Neoponera Emery, 1901 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) revisited: 1. The N. laevigata species-group
The Neotropical Neoponera laevigata species-group is revised. This group can be separated from others in the genus by means of a new key to Neoponera species–groups. We propose two new species, N. gojira sp. nov., and N. mashpi sp. nov., the latter being usually confused with its putative sister species, N. laevigata (Smith). This small, termite-feeding species-group now contains five taxa. We provide comprehensive redescriptions for the known castes of the three previously known species, together with images and notes about intraspecific morphological variation, biology, and distribution of the taxa here treated. We reveal the external morphological features of the genitalia of the known males. This is the first contribution en route to a better understanding of the systematics of this charismatic ponerine genus.