Razor jaws

Razor jaws

Observation - Razor jaws - Southern Africa. Description: Leptogenys is the most diverse Ponerine genus in the world and is widespread throughout the warmer regions, in a bewildering variety of sizes and habits. The generic name ‘Leptogenys’ means ‘narrow mandible’ in this context, and indeed most species have n

Leptogenys is the most diverse Ponerine genus in the world and is widespread throughout the warmer regions, in a bewildering variety of sizes and habits. The generic name ‘Leptogenys’ means ‘narrow mandible’ in this context, and indeed most species have narrow, razor-shaped mandibles. Hence too the common name. They are reputed to be specialist predators of isopods [woodlice, etc]. Our specimen was collected from Grootvadersbosch, where the ants were raiding the nest of another ant species as yet not identified. The Leptogenys were seizing the smaller ants in their jaws and immediately stinging them, which appeared to kill the innocents almost instantly. Any pupae or eggs which the victims were carrying were then seized and carried away by the Razor-jaw ants.