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A small genus that ranges from Israel to Indonesia. Almost nothing is known about its habits, but its unusual mandibles suggest a specialized diet.


Varghese (2006) - Small to medium size, mandibles long with 5-6 tooth, apical tooth unusually long, and broadly curved. Antennae 12 segmented with 3 segmented club. Eyes formed from one to ten ommatidia. Frontal lobes present. Alitrunk with well developed sutures. Petiole squamose with a well formed subpetiolar process. Hind tibia with a single pectinate spur. Body generally sculptured.

Schmidt and Shattuck (2014) - Emeryopone workers are easily separated from most other ponerines by their long curved mandibles, which have five long teeth, the apical tooth greatly attenuated. The only genus with similar mandibles is Belonopelta, and to a much lesser extent Thaumatomyrmex. Emeryopone and Belonopelta can be separated by their frontal lobes (which are medium sized and separated anteriorly by a posterior extension of the clypeus in Emeryopone, and very small and closely approximated in Belonopelta) and body sculpturing and pilosity (foveolate with abundant short pilosity and variable pubescence in Emeryopone, and pruinose without upright pilosity in Belonopelta). Thaumatomyrmex has much longer mandibular teeth than Emeryopone, much more widely spaced frontal lobes, and larger eyes, among other differences.

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Keys including this Genus


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Emeryopone has an unusual distribution, with collections known from Israel, India, Nepal, southern China, Indonesia, and Malaysia (Baroni Urbani, 1975; Xu, 1998; Varghese, 2006; pers. obs.). Collections are rare and probably underestimate the true range of Emeryopone (Baroni Urbani, 1975).

Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps

Species by Region

Number of species within biogeographic regions, along with the total number of species for each region.

Afrotropical Region Australasian Region Indo-Australian Region Malagasy Region Nearctic Region Neotropical Region Oriental Region Palaearctic Region
Species 1 0 1 0 0 0 3 2
Total Species 2841 1736 3045 932 835 4379 1741 2862


Schmidt and Shattuck (2014) - Basically nothing definite is known about the habits of Emeryopone. Based on their morphological characteristics and on collection data they are almost certainly cryptobiotic, and the rarity with which they are collected (Baroni Urbani, 1975; Xu, 1998; Varghese, 2006) suggests a low population density, though this may be an artifact of inadequate collection methods, as apparently has been the case with Thaumatomyrmex (see under that genus). The extremely similar mandibular structure of Emeryopone and Belonopelta suggests a similar diet preference, and though the feeding habits of Emeryopone have not been reported, some Belonopelta feed to a large degree on diplurans. Emeryopone may have a similar diet specialization. The downcurved gaster of Emeryopone implies that it hunts in tight spaces.

Hosoishi et al. (2015) collected workers of Emeryopone sp. by Winkler extraction in a dry forest in Phnom Bokor National Park, Kampot Province, Cambodia.

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: ? (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Compound colony type: not parasitic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Nest site: hypogaeic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Diet class: predator (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging stratum: subterranean/leaf litter (Greer et al., 2021)



Worker Morphology

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• Antennal segment count: 12 • Antennal club: gradual • Palp formula: 3,3 • Total dental count: 1 simple, 1 pectinate • Eyes: 11-100 ommatidia • Pronotal Spines: absent • Mesonotal Spines: absent • Propodeal Spines: absent • Petiolar Spines: absent • Caste: none or weak • Sting: present • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: present

Male Morphology

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 • Caste unknown



Platythyrea  (40 species, 6 fossil species)

Pachycondyla group
⊞(show genera)
Ponera group
⊞(show genera)

Harpegnathos  (13 species, 0 fossil species)

Hypoponera  (177 species, 1 fossil species)

Plectroctena group
⊞(show genera)
Odontomachus group
⊞(show taxa)

See Phylogeny of Ponerinae for details.


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

  • EMERYOPONE [Ponerinae: Ponerini]
    • Emeryopone Forel, 1912m: 761. Type-species: Emeryopone buttelreepeni, by monotypy.
    • [Emeryopone also described as new by Forel, 1913k: 14.]
    • Emeryopone junior synonym of Belonopelta: Baroni Urbani 1975b: 296; Hölldobler & Wilson, 1990: 10.
    • Emeryopone revived status as genus: Brown, in Bolton, 1994: 164; Bolton, 1995b: 187.

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


Schmidt and Shattuck (2014):


Small (TL 3.2–4.9 mm) ants with the standard characters of Ponerini. Mandibles long, narrow, with five teeth, the apical tooth greatly attenuated. Mandibles without a basal groove. Anterior clypeal margin convexly triangular. Frontal lobes small to moderate in size. Eyes small to very small, located far anterior of head midline. Metanotal groove absent or a vestigial suture. Propodeum broad dorsally. Propodeal spiracles round. Metatibial spur formula (1p). Petiole nodiform, the node rounded and wider than long. Subpetiolar process usually with a small lateral fovea near the anterior end. Gaster with a moderate girdling constriction between pre- and postsclerites of A4. Tergite of A4 moderately arched, the gaster mildly recurved. Head and body foveolate, with very light striations on the sides of the mesosoma and with abundant short pilosity and abundant to absent pubescence. Color ferruginous to black.


Described only for Emeryopone melaina: Similar to worker but slightly larger and alate, with three ocelli, larger eyes, and the modifications of the thoracic sclerites typical for winged ponerine queens (Xu, 1998).