Myrmecia apicalis

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Myrmecia apicalis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmeciinae
Tribe: Myrmeciini
Genus: Myrmecia
Species group: apicalis
Species: M. apicalis
Binomial name
Myrmecia apicalis
Emery, 1883

Myrmecia apicalis ANIC32-017434 side 10-Antwiki.jpg

Myrmecia apicalis ANIC32-017434 top 10-Antwiki.jpg

Specimen Label

This extremely rare species has been collected only twice, many years ago when the type material was collected and more recently on the Isle of Pines (a small island to the south-east of the main island of New Caledonia). It forages on the ground and in vegetation, including small trees, returning to its nest at dusk. It has been observed foraging on caterpillars.


Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -20.992° to -20.992°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: New Caledonia (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.


Dr. Emery, dealing with the ants in the Zoology of New Caledonia (1914), in a footnote expressed a doubt as to this species having been captured there. However, its recent recollection on the Isle of Pines confirms that it is indeed a native of New Caledonia. This is further supported by the fact that this species has no near allies in Australia. The apparent rareness of M. apicalis is not unusual within Myrmecia as only single examples of several species have been found, and then at long intervals. This particularly applies to species living in heavily-timbered country. It is interesting to note that this is not the only typically Australian genus represented in New Caledonia. Notable amont the other genera are Amblyopone with one species and Rhytidoponera (Chalcoponera) with four species.


Known from workers only.


gulosa group

Myrmecia esuriens

Myrmecia midas

Myrmecia pulchra

Myrmecia mjobergi

Myrmecia regularis

Myrmecia forficata

Myrmecia brevinoda

Myrmecia erecta

Myrmecia pyriformis

Myrmecia browningi

Myrmecia sp.

Myrmecia analis

Myrmecia minuscula

Myrmecia comata

Myrmecia rowlandi

Myrmecia flavicoma

Myrmecia tarsata

Myrmecia tridentata

Myrmecia eungellensis

Myrmecia fabricii

Myrmecia athertonensis

Myrmecia auriventris

Myrmecia borealis

Myrmecia gulosa

Myrmecia forceps

Myrmecia simillima

Myrmecia arnoldi

Myrmecia fulgida

Myrmecia pavida

Myrmecia vindex

Myrmecia fuscipes

Myrmecia (near nigriceps)

Myrmecia desertorum

Myrmecia nigriceps

Myrmecia nigriceps

Myrmecia inquilina

nigrocincta group

Myrmecia flammicollis

Myrmecia petiolata

Myrmecia nigrocincta

picta group

Myrmecia fucosa

Myrmecia picta

Myrmecia infima

Myrmecia urens

apicalis group

Myrmecia apicalis

pilosula group

Myrmecia testaceipes

Myrmecia acuta

Myrmecia chasei

Myrmecia clarki

Myrmecia dispar

Myrmecia occidentalis

Myrmecia tepperi

Myrmecia elegans

Myrmecia varians

Myrmecia banksi

Myrmecia croslandi

Myrmecia impaternata

Myrmecia haskinsorum

Myrmecia pilosula

Myrmecia pilosula

Myrmecia (near pilosula)

Based on Mera-Rodríguez et al. (2023).


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

  • apicalis. Myrmecia apicalis Emery, 1883: 150 (w.) NEW CALEDONIA.
    • Type-material: 3 syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: New Caledonia: (no further data).
    • Type-depository: MSNG.
    • [Note: according to Clark, 1951: 112, a syntype is present in MNHN.]
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 19; Emery, 1911d: 20; Emery, 1914f: 393; Clark, 1951: 111 (redescription); Bolton, 1995b: 270; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata, 1991a: 361; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1640 (in key).
    • Distribution: New Caledonia.


Type in K. Museum, Paris

Redescribed from a cotype received many years ago from the late Dr. Emery.

Length: 13 mm

Black, mandibles and labrum yellow, antennae and legs ferruginous, posterior margin of first and second, and whole of two apical segments testaceous.

Head very finely striate longitudinally, striae obsolete behind. Pronotum and mesonotum smooth and shining with faint traces of fine longitudinal striae, stronger and more clearly defined on sides of pronotum; epinotum and declivity striate-rugose transversely. Node, postpetiole, and gaster smooth, microscopically punctate.

Hair white, very sparse, short and erect, longer on mandibles and apical segments of gaster, very short and suberect on antennae and legs. Pubescence white, very fine and adpressed, forming a distinct covering on postpetiole and first segments of gaster, yellowish, more abundant, and longer on apical segments of gaster.

Head as long as broad, sides and occipital border convex. Mandibles as long as head, outer border concave, inner border with fourteen teeth, third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth large and broad, twelfth forming a strong angle, two small teeth between angle and base. Scapes exceed occiptial border by one-fourth their length, first and third segments of funiculus equal length, one-fourth shorter than second. Thorax two and one-half times longer than broad; pronotum almost twice as broad as long, strongly convex in all directions, mesonotum circular, as long as broad, strongly convex above, epinotum one-fourth longer than broad. Node as long as broad, broadest behind; in profile slightly higher than long, dome-shaped, stalk short, ventral spine short and slender. Postpetiole one-third broader than long, broadest behind middle, constriction deep and wide. First segment of gaster one-sixth broader than long.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • CSIRO Collection
  • Emery C. 1883. Alcune formiche della Nuova Caledonia. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 15: 145-151.
  • Emery C. 1911. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118: 1-125.
  • Jennings J. T., L. Krogmann, and C. Burwell. 2013. Review of the hymenopteran fauna of New Caledonia with a checklist of species. Zootaxa 3736(1): 1-53.
  • Taylor R. W. 1987. A checklist of the ants of Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) Division of Entomology Report 41: 1-92.
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1927. The ants of Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island. Proc. Am. Acad. Arts Sci. 62: 121-153
  • Wheeler, William Morton. 1927. The Ants of Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 62(4): 121-153
  • Williams F. X. 1945. The aculeate wasps of New Caledonia, with natural history notes. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 12: 407-452.