Myrmecia nigriceps

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Myrmecia nigriceps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmeciinae
Tribe: Myrmeciini
Genus: Myrmecia
Species: M. nigriceps
Binomial name
Myrmecia nigriceps
Mayr, 1862

Myrmecia nigriceps casent0217498 p 1 high.jpg

Myrmecia nigriceps casent0217498 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.


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: -25.35° to -37.68333333°.

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.



Association with Other Organisms

  • This species is a host for the eucharitid wasp Austeucharis sp. (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (multiple encounter modes; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).



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

  • nigriceps. Myrmecia nigriceps Mayr, 1862: 725 (in key), 728 (w.) AUSTRALIA (no state data).
    • Type-material: holotype (?) worker.
    • [Note: no indication of number of specimens is given.]
    • Type-locality: Australia (“New Holland”): (no further data).
    • Type-depository: NHMW.
    • Forel, 1910b: 3 (q.); Viehmeyer, 1914b: 28 (m.).
    • Subspecies of vindex: Forel, 1907h: 264; Forel, 1910b: 3; Emery, 1911d: 19; Forel, 1913g: 173; Viehmeyer, 1914b: 28; Clark, 1925b: 144.
    • Status as species: Roger, 1863b: 23; Mayr, 1863: 430; Mayr, 1876: 95; Dalla Torre, 1893: 21; Kirby, W.F. 1896: 206; Wheeler, W.M. 1909a: 27; Wheeler, W.M. 1933i: 38; Clark, 1951: 64 (redescription); Taylor & Brown, 1985: 13; Taylor, 1987a: 44; Ogata, 1991a: 358; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1638 (in key), 1659; Bolton, 1995b: 272; Heterick, 2009: 121.
    • Senior synonym of fasciata: Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1659; Bolton, 1995b: 272.
    • Distribution: Australia.
  • fasciata. Myrmecia fasciata Clark, 1951: 63, fig. 40 (w.) AUSTRALIA (New South Wales).
    • Type-material: holotype worker, paratype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-localities: holotype + paratypes Australia: New South Wales, Pilliga (W.W. Froggatt), New South Wales, Barraba (W.W. Froggatt).
    • [Note: original description gives no indication which series contains the holotype, but Taylor & Brown, 1985: 9, cite Pilliga.]
    • Type-depository: ANIC.
    • Status as species: Taylor & Brown, 1985: 9; Taylor, 1987a: 43; Ogata, 1991a: 358.
    • Junior synonym of nigriceps: Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1659; Bolton, 1995b: 271.

Type Material



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Forel A. 1913. Fourmis de Tasmanie et d'Australie récoltées par MM. Lae, Froggatt etc. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 49: 173-195
  • Ogata K. and Taylor R.W. 1991. Ants of the genus Myrmecia Fabricius: a preliminary review and key to the named species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmeciinae), Journal of Natural History, 25: 1623-1673
  • 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.
  • Taylor R. W., and D. R. Brown. 1985. Formicoidea. Zoological Catalogue of Australia 2: 1-149.