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Anomalomyrma helenae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Leptanillinae
Tribe: Anomalomyrmini
Genus: Anomalomyrma
Taylor, 1990
Type species
Anomalomyrma taylori
3 species
(Species Checklist, Species by Country)


Anomalomyrma helenae


Evolutionary Placement

  (1 species)

  (3 species)

  (13 species)

  (47 species)

  (2 species)

Based on Ward & Fisher, 2016. The genera Noonilla, Phaulomyrma and Scyphodon are excluded as they have yet to be studied in detail.

There are three species in this tropical Oriental genus. Workers are known for only two species and are exceedingly rare.


Borowiec et al. (2011): Anomalomyrma is similar to Protanilla, with differentiating characters as follows:

Anomalomyrma Protanilla
Mandibles with a very distinct dorsolateral groove framed by two ridges and with a conspicuous basal pit Mandibles with or without inconspicuous dorsolateral groove which is not framed by two ridges, basal pit very small or absent
Mandibles relatively elongate, without a distinct basal margin Mandibles more triangular and shorter, with differentiated basal margin
In workers, mandibles with very small saw-blade like cuticular teeth, without peg-like teeth In workers and gynes, mandibles with peg-like teeth (modifiedsetae), with cuticular armament, if present*, arranged in only one row of small teeth on the masticatory margin
Clypeal disc concave Clypeal disc flattened
In workers, the scape is very long, distinctly longer than head width (SL/HW 1.26–1.27) In workers, the scape is more or less as long as head width (SL/HW <1.1)
In lateral view petiole depressed with approximately triangular appearance In lateral view petiole rectangular, node like
Mesosoma of worker with pro-mesonotal region arched, pronotum robust with spiracle well below midheight Mesosoma of worker with pro-mesonotal region more or less flattened**, pronotum more slender with spiracle at about midheight
Nodes of abdominal segment II (petiole) and III (postpetiole) without differentiated posterior faces Nodes of abdominal segment II (petiole) and III (postpetiole) with clearly differentiated posterior faces
Abdominal segment II widely fused with abdominal segment III and immobile Abdominal segment II and III not fused and mobile
Abdominal segment III distinctly broader than long, also distinctly broader than segment II Abdominal segment III about as broad as long, or longer, not distinctly broader than segment II

* The cuticular teeth have so far been observed only in the “Anomalomyrma” species from Japan.

** Judging from description and figures in Xu & Zhang (2002), P. furcomandibula has the promesonotal region slightly more bulky and convex, the lateral surface of mandible has a more visible groove, and exceptionally abdominal segment III (postpetiole) is more broadly attached to the segment IV (first gastral), which makes this species partially intermediate between Anomalomyrma and hitherto known Protanilla species.

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

Keys including this Genus



Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps


Species in this genus are found in leaf litter in the Old World tropics.


Males of this genus are unknown.


Worker Morphology

  • Antennal segment count: 12
  • Antennal club: absent
  • Palp formula: 2,2; 1,2
  • Total dental count: >20
  • Spur formula: 1 simple, 1 pectinate; 2 simple, 2 simple
  • Eyes: absent
  • Scrobes: absent
  • Sting: present

Male Morphology

 • Caste unknown


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

  • ANOMALOMYRMA [Leptanillinae: Anomalomyrmini]
    • Anomalomyrma Taylor, in Bolton, 1990b: 278. Type-species: Anomalomyrma taylori, by original designation.

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


Mandibles unique, elongate and with blade strongly down curved in profile. Dorsal surface of each mandibular blade surmounted by a high convex vertical lamella of thick cuticle which has its origin close to the base and extends for about two-thirds the length of the blade. Inner surface of this lamella lined with three longitudinal rows of sharp cuticular teeth which are curved backwards and downwards. Beneath the lowest row of teeth is a longitudinal row of stout spiniform setae, directed ventrally. Outer surface of mandible below lamella with a broad longitudinal groove which runs forward from a smalliaterobasal pit. Apically the groove crosses the width of the mandible in front of the anterior termination of the lamella. Distal portion of each blade, beyond end of lamella, with a few denticles on the inner margin and with a truncated apex. Labrum with numerous sharp spiniform cuticular teeth which project forward and downward.


  • Bolton, B. 1990d. The higher classification of the ant subfamily Leptanillinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Syst. Entomol. 15: 267-282 (page 278, Anomalomyrma in Leptanillinae, Anomalomyrmini)
  • Bolton, B. 1994. Identification guide to the ant genera of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 222 pp. (page 70, Anomalomyrma in Leptanillinae, Anomolomyrmini)
  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 66, Anomalomyrma in Leptanillinae, Anomolomyrmini)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 152, Anomalomyrma in Leptanillinae, Anomolomyrmini)
  • Borowiec, M.L., Schulz, A., Alpert, G.D., Banar, P. 2011. Discovery of the worker caste and description of two new species of Anomalomyrma with unique abdominal morphology. Zootaxa 2810: 1-14.
  • Hölldobler, B.; Wilson, E. O. 1990. The ants. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, xii + 732 pp. (page 12, Anomalomyrma in Leptanillinae, Anomalomyrmini)