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Giant Amazon Ant

Dinoponera gigantea


From Wiki: "These ants are generally less well known than Paraponera clavata, the bullet ant, yet Dinoponera females may surpass 3–4 cm (1.2–1.6 in) in total body length, making them among the largest ants in the world." They are dark black but generally have beige highlights on the head and abdomen. They are frequently found carrying a single papaya seed which has resulted in the common nickname "papaya ant." The natives call them "Mamatunch."


These can be found throughout the Amazon rainforest of SE Ecuador. I have never seen a nest or even two of these ants together. They are solitary and are "always" found walking around alone.


From personal experience with both, I can say the sting of this large ant rivals that of the bullet ant (Paraponera clavata) initially, but it quickly subsides and within a short time disappears. They are hard to photograph as they never stop running around. I hope to get a clearer picture the next time our paths cross.

No species ID suggestions

Morona Santiago, Ecuador

Lat: -2.15, Long: -77.69

Spotted on Jul 21, 2011
Submitted on Feb 7, 2019

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