Myrmoteras worker, copyright Steve Shattuck.

Belongs within: Formicidae.
Contains: Lasiini, Melophorini, Formicini, Camponotini, Plagiolepidini.

The Formicinae is a clade of ants characterised by the presence of an acidipore, a circular or semicircular terminal opening on the gaster in place of the reduced sting that is often fringed with hairs (Wheeler & Wheeler 1990). The acidopore is used to secret and/or spray formic acid, which is used for defense in lieu of a sting. Members of the Formicinae include the weaver ants of the genus Oecophylla which are found in the Old World tropics and build arboreal nests by weaving together leaves with the silk produced by larvae. The Myrmelachistini include two genera of ants sharing a reduced antennal segmentation (with nine or ten segments), five mandibular teeth and anterior tergosternal fusion on the first gastral segment. Santschiella kohli is a little known species from central Africa with very large eyes and widely separated antennal insertions with antennae passing below the eyes. Molecular phylogenetic analysis indicates a possible relationship between this species and the tropical South American Gigantiops destructor which similarly possesses large eyes but has the antennal insertions placed close together between the eyes (Ward et al. 2016).

<==Formicinae [Camponotidae, Camponotinae]
    |--Myrmelachistini [Brachymyrmicini] WBF16
    |    |--Myrmelachista flavocotea WBF16
    |    `--Brachymyrmex WBF16
    |         |--B. depilis BS06
    |         `--B. musculus WW90
    `--+--Lasiini BS06
       `--+--Melophorini WBF16
          `--+--Formicini WBF16
             `--+--+--+--Santschiella [Santschiellini] WBF16
                |  |  |    `--S. kohli WBF16
                |  |  `--Gigantiops [Gigantiopini] WBF16
                |  |       `--G. destructor WBF16
                |  `--+--Camponotini WBF16
                |     `--Myrmoteras Forel 1894 WBF16, B03 [Myrmoteratini]
                |          |--*M. binghami Forel 1894 B03
                |          |--M. diastematum N-ZLI11
                |          `--M. iriodum BS06
                `--+--Plagiolepidini WBF16
                   `--+--Oecophylla Smith 1860 WBF16, TB85 [Oecophyllini]
                      |    |--*O. smaragdina (Fabricius 1775) TB85 (see below for synonymy)
                      |    |--O. leakeyi Z02
                      |    `--O. longinoda H79
                      `--Gesomyrmecini [Dimorphomyrmii, Sicelomyrmicini] WBF16
                           |--Prodimorphomyrmex WBF16
                           |--Sicilomyrmex WBF16
                           `--Gesomyrmex Mayr 1868 [=Gaesomyrmex Dalla Torre 1893; incl. Dimorphomyrmex Andre 1892] Z01
                                |--*G. hoernesi Mayr 1868 Z01
                                `--G. howeardi Wheeler 1921 Z01

Formicinae incertae sedis:
  Kyromyrma neffi GE05
  ‘Eucharis’ democles Walker 1839 B88
  Hemioptica Roger 1862 B03
    |--*H. scissa Roger 1862 [=Polyrhachis scissa] B03
    |--H. aculeata (Mayr 1878) [=Polyrhachis aculeata] B03
    `--H. pubescens (Mayr 1878) [=Polyrhachis pubescens; incl. H. pubescens var. alatisquamis] B03
  Camponotites WBF16
  Curtipalpulus Hong 2002 H02
    `--*C. eocenicus Hong 2002 H02
  Drymomyrmex WBF16
  Eoleptocerites Hong 2002 H02
    |--*E. chinensis Hong 2002 H02
    `--E. fushunensis Hong 2002 H02
  Eurytarsites Hong 2002 H02
    `--*E. fushunensis Hong 2002 H02
  Fushuniformica Hong 2002 H02
    `--*F. spinata Hong 2002 H02
  Heeridris WBF16
  Huaxiaformica Hong 2002 H02
    `--*H. mallepetiolata Hong 2002 H02
  Imhoffia WBF16
  Leptogasteritus Hong 2002 H02
    `--*L. capricornutes Hong 2002 H02
  Leucotaphus WBF16
  Liaoformica Hong 2002 H02
    `--*L. longipetiolata Hong 2002 H02
  Longiformica Hong 2002 H02
    |--*L. dongzhouheensis Hong 2002 H02
    `--L. guchengziensis Hong 2002 H02
  Magnogasterites Hong 2002 H02
    `--*M. curticornutus Hong 2002 H02
  Orbicapitia Hong 2002 H02
    `--*O. reticulata Hong 2002 H02
  Ovalicapito Hong 2002 H02
    `--*O. fushunensis Hong 2002 H02
  Ovaligastrula Hong 2002 H02
    `--*O. xilutianensis Hong 2002 H02
  Protrechina WBF16
  Sinoformica Hong 2002 H02
    `--*S. longicapitata Hong 2002 H02
  Sinotenuicapito Hong 2002 H02
    `--*S. badis Hong 2002 H02
  ‘Wilsonia’ Hong 2002 nec Br. 1810 (ICBN) nec Bonaparte 1838 nec Hudleston 1896 nec Cheel & Dughi 1944 (ICBN) H02
    |--*W. megagastrosa Hong 2002 H02
    `--W. liaoningensis Hong 2002 H02

*Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius 1775) TB85 [=Formica smaragdina TB85; incl. F. macra Guerin-Meneville 1831 Z01, F. virecens Fabricius 1775 Z01, Oecophylla virescens B03, F. viridis Kirby 1818 TB85, F. zonata Guerin-Meneville 1831 Z01]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B03] Bingham, C. T. 1903. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Hymenoptera vol. 2. Ants and Cuckoo-Wasps. Taylor and Francis: London.

[B88] Bouček, Z. 1988. Australasian Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera): A biosystematic revision of genera of fourteen families, with a reclassification of species. CAB International: Wallingford (UK).

[BS06] Brady, S. G., T. R. Schultz, B. L. Fisher & P. S. Ward. 2006. Evaluating alternative hypotheses for the early evolution and diversification of ants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 103 (48): 18172–18177.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[H02] Hong Y. 2002. Amber Insect of China. Beijing Scientific and Technological Publishing House.

[H79] Howse, P. E. 1979. The uniqueness of insect societies: aspects of defense and integration. In: Larwood, G., & B. R. Rosen (eds) Biology and Systematics of Colonial Organisms pp. 345–374. Academic Press: London.

[N-ZLI11] Nur-Zati A. M., G. T. Lim & A. B. Idris. 2011. Checklist of ants of selected hill dipterocarp forests of peninsular Malaysia. Serangga 16 (1): 91–105.

[TB85] Taylor, R. W., & D. R. Brown. 1985. Formicoidea. In: Walton, D. W. (ed.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia vol. 2. Hymenoptera: Formicoidea, Vespoidea and Sphecoidea pp. 1–149. Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra.

[WBF16] Ward, P. S., B. B. Blaimer & B. L. Fisher. 2016. A revised phylogenetic classification of the ant subfamily Formicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with resurrection of the genera Colobopsis and Dinomyrmex. Zootaxa 4072 (3): 343–357.

[WW90] Wheeler, G. C., & J. Wheeler. 1990. Insecta: Hymenoptera Formicidae. In: Dindal, D. L. (ed.) Soil Biology Guide pp. 1277–1294. John Wiley & Sones: New York.

[Z02] Zherikhin, V. V. 2002. Insect trace fossils. In: Rasnitsyn, A. P., & D. L. J. Quicke (eds) History of Insects pp. 303–324. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.

[Z01] Zhou, S. 2001. Ants of Guangxi. Guangxi Normal University Press: Guilin (China).

Last updated: 31 May 2020.

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