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Genus: Harpegnathos   Jerdon, 1851 


Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2022)

Extant: 9 valid species, 4 valid subspecies

Harpegnathos Jerdon, 1851 PDF: 116. Type-species: Harpegnathos saltator, by monotypy. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Harpegnathos in Ponerinae, Ponerini: Wheeler, 1910a PDF: 135; Emery, 1911e PDF: 58 [subtribe Harpegnathini]; Forel, 1917 PDF: 237; Wheeler, 1922: 646; all subsequent authors.
Harpegnathos as junior synonym of Drepanognathus: Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 22 (priority error); Bingham, 1903 PDF: 49 (priority error).
Genus Harpegnathos references
Roger, 1863b PDF: 22 (catalogue); Mayr, 1863a PDF: 408, 422 (catalogue); Mayr, 1865 PDF: 14 (diagnosis); Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 22 (catalogue); Forel, 1900d PDF: 63 (India & Sri Lanka species key); Bingham, 1903 PDF: 50 (India, Sri Lanka & Burma species key); Emery, 1911e PDF: 58 (diagnosis, catalogue); Chapman & Capco, 1951 PDF: 66 (Asia checklist); Bolton, 1994: 164 (synoptic classification); Bolton, 1995a PDF: 1050 (census); Bolton, 1995b: 212 (catalogue); Bolton, 2003 PDF: 162 (synopsis); Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014 10.11646/zootaxa.3817.1.1 PDF: 53 (diagnosis, synoptic description, distribution, ecology and behavior, phylogenetic and taxonomic considerations); General, 2016a PDF: 99 (Philippines species key); Cantone, 2017 PDF: 259 (brief male diagnosis)

Taxon Page Images:

Hunting technique in Harpegnathos saltator jumping ants: snare the prey with tiny barbs on the long mandibles and reach around with the stinger to find a soft spot. Laboratory colony at Arizona State University, USA.
Image © Alex Wild.

Harpegnathos saltator worker returning to ground nest with kill, 1300m Kerala, Western Ghats, India. Dr.Kalesh Sadasivan.2015


Harpegnathos venator queen

// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Asia: Bangladesh, Borneo, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
  Native biogeographic regions (according to species list records):


In H. saltator, both winged queens and gamergates (mated egglaying workers) reproduce in the same colonies.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Jerdon, T. C., 1851, A catalogue of the species of ants found in southern India., Madras Journal of Literature and Science 17, pp. 103-127

HarpegnathosHNS, New Genus ,

Gen: Char: Jaws scythe shaped, pointed, and finely serrated; head oblong, notched behind; eyes very large situated at the anterior extremity of the head; antennae rising between the eyes; abdominal pedicle slightly raised.

I cannot class this remarkable ant as an OdontomachusHNS, and have therefore been compelled to institute a new genus for its reception; some of the characters given may not be generic, but till other species are discovered it is difficult to say which are, and which are not of generic value.

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