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Myrmecina graminicola
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Myrmecina
Curtis, 1829
Type species
Myrmecina latreillii (junior synonym of Myrmecina graminicola)
101 species
(Species Checklist, Species by Country)

Myrmecina graminicola casent0008643 profile 1.jpg

Myrmecina graminicola

Myrmecina graminicola casent0008643 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Evolutionary Relationships














































some Lordomyrma



[some Lordomyrma


some Lordomyrma











Based on Ward et al. (2014) and Blaimer et al. (2018).

Shattuck (2009) - The myrmicine ant genus Myrmecina contains 101 valid species. These are uncommon ants that are most often encountered in leaf litter samples, generally in forested areas. Colonies are small and occur in soil with or without coverings, between rocks, in twigs on the ground or in rotten wood. While little is known about their biology, some are thought to be predacious on oribatid mites, and it has been suggested that the exceptionally small heads of larval Myrmecina are an adaptation to feeding on the partially opened bodies of these mites (Masuko, 2008). A rare, social parasitic species occurs in nests of Myrmecina americana in North America (S. Cover, pers. comm.).


Shattuck (2009) - The sides of the head behind the eyes with an elongate ridge or groove on each side which starts at the mandibles, runs the length of the head and ends near the upper corners. In side view, the petiole is low, rounded and barrel-shaped and lacks a distinct node. The propodeum is armed with long spines near the angle as well as short spines or angles near the metanotal groove. The distinctive ridge on the sides of the head behind the eyes combined with the low, rounded petiole will separate these ants from all others in Australia.

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Keys including this Genus


Keys to Species in this Genus


Ants in this genus are found from southern Canada south to southern Mexico, in Europe and northern Africa, and from India east to Korea and Japan and south into Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Australia. It is apparently absent from Central and South America, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East (Guenard, 2009). While relatively common and well represented in Papua New Guinea, this fauna is distinct from that of Australia.

Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps


Okido et al. (2020) - Members of the genus Myrmecina live in rotten wood (Wilson, 1959), soil and litter, or under stones (Ogata & Terayama, 1992). The ants are relatively rare. The biology of species of Myrmecina has been studied in only a few species. Masuko (1994) reported the predatory habits of Myrmecina nipponica and Myrmecina flava, and showed that the ants are specialized predators on oribatid mites. He concluded that the peculiarly elongate head of the larvae is associated with a feeding habit in which they insert the head into the hard oribatid body to consume the contents. The association of oribatid mites with Myrmecina was also observed in tropical Asia (Ito & Takaku, 1994; Aoki & Ito, 1997) where they show symbiosis. The colony size of the ants has been recorded in the limited number of species. Wilson (1959) noted 50 adults in a colony of Myrmecina transversa. Ohkawara et al. (1993) counted 27.4±SD 16.1 adults per colony from 108 samples of M. nipponica. Ito (1996) recorded 66±SD 24 workers and 8±SD 8.4 ergatogynes per colony from 41 samples of Myrmecina species of Java. Ergatogynes are found in some species. Emery (1916), Ohkawara et al. (1993) and Ito (1996) reported that Myrmecina graminicola, M. nipponica and undescribed species of Java have ergatogynes.

Deyrup (2015) - The diet of 2 species of Myrmecina has been studied by Masuko (1994) in Japan. These species are general predators of soil microinvertebrates that have specializations for attacking a particular type of prey, hard-bodied mites of the family Oribatidae. These specializations include serrate and scoop-shaped jaws of the worker, used for peeling open oribatid mites, and the elongate head of the larva, used for reaching into the interior of partially shelled mites. The worker mandibles of North American Myrmecina are similar to those of the Japanese species illustrated by Masuko (1994), and it is probable that North American species, also feed on oribatid mites.

Flight Period

All Flight Records for Genus

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Taxon Month Source Notes
Myrmecina americana Aug Sep Oct
Myrmecina graminicola Aug Sep

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 24-100 (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Compound colony type: not parasitic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Nest site: hypogaeic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Diet class: predator (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging stratum: subterranean/leaf litter (Greer et al., 2021)



Worker Morphology

• Antennal segment count: 11; 12 • Antennal club: 3 • Palp formula: 4,3; 3,2 • Total dental count: 7-9 • Spur formula: 0,0 • Eyes: 11-100 ommatidia • Pronotal Spines: absent • Mesonotal Spines: absent • Propodeal Spines: dentiform; present • Petiolar Spines: absent • Caste: none or weak • Sting: absent • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: absent

Male Morphology

 • Antennal segment count 13 • Antennal club 0 • Palp formula 4,3 • Total dental count 0 • Spur formula 0, 0


Species Uncertain

  • 2n = 66 (Indonesia) (Imai et al., 1985).

All Karyotype Records for Genus

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Taxon Haploid Diploid Karyotype Locality Source Notes
Myrmecina 66 Indonesia Imai et al., 1985
Myrmecina americana 14 Crozier, 1975
Myrmecina graminicola 14 Hauschteck, 1965; Crozier, 1975


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

  • MYRMECINA [Myrmicinae: Myrmecinini]
    • Myrmecina Curtis, 1829: 265. Type-species: Myrmecina latreillii (junior synonym of Formica graminicola), by monotypy.
    • Myrmecina senior synonym of Archaeomyrmex: Brown, 1971a: 1.
  • ARCHAEOMYRMEX [junior synonym of Myrmecina]
    • Archaeomyrmex Mann, 1921: 448. Type-species: Archaeomyrmex cacabau, by original designation.
    • Archaeomyrmex junior synonym of Myrmecina: Brown, 1971a: 1.

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

Deyrup (2015) - Most of the described species live in Southeast Asia (Brown 1967) and the Australian region (Shattuck 2009), but there are several northern species that might represent a limited evolutionary radiation associated with temperate Arcto-Tertiary forests. The number of North American species is small but uncertain, in spite of analyses by Smith (1948), Brown (1949, 1951, 1967), Creighton (1950), and Snelling (1965). Brown (1967) recognized 2 species, 1 from Mexico and 1 widespread Nearctic species. A 3rd, apparently parasitic species remains undescribed (Fisher & Cover 2007), and further analysis may support reinstatement of a western species, M. californica Smith. In Nearctic Myrmecina, the chief impediment to taxonomic clarity is intraspecific variability in the widespread species M. americana Emery (Brown 1967).



Eguchi, Bui and Yamane (2011) - Workers of Vietnamese species have the following features. Worker monomorphic; head in full-face view rectangular, with rounded posterior corners; preoccipital carina extending to ventral surface of head and then forming a longitudinal carina which runs anteriad; frontal carina inconspicuous; antennal scrobe absent; frontal lobe large, covering antennal insertion; median margin of clypeus raised above dorsal surface of mandibular bases, with truncate anterior margin, laterally with a submedian carina from anterior end of frontal lobe to anterior margin of clypeus; carina often forming a submedian tooth; median clypeal tooth often present but not accompanied by an isolated median seta; posteromedian portion of clypeus very broadly inserted between frontal lobes; lateral portion of clypeus often (but not always) modified into a narrow and low ridge or wall in front of antennal insertion; mandible triangular; masticatory margin with 2 distinct apical teeth followed by several teeth or denticles; antennae 11- or 12-segmented, with 3-segmented club; eye small to medium in size; mesosoma short, stout with slightly convex promesonotal dome; promesonotal suture absent dorsally; humeral angle distinct; anterior part of mesopleuron with a well developed flange projecting over base of fore coxa; metanotal groove weak or absent; propodeal spine more or less developed; an additional process or tooth sometimes present in front of each propodeal spine; propodeal lobe present only as a low carina; petiole sessile and lacking distinct node, in lateral view usually (but not always) dorsally with a triangular point or angles at or behind midlength of petiole; postpetiole in dorsal view rectangular; gastral shoulder distinct.


  • Ashmead, W. H. 1905c. A skeleton of a new arrangement of the families, subfamilies, tribes and genera of the ants, or the superfamily Formicoidea. Can. Entomol. 37: 381-384 (page 383, Myrmecina in Myrmicinae, Myrmecinini)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 255, Myrmecina in Myrmicinae, Myrmecinini)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1971a. Characters and synonymies among the genera of ants. Part IV. Some genera of subfamily Myrmicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Breviora 365: 1-5 (page 1, Myrmecina senior synonym of Archaeomyrmex)
  • Burchill, A.T., Moreau, C.S. 2016. Colony size evolution in ants: macroevolutionary trends. Insectes Sociaux 63, 291–298 (doi:10.1007/s00040-016-0465-3).
  • Cantone S. 2018. Winged Ants, The queen. Dichotomous key to genera of winged female ants in the World. The Wings of Ants: morphological and systematic relationships (self-published).
  • Cresson, E. T. 1887. Synopsis of the families and genera of the Hymenoptera of America, north of Mexico, together with a catalogue of the described species, and bibliography. Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc., Suppl. Vol. 1887: 1-351 (page 261, Myrmecina in Myrmicidae)
  • Curtis, J. 1829. Myrmecina Latreillii. Plate 265 [plus 2 unnumbered pages of text] in: Curtis, J. British entomology; being illustrations and descriptions of the genera of insects found in Great Britain and Ireland. Volume 6. London: published by the author, plates 242-289. (page 265, Myrmecina as genus)
  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 61, Myrmecina in Myrmicinae)
  • Deyrup, M. 2015. A new species of Myrmecina (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from southeastern North America. Florida Entomologist. 98:1204-1206.
  • Emery, C. 1877b. Saggio di un ordinamento naturale dei Mirmicidei, e considerazioni sulla filogenesi delle formiche. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 9: 67-83 (page 81, Myrmecina in Myrmicidae, Myrmicidae)
  • Emery, C. 1895l. Die Gattung Dorylus Fab. und die systematische Eintheilung der Formiciden. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 8: 685-778 (page 769, Myrmecina in Myrmicinae, Myrmicini)
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  • Mayr, G. 1855. Formicina austriaca. Beschreibung der bisher im österreichischen Kaiserstaate aufgefundenen Ameisen, nebst Hinzufügung jener in Deutschland, in der Schweiz und in Italien vorkommenden Arten. Verh. Zool.-Bot. Ver. Wien 5: 273-478 (page 420, Myrmecina in Myrmicinae [Myrmicidae])
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  • Okido H., Ogata K., and S. Hosoishsi. 2020. Taxonomic revision of the ant genus Myrmecina in Southeast Asia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bulletin of the Kyushu University Museum. 7:1-108.
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  • Smith, F. 1871a. A catalogue of the Aculeate Hymenoptera and Ichneumonidae of India and the Eastern Archipelago. With introductory remarks by A. R. Wallace. [part]. J. Linn. Soc. Lond. Zool. 11: 285-348 (page 327, Myrmecina in Myrmicidae)
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