Anonychomyrma nitidiceps

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Anonychomyrma nitidiceps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Tribe: Leptomyrmecini
Genus: Anonychomyrma
Species: A. nitidiceps
Binomial name
Anonychomyrma nitidiceps
(André, 1896)

MCZ-ENT00030743 Iridomyrmex nitidiceps hal.jpg

MCZ-ENT00030743 Iridomyrmex nitidiceps had.jpg

Type Specimen Label

Anonychomyrma nitidiceps is a large-headed arboreal species with a dome-shaped mesonotum, which forages on the ground near standing trees or fallen wood. If disturbed, this species emits an odour plume that can easily be detected several metres away. Anonychomyrma nitidiceps is found in a range of woodland types in south-western Western Australia (Heterick, 2009).


Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -16.06666667° to -43.15°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.


Anonychomyrma species are common in moist to semi-arid forested areas (and are less common in rain forests). They nest either in soil with or without coverings, or arboreally in living or dead wood. Workers forage in conspicuous trails on the ground and on tree trunks. Although not studied in detail, they seem to be general predators and also collect plant juices. Some species are associated with the caterpillars of selected butterflies. Nest sizes are moderate to large, ranging from 500 to tens of thousands of workers. When disturbed, most species elevate their gasters and release strong, acrid smelling chemicals as a defensive measure. While similar to Iridomyrmex in general habitat preferences and ecology, most Anonychomyrma prefer moister sites and are predominately arboreal. Iridomyrmex species occur in drier sites and are predominantly terrestrial.



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • nitidiceps. Iridomyrmex nitidiceps André, 1896b: 258 (w.) AUSTRALIA (Victoria).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • [Note: Shattuck, 1994: 7, cites 17w syntypes (3 ANIC, 1 MCZC, 1 MHNG, 12 MNHN).]
    • Type-locality: Australia: Victoria, Victorian Alps (no collector’s name).
    • Type-depositories: ANIC, MCZC, MHNG, MNHN.
    • Forel, 1907h: 292 (m.).
    • Combination in Anonychomyrma: Shattuck, 1992a: 14.
    • Subspecies of itinerans: Forel, 1902h: 472; Forel, 1907h: 292; Forel, 1911e: 283; Emery, 1913a: 25.
    • Status as species: Taylor & Brown, 1985: 101; Taylor, 1987a: 32; Shattuck, 1994: 7; Bolton, 1995b: 66; Heterick, 2009: 43.
    • Distribution: Australia.

Type Material



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • CSIRO Collection
  • Lowery B. B., and R. J. Taylor. 1994. Occurrence of ant species in a range of sclerophyll forest communities at Old Chum Dam, north-eastern Tasmania. Australian Entomologist 21: 11-14.
  • Majer J. D., R. L. Kitching, B. E. Heterick, K. Hurley, and K. E. C. Brennan. 2001. North-south patterns within arboreal ant assembalages from rain forests in Eastern Australia. Biotropica 33(4): 643-661.
  • Sinclair J. E., and T. R. New. 2004. Pine plantations in south eastern Australia support highly impoverished ant assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Insect Conservation 8: 277-286.