Myrmecia swalei

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Myrmecia swalei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmeciinae
Tribe: Myrmeciini
Genus: Myrmecia
Species group: pilosula
Species: M. swalei
Binomial name
Myrmecia swalei
Crawley, 1922

Myrmecia swalei casent0914036 p 1 high.jpg

Myrmecia swalei casent0914036 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Myrmecia swalei forms very small colonies in open soil with a single, well hidden entrance.

Photo Gallery

  • Myrmecia swalei foraging near its nest (Farhan Bokhari)
  • Myrmecia swalei workers could be seen excavating soil from within the nest. They are very alert and shy and will hesitate to exit the nest if they see you moving about outside. Occasionally one worker would stray outside the nest and jump around rapidly and haphazardly if approached. Tullis, Western Australia. Photo by Farhan Bokhari, 11 September 2011.
  • Worker at nest entrance. Colonies are small with a well hidden single entrance hole. South Australia. Photo by Mark Newton.
  • Worker at nest entrance, South Australia. Photo by Mark Newton.
  • Worker at nest entrance, South Australia. Photo by Mark Newton.


Heterick (2009) - Myrmecia swalei strongly resembles the M. chasei complex in appearance but can easily be distinguished by its reduced mandibular teeth.

Keys including this Species


Heterick (2009) - This species is quite common in more coastal parts of the south-west (WA, SWBP), but can be found near the south coast at least as far east as Bremer Bay.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -21.63333° to -35.21667°.

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.

  • swalei. Myrmecia harderi r. swalei Crawley, 1922b: 429 (w.) AUSTRALIA (Western Australia).
    • Type-material: holotype worker.
    • Type-locality: Australia: Western Australia, Albany (H. Swale).
    • Type-depository: OXUM.
    • Clark, 1943: 134 (q.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1971d: 253 (l.).
    • Combination in Promyrmecia: Clark, 1943: 133;
    • combination in Myrmecia: Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16.
    • Status as species: Clark, 1943: 133 (redescription); Clark, 1951: 176 (redescription); Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata, 1991a: 362; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1642 (in key), 1665; Bolton, 1995b: 273; Heterick, 2009: 123.
    • Distribution: Australia.

Type Material



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • 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.