Myrmoteras worker, copyright Steve Shattuck.

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

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. Members of the mostly Holarctic Formicini have closely approximated metacoxae, an elliptical to slit-shaped propodeal spiracle, a double row of stout setae on the metatibia, and workers possess ocelli (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
             |    |  i. s.: Alloformica WBF16
             |    |         Cataglyphoides WBF16
             |    |         Conoformica WBF16
             |    |         Protoformica WBF16
             |    |--+--+--Formica WBF16
             |    |  |  `--Iberoformica subrufa WBF16
             |    |  `--Polyergus WBF16
             |    |       |--P. breviceps BS06 [incl. Formica rufescens D59, P. rufescens WW90]
             |    |       `--P. lucidus ES12
             |    `--+--Bajcaridris theryi WBF16
             |       `--+--Proformica mongolica WBF16
             |          `--+--Rossomyrmex anatolicus WBF16
             |             `--Cataglyphis Först. 1850 WBF16, B03
             |                  `--C. cursor ES12
             `--+--+--+--Gesomyrmecini [Dimorphomyrmii, Sicelomyrmicini] WBF16
                |  |  |    |--Gesomyrmex WBF16
                |  |  |    |--Prodimorphomyrmex WBF16
                |  |  |    `--Sicilomyrmex WBF16
                |  |  `--Oecophylla Smith 1860 WBF16, TB85 [Oecophyllini]
                |  |       |--*O. smaragdina (Fabricius 1775) TB85 (see below for synonymy)
                |  |       |--O. leakeyi Z02
                |  |       `--O. longinoda H79
                |  `--Plagiolepidini WBF16
                `--+--+--Santschiella [Santschiellini] WBF16
                   |  |    `--S. kohli WBF16
                   |  `--Gigantiops [Gigantiopini] WBF16
                   |       `--G. destructor WBF16
                   `--+--Myrmoteras Forel 1894 WBF16, B03 [Myrmoteratini]
                      |    |--*M. binghami Forel 1894 B03
                      |    |--M. diastematum N-ZLI11
                      |    `--M. iriodum BS06
                      `--Camponotini WBF16

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
  Acantholepis Mayr 1861 B03
    |--*A. frauenfeldi (Mayr 1855) (see below for synonymy) B03
    |--A. canescens A61
    |--A. capensis Mayr 1862 B03
    |--A. fergusoni Forel 1895 B03
    |--A. modesta Forel 1894 B03
    |--A. opaca Forel 1892 B03
    |--A. pulchella Forel 1892 B03
    `--A. simplex Forel 1892 B03
  Camponotites WBF16
  Curtipalpulus WBF16
  Drymomyrmex WBF16
  Eoleptocerites WBF16
  Eurytarsites WBF16
  Fushuniformica WBF16
  Heeridris WBF16
  Huaxiaformica WBF16
  Imhoffia WBF16
  Leptogasteritus WBF16
  Leucotaphus WBF16
  Liaoformica WBF16
  Longiformica WBF16
  Magnogasterites WBF16
  Orbicapitia WBF16
  Ovalicapito WBF16
  Ovaligastrula WBF16
  Protrechina WBF16
  Sinoformica WBF16
  Sinotenuicapito WBF16

*Acantholepis frauenfeldi (Mayr 1855) [=Hypoclinea frauenfeldi; incl. A. frauenfeldi var. bipartita, A. frauenfeldi var. integra, A. frauenfeldi var. sericea] B03

*Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius 1775) TB85 [=Formica smaragdina TB85; incl. F. virescens Fabricius 1775 TB85, Oecophylla virescens B03, F. viridis Kirby 1818 TB85]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Andreae, H. 1961. Coleoptera: Cossyphodidae. In: Hanström, B., P. Brinck & G. Rudebeck (eds) South African Animal Life: Results of the Lund University Expedition in 1950–1951 vol. 8 pp. 198–216. Almqvist & Wiksell: Uppsala.

[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.

[D59] Darwin, C. 1859. The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life 1st ed. John Murray: London. (reprinted 1967. Atheneum: New York; 1968. Penguin Books: London).

[ES12] Espadaler, X., & S. Santamaria. 2012. Ecto- and endoparasitic fungi on ants from the Holarctic region. Psyche 2012: 168478.

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

[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.

Last updated: 25 September 2017.

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