• identification key;
  • Ponera alisana;
  • Ponera scabra;
  • Ponera yakushimensis;
  • taxonomy;
  • Yakushima Island


A new synonym in the ant genus Ponera, and a new species-record from Japan are reported following faunal surveys of Yakushima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture. Morphological comparison of type specimens with material collected on Yakushima and mainland Kyushu and Honshu reveals that Ponera yakushimensis Tanaka is a junior synonym of Ponera scabra Wheeler. Analysis of intraspecific variation in P. scabra is reported. Morphological comparison reveals that a recent putative distribution record of P. scabra from Yakushima was based on a misidentification of Ponera alisana Terayama. This is the first Japanese record of P. alisana, which was originally described from Taiwan. Geographic variation between the P. alisana types and specimens collected on Yakushima is discussed. A revised key to Japanese Ponera species is presented.