Odontoponera denticulata

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Odontoponera denticulata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Odontoponera
Species: O. denticulata
Binomial name
Odontoponera denticulata
(Smith, F., 1858)

Odontoponera denticulata casent0249125 p 1 high.jpg

Odontoponera denticulata casent0249125 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Odontoponera denticulata occurs in wooded habitats including forest edges and disturbed areas, and usually nests in soil and forages on the ground surface. (Eguchi et al. 2014)



Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 32.9141° to -7.807608°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Indonesia, Krakatau Islands, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore (type locality).
Oriental Region: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam.

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.


Yamane (2009) - Odontoponera denticulata prefers disturbed areas, often bare ground. This contrasts with Odontoponera transversa, a similar species with an overlapping range, that lives in fairly good forests. In Lambir Hills National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, these two ants never coexist in one place. Odontoponera transversa occurs in primary forest and O. transversa inhabits the grounds of the park headquarters. In Bogor Botanical Gardens, West Java, where both species are very common (Ito et al., 2001), their habitat preference are different but less distinct. Odontoponera transversa is typically found in wetter and darker places while O. denticulata is collected around buildings.

Specimens from Taiwan (Leong et al. 2017) were collected in a forest near the coast. The collection site an abandoned house garden with many trees and thick leaf litter.


MCZ Odontoponera denticulata hef2 5.jpgMCZ Odontoponera denticulata hal1 25.jpgMCZ Odontoponera denticulata had1 25.jpgMCZ Odontoponera denticulata had1 lbs.jpg
. Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Images from AntWeb

Odontoponera denticulata casent0900664 p 1 high.jpgOdontoponera denticulata casent0900664 h 1 high.jpgOdontoponera denticulata casent0900664 l 1 high.jpgOdontoponera denticulata casent0900664 d 1 high.jpgOdontoponera denticulata casent0900664 p 2 high.jpg
Holotype of Odontoponera denticulataQueen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0900664. Photographer Ryan Perry, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMUK, London, UK.


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

  • denticulata. Ponera denticulata Smith, F. 1858b: 90, pl. 6, figs. 13, 14 (q.) South Africa (error).
    • Type-material: holotype queen.
    • Type-locality: South Africa: Cape of Good Hope, “?C.G.Hope” on label. Locality in error (Donisthorpe, 1943f: 677), specimen mislabelled.
    • Type-depository: BMNH.
    • Roger, 1861a: 12 (w.).
    • Combination in Odontoponera: Mayr, 1862: 717.
    • Junior synonym of transversa: Dalla Torre, 1893: 30; Forel, 1900d: 314; Emery, 1911d: 60; Wheeler, W.M. 1911f: 166; Wheeler, W.M. 1919e: 52; Creighton, 1929: 152; Donisthorpe, 1943f: 677; Bolton, 1995b: 298; Zhou, 2001b: 47.
    • Status as species: Roger, 1861a: 12; Mayr, 1862: 717; Roger, 1863b: 18; Mayr, 1863: 437; Mayr, 1865: 65; Mayr, 1867a: 82 (redescription); Mayr, 1872: 149; Forel, 1886d: 246; Emery, 1887b: 435; Emery, 1889b: 497; Baltazar, 1966: 245; Jaitrong & Nabhitabhata, 2005: 30; Yamane, 2009: 5 (redescription); Pfeiffer, et al. 2011: 57; Liu, C., Guénard, et al. 2015: 42; Bharti, Guénard, et al. 2016: 53; Jaitrong, Guénard, et al. 2016: 42; Rasheed, et al. 2019: 435.
    • Senior synonym of reticulata: Yamane, 2009: 7 (in text).
    • Distribution: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia (Java), Laos, Malaysia (Sabah, Sarawak), Myanmar, Pakistan Philippines (Basilan, Luzon, Negros, Panay, Romblon), Thailand, Vietnam.
    • [Note: distribution probably inaccurate because of confusion of denticulata and transversa in the past.]
  • reticulata. Ponera reticulata Smith, F. 1858b: 85 (m.) MYANMAR.
    • Type-material: holotype male.
    • Type-locality: Myanmar: “Birmah. 57/16” (Waring).
    • Type-depository: BMNH.
    • Status as species: Mayr, 1863: 450; Smith, F. 1871a: 320; Dalla Torre, 1893: 42; Emery, 1911d: 116; Chapman & Capco, 1951: 72.
    • Junior synonym of transversa: Donisthorpe, 1932c: 474; Bolton, 1995b: 298; Zhou, 2001b: 47.
    • Junior synonym of denticulata: Yamane, 2009: 7 (in text).

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



Leong et al. (2017) - HL 2.38–2.50 mm; HW 2.17–2.29 mm; SL 1.83–1.88 mm; TL 9.05–9.61 mm; PrW 1.50–1.73 mm; WL 3.38–3.46 mm; CI 91–94, SI 82–84. (n = 3 from Taiwan)

Head. In full-face view, rectangular with lateral sides slightly convex and occipital margin very weakly concave. Anterior margin of clypeus with eight teeth. Mandible strong and triangle, with five teeth. Eye large and circular, with ca. 25 ommatidia along long axis. Vertex with poorly developed raised area near occipital margin. Antenna with 12 segments; antennal scape only slightly exceeding the occipital margin.

Mesosoma. In lateral view, dorsum of mesosoma slightly convex, with distinct promesonotal suture and metanotal groove so that mesonotum sharply defined. In dorsal view, mesosoma narrowing from pronotum to propodeum. Shoulders of pronotum with a pair of blunt spines; anterior margin of pronotum convex. Posterodorsal corner of propodeum rounded, forming blunt angle, with some pairs of denticles.

Petiole. In dorsal view, petiole broader than long. Petiolar node in frontal view slightly concave apically, in lateral view narrowly triangular with straight anterior and posterior margins. With petiole in profile subpetiolar process trapezoidal, narrowed behind, with anterovental corner rightangled and posterovental corner more acute.

Sculpture. Head and mesosoma with deep rugae; pronotum with deep and regular transverse rugae; lateral pronotal profile with curved rugae, mesonotum and propodeum also with transverse but weakly curved rugae. Clypeus with fine longitudinal striae. Propodeal declivity with a few superficial transverse striae. Mandible, subpetiolar process and gaster smooth. Rugae on petiole almost obliterated. Pilosity. Sides of head, anterior margin of clypeus, sides of mandible, dorsum of mesosoma, petiolar node, and gaster with standing hairs of various lengths. Antennae, legs, propodeal dorsum, petiolar node and gaster densely with appressued pubescence.

Color. Body color blackish brown, sometimes with reddish tinge; antennae and legs reddish brown.

Type Material

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

Ponera denticulata

Holotype alate queen in The Natural History Museum. Labelled “Ponera denticulata Sm. ?C.G. Hope.” Type-locality of Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) in error. Locality = Singapore, see Donisthorpe, 1943f: 677.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Abe T., S. Yamane, and K. Onoyama. Ants collected on the Krakatau Islands 100 years after the great eruptions. Biogeography 14: 65-75.
  • Alcantara M. J., S. Modi, T. C. Ling, J. Monkai, H. Xu, S. Huang, and A. Nakamura. 2019. Differences in geographic distribution of ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) between forests and rubber plantations: a case study in Xishuangbanna, China, and a global meta-analysis. Myrmecological News 29: 135-145.
  • Bickel T.O., and S. Watanasit. 2005. Diversity of leaf litter ant communities in Ton Nga Chang Wildlife sanctuary and nearby rubber plantations, Songkhla, Southern Thailand. Songklanakarin J. Sci. Technology 27(5): 943-955.
  • Borowiec L., and S. Salata. 2019. Next step in the invasion: Trichomyrmex mayri (Forel, 1902) new to the Philippines (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Annals of the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom Entomology 28(3): 1-3.
  • Dad J. M., S. A. Akbar, H. Bharti, and A. A. Wachkoo. 2019. Community structure and ant species diversity across select sites ofWestern Ghats, India. Acta Ecologica Sinica 39: 219–228.
  • Eguchi K., B. T. Viet, and S. Yamane. 2014. Generic Synopsis of the Formicidae of Vietnam (Insecta: Hymenoptera), Part II—Cerapachyinae, Aenictinae, Dorylinae, Leptanillinae, Amblyoponinae, Ponerinae, Ectatomminae and Proceratiinae. Zootaxa 3860: 001-046.
  • Eguchi K., T. V. Bui, S. Yamane, H. Okido, and K. Ogata. 2004. Ant faunas of Ba Vi and Tam Dao, North Vietnam (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bull. Inst. Trop. Agr. Kyushu Univ. 27: 77-98.
  • Emery C. 1887. Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte terza. Formiche della regione Indo-Malese e dell'Australia (continuazione e fine). [concl.]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. 25(5): 427-473.
  • Emery, C. "Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte terza. Formiche della regione Indo-Malese e dell'Australia (continuazione e fine)." Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria (Genova) (2) 5, no. 25 (1887): 427-473.
  • General D. M., and G. D. Alpert. 2012. A synoptic review of the ant genera (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the Philippines. Zookeys 200: 1-111.
  • Hannan M.A. 2008. New ant records fro Bangladesh. Asian Myrmecology 2: 95-98.
  • Herwina H., R. Satria, Yaherwandi, and Y. Sakamaki. 2018. Subterranean ant species diversity (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in educational and biological research forest of universitas andalas, Indonesia. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies 6(1): 1720-1724.
  • Herwina H., and K. Nakamura. 2007. Ant species diversity study using pitfall traps in a small yard in Bogor Botanic garden, West Java, Indonesia. Treubia 35: 99-116.
  • Ito, F.; Yamane, S.; Eguchi, K.; Noerdjito, W. A.; Kahono, S.; Tsuji, K.; Ohkawara, K.; Yamauchi, K.; Nishida, T.; Nakamura, K. 2001. Ant species diversity in the Bogor Botanic Garden, West Java, Indonesia, with descriptions of two new species of the genus Leptanilla (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Tropics 10:379-404.
  • Jaitrong W., B. Guenard, E. P. Economo, N. Buddhakala, and S. Yamane. 2016. A checklist of known ant species of Laos (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Asian Myrmecology 8: 1-32. DOI: 10.20362/am.008019
  • Jaitrong W., and T. Ting-Nga. 2005. Ant fauna of Peninsular Botanical Garden (Khao Chong), Trang Province, Southern Thailand (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The Thailand Natural History Museum Journal 1(2): 137-147.
  • Jaitrong W.; Nabhitabhata, J. 2005. A list of known ant species of Thailand. The Thailand Natural History Museum Journal 1(1): 9-54.
  • Latumahina F., M. Borovanska, N. S. Putra, and M. Janda. 2015. Ants of Ambon Island – diversity survey and checklist. ZooKeys 472: 43–57.
  • Leong C. M., S. F. Shiao, and B. Guenard. 2017. Ants in the city, a preliminary checklist of Formicidae (Hymenoptera) in Macau, one of the most heavily urbanized regions of the world. Asian Myrmecology 9: e009014.
  • Leong C.M., S. F. Shiao, J. J. Liu, C. C. Lin, and S. Yamane. 2017. Records of Odontoponera denticulata (F. Smith, 1858) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Taiwan, with a note on sculptural variation in workers. Japanese Journal of Systematic Entomology, 23 (1): 21–27.
  • Liu C, B. Guénard, F Hita Garcia, S. Yamane, B. Blanchard, and E. Economo. New records of ant species from Yunnan, China. Submitted to Zookeys
  • Lopwichan S., and S. Khachonpisitsak. 2015. Ant diversity in Nong Tha Yu Arboretum, Si Racha District, Chon Buri Province. Proceedings The 7 th National Science Research Conference. 30-31 March 2015. Naresuan University.
  • Ngoc Anh L., K. Ogata, and S. Hosoishi. 2010. Ants of agricultural fields in Vietnam (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bull. Inst. Trop. Agr. Kyushu Univ. 33: 1-11.
  • Ogata K. 2005. Asian ant inventory and international networks. Report on Insect inventory Project in Tropic Asia TAIIV: 145-170.
  • Pfeiffer M.; Mezger, D.; Hosoishi, S.; Bakhtiar, E. Y.; Kohout, R. J. 2011. The Formicidae of Borneo (Insecta: Hymenoptera): a preliminary species list. Asian Myrmecology 4:9-58
  • Rasheed M. T., I. Bodlah, A. G. Fareen, A. A. Wachkoo, X. Huang, and S. A. Akbar. 2019. A checklist of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Pakistan. Sociobiology 66(3): 426-439.
  • Rubiana R., A. Rizali, L. H. Denmead, W. Alamsari, P. Hidaya, Pudjianto, D. Hindayana, Y. Clough, T. Tscharntke, and D. Buchori. 2015. Agricultural land use alters species composition but not species richness of ant communities. Asian Myrmecology 7, .
  • Sakchoowong W., W. Jaitrong, and K. Ogata. 2009. Comparison of ground-ant diversity between natural forests and disturbed forests along a natural gas pipeline transect in Thong Pha Phum National Park, Kanchanaburi province. Kasetsart J. (Nat. Sci) 43: 64-73.
  • Schmidt F. A., C. R. Ribas, T. G. Sobrinho, R. Ubaidillah, J. H. Schereder, Y. Clough, and T. Tscharntke. 2017. Similar alpha and beta diversity changes in tropical ant communities, comparing savannas and rainforests in Brazil and Indonesia. Oecologia DOI 10.1007/s00442-017-3960-y
  • Sitthicharoenchai D., and N. Chantarasawat. 2006. Ant species diversity in the establishing area for Advanced Technology Institute at Lai-Nan Sub-district, Wiang Sa district, Nan Province, Thailand. The Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University 6(2): 67-74
  • Suputa, S. Yamane, E. Martono, Z. Hossain, and A. T. Arminudin. 2007. Odontoponera denticulata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): a potential biological control agent for true fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Jurnal Ilmu-Ilmu Pertanian Indonesia. Edisi Khusus (3): 351-356.
  • Yamane S. 2009. Odontoponera denticulata (F. Smith) (Formicidae: Ponerinae), a distinct species inhabiting disturbed areas. Ari 32:1-8.
  • Yamane S. 2013. A Review of the ant fauna of the Krakatau Islands, Indonesia. Bull. Kitakyushu Mus. Nat. Hist. Hum. Hist. Ser: A, 11: 1-66
  • Yamane S.; Bui T. V.; Ogata K.; Okido H.; Eguchi K. 2002. Ant fauna of Cuc Phuong National Park, North Vietnam (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bulletin of the Institute of Tropical Agriculture Kyushu University 25: 51-62.
  • Zryanin V. A. 2015. Important supplements to the ant fauna of Vietnam. Proceedings of the 10th ANeT International Conference, 23-26 October 2015, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. 24.
  • Zryanin V. A., and M. V. Mokrousov. 2015. Contribution to the ant fauna of Lombok Island. Proceedings of the 10th ANeT International Conference, 23-26 October 2015, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. 34