Encyclopedia of Social Insects

Living Edition
| Editors: Christopher K. Starr


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90306-4_35-1

The genus Diacamma comprises about 44 known species of ants in the subfamily Ponerinae. Colony size ranges from 12 to 450 individuals, at the low end of the spectrum for ants in general. Among relatively well-studied species, the mean number of workers within the colony is 82 in D. indicum, 129 in D. australie, 214 in D. cyaneiventre, 230 in D. ceylonense, and 273 in D. “nilgiri”. In most species, all stages of brood are present throughout the year. In D. ceylonense four larval instars have been identified. The larval period is about 21 days, with about a 50-fold increase in weight. The pupal period, likewise, is about 21 days.

As in ants in general, most adults in the colony are females. These are typically 8–16 mm in body length and blackish gray to brown with metallic hues under direct sunlight (Fig. 1). The presence of a pair of hollow, scale-like gemmae on the thorax (Fig. 2), absence of ocelli, a deeply sculptured cuticle, and bispinose petiole characterize the female. Males are...
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behaviour and Ecology Lab, Department of Biological SciencesIndian Institute of Science Education and Research KolkataKolkataIndia