Gnamptogenys aterrima

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Gnamptogenys aterrima
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ectatomminae
Tribe: Ectatommini
Genus: Gnamptogenys
Species: G. aterrima
Binomial name
Gnamptogenys aterrima
(Mann, 1921)

Gnamptogenys aterrima casent0171062 p 1 high.jpg

Gnamptogenys aterrima casent0171062 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The only Gnamptogenys species from the Fiji Islands.


Lattke (2004) - Frons mostly smooth medially with piligerous punctae laterally; mesosoma, petiole, and gaster mostly smooth; promesonotal suture reduced or indistinct; metanotal sulcus distinct; metacoxal dorsum unarmed.


Endemic to Fiji.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Fiji (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Collections were made from a series in a rotten stick in leaf litter and from sifted rainforest leaf litter. Mann (1921) noted: occurs in small colonies beneath stones, not commonly, though widely distributed.

Not much is known about the the biology of Gnamptogenys aterrima. We can speculate that the biology of this species is similar to other species of the genus. Gnamptogenys are predatory ponerine ants that inhabit tropical and subtropical mesic forests. Nesting is typically at ground level in rotten wood or leaf litter. Some exceptions include species that are arboreal, a dry forest species and species that nests in sandy savannahs. Colony size tends to be, at most, in the hundreds. Queens are the reproductives in most species. Worker reproduction is known from a few species in Southeastern Asia. Generalist predation is the primary foraging/dietary strategy. Specialization on specific groups (millipedes, beetles, other ants) has developed in a few species.






The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • aterrima. Wheeleripone aterrima Mann, 1921: 411, fig. 2 (w.q.m.) FIJI IS. Combination in Gnamptogenys: Brown, 1958g: 227. See also: Lattke, 2004: 60.

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



Lattke 2004 Gnamptogenys fig 10-12

Lattke (2004) - Metrics (n = 9): HL 0.86-0.92, HW 0.69-0.74, ML 0.38-0.44, SL 0.72-0.79, ED 0.13-0.18, WL 1.03-1.10 mm. CI 0.79-0.84, SI 1.00-1.08, MI 0.54-0.60, OI 0.18-0.22. Head oval in frontal view, wider posterad than anterad, posterior margin with brief median concavity; anterior clypeal margin convex; frons mostly smooth medially, laterally with rows of piligerous punctae, occipital lobe absent; dorsal lobe of torulus not covered by frontal lobe; scape gradually widened apically, slightly arched basally, dorsum punctate with decumbent pilosity, scape surpassing posterior cephalic margin by at least two apical widths; first funicular segment slightly longer than wide. Clypeus with shallow posteromedian longitudinal sulcus, mostly smooth medially, laterally longitudinally strigulose, brief strigulae present along anterior margin, spilling onto lamella, lamella with small median lobe. Mandibular dorsum smooth with shallow piligerous punctae, masticatory border bluntly denticulate. Dorsal cephalic margin posteriorly evenly convex until anterior margin of frontal lobes in lateral view. Clypeus divided into convex posterior region and anterior sharply inclined margin in lateral view; ommatidia large. Ventral cephalic sculpturing foveolate-rugulose.

Mesosomal dorsal margin evenly convex in lateral view; pronotum anteroventrally angulose, ventral sulcus present; promesonotal suture obsolescent; mesosoma mostly smooth laterally, with sparse punctae and low rugulae; mesosomal dorsum mostly smooth with lateral punctae; metanotal sulcus distinctly impressed as series of contiguous depressions, wider than promesonotal suture. Anepisternum mostly indistinct, sometimes delimited posteriorly by series of brief longitudinal impressions; strigulae present on posteroventral metapleuron; propodeal declivity broadly concave in lateral view, propodeal spiracle separated from declivity by less than one spiracular diameter, propodeal declivity glabrous. Petiole compressed in lateral view, dorsal margin shorter than anterior margin, spiracle situated below anterolateral process, anterior ridge present; postpetiolar process V-shaped in anterior view, with two lateral lobes; gaster mostly smooth with sparse punctae on postpetiole and punctulae on fourth abdominal segment. Fore coxa mostly smooth, some transverse strigulae present along posteroapical region; basal fore tarsal segment with a series of stout setae opposite strigil, dorsally smooth with punctulae; apex of second fore tarsal segment with 4 stout setae; fore tarsal segments 2-4 slightly longer than wide; metacoxal dorsum unarmed. Dorsum of thorax and abdominal segments 1-4 with scattered erect to subdecumbent hairs. Head, mesosoma, gaster brown; mandibles, antennae, legs ferruginous brown.


Lattke (2004) - Metrics (n = 1): HL 0.90, HW 0.76, ML 0.39, SL 0.79, ED 0.18, WL 1.18 mm. CI 0.85, SI 1.04, MI 0.51, OI 0.24. As worker, except for clearly defined anepisternum, with small elongate region of longitudinal parallel carinulae just below tegula; katepisternum with some transverse-oblique strigulae along posterior margin. Nota and dorsal propodeal surface smooth, with sparse punctulae laterally; declivity glabrous.


Length 2.5 mm.

Head, excluding eyes, distinctly longer than broad, rather broadly rounded behind. Eyes convex, less than half as long as sides of head, situated a little in front of middle. Ocelli large. Mandibles very well developed, similar in shape to those of worker. Clypeus flattened at middle, broadly rounded at anterior border. Frontal carinae short and curved. Antennae 14-jointed, slender, their scapes extending a little beyond posterior borders of eyes, 1st funicular joint rounded, a little shorter than the second, remaining joints cylindrical, the second twice as long as broad, the others increasing in length toward the apex, terminal joint tapering, as long as the two preceding joints and about five times as long as broad. Thorax robust, broadest in front of wing insertions. Mesothorax with strong Mayrian furrows, margined along apical half of border. Scutellum convex, broader than long. Base of epinotum feebly rounded, about half as long as the flat declivous portion. Petiole. in profile longer than deep, narrowed and evenly convex above; from above, a little longer than broad and slightly narrowed in front. Gaster slender. Genitalia prominent; penicelli large, stipites elongate and coarsely ciliate apically.

Shining. Head rugosely punctate, the remainder with scattered irregular punctation.

Pilosity similar to worker.

Reddish brown throughout. Wings hyaline, veins and stigma brown.

Lattke (2004) - Metrics (n = 1): HL 0.67, HW 0.59, ML 0.33, SL 0.36, ED 0.29, WL 1.14 mm. CI 0.88, SI 0.61, MI 0.567, OI 0.49.

Type Material

Museum of Comparative Zoology M.C.Z. 8,685

Lattke (2004) - Syntype workers, queen, male: Fiji, Viti Levu, Waiyanitu (Mann) (Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History) [Examined].


  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1958g. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. II. Tribe Ectatommini (Hymenoptera). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 118: 173-362 (page 227, Combination in Gnamptogenys)
  • Lattke, J. E. 2004. A Taxonomic Revision and Phylogenetic Analysis of the Ant Genus Gnamptogenys Roger in Southeast Asia and Australasia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae). University of California Publications in Entomology 122: 1-266 (page 60, fig. 12 worker, male described)
  • Mann, W. M. 1921. The ants of the Fiji Islands. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 64:401-499. (page 411, fig. 2 worker, queen, male described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Brown W. L., Jr. 1958. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. II. Tribe Ectatommini (Hymenoptera). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 118: 173-362.
  • Dlussky G.M. 1994. Zoogeography of southwestern Oceania. Zhivotnoe naselenie ostrovov Iugo-Zapadnoi Okeanii ekologo-geograficheskie issledovanii 48-93.
  • Lattke J. E. 2004. A taxonomic revision and phylogenetic analysis of the ant genus Gnamptogenys Roger in Southeast Asia and Australasia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae). University of California Publications in Entomology 122: 1-266.
  • Mann W. M. 1921. The ants of the Fiji Islands. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 64: 401-499.
  • Sarnat Eli M. 2009. The Ants [Hymenoptera: Formicdiae] of Fiji: Systematics, Biogeography and Conservation of an Island Arc Fauna. 80-252
  • Ward, Darren F. and James K. Wetterer. 2006. Checklist of the Ants of Fiji. Fiji Arthropods III 85: 23-47.
  • Wheeler W.M. 1935. Check list of the ants of Oceania. Occasional Papers of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum 11(11):1-56.
  • Wheeler, William Morton.1935.Checklist of the Ants of Oceania.Occasional Papers 11(11): 3-56
  • Wilson E.O. 1959. Adaptive shift and dispersal in a tropical ant fauna. Evolution 13(1): 122-144.
  • Wilson E.O., and G.L. Hunt. 1967. Ant fauna of Futuna and Wallis islands, stepping stones to Polynesia. Pacific Insects 9(4): 563-584.
  • Wilson Edward O. 1959. Adaptive Shift and Dispersal in a Tropical Ant Fauna. Evolution 13(1): 122-144
  • Wilson, Edward O. and George L. Hunt. 1967. Ant Fauna of Futuna and Wallis Islands, Stepping Stones To Polynesia. Pacific Insects. 9(4):563-584.
  • Wilson, Edward O. and Hunt, George L. Jr. 1967. Ant Fauna of Futuna and Wallis Islands, Stepping Stones to Polynesia. Pacific Insects. 9(4):563-584