Hypoponera boerorum

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Hypoponera boerorum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Hypoponera
Species: H. boerorum
Binomial name
Hypoponera boerorum
(Forel, 1901)

Hypoponera boerorum casent0907303 p 1 high.jpg

Hypoponera boerorum casent0907303 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nothing is known about the biology of Hypoponera boerorum.


Bolton and Fisher (2011) - At first glance Hypoponera boerorum appears to be a somewhat smaller version of Hypoponera spei, but the form of the pilosity on the dorsum of the first gastral tergite separates the two in the material available. In boerorum there are many standing setae that arise all over the sclerite, but all are short and stubble-like except for those at the extreme apex of the segment, which are notably longer. In spei the setae are less numerous but much longer, fine and very conspicuous. In addition, the subpetiolar process of boerorum is rounded, without a developed posteroventral angle, whereas in spei a posteroventral angle is often, but not always, present (see description of spei).

A member of the boerorum group.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -29.331105° to -29.331105°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: South Africa (type locality).
Palaearctic Region: Belgium.

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.


Explore-icon.png Explore Overview of Hypoponera biology 
Hypoponera inhabit and nest in leaf litter, the surface layer of soil, downed rotten wood, and soil around plant roots. Nests are typically found by turning objects on the ground, like downed wood and rocks, or through the ripping away of bark found on rotting downed wood or at the base of dead trees. Litter samples in tropical areas, especially in moist forested sites, often contain individuals of this genus. All Hypoponera are thought to be predators of small arthropods but published details about their diet are sparse. A lack of information about other aspects of their biology is also typical for most species.

The genus is most diverse in the tropics. Species found in higher latitudes tend to be more widespread, common and abundant than their tropical and subtropical congeners. ‎



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

  • boerorum. Ponera coarctata r. boerorum Forel, 1901f: 339 (w.) SOUTH AFRICA. Combination in Hypoponera: Taylor, 1967a: 12. Raised to species: Santschi, 1938b: 78. See also: Bolton & Fisher, 2011: 30.

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

Bolton and Fisher (2011) - The original description of boerorum associated it with coarctata (type-species of Ponera) and was superficial in the extreme. No useful discriminating characters were documented and it was vaguely compared with lucida Emery, now a junior synonym of Ponera coarctata from Turkestan, and with Hypoponera mackayensis (Forel), an unrelated Hypoponera species from Australia. When Hypoponera spei was described, nearly a decade later, no mention was made of boerorum, although the type-localities of the two were both in Natal and probably only a few miles apart. Because the description of spei was marginally better than that of boerorum, it became the template for understanding the species, and boerorum was effectively forgotten until Santschi (1938) elevated the name to species rank. He did this merely by pointing out a few differences between coarctata and boerorum, but failed to compare the latter with any other African congener.

Both boerorum and spei usually have a distinct pit near the anterior margin of the subpetiolar process, from which a sensory seta arises. The seta and its pit are very common in Afrotropical Hypoponera and are easily visible in many species, but in these two the pit appears hypertrophied, by comparison with other species, and in the most extreme examples appears very similar to the thin-spot or fenestra that is diagnostic of Ponera.



Bolton and Fisher (2011) - Measurements: HL 0.68–0.72, HW 0.56–0.60, HS 0.620–0.660, SL 0.46–0.50, PrW 0.45–0.48, WL 0.94–0.96, HFL 0.48–0.52, PeNL 0.18–0.20, PeH 0.40–0.42, PeNW 0.28–0.30, PeS 0.287–0.297 (6 measured). Indices: CI 82–86, SI 80–83, PeNI 61–65, LPeI 45–50, DPeI 140–158.

Eyes present, small and inconspicuous, depigmented in the syntypes. In full-face view apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, distinctly fails to reach the midpoint of the posterior margin; SL/HL 0.68–0.70. Reticulate-punctulate sculpture of cephalic dorsum fine, but head distinctly more densely sculptured than pronotal dorsum. Propodeal dorsum smooth, with only faint traces of scattered minute punctulae. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture absent or with a weak vestige still visible. Metanotal groove distinctly incised across dorsum of mesosoma; mesonotum with a well-defined posterior margin. Propodeal declivity separated from side by a blunt angle or a weak margination, without sharp carinae. Mesopleuron smooth and shining. Petiole in profile with the anterior and posterior faces of the node convergent dorsally; node distinctly longer just above the anterior tubercle than at the dorsum. Sternite of petiole in profile with a rounded subpetiolar process that lacks sharp angles anteriorly or posteriorly. Anterior margin of subpetiolar process, near its base, with a conspicuous pit from which a sensory seta arises. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view less than the width of the second tergite at its mid-length. Base of cinctus of second gastral tergite with strong cross-ribs. Posttergite of second gastral segment, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, distinctly broader than long. Punctures on disc of second gastral tergite superficial and densely crowded but not appearing microreticulate. With first gastral segment in profile, the dorsum with many short, stubbly, standing setae that arise along the entire length of the tergite. Full adult colour yellow.

Type Material

Bolton and Fisher (2011) - Syntype workers, SOUTH AFRICA: Natal, alt. 5300 ft (1600 m. in description), no. 159 (Haviland) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève) [examined].


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Arnold G. 1915. A monograph of the Formicidae of South Africa. Part I. Ponerinae, Dorylinae. Annals of the South African Museum 14: 1-159.
  • Bolton, B., and B. L. Fisher. "Taxonomy of Afrotropical and West Palaearctic ants of the ponerine genus Hypoponera Santschi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Zootaxa 2843 (2012): 1-118.
  • Emery C. 1911. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118: 1-125.
  • Forel A. 1901. Nouvelles espèces de Ponerinae. (Avec un nouveau sous-genre et une espèce nouvelle d'Eciton). Revue Suisse de Zoologie 9: 325-353.