Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Worker monomorphic, with subtriangular mandibles the apical margins of which are dentate. Cheeks not carinate. Frontal carinae closely approximated, expanded and lobular in front and concealing the insertions of the ant antennae. Eyes placed near or in front of the anterior third of the head, sometimes vestigial or even absent. Clypeus rounded and obtusely pointed in front, usually carinate. Antenna1 slender, 12-jointed, the scapes slightly thickened apically but notclavate. Thorax shaped somewhat as in Bothroponera HNS but with distinct mesoepinotal suture and usually with distinct, mesoepinotal constriction. Petiole surmounted by a thick transverse scale. Middle and hind tibia; with two spurs; claws simple.
Emery has divided this genus into four subgenera: Euponera HNS , sensu stricto; Mesoponera HNS ; Brachyponera HNS ; and Trachymesopus HNS . Euponera HNS , with a single species, is confined to Madagascar, the other subgenera have a wide distribution over the tropical and subtropical portions of both hemispheres (Map 12). The species live in the ground, either in crater nests or under stones, logs, etc. Eu. (Mesoponera) castanea (Mayr) HNS of New Zealand lives, as a rule, in rotten logs and stumps. The colonies of Brachyponera HNS are rather large and populous, those of the other subgenera much smaller. In the subgenus Trachymesopus HNS there is a pronounced tendency to hypogaeic habits and also, therefore, to a degeneration of the eyes in the worker.