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Hairy Panther Ant (Neoponera villosa)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Hairy Panther Ant.




A large, lean ant, the Hairy Panther is a tropical hunter that can bite and sting.



 Updated: 6/19/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Found in southern Texas and all of Mexico, the Hairy Panther Ant is a large ant, one of the largest in North America, and it is covered in fine hairs. The mouth parts are large and capable of grabbing and pinching all sorts of insects, sometimes many at once. A stinger at the tip of the abdomen can inflict a really painful blow, so handling this ant is not recommended.

It is an active hunter that roams trees and the upper canopy for prey, but it also takes nectar to bring back for larvae. It is a strong defender of its colony, which is typically built in a wooden stump, rotting logs, or in the ground. Tread carefully in forests to avoid accidentally stepping on a colony.


General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect stinger icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hymenoptera
        Family: Formicidae [ View More ]
          Genus: Neoponera [ View More ]
            Species: villosa
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Descriptors
Scientific Name: Neoponera villosa
Other Name(s): Giant Hunting Ant; Cobra Ant; Greater Texas Bullet Ant
Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 20mm (0.39in to 0.78in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; brown; gold
Descriptors: big; long; skinny; slender; hairs; dusty; fangs; pincers; mouth; bite; sting;
Relative Size Comparison
Lo: 10mm | Hi: 20mm
Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns.
Territorial Map
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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State of New Mexico graphic
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State of South Carolina graphic
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State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
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State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Ant, Bee, and Wasp Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of both a bee and an ant insect
1
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
2
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
3
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
5
Legs: Ants and Bees have three pairs of legs attached to the thorax (center-body section).
NOTE: Ants, Bees, & Wasps are part of the Hymenoptera order because they share many similarities.