Key to Indo-Pacific Prionopelta Species

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The following key to Indo-Pacific Prionopelta is based on Shattuck (2008[1]).


  • Anterolateral corners of head, near mandibular insertions, each with a distinct, well developed tooth; size larger, head width > 0.60mm (New Caledonia) => Prionopelta brocha
Prionopelta-brocha MCZH1905.jpg
Prionopelta-brocha MCZL1906.jpg
  • Anterolateral corners of head, near mandibular insertions, generally rounded or at most with a very small, obscure tooth on each side; size smaller, head width < 0.58mm (widespread but not known from New Caledonia) => 2


  • Dorsal mesosomal sculpturing reduced to minor irregularities; size larger, head width > 0.49mm (PNG, Solomon Islands) => Prionopelta nominata
Prionopelta majuscula casent0172308 head 1.jpg
Prionopelta majuscula casent0172308 profile 1.jpg
  • Dorsal mesosomal sculpturing distinct, consisting of punctuations (small pin-pricks) and/or foveae (small flat-bottomed depressions); size smaller, head width < 0.48mm (widespread) => 3


  • Dorsal mesosomal sculpturing consisting of fine punctations or very small, closely spaced foveae on the pronotum which contrast markedly with the widely spaced foveae on the mesonotum and propodeum, the foveae on the propodeum varying across its width (weakest medially, stronger laterally) => 4
  • Dorsal mesosomal sculpturing composed of more widely spaced foveae which are only slightly more dense on the pronotum than on the mesonotum and propodeum, and which are uniformly distributed across the width of the propodeum => 5


  • Petiole narrower, PetW < 0.21; pronotal sculpturing consisting of small punctures; variation in sculpturing across width of propodeum weaker (SE Asia to Samoa) => Prionopelta kraepelini
Prionopelta kraepelini casent0102524 head 1.jpg
Prionopelta kraepelini casent0102524 profile 1.jpg
  • Petiole broader, PetW > 0.22; pronotal sculpturing consisting of small foveae; variation in sculpturing across width of propodeum stronger (Australia and PNG) => Prionopelta robynmae
Prionopelta robynmae holotype ANIC32-039009 head 115-Antwiki.jpg
Prionopelta robynmae holotype ANIC32-039009 side 80-Antwiki.jpg


  • Petiole narrower, PetW < 0.20; colour pale yellow (Irian Jaya) => Prionopelta media
  • Petiole broader, PetW > 0.21; colour generally red-brown (PNG, Micronesia and eastward) => Prionopelta opaca
Prionopelta opaca casent0172298 head 1.jpg
Prionopelta opaca casent0172298 profile 1.jpg


  1. Shattuck, S.O. 2008.Revision of the ant genus Prionopelta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Indo-Pacific region. Zootaxa 1846, 21–34.