Myrmecia gratiosa

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Myrmecia gratiosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmeciinae
Tribe: Myrmeciini
Genus: Myrmecia
Species group: gulosa
Species: M. gratiosa
Binomial name
Myrmecia gratiosa
Clark, 1951

Myrmecia gratiosa casent0914024 p 1 high.jpg

Myrmecia gratiosa casent0914024 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

These ants are visual predators. Typical encounters with even a solitary forager shows that they are a formidable and aggressive species.

Photo Gallery

  • These aggressive ants can be challanging to photograph, but this individual was very cooporative. From Martin, Western Australia, by Farhan Bokhari.
  • Being highly visual ants, Myrmecia workers will often spot a biologist before the biologist stops them. From Martin, Western Australia, by Farhan Bokhari.
  • A Myrmecia gratiosa worker brings a Camponotus queen back to the nest. Such large hunters with formidable stings and large mandibles easily dispatch the queens. A number of workers were seen returning to this large bullant nest with all manner of different queen ants. Taken at Brigadoon, Western Australia by Farhan Bokhari.


Myrmecia desertorum, Myrmecia fuscipes, Myrmecia gratiosa, Myrmecia nigriceps and Myrmecia vindex are all large to very large, reddish ants with red, brown or black heads and a black gaster.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -27.7° to -34.4°.

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.




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

  • gratiosa. Myrmecia gratiosa Clark, 1951: 66, fig. 44 (w.) AUSTRALIA (Western Australia).
    • Type-material: holotype worker, paratype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-localities: holotype + paratypes Australia: Western Australia, Bendering (C.A. Gardner), Western Australia, Emu Rock (F. Cadd).
    • [Note: original description gives no indication which series contains the holotype, but Taylor & Brown, 1985: 11, cite Bendering.]
    • Type-depository: ANIC.
    • Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1971d: 250 (l.).
    • Status as species: Taylor & Brown, 1985: 11; Taylor, 1987a: 43; Ogata, 1991a: 358; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1637 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 271; Heterick, 2009: 121.
    • Distribution: Australia.

Type Material



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Heterick B. E. 2009. A guide to the ants of south-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 76: 1-206. 
  • 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.