Aphaenogaster mersa

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Aphaenogaster mersa
Temporal range: Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene Baltic amber, Baltic Sea region
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Stenammini
Genus: Aphaenogaster
Species: A. mersa
Binomial name
Aphaenogaster mersa
Wheeler, W.M., 1915

Aphaenogaster mersa is one of 14 fossil Aphaenogaster species, and one of three known from Baltic amber (the others being Aphaenogaster oligocenica and Aphaenogaster sommerfeldti). It is known from two specimens, the type specimen in the Geolog. Inst. Koenigsberg Coll. and a second reported by Dlussky & Rasnitsyn (2009). The type specimen, though in a small piece of amber, is not very clearly visible, owing to a thick white film which envelops the whole left side of the body and the whole gaster, and a crack which obscures the anterior portion of the head.


Differing from Aphaenogaster sommerfeldti in the following characters: The anterior border of the mesonotum does not project above the pronotum and the epinotal teeth are broader and blunter. The head and thorax and perhaps also the petiole and postpetiole are very coarsely reticulate rugose, and not longitudinally rugose, except on the front of the head.


This taxon was described from Baltic amber, Baltic Sea region, Europe (Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene) and is also known from Rovno amber, Baltic Sea region, Europe (Priabonian, Late Eocene) (Perkovsky, 2016).



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

  • mersa. †Aphaenogaster mersa Wheeler, W.M. 1915h: 55, fig. 20 (w.) BALTIC AMBER (Eocene).
    • Status as species: Burnham, 1979: 110; Keilbach, 1982: 275; Bolton, 1995b: 71; Dlussky & Rasnitsyn, 2009: 1031; Perkovsky, 2016: 115.