Myrmecia gulosa

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Myrmecia gulosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmeciinae
Tribe: Myrmeciini
Genus: Myrmecia
Species: M. gulosa
Binomial name
Myrmecia gulosa
(Fabricius, 1775)

Myrmecia gulosa casent0103310 profile 1.jpg

Myrmecia gulosa casent0103310 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label



Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Check distribution from AntMaps.

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Check specimen data from AntWeb


Colonies consist of 992± 551 workers, mean ± SD (Dietemann et al. 2002).


M. gulosa is monogynous and queens are only slightly bigger than large workers, but have many more ovarioles (44 compared to 8–14 in workers; Dietemann et al. 2002). Queens are not aggressive toward workers and regulation of worker reproduction is based on pheromones (Dietemann et al. 2005).


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

  • gulosa. Formica gulosa Fabricius, 1775: 395 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Smith, 1858b: 143 (m.); Mayr, 1876: 95 (q.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1971d: 246 (l.); Imai, Crozier & Taylor, 1977: 345 (k.). Combination in Myrmecia: Fabricius, 1804: 424. Senior synonym of obscurior: Clark, 1951: 49. See also: Ogata, 1991a: 358.
  • obscurior. Myrmecia gulosa var. obscurior Forel, 1922: 87 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Junior synonym of gulosa: Clark, 1951: 49.

Type Material



  • Clark, J. 1951. The Formicidae of Australia. 1. Subfamily Myrmeciinae: 230 pp. CSIRO, Melbourne. [(31.xii).1951.] PDF
  • Dietemann, V.; Hölldobler, B.; Peeters, C. 2002. Caste specialization and differentiation in reproductive potential in the phylogenetically primitive ant Myrmecia gulosa. Insectes Soc 49: 289-298 PDF
  • Dietemann, V., C. Peeters, J. Liebig, V. Thivet & B. Hölldobler 2003. Cuticular hydrocarbons mediate discrimination of reproductives and nonreproductives in the ant Myrmecia gulosa. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 100: 10341-46.
  • Dietemann, V., C. Peeters & B. Hölldobler 2005. Role of the queen in regulating reproduction in the bulldog ant Myrmecia gulosa: control or signalling? Anim. Behav. 69: 777-784.
  • Dietemann, V., J. Liebig, B. Hölldobler & C. Peeters 2005. Changes in the cuticular hydrocarbons of incipient reproductives correlate with triggering of worker policing in the bulldog ant Myrmecia gulosa. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 58: 486-496.
  • Fabricius, J. C. 1775. Systema entomologiae, sistens insectorum classes, ordines, genera, species adiectis synonymis, locis, descriptionibus, observationibus. Flensburgi et Lipsiae [= Flensburg and Leipzig]: Korte, 832 pp. (page 395, worker described)
  • Fabricius, J. C. 1804. Systema Piezatorum secundum ordines, genera, species, adjectis synonymis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus. Brunswick: C. Reichard, xiv + 15-439 + 30 pp. (page 424, Combination in Myrmecia)
  • Imai, H. T.; Crozier, R. H.; Taylor, R. W. 1977. Karyotype evolution in Australian ants. Chromosoma (Berl.) 59: 341-393 (page 345, karyotype described)
  • Mayr, G. 1876. Die australischen Formiciden. J. Mus. Godeffroy 12: 56-115 (page 95, queen described)
  • Ogata, K. 1991a. Ants of the genus Myrmecia Fabricius: a review of the species groups and their phylogenetic relationships (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmeciinae). Syst. Entomol. 16: 353-381 (page 358, see also)
  • Smith, F. 1858a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp. (page 143, male described)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1971d. Ant larvae of the subfamily Myrmeciinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pan-Pac. Entomol. 47: 245-256 (page 246, larva described)