Myrmecia tarsata

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Myrmecia tarsata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmeciinae
Tribe: Myrmeciini
Genus: Myrmecia
Species: M. tarsata
Binomial name
Myrmecia tarsata
Smith, F., 1858

Myrmecia tarsata casent0103242 profile 1.jpg

Myrmecia tarsata casent0103242 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

At a Glance • Brachypterous Queen  • Ergatoid queen  



Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


An incomplete colony excavated in 2007 (30km west of Dorrigo NSW) yielded over 500 workers, 160 cocoons and 173 larvae (C. Peeters unpublished data). Two cocoons contained partly-pigmented pupae of brachypterous queens, while other cocoons contained males.


McAreavey (1948) and Clark (1951, p. 28-31) described dimorphic flightless queens: ergatoid (permanently wingless) and brachypterous (short, non-functional wings).

Brachypterous queens generally retain unfused flight sclerites in the thorax. The short wings are often broken within hours of emergence, and wing scars give the impression of a queen capable of flight.

Dealate brachypterous queen of M. tarsata. Australian Museum, Sydney; collected in Lane Cove River, Sydney, NSW on 16 Feb. 1924 (accession K.49156). Photograph by Derek Smith
Australian Museum, Sydney; collected in Lane Cove River, Sydney, NSW on 16 Feb. 1924 (accession K.49156). Photograph by Derek Smith


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • tarsata. Myrmecia tarsata Smith, F. 1858b: 145 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Roger, 1861a: 33 (q.); Clark, 1951: 30 (m.). See also: Crawley, 1926: 379; Clark, 1927: 34; Clark, 1951: 28.

Type Material

The following notes on F. Smith type specimens have been provided by Barry Bolton (details):

Holotype worker in The Natural History Museum. Labelled “N.H. Hunter R. 44/105” and with a det. label “tarsata Type Smith.” Specimen is very large, with swollen gaster.



  • Clark, J. 1927. The ants of Victoria. Part III. Vic. Nat. (Melb.) 44: 33-40 (page 34, see also)
  • Clark, J. 1951. The Formicidae of Australia. 1. Subfamily Myrmeciinae: 230 pp. CSIRO, Melbourne. [(31.xii).1951.] PDF
  • Crawley, W. C. 1926. A revision of some old types of Formicidae. Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. 1925: 373-393 (page 379, see also)
  • McAreavey, J. 1948. Some observations on Myrmecia tarsata Smith. Proc. Linn. Soc. NSW. 73: 137 – 141.
  • Roger, J. 1861a. Die Ponera-artigen Ameisen (Schluss). Berl. Entomol. Z. 5: 1-54 (page 33, queen described)
  • Smith, F. 1858a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp. (page 145, worker described)