Philipp Hönle
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Since 2018

PhD Student, Topic: Ant Ecology in Ecuador

Supervisors: N. Blüthgen & K. Mody


Study of Biology at the Julius Maximilians University Würzburg: Tropical Ecology, Behavior, Chemical Ecology, Insect Taxonomy

Bachelor Thesis: “ Optimal Route selection and learning in the Matebele Ant Megaponera analis” Supervisor: Prof. K.E. Linsenmair

Master Thesis: "Diet specialization of Neotropical army ants" Supervisors: B. Fiala & C. von Beeren


 Interested in Ants?  

​Just contact me! I always like to talk about ants, exchange research ideas or maybe just chat about ant keeping. 


 Research Interests     

I work with ants, and I'm interested in all topics surrounding them, such as their ecology, taxonomy, chemistry, genetics and behavior. Ants are fascinating to me, because they are one of the most abundant group of insects and have penetrated into many aspects of the ecosystem, and are crucial in their functioning. No other insect familiy is covering the trophic spectrum from dominant herbivores to the top predators.

Interactions with and between ants shape our environment much more than we often appreciate. Their ecological role is facilitated through their highly social nature, the diversity of which is simply astonishing and a seemingly recent invention of evolution - the first ant might just be a little more than 120 mya old. Their diversity in function is accompanied by an incredible morphological diversity and beauty, which I feel very privileged to study.

I'm especially fond of tropical ant species, since the tropics are one of the most diverse places on earth. It is here that I am able to get sense of their true range of diversity. I have worked with ants in West Africa, South-East Asia, and in Central- and South America. However, I'm also familiar with European ant species.

My current main research focusses on ant ecology in Ecuador (Province Esmeraldas). Here, I work mainly predation networks of army ants, taxonomy and ant species recovery.






philipp.hoenle92 (at)

B1|01, Room 260

Philipp Hönle

Fachbereich Biologie

Technische Universität Darmstadt

Schnittspahnstr. 3

64287 Darmstadt



Phone +49 6151 16 – 75415

 Research funded by 


 Scientific Publications                

(5) Booher, D.B.* & Hoenle, P.O.* (2021) A new species group of Strumigenys (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Ecuador, with a description of its mandibular morphology. Zookeys 1036: 1-19

(4) Hoenle, P.O., Lattke, J.E., Donoso, D.A., von Beeren, C., Heethoff, M., Schmelzle, S., Argoti, A., Camacho, L., Ströbel, B.,  Blüthgen, N.,(2019) Odontomachus davidsoni sp. nov. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), a new conspicuous trap-jaw ant from Ecuador. Zookeys 948: 75-105 doi: 10.3897/zookeys.948.48701

(3) Hoenle, P.O., Blüthgen, N., Brückner, A., Kronauer, D.J.C., Fiala, B., Donoso, D.A., Smith, A., Ospina Jara, B., von Beeren, C. (2019) Species-level predation network uncovers high prey specificity in a Neotropical army ant community. Molecular Ecology 28(9): 2423-2440

(2) Brückner, A., Hoenle, P.O., von Beeren, C. (2018) Comparative chemical analysis of army ant mandibular gland volatiles (Formicidae: Dorylinae). PeerJ 6:e5319; doi: 10.7717/peerj.5319. 

(1) Frank, E.T.F.*, Hoenle, P.O.*, Linsemair, K.E. (2018) Time-optimized path choice in the termite hunting ant Megaponera analisJournal of Experimental Biology 221: jeb174854 doi: 10.1242/jeb.174854