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Species: Hypoponera opacior   (Forel, 1893) 

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Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Ponera trigona var. opacior Forel, 1893j PDF: 363 (w.q.) ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES (St Vincent I.). Neotropic. Primary type information: Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated). Type-locality: St Vincent & the Grenadines: St Vincent I., 41e, 41f, 41g, and 41j (H.H. Smith). [Note: 41e = Near Palmyra Estate (leeward), 1000 ft, 3.xi., 41f = Fitz Hugh Valley (leeward), 500 ft, 14.xi., 41g = “various localites and dates, 2500 ft to sea level”, 41j = Hermitage Estate, Cumberland Valley, 1000 ft, 2.xii.] Type-depositories: MCZC, MHNG (perhaps also in BMNH). AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Hypoponera: Taylor, 1968a PDF: 65
As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Emery, 1895n PDF: 64.
Subspecies of Hypoponera trigona: Emery, 1895d PDF: 268; Wheeler, 1905c PDF: 121; Emery, 1906c PDF: 116; Wheeler, 1908h PDF: 405; Wheeler, 1910a PDF: 561; Emery, 1911e PDF: 92; Wheeler, 1913b PDF: 482; Wheeler, 1913d PDF: 112; Wheeler, 1913e PDF: 239; Bruch, 1914 PDF: 214; Forel, 1914d PDF: 265; Wheeler, 1914c PDF: 40; Wheeler, 1917g PDF: 457; Gallardo, 1918c PDF: 81; Wheeler, 1922e PDF: 3; Wheeler, 1922n PDF: 317; Menozzi & Russo, 1930 PDF: 150; Santschi, 1930e PDF: 76; Smith, 1930a PDF: 2; Wheeler, 1932a PDF: 3; Goetsch & Menozzi, 1935 PDF: 94; Menozzi, 1935c PDF: 320; Wheeler, 1935g: 13; Smith, 1936d PDF: 423 (redescription); Smith, 1937 PDF: 826; Wheeler, 1937b PDF: 446; Dennis, 1938 PDF: 277; Wesson & Wesson, 1940 PDF: 91; Cole, 1942 PDF: 359; Buren, 1944a PDF: 280; Creighton, 1950a PDF: 49; Smith, 1951c PDF: 787; Cole, 1953d: 84; Smith, 1954c PDF: 2; Smith, 1958c PDF: 112; Carter, 1962a PDF: 6 (in list); Smith, 1967a PDF: 348; Kempf, 1970a PDF: 20; Kempf, 1972b PDF: 124; Alayo, 1974 PDF: 30.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, French Guiana, Galapagos Islands, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United States
    Oceania: French Polynesia, Hawaii
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Nearctic, Neotropical, Oceania
  Native to (according to species list records):
    Nearctic, Neotropical bioregions

Distribution Notes:

Southern half of continental USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Trinidad, Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent.


Natural History:

The form I call opacior s.s. seems to have a preference for synanthropic and seasonally dry habitats. I have scattered collections from Costa Rica, as follows:

Santa Rosa National Park: in Winkler sample collected by P. S. Ward.

Finca La Pacifica, a dry-forest riparian habitat: in Winkler sample of sifted litter from the forest floor.

Carara Biological Reserve: in Winkler sample collected by P. S. Ward.

Casa Plastico, a 600m elevation wet site on the Atlantic slope, in young second growth at the edge of a pasture: under a mossmat at the base of a tree.

A coffee farm near Heredia in the Central Valley: collected in studies of coffee farm fauna by Ivette Perfecto.

Sirena in Corcovado National Park, a lowland wet forest site: in Winkler sample of sifted litter from the forest floor.

A roadside in Monteverde, where an isolated and epiphyte-laden tree had recently fallen: a nest was under epiphytes near the ground.

La Selva Biological Station, a mature lowland wet forest site: a nest was under epiphytes on a dead branch recently fallen from the canopy.

Fila Cruces near San Vito: a nest was under a stone at the edge of a gravel road through pastures and scrubby forest.

Parque Nacional, a small landscaped park in the middle of San Jose: among a collection of stray foragers.

In contrast, the form JTL-008 I know from La Selva and the adjacent slope of Volcan Barba to about 900m, the Penas Blancas Valley east of Monteverde, and the Wilson Botanical Garden near San Vito. It inhabits mature wet forest, and I usually encounter it in Winkler samples of sifted litter from the forest floor. At La Selva, I collected a nest from beneath the thin, loose bark of some dead wood on the ground.

I tentatively associate an ergatoid male with form JTL-008. It was obtained in a Winkler sample from the Penas Blancas Valley, along with many workers of JTL-008.


Worker: head moderately punctate and subopaque; in lateral view petiole relatively slender, with the anterior and posterior faces converging towards the summit.


Bolton, B. 1995. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp.

Forel, A. 1893. Formicides de l'Antille St. Vincent. Recoltees par Mons. H. H. Smith. Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. 1893:333-418.

Kempf, W. W. 1962. Miscellaneous studies on neotropical ants. II. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Studia Entomol. 5:1-38.

Kempf, W. W. 1972. Catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical. Stud. Entomol. 15:3-344.

Smith, D. R. 1979. Superfamily Formicoidea. Pp. 1323-1467 in: Krombein, K. V., Hurd, P. D., Smith, D. R., Burks, B. D. (eds.) Catalog of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico. Volume 2. Apocrita (Aculeata). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp. i-xvi, 1199-2209.

Taylor, R. W. 1968. Nomenclature and synonymy of the North American ants of the genera Ponera and Hypoponera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Entomol. News 79:63-66.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 216 times found in mature wet forest, 105 times found in montane wet forest, 54 times found in lowland rainforest, 0 times found in litter from rotten logs, 6 times found in hardwood forest, 26 times found in Black Belt Prairie, 24 times found in leaf litter, 16 times found in on swimming pool surface, 20 times found in mixed forest, 0 times found in rotten logs, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 241 times ex sifted leaf litter, 133 times litter, 84 times Hojarasca, 46 times sifted litter, 48 times leaf litter, 22 times under rock, 20 times under stone, 16 times litter and soil, 7 times ex sifted litter, 8 times soil and litter, 7 times thick litter, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 230 times Berlese funnel, 225 times miniWinkler, 90 times Lindgren funnel baited with Typosan and alpha pinene, 107 times general collecting, 87 times Mini Winkler, 82 times Winkler, 69 times Berlese, 68 times Lindgren funnel, 16 times pitfall trap, 23 times search, 11 times Bay Area Ant Survey (BAAS), ...

Elevations: collected from 1 - 2660 meters, 385 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1919-11-30 00:00:00.0 and 2021-09-26 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: Lectotype of Hypoponera opacior: casent0907333; syntype of Ponera trigona opacior: mhngento00094350

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