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Genus: Mayaponera   Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014 

Classification:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2020)

Extant: 7 valid species

Mayaponera Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014 PDF: 143. Type-species: Ponera constricta, by monotypy. AntCat AntWiki HOL
Genus Mayaponera references
Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014 PDF: 143 (diagnosis, synoptic description, distribution, ecology and behavior, phylogenetic and taxonomic considerations); Cantone, 2017 PDF: 263 (brief male diagnosis); Fernández & Guerrero, 2019 PDF: 527 (genus in Colombia).

Overview:

Mayaponera workers lack any obvious autapomorphies and superficially have a very generalized appearance. They are most likely to be confused with some Neoponera and Mesoponera, but Mayaponera differs from Neoponera in its round propodeal spiracles, deeply impressed metanotal groove (at most only slightly impressed in Neoponera), and strongly narrowed propodeum with a dorsal longitudinal groove. It can be separated from the handful of Neoponera species in which the propodeal spiracle is round (some members of the N. emiliae group) by the presence of narrow and fang-like metasternal processes (the processes are triangular-shaped in Neoponera). Mayaponera differs from Mesoponera in having a complex metapleural gland orifice and prominent arolia. [From Schmidt & Shattuck (2014)].

// Distribution

Distribution:

  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Venezuela
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Neotropical
  Native biogeographic regions (according to species list records):
    Neotropical

Distribution Notes:

Mayaponera is widespread in Central and South America (Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014).

Biology:

Very little is known about the habits of Mayaponera. The genus is common in a range of habitats from mature rainforests to cocoa plantations and other farm habitats, where it is frequently collected in leaf litter samples (Longino, 2013) and pitfall traps (Mackay & Mackay, 2010). Nests usually occur in rotting wood but can also be found directly in soil (often under stones), and workers forage predominantly at night on and among leaf litter (Baena, 1993; Longino, 2013; Mackay & Mackay, 2010). M. constricta apparently uses tandem running to recruit nestmates to food sources (S. Levings, pers. comm. cited in Hölldobler & Wilson, 1990). Both alate and ergatoid queens occur (Longino, 2013), and reported colony sizes are small (up to 29 workers; Baena, 1993) though nothing else is known about their reproductive or social behavior. Orivel & Déjean (2001) measured the toxicity of M. constricta venom. [From Schmidt & Shattuck (2014)].

Identification:

Worker: Medium-sized (TL 6–7.5 mm) slender ants with the standard characters of Ponerini. Mandibles triangular, with about a dozen teeth on the masticatory margin. Clypeus with a broadly convex anterior margin and a subtle median emargination. Frontal lobes of moderate size. Eyes of moderate size, placed anterior of head midline. Metanotal groove deeply impressed. Propodeal dorsum strongly narrowed and with a longitudinal groove. Propodeal spiracles round. Metapleural gland orifice complex, with a posterior U-shaped cuticular lip and a shallow lateral groove. Metatibial spur formula (1s, 1p). Arolia prominent. Petiole a thick scale. Gaster with only a weak girdling constriction between pre- and postsclerites of A4. Stridulitrum present on pretergite of A4. Head and body finely punctate, with scattered pilosity and dense pubescence. Color dark brownish gray. See also Mackay & Mackay (2010). [From Schmidt & Shattuck (2014)].



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