Myrmecia banksi

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Myrmecia banksi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmeciinae
Tribe: Myrmeciini
Genus: Myrmecia
Species group: pilosula
Species: M. banksi
Binomial name
Myrmecia banksi
Taylor, 2015

Myrmecia banksi is known only from low elevations along a narrow coastal and sub-coastal strip in New South Wales south from Sydney to Batemans Bay. This species was referred to in previous JACP publications as the "greenhead" form of M. (pilosula), as “M. (pilosula) 2n=10”, or informally as M. banksi.


Keys including this Species


Taylor (2015) - Known from coastal or sub-coastal NSW, from Leumeah, Sydney, south to Catalina, Batemans Bay. All collections are from elevations below 70 meters. Localities most distant from the coast are at Wandandian (ca 5km inland) and Leumeah (ca 24 km). Myrmecia banksi will almost certainly range further north and south, and could occur more widely in the Sydney area where records of Jack-jumpers are currently sparse.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -34.03° to -35.5°.

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.




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.

  • banksi. Myrmecia banksi Taylor, 2015a: 501, figs. 4-6 (w.) AUSTRALIA (New South Wales).
    • Type-material: holotype worker, paratype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: holotype+paratypes Australia: New South Wales, South Nowra, shortly N junction of Forest Road and Bulldog Avenue track (-34 56, 150 37), ca 800 m., W Forest Road/Princes Highway intersection, Comberton (no further data).
    • [Note: no date, collection codes or collector’s names are given for the type-material; the type-locality does not appear in “material examined”, where the only South Nowra sample is recorded as (-34 55, 150 36), HI99-013 (S. Brown & S. Marsden).]
    • Type-depositories: ANIC (holotype); ANIC (paratypes); AMSC, BMNH, CASC, MCZC, MHNG, MVMA, QMBA, SAMA, TMHT, WAMP (“paratypes or type-compared vouchers”).
    • [Myrmecia banksi Imai, Taylor & Crozier, 1994: 147. Unavailable name (published without designation of type-material).]
    • Distribution: Australia.

Type Material

Forest Road marks the boundary between Currambene State Forest (to the North) and Nowra State Forest. The area is referred to locally as Comberton. Holotype and paratypes in Australian National Insect Collection, paratypes or type-compared vouchers in Australian Museum, Museum Victoria, Melbourne, Queensland Museum, South Australian Museum, WAMA, TMHA) and in The Natural History Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



General features as illustrated and in key couplets 1, & 3. Myrmecia banksi is distinguished within the pilosula complex by its dense, brassy-green cephalic pubescence. This produces strong greenish-yellow reflections, readily visible in living specimens with hand lens magnification, and encouraged Imai’s field epithet “greenhead”. Anterior femora chocolate brown, each with a reddish-orange apical section up to 1/3 its length, matching the adjacent tibia. Middle tarsi and tibiae reddish-orange, matching those of fore legs. Hind femora and tibiae dark brown, like anterior femora; the tibiae sometimes a little lighter, with their apices and the tarsi progressively lighter in color towards the foot. Myrmecia banksi is otherwise morphologically similar to the eastern species Myrmecia impaternata and the Western Australian M. imaii, which have similar but usually much-less dense brassy cephalic pilosity, and distinctive, very different karyology. The provenance of specimens and their comparison with confidently identified vouchers is important in differentiating these taxa.

(Holotype, smallest paratype, largest paratype (mm): TL = 13.04, 11.81, 13.45; HW = 2.66, 2.26, 2.76; HL = 2.44, 2.48, 2.77; CI = 109, 109, 111; EL =1.02, 0.87, 1.06; OI = 38, 38, 38; SL = 1.98, 1.75, 2.09; SI = 74, 77, 76; PW = 1.72, 1.70, 1.77; WL = 3.86, 3.33, 3.92; PetW = 0.94, 0.77, 1.01; PpetW = 1.50, 1.19, 1.60.


  • 2n = 9 (Australia) (Imai et al., 1977; Imai et al., 1994; Taylor, 2015) (putative mutant individual).
  • 2n = 10 (Australia) (Imai et al., 1994; Hirai et al., 1994; Hirai et al., 1996; Taylor, 2015).

Taylor (2015) - Most examined specimens (sampled from all localities except Catalina and Batemans Bay) had the monomorphic karyotype 2K=6M +2Mc +2A (2n=10) (Imai, Taylor et al., 1994: 147, Fig. 5h). One putative mutant individual from Leumeah (sample HI–AAGH–11) had a complicated translocation producing 2n=9 (Imai, Crozier et al., 1977).


Named for Joseph Banks (1743–1820) who with Daniel Solander in 1770 first scientifically collected Australian ants and other insects at Botany Bay, NSW, while exploring ashore from James Cook’s HM Bark Endeavour in habitat similar to that at the M. banksi Type Locality. The Endeavour landing site is about 100km NNE of the M. banksi South Nowra site.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Imai, H. T.; Taylor, R. W.; Crozier, R. H. 1994. Experimental bases for the minimum interaction theory. I. Chromosome evolution in ants of the Myrmecia pilosula species complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmeciinae). Japanese Journal of Genetics 69:174-175. [1994-04-25] PDF 126063
  • Taylor R. W. 2015. Ants with Attitude: Australian Jack-jumpers of the Myrmecia pilosulaspecies complex, with descriptions of four new species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmeciinae). Zootaxa 3911(4): 493-520.