Hypoponera ergatandria (Forel, 1893)

Description and notes

Hypoponera ergatandria is a small brown ant with a functioning sting, a single substantial petiole and a constriction between the first and second segments of the gaster. It is an underground species with wingless worker-like males and only the alate gynes are likely to be seen above ground. This is a cosmopolitan tramp species which is most often come across in greenhouses and other permanently heated buildings. It has only occasionally been recorded in Britain (Seifert 2003). It is a little smaller than H. punctatissima Roger and can be separated in the gynes by measuring head width and scape length. It has a tropical or sub-tropical origin and cannot survive outdoors in Britain. It has an unusual flight period of November to February. Because H. ergatandria was only recently recognised as present in Britain there is some uncertainty about existing records.

Distribution

Isolated records from England.

A cosmopolitan species distributed throughout Europe, the tropics and sub-tropics.

Status (in Britain only)

Not regarded as scarce or threatened.

Habitat

This species has been found in greenhouses and buildings that are permanently heated.

Flight period

November to February

Foraging behaviour

Feeds on very small soil living arthropods.

Nesting biology

Colonies are underground and can be polydomous usually containing several queens, a few males and around 200 workers.

Author of profile

M G Fox

Year profile last updated

2016