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For the orchid subtribe, see Ponerinae (plant).
Temporal range: Turonian-Recent
Harpegnathos saltator fight.jpg
Fighting Harpegnathos saltator
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Lepeletier, 1835
Type genus
59 genera
Plectroctena sp. fighting

Ponerinae is a subfamily of ants in the Poneromorph subfamilies group, with about 1,600 species in 47 extant genera, including Dinoponera gigantea - one of the world's largest species of ant.

They are most easily identified from other subfamilies by a constricted gaster (abdomen). They are rare examples of stinging ants.[2]


Workers of this subfamily can be distinguished by the following traits:

  1. The outer borders of the frontal lobes form short semicircles or triangles, and have a pinched-in appearance posteriorly.
  2. The promesonotal suture is flexible.
  3. A constriction is present between abdominal segments 3 and 4, but segment 3 is not markedly reduced in size compared to segment 4 (i.e., postpetiole absent).
  4. Abdominal segments 3 and 4 exhibit tergosternal fusion.
  5. The sting is well developed.[3]



  1. ^ Bolton, B. (2015). "Ponerinae". AntCat. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Hoffman, Donald R. "Ant venoms" Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2010, vol. 10, pages 342-346. doi:10.1097/ACI.0b013e328339f325
  3. ^ "Subfamily: Ponerinae". antweb.org. AntWeb. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  • This article incorporates text from a scholarly publication published under a copyright license that allows anyone to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the materials in any form for any purpose: "Subfamily: Ponerinae". antweb.org. AntWeb. Retrieved 21 September 2013.  Please check the source for the exact licensing terms.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Ponerinae at Wikimedia Commons