Harpegnathos venator

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Harpegnathos venator
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Harpegnathos
Species: H. venator
Binomial name
Harpegnathos venator
(Smith, F., 1858)




Harpegnathos venator is rare in Vietnam. It probably occurs in forest edges and relatively sparse forests. We found an undergound nest along a dirt trail in a sparse forest. (Eguchi et al. 2014)



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia.
Oriental Region: Bangladesh, India (type locality), Laos, Thailand, Vietnam.
Palaearctic Region: China.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Nesting Habits

Nests are complex constructions as in Harpegnathos saltator. In northern Thailand, the entrance is funnel-shaped and raised above the ground (C. Peeters & F. Ito, unpubl.). See Malagidris sofina for comparison

Nest with a single inhabited chamber from northern Thailand. Note the empty space below that may serve to evacuate flood water. Photo by Christian Peeters.
Inhabited chamber with cocoons and scattered eggs. Note the smooth inner walls that are wall-papered with empty cocoons. Photo by Christian Peeters.
Funnel entrance of a nest in an embankment. Photo by Christian Peeters.



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

  • venator. Drepanognathus venator Smith, F. 1858b: 82 (w.) INDIA. Forel, 1900c: 64 (q.m.). Combination in Harpegnathos: Emery, 1889b: 494. Current subspecies: nominal plus chapmani, rugosus. See also: Bingham, 1903: 51.

The following notes on F. Smith type specimens have been provided by Barry Bolton (details):

Drepanognathus venator

Holotype worker in The Natural History Museum. Labelled “Madras. 50/103.” Acc. Reg.: “1850 no. 103. Madras (French rocks). Presented by Mrs Capt. Hamilton.”



  • Bingham, C. T. 1903. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Hymenoptera, Vol. II. Ants and Cuckoo-wasps. London: Taylor and Francis, 506 pp. (page 51, see also)
  • Emery, C. 1889c. Formiche di Birmania e del Tenasserim raccolte da Leonardo Fea (1885-87). [part]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. 27[=(2)(7): 485-512 (page 494, Combination in Harpegnathos)
  • Eguchi, K., Bui, T.V. and Yamane, S. 2014. Generic Synopsis of the Formicidae of Vietnam (Insecta: Hymenoptera), Part II - Cerapachyinae, Aenictinae, Dorylinae, Leptanillinae, Amblyoponinae, Ponerinae, Ectatomminae and Ponerinae. Zootaxa. 3860:1–46.
  • Forel, A. 1900d. Les Formicides de l'Empire des Indes et de Ceylan. Part VI. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 13: 52-65 (page 64, queen, male described)
  • Smith, F. 1858a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp. (page 82, worker described)