Feroponera ferox

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Feroponera ferox
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Feroponera
Species: F. ferox
Binomial name
Feroponera ferox
Bolton & Fisher, 2008

Feroponera ferox casent0102994 profile 1.jpg

Feroponera ferox casent0102994 dorsal 1.jpg Specimen Label

The type-series was recovered from an abandoned termitary of Cubitermes and was recorded in Dejean, Durand & Bolton (1996) as “n. sp. (near silvestrii)”. The termitary was not occupied, and provides no evidence that the species is termitophagous, but the modified condition of the mandibles and clypeus implies that its diet is carnivorous and specialised. (Bolton and Fisher 2008)


Schmidt and Shattuck (2014) - Workers of Feroponera can be readily identified by their clypeal teeth, anteriorly-located and closely approximated frontal lobes, eyeless condition, clubbed antennae, and spiniform traction setae on the mesotibiae and meso-/metabasitarsi. Feroponera is most likely to be confused with Centromyrmex, Boloponera, and Loboponera. Centromyrmex has a uniquely located metapleural gland orifice, and while Loboponera does have a pair of clypeal teeth, both Boloponera and Loboponera lack traction setae on the legs, among other differences. Similar paired clypeal teeth also occur in Dinoponera and Streblognathus, but these genera are otherwise very different from Feroponera and are unlikely to be confused with it.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Known only from the worker caste.


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

  • ferox. Feroponera ferox Bolton & Fisher, 2008c: 28, figs. 27, 28 (w.) CAMEROUN.

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



Holotype. TL 3.7, HL 0.71, HW 0.63, CI 89, ML 0.27, MI 38, SL 0.38, SI 60, PW 0.43, WL 1.09.

With characters of the genus, and the following. Mandibles smooth with scattered small pits. Frontal lobes divided medially only by a line. The 4 segments of the antennal club are relatively long, together about 0.50 mm., twice as long as funicular segments 1–7 together and distinctly longer than SL. Dorsum of head densely but shallowly irregularly reticulate-rugulose to punctate-rugulose. Dorsal surface of scape with suberect pubescence that is quite dense, but without long, stout setae; leading edge of scape with sparse subdecumbent pubescence only. Dorsum of head with dense pubescence, without standing setae. Pronotal dorsum with shallow poorly defined punctures and also with arched-transverse low rugular sculpture that is best defined at the midline. Sculpture of mesonotal dorsum much reduced from that of pronotum, the propodeal dorsum smooth. PW 1.95 × the maximum width of the bilaterally compressed propodeal dorsum. Side of mesosoma with superficial fine shagreenate-striolate sculpture, densest on the pronotum; only the katepisternum smooth. Dorsal surface of metatibia without spiniform setae. Petiole node in profile narrowing dorsally, the dorsum extremely feebly convex and the posterodorsal angle more rounded than the anterodorsal. Subpetiolar process an obtusely triangular point. Anterior face of first gastral tergite vertical in profile, forming a distinct angle with the dorsal surface. Gastral tergites 1–2 densely punctate, the sculpture fading out on tergites 3–4. Dorsum of pronotum and mesonotum with pubescence; dorsum of propodeum with pubescence reduced but with a few short slender setae present; dorsum of petiole with a few slender setae of varying lengths; gastral tergites with pubescence and also a few longer setae, especially on tergites 4–5.

Paratype Specimen Labels

Paratypes. TL 3.5-3.8, HL 0.67-0.70, HW 0.59-0.62, CI 87-90, ML 0.25-0.27, MI 37-38, SL 0.36-0.39, SI 61-63, PW 0.43-0.46, WL 1.04-1.10 (4 measured). As holotype.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Cameroun: Ndupe, 25.xi.1990, Cubitermes survey (A. Dejean) (The Natural History Museum). Paratypes. 4 workers (one dissected) with same data as holotype (BMNH, California Academy of Sciences).


  • Bolton, B. and B. L. Fisher. 2008c. Afrotropical ants of the ponerine genera Centromyrmex Mayr, Promyopias Santschi gen. rev. and Feroponera gen. n., with a revised key to genera of African Ponerinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 1929: 1-37. PDF