Mayaponera pergandei

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Mayaponera pergandei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Mayaponera
Species: M. pergandei
Binomial name
Mayaponera pergandei
(Forel, 1909)

Pachycondyla pergandei casent0178686 profile 1.jpg

Pachycondyla pergandei casent0178686 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Evolutionary Relationships

Mayaponera constricta

Mayaponera arhuaca

Mayaponera becculata

Mayaponera pergandei

Relationships among selected species of Mayaponera by Longino & Branstetter (2020).

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): A colony in Ecuador was nesting in the soil. Workers can be collected in sifted litter. A loose male was collected in July (Colombia), a second in May (Costa Rica) at a black light trap. Nothing else is known of the biology of this species.


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): Mayaponera pergandei and Mayaponera conicula from northern South America are very similar. The two species can be easily separated based on a number of good characteristics. The medial part of the clypeus of M. pergandei has a longitudinal depression; this same region is raised into a swollen area or a carina in M. conicula. The antennal scape extends well past the posterior lateral corner in M. pergandei, but does not reach the corner in M. conicula. The mesonotum is remarkably short in M. pergandei, whereas it is of the normal form (as in most of the remainder of the genus) in M. conicula. The worker of M. pergandei is slightly smaller than the worker of M. conicula.

The workers of M. pergandei could be easily confused with the nearly identical Mayaponera cernua from the state of Napo, Ecuador. Mayaponera pergandei can be easily separated as it lacks the ventrally directed tooth on the posterior edge of the subpetiolar process.

The worker of M. pergandei is similar to the worker of the Central and South American Mayaponera arhuaca. It can be separated by the shape of the petiole, which lacks the sharp posterior lateral margin (present in M. arhuaca).

The shape of the petiole of M. pergandei is very similar to that of the worker of Neoponera venusta. The two species can be easily separated by a number of characters. The mandibles are finely, but distinctly striate in M. pergandei, whereas they are smooth and polished in N. venusta. The mesopleuron is mostly horizontally striate in M. pergandei and is smooth and polished in N. venusta.

The unusual coloration is present in all of the males (except 1) of M. pergandei and M. conicula that were seen and if consistent, would separate the males of these two species from all of the others in the genus, including the male of the closely related M. cernua. The males of M. pergandei can be separated from those of M. conicula by the shape of the clypeus when viewed in profile, which is convex and rounded, not forming a relatively flat surface, which is abruptly lowered posteriorly in M. conicula. Additionally, the posterior part of the head of M. pergandei is oval - shaped, not broadly rounded as in M. conicula. The male of M. pergandei can be separated from the male of the closely related M. cernua, as it lacks a ventrally directed angle on the posterior edge of the subpetiolar process.



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala (type locality), Honduras, Peru, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


This species has been collected in riparian tropical rain forest at 29 - 513 meters elevation. It was collected in a cacao plantation in Ecuador. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)




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

  • pergandei. Euponera (Mesoponera) pergandei Forel, 1909a: 245 (w.) GUATEMALA.
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 482).
    • Type-locality: Guatemala: (no further data) (Pergande).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1974g: 279 (l.); Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 483 (m.).
    • Combination in Mesoponera: Kempf, 1972a: 141;
    • combination in Pachycondyla: Brown, in Bolton, 1995b: 308;
    • combination in Rasopone: Schmidt, C.A. & Shattuck, 2014: 210;
    • combination in Mayaponera: Longino & Branstetter, 2020: 10.
    • Status as species: Emery, 1911d: 82; Kempf, 1972a: 141; Bolton, 1995b: 308; Mackay, Mackay, et al. 2008: 196; Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 482 (redescription); Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012: 263; Bezděčková, et al. 2015: 125; Fernández & Guerrero, 2019: 544.
    • Distribution: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru.

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



From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The worker is a relatively small (total length about 5 - 6 mm) black ant with reddish brown mandibles, clypeus, antennae and appendages. The mandibles are long (~ 1 mm) with about 12 teeth (the basalmost teeth poorly developed). The anterior border of the clypeus is convex and medially it forms a raised area with a longitudinal depression in the middle. The head is slightly wider anteriorly and the posterior margin is weakly concave. The head length is 1.29 mm; the head width is 1.15 mm. The malar carina is absent. The eyes are relatively small (maximum diameter 0.18 mm) located approximately one diameter from the anterior margin of the head (side view) and with about 32 ommatidia. The antennal scape (1.08 mm) extends approximately one diameter (approximately ½ of the first funicular segment) past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The pronotal shoulder is rounded and the mesosoma is weakly depressed at the promesonotal suture and more strongly depressed at the metanotal suture. The propodeum is rounded between the two faces and the propodeal spiracle is small (0.03 mm) and circular. The petiole is moderately narrowed as seen in profile with a nearly straight anterior face, a well-developed obliquely sloping dorsal face and a slightly convex posterior face without sharp posterior lateral margins. The anterior and posterior faces of the petiole are nearly parallel. The subpetiolar process is a thickened lobe with a tiny ventrally directed hook anteriorly. The anterior face of the postpetiole is vertical, straight and meets the dorsal face head at nearly a right angle. The stridulatory file is absent on the second pretergite and the arolia are absent on the tarsi. The metasternal process consists of two well-developed triangular lobes.

Long (up to 0.35 mm) erect hairs are found on the clypeus and mandibles, shorter (up to 0.1 mm) hairs are scattered on the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, sides of the head, antennal scape, dorsum of the mesosoma, petiole and gaster, similar hairs are present on the legs, including the tibiae. Appressed whitish or golden pubescence is abundant on the dorsum of the head, dorsum of the mesosoma and dorsum of the gaster.

The entire dorsal surface of the mandible is finely striate and weakly shining, the dorsum and sides of the head are finely punctate, as is much of the mesosoma, most surfaces are moderately shining. The side of the pronotum is similar to the dorsum, the mesopleuron and metapleuron are horizontally striate and partially smooth, the side of the propodeum is mostly punctate. The side of the petiole is finely punctate and glossy, the front face is similar and posterior face is nearly completely smooth and glossy, with punctures near the apex and in the middle. The dorsum of the gaster is punctate and only moderately shining.


Queens are not known for this species.


From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The male (undescribed) is a small (total length 6 mm) dark brown ant with strongly contrasting yellowish brown or reddish brown mandibles, maxillary and labial palps, legs, pronotum and scutum. The head length is 1.14 mm; head width is 0.85 mm. The anterior margin of the clypeus is slightly convex, the surface of the clypeus, as seen in profile, is convex but rounded posteriorly. The eyes are large (maximum diameter 0.5 mm) located less than one maximum diameter from the lateral ocellus (as seen in an oblique view from the top and side). The propodeal spiracle is oval-shaped. The petiole is moderately wide when viewed in profile, with the anterior and posterior faces converging to a rounded apex. The subpetiolar process has a ventrally directed anterior tooth followed by a region that diminishes in width posteriorly.

Erect hairs are sparse on most surfaces, but are present on the anterior border of the clypeus, dorsum of the mesosoma, dorsum of the petiole, subpetiolar process and all surfaces of the gaster. Appressed to suberect pubescence is abundant on many surfaces, including the dorsum of the head, dorsum of the mesosoma, lower half of the anterior face of the petiole, lower surfaces of the posterior face of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster.

Most surfaces are sculptured and weakly shining, the propodeum has fine striolae and dorsum of the gaster is moderately shining.

No males associated with workers were seen. W. L. Brown (Museum of Comparative Zoology) identified the males used for the description. One apparent male from Limón, Costa Rica, has a dark brown pronotum and scutum (California Academy of Sciences).


Described by Wheeler & Wheeler (1974).

Type Material

Guatemala. Lectotype here designated, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève (Mackay and Mackay 2010)


This species was named in honor of the North American myrmecologist Theodore Pergande (1840 - 1916), who obtained the type series for Forel. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)