Anonychomyrma purpurescens

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Anonychomyrma purpurescens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Tribe: Leptomyrmecini
Genus: Anonychomyrma
Species: A. purpurescens
Binomial name
Anonychomyrma purpurescens
(Lowne, 1865)



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.

  • purpurescens. Formica purpurescens Lowne, 1865b: 331 (w.q.) AUSTRALIA.
    • Type-material: syntype workers, syntype queen(s) (numbers not stated).
    • Type-locality: Australia: New South Wales, vic. Sydney, ix.-xi.1862 (B.T. Lowne).
    • Type-depository: unknown (no material known to exist).
    • Combination in Anonychomyrma: Shattuck, 1992a: 14.
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 206; Shattuck, 1994: 7; Bolton, 1995b: 66.
    • Distribution: Australia.

Type Material



  • Lowne, B. T. 1865b. Contributions to the natural history of Australian ants. Entomologist 2: 331-336 (page 331, worker, queen described)
  • Shattuck, S. O. 1992a. Review of the dolichoderine ant genus Iridomyrmex Mayr with descriptions of three new genera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Aust. Entomol. Soc. 31: 13-18 (page 14, combination in Anonychomyrma)