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Species: Ponera pennsylvanica   Buckley, 1866 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Ponera pennsylvanica Buckley, 1866 PDF: 171 (w.) U.S.A. (Pennsylvania). Nearctic. Primary type information: Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated). Type-locality: U.S.A.: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (S.B. Buckley). Type-depository: unknown (no material known to exist). AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Emery, 1895d PDF: 267 (q.m.); Wheeler, 1900c PDF: 46, 52 (m.l.); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1952c PDF: 631 (l.)
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Uganda
    Americas: Canada, Mexico, United States
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Afrotropical, Nearctic

Distribution Notes:



Habitat: Usually abundant wherever there is moist, at least moderately rich soil, whether shaded or open, moist to dry-mesic, and even in highly degraded habitats such as lawns, gardens, fencerows, successional fields and thickets. P. pennsylvanica also occurs in sedge hummocks in fens. In prairie, it nests in the root-zone of sedges or grasses. In woodland, it nests in soil, in soft, rotten wood, and often in old acorns or occasionally other nuts.


Natural History: P. pennsylvanica is a generalist predator of small, soft-bodied invertebrates. I once found about 30 workers feeding on a smashed beetle larva under a rock. Colonies are small, rarely containing over 100 workers. Alates may be encountered, usually flying near trees, on clear late summer days.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 6 times found in hardwood forest, 3 times found in hardwood litter, 82 times found in Black Belt Prairie, 60 times found in deciduous forest, 41 times found in mixed forest, 22 times found in deciduous forest, soil and leaf litter, 21 times found in oak/hickory forest, Black Belt Prairie, 19 times found in litter in upland hardwood forest, 3 times found in mixed pine/hardwood forest, 17 times found in litter from mixed forest on E. Foothills Parkway, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 159 times litter, 33 times soil and litter, 27 times soil and leaf litter, 11 times ex sifted litter, 14 times under stone, 11 times leaf litter, 13 times ex sifted leaf litter, 10 times dry litter, 10 times log stage 4, 1 times standing tree trunk debris, 7 times buttress debris, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 257 times Berlese funnel, 118 times general collecting, 46 times pitfall trap, 32 times Winkler, 16 times search, 1 times malaise trap, 12 times pitfall traps, 6 times interception trap, 8 times direct collection, 7 times Berlese, 3 times hand collecting, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 2160 meters, 657 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1909-09-22 00:00:00.0 and 2022-06-26 00:00:00.0

Type specimens:

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