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Myrmicaria melanogaster
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Myrmicaria
Saunders, W.W., 1842
Type species
Myrmicaria brunnea
71 species
(Species Checklist, Species by Country)

Myrmicaria melanogaster casent0179018 profile 1.jpg

Myrmicaria melanogaster

Myrmicaria melanogaster casent0179018 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Evolutionary Relationships









Austromorium, Monomorium, Oxyepoecus



some Monomorium






Adelomyrmex, Baracidris, Cryptomyrmex

Based on Ward et al., 2014

Hita Garcia, Wiesel and Fischer (2013) - Myrmicaria can be found throughout the Afrotropical, Oriental and Indo-Australian zoogeographical regions. In the Afrotropical region these ants seem to prefer open habitats where they can be locally quite abundant. They nest in the soil, and foraging is performed alone or in smaller groups (Levieux, 1983). Based on observations on one species (Levieux, 1983), members of the genus seem to be mostly carnivorous, with a diet consisting of a variety of insects, especially termites and ants and supplemented by homopteran honeydew.


The last revision of this genus was made by Santschi (1925)[1], outdated

AntWeb icon 02.png See images of species within this genus

Keys including this Genus



Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps


Association with Other Organisms

All Associate Records for Genus

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Taxon Relationship Associate Type Associate Taxon Associate Relationship Locality Source Notes
Myrmicaria opaciventris associate (details unknown) encyrtid wasp Ooencrytus sp. associate (details unknown) Quevillon, 2018
Myrmicaria opaciventris host encyrtid wasp Ooencyrtus sp. parasite Universal Chalcidoidea Database associate
Myrmicaria opaciventris mutualist psyllid Diaphorina enderleini trophobiont Cameroon, Ethiopia Aléné et al., 2011

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 19899 (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Compound colony type: not parasitic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Nest site: hypogaeic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Diet class: omnivore (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging stratum: subterranean/leaf litter (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging behaviour: cooperative (Greer et al., 2021)



Worker Morphology

• Antennal segment count: 7 • Antennal club: gradual-3 • Palp formula: 3,3 • Total dental count: 4-5 • Spur formula: 1 simple, 1 simple; 0, 0 • Eyes: >100 ommatidia • Pronotal Spines: absent • Mesonotal Spines: absent • Propodeal Spines: present • Petiolar Spines: absent • Caste: none or weak • Sting: present • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: absent

Male Morphology

 • Antennal segment count 13 • Antennal club 0 • Palp formula 3,3 • Total dental count 0 • Spur formula 1 simple, 1 simple


Species Uncertain

  • Myrmicaria sp.1: 2n = 44 (Malaysia) (Goni et al., 1982).
  • Myrmicaria sp.2: 2n = 44 (Malaysia) (Goni et al., 1982; Imai et al., 1983).
  • Myrmicaria sp.3: 2n = 44 (Malaysia) (Goni et al., 1982).
  • Myrmicaria sp.4: n = 23, 2n = 46 (Malaysia) (Imai et al., 1983).
  • Myrmicaria: 2n = 44 (Indonesia) (Imai et al., 1985).

All Karyotype Records for Genus

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Taxon Haploid Diploid Karyotype Locality Source Notes
Myrmicaria 44 Indonesia Imai et al., 1985
Myrmicaria 44 Malaysia Goni et al., 1982
Myrmicaria 44 Malaysia Goni et al., 1982; Imai et al., 1983
Myrmicaria 23 46 Malaysia Imai et al., 1983
Myrmicaria brunnea 44 24M+20A India Imai et al., 1984 The photo is the ''Myrmicaria brunnea subcarinata''


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

  • MYRMICARIA [Myrmicinae: Myrmicariini]
    • Myrmicaria Saunders, W.W. 1842: 57. Type-species: Myrmicaria brunnea, by monotypy.
    • Myrmicaria senior synonym of Heptacondylus (and its junior synonym Physatta): Smith, F. 1865: 73.
  • HEPTACONDYLUS [junior synonym of Myrmicaria]
    • Heptacondylus Smith, F. 1857a: 71. Type-species: Heptacondylus subcarinatus, by subsequent designation of Wheeler, W.M. 1911f: 164.
    • Heptacondylus senior synonym of Physatta: Mayr, 1862: 755 (in text); Roger, 1863b: 27.
    • Heptacondylus junior synonym of Myrmicaria: Smith, F. 1865: 73.
  • PHYSATTA [junior synonym of Myrmicaria]
    • Physatta Smith, F. 1857a: 77. Type-species: Physatta dromedarius (junior synonym of Heptacondylus carinatus), by monotypy.
    • Physatta junior synonym of Heptacondylus: Mayr, 1862: 755 (in text); Roger, 1863b: 27; Mayr, 1863: 442.
    • Physatta junior synonym of Myrmicaria: Smith, F. 1865: 73.

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

Eguchi, Bui and Yamane (2011) - Workers of Vietnamese species have the following features. Worker monomorphic; head in full-face view oval or subrectangular with round posterior corners and straight posterior margin; frontal lobe in full-face view relatively large, completely concealing torulus; frontal carina indistinct or absent; antennal scrobe absent; median portion of clypeus with roundly convex anterior margin; posteromedian portion of clypeus broadly inserted between frontal lobe; median clypeal seta absent; mandible relatively narrow, with 4 teeth; antenna 7-segmented, gradually incrassate or with indistinct 3-segmented club; eye large and strongly convex laterad, located behind midlength of side of head in full-face view and relatively high on side in lateral view; mesosoma in lateral view short and high; promesonotum in lateral view a little higher than anterodorsal border of propodeum; promesonotal suture a weak or faint dorsal impression; anteroventral corner of promesonotum forming an acute angle or spine; metanotal groove weakly impressed; posterior slope of promesonotum and dorsum of propodeum margined laterally with a carina that connects with a well-developed propodeal spine; propodeal lobe absent; legs slender and long; petiole with long anterior peduncle and well-developed node; subpetiolar process absent; postpetiole in lateral view relatively long; gastral shoulder present; sting well developed.


  • Arnold, G. 1916. A monograph of the Formicidae of South Africa. Part II. Ponerinae, Dorylinae. Ann. S. Afr. Mus. 14: 159-270 (page 261, Myrmicaria in Myrmicinae, Myrmicariini)
  • 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, Myrmicaria in Myrmicinae, Myrmicariini)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 243, Myrmicaria in Myrmicinae, Myrmicariini)
  • 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).
  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 155, Myrmicaria in Myrmicinae)
  • Eguchi, K., Bui, T.V. & Yamane, S. 2011. Generic synopsis of the Formicidae of Vietnam. Part 1 – Myrmicinae and Pseudomyrmecinae. Zootaxa 2878: 1-61.
  • 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, Myrmicaria in Myrmicidae, Pheidolidae)
  • Emery, C. 1895l. Die Gattung Dorylus Fab. und die systematische Eintheilung der Formiciden. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 8: 685-778 (page 770, Myrmicaria in Myrmicinae, Myrmicariini)
  • Emery, C. 1914e. Intorno alla classificazione dei Myrmicinae. Rend. Sess. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna Cl. Sci. Fis. (n.s.) 18: 29-42 (page 40, Myrmicaria in Myrmicinae, Myrmicariini)
  • Emery, C. 1922c. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [part]. Genera Insectorum 174B: 95-206 (page 120, Myrmicaria in Myrmicinae, Myrmicariini)
  • Forel, A. 1893b. Sur la classification de la famille des Formicides, avec remarques synonymiques. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 37: 161-167 (page 165, Myrmicaria in Myrmicinae, Myrmicariini)
  • Forel, A. 1917. Cadre synoptique actuel de la faune universelle des fourmis. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 51: 229-253 (page 242, Myrmicaria in Myrmicinae, Myrmicariini)
  • Santschi, F. 1925c [1924]. Révision des Myrmicaria d'Afrique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 64: 133-176 (page 133, Revision of genus (out of date))
  • Saunders, W. W. 1842 [1841]. Descriptions of two hymenopterous insects from northern India. Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. 3: 57-58 (page 57, Myrmicaria as genus)
  • Smith, F. 1858a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp. (page 140, Myrmicaria in Poneridae, Myrmicidae)
  • Smith, F. 1865a. Descriptions of new species of hymenopterous insects from the islands of Sumatra, Sula, Gilolo, Salwatty, and New Guinea, collected by Mr. A. R. Wallace. J. Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. Zool. 8: 61-94 (page 73, Myrmicaria senior synonym of Heptacondylus (and its junior synonym Physatta))
  • 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 330, Myrmicaria in Myrmicidae)
  • Waldkircher, G., Webb, M.D., Maschwitz, U. 2004. Description of a new shieldbug (Hemiptera: Plataspidae) and its close association with a species of ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Southeast Asia. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 147, 21-28.
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1922i. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VII. Keys to the genera and subgenera of ants. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 45: 631-710 (page 661, Myrmicaria in Myrmicinae, Myrmicariini)