Current View: All Antweb
Change View
Cite this page

Citing AntWeb


To cite this page, please use the following:

· For print:      Citation: AntWeb. Version 8.91.2. California Academy of Science, online at Accessed .

· For web:

Subfamily: Proceratiinae   Emery, 1895 


Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Extant: 2 valid tribes, 3 valid genera, 166 valid species

Fossil: 1 valid genus, 12 valid species

Proceratii Emery, 1895l PDF: 765. Type-genus: Proceratium. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Proceratiinae as poneromorph subfamily of Formicidae: Bolton, 2003 PDF: 48, 178.
Tribes of Proceratiinae: Probolomyrmecini, Proceratiini
Subfamily references
Bolton, 2003 PDF: 48, 178 (diagnosis, synopsis); Ouellette et al., 2006 PDF: 359 (phylogeny); Brady et al., 2006 PDF: 18173 (phylogeny); Moreau et al., 2006 PDF: 102 (phylogeny); Ward, 2007c PDF: 555 (classification); Lyu, 2008 PDF: 315 (Korean Species); Fernández & Arias-Penna, 2008 PDF: 31 (Neotropical genera key); Yoshimura & Fisher, 2009 PDF: 8 (Malagasy males diagnosis, key); Terayama, 2009 PDF: 96 (Taiwan genera key); Keller, 2011 PDF: 1 (morphology, phylogeny); Boudinot, 2015 PDF: 48 (male diagnosis); Escárraga et al., 2019 PDF: 681 (Colombia taxa diagnosis).
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe
    Americas: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Venezuela
    Asia: Bhutan, Borneo, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Yemen
    Europe: Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine
    Oceania: Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Afrotropical, Australasia, Indomalaya, Malagasy, Nearctic, Neotropical, Oceania, Palearctic


Similar to Ponerinae except that the promesonotal suture is fused and the frontal lobes are elevated (rather than transverse) and frequently reduced. In addition the antennal sockets are exposed in a full-face (frontal) view of the head; and in most species abdominal tergite 4 is much enlarged and vaulted, with abdominal sternite 4 being correspondingly reduced in size.


The proceratiines are also specialized predatory ants. The subfamily is represented in California by only one species.


Bolton (1994, 2003); Brown (1958g, 1958j, 1975); Kugler (1991); Ogata (1987a).

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Yoshimura, M. & Fisher, B. L., 2009, A revision of male ants of the Malagasy region (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Key to genera of the subfamily Proceratiinae., Zootaxa 2216, pp. 1-21

Genus PRm01

(Figs 6, 12, 22-24, 30, 34)

Since only a single male specimen of this genus has been collected so far, we do not describe it as new here. However, we regard this male as belonging to an isolated genus, and its diagnostic characters and remarks are given below.

With characters of ProceratiinaeHNS. Mandible stout and shaped like a curved short blade such as a jambiya (Fig. 30). Frontoclypeal region not projecting dorsally. Frontal carinae merged into single carina between antennal sockets. Antennal sockets opening dorsally. Antenna with 12 segments. Labrum triangular: narrowed apically, with a single apex (Fig. 30). Second segment of the maxillary palp not hammer-shaped (Fig. 34). Pro- and metatibia with a single spur, mesotibia without spurs. Pygostyles absent.

On forewing, costa and radius completely developed, and radial sector reaches to the costal margin (Fig. 6). On hindwing, free section of radius and cubitus absent, radial sector, M+Cu, and cu-a crossvein present (Fig. 12).

Remarks. The undescribed genus PRm01 can be distinguished easily from the other three Malagasy proceratine genera by the antennae consisting of 12 segments, a triangular labrum (Fig. 30), and the mesotibiae lacking a spur. PRm01 sp. is the first male known in ProceratiinaeHNS with a 12-segmented antenna. Bolton (2003: 49) has proposed 13-segmented antenna as a diagnostic character of both tribes in ProceratiinaeHNS; this now must be amended.

There is one erroneous report of a12-segmented antenna in ProceratiumHNS. Kennedy and Talbot (1939) previously described a male of Proceratium silaceum RogerHNS, 1863, and included a drawing and description of a male with a 12-segmented antenna (their figure 1). However, their figure 6 illustration shows an antenna with 13 segments for the same species. As Brown (1958) has pointed out, their figures and description disagree in palpal formula, and we conclude they also differ in antennal count. Baroni Urbani and De Andrade (2003: fig. 162) have included an SEM image of a male of Proceratium silaceumHNS, on which the antenna clearly consists of 13 segments. Therefore, males of ProceratiumHNS have 13-segmented antennae and not 12 as erroneously reported by Kennedy and Talbot (1939).

The triangular labrum is a unique character for PRm01 within the ProceratiinaeHNS (Fig. 30). An apically bilobed labrum is the usual pattern in the Formicidae (Gotwald 1969). The triangular labrum, a wide and bilobed clypeus, and stout mandibles with outward curved masticatory margins should be expected in conspecific workers. These characters may have a special function.

FIGURES 27-28. Labrum of proceratine males. Basal margin on top. 27, Discothyrea mgm01 (CASENT0083245) in internal view; 28, Probolomyrmex mgm01 (CASENT0525318) in external view.

FIGURES 29-30. Proceratine males. 29, Labrum of Proceratium mgmHNS 01 (CASENT0191991) in external view, basal margin on top; 30, Labrum and mandibles of PRm01 sp. (CASENT0103485) in oblique full-face view.

FIGURES 31-32. Mouthparts of proceratine males. 31, Discothyrea mgm01 (CASENT0083245), left palps on right side; 32, Probolomyrmex mgm01 (CASENT0525318), left palps on top.

FIGURES 33-34. Mouthparts of proceratine males. 33, Proceratium mgmHNS 01 (CASENT0191991), right palps on left side; 34, PRm01 sp. (CASENT0103485), right maxillary palp on front.

Only a single specimen was collected from the Seychelles (CASENT0103485). Similarity in forewing venations between PRm01 (Fig. 6) and DiscothyreaHNS (Fig. 2) suggests their close relationship (see DiscothyreaHNS section above); however, the male of PRm01 can be distinguished easily from those of DiscothyreaHNS by the following characters: frontoclypeal region not expanded dorsally, 12-segmented antennae, triangular labrum (Fig. 30), longer second maxillary palpal segment (Fig. 34), absence of pygostyles, lack of a mesotibial spur, presence of cu-a in hindwing (Fig. 6), larger size, and brighter color, as PRm01 is yellowish-brown (Fig. 22), while DiscothyreaHNS is black (Fig. 19). Formal description of this taxon awaits the future collection of additional males and the first workers.

See something amiss? Send us an email.
Log In to see maps.