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 Overview --- Identification  Specimens  Key  References/Links  Nomenclature ---
Species of ponerines range from small and cryptic to large and conspicuous. They are found throughout Australia from pristine habitats to disturbed sites such as gardens and parks, and can be quite abundant. Workers are predacious, generally forage on the ground, and some specialise on a very limited range of prey. In addition, many species have powerful and painful stings used for subduing prey and as a defensive measure against intruders.
There are about 2000 described species and subspecies in the subfamily Ponerinae, placed in 42 genera. Within Australia there are about 200 described species in 22 genera, with one genus and numerous species yet to be studied in detail.

The Ponerines are a cosmopolitan group, but are especially abundant and diverse throughout the tropics.  Ponerines are primarily predaceous; some are specialized predators on specific groups of arthropods.  In some species, plant sap and plant nectary secretions are avidly collected. Solitary foraging is common, but some groups have foraging methods similar to those of the army ants.  Eleven genera are known in America north of Mexico, mostly limited to the southern USA.  Ambylopone pallipes and Ponera pennsylvanica are two forms that are common in the northern states, and even extend into southern Canada.



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Please cite this page as: CSIRO, 2019. Australian National Insect Collection Taxon Database, viewed 26 August 2019, <http://anic.ento.csiro.au/database>.