernosa. The lower medial margin of the clypeus is “v” shaped without a carina in B. montivaga similar to that in B. umgodikulula, B. cavernosa and Bothroponera aspera, but this shape is with a longitudinal sharp carina in Bothroponera granosa. This character separates B. montivaga from the other Bothroponera pumicosa species complex members in that all species including Bothroponera berthoudi, Bothroponera cariosa, Bothroponera laevissima, Bothroponera pumicosa and Bothroponera strigulosa have an “u” shaped anterior medial margin of the clypeus. The propodeal spiracle is nearly vertical, leaning slightly anteriorly in B. montivaga resembling that in B. cavernosa and the other species in this complex, but not horizontal as in B. umgodikulula. The scape nearly reaches the posterior lateral corner of the head in B. montivaga similar to that in B. berthoudi, B. cariosa, B. granosa, B. laevissima, B. pumicosa and B. strigulosa. Conversely, the scape slightly exceeds the posterior lateral border of head in B. cavernosa and B. aspera, but just reaches or slightly exceeds it in B. umgodikulula. The sculpture of B. montivaga is foveolate identical to that of B. berthoudi, B. cavernosa, B. pumicosa, B. strigulosa, B. cariosa and B. umgodikulula while it is mostly smooth in both B. laevissima and B. aspera with few punctures in B. aspera. The sculpture is somewhat less foveolate in B. granosa. The head is subrectangular of B. montivaga, but it is suborbicular in both B. laevissima and B. aspera.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: South Africa (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.




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

  • montivaga. Bothroponera cavernosa var. montivaga Arnold, 1947: 132 (in text) (w.) SOUTH AFRICA.
    • Combination in Pachycondyla: Brown, in Bolton, 1995b: 307;
    • combination in Bothroponera: Joma & Mackay, 2013: 3; Schmidt, C.A. & Shattuck, 2014: 76.
    • Subspecies of pumicosa: Arnold, 1952a: 462 (in key).
    • Subspecies of cavernosa: Bolton, 1995b: 307.
    • Status as species: Joma & Mackay, 2015: 554 (redescription).

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



Joma and Mackay (2015) - (n=2), HL 2.80 - 2.90, HW 2.40 - 2.45, ML 1.50, EW 0.35 - 0.40, EL 0.45, SL 1.95, FL 2.90, WL 3.80 - 3.75, WPL 4.50 - 4.55, PL 1.00, PW 1.30, PH 1.55 - 1.50, CI 84.48 - 85.71, OI 18.36 - 18.75, MandI 51.72 - 53.57, SI 79.59 - 81.25, PetI 130. Head subquadrate; maximum clypeal length 2.00 - 2.05 mm; mandibles weakly striate with few scattered punctures, 7 teeth; scape nearly reaching posterior border of head; anterior margins of frontal lobes smooth, posterior part punctate; maximum width of frontal lobes 0.95 - 1.00 mm; length of malar space (0.50 mm), length from upper edge of eye to edge of posterior lobe 1.25 mm; propodeal spiracle sloping vertically; antennae, legs, mandibles shiny; petiole rounded and slightly narrowed anteriorly (top view), slightly concave posteriorly; sternopetiolar process developed with one tooth pointed ventrally; head covered with short (0.10 mm) erect silver hairs; pronotum, mesonotum, propodeum covered with short (0.10 - 0.15 mm) erect silver hairs; petiole and postpetiole covered with similar hairs (0.15 mm); head, pronotum, mesonotum, propodeum, mesopleuron, lateropropodeum, metapleuron, petiole and postpetiole coarsely foveolate. Metapleuron and lateropropodeum covered with vertical striae with upper part of posteropropodeal margin with coarse vertical nearly parallel grooves with posteropropodeal margin on lower part;second segment of the gaster smooth, slightly shiny and with tiny scattered punctures; mandibles, antennae and legs shiny; petiole rounded and slightly narrowed anteriorly, slightly concave posteriorly; head, pronotum, mesonotum, mesopleuron, propodeum, petiole, postpetiole, entire gaster black; legs, antennae, mandibles brownish black; clypeus dark-brown.

Type Material

Joma and Mackay (2015) - South Africa: Western Cape Province, Steenberg Mountains, Cape Peninsula, 34°4’0’’ S; 18°28’0’’ E, ii-1946, C. Pearson B. cavernosa v. montivaga (Arnold, 1947), 1 lectotype worker [here designated, marked with red dot] and 1 paralectotype worker without dot (# 11516), Collection South Africa museum ex. National Museum Bulawayo 1981 SAM/ENT (Iziko).