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Subfamily: Amblyoponinae   Forel, 1893 


Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Extant: 1 valid tribe, 9 valid genera, 140 valid species

Fossil: 1 valid genus, 7 valid species

Amblyoponinae Forel, 1893b PDF: 162. Type-genus: Amblyopone. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Amblyoponinae as subfamily of Formicidae: Forel, 1893b PDF: 162 [Amblyoponinae]; Forel, 1895b PDF: 110 [Amblyoponeridae]; Clark, 1951 PDF: 15 (in key) [Amblyoponinae]; Bolton, 2003 PDF: 41 (revived status).
Amblyoponinae as poneromorph subfamily of Formicidae: Bolton, 2003 PDF: 41, 153.
Tribe of Amblyoponinae: Amblyoponini.
Subfamily and tribe Amblyoponini references
Emery, 1895l PDF: 766 (diagnosis); Wheeler, 1910a PDF: 134 (diagnosis); Emery, 1911e PDF: 21 (diagnosis, genera, key); Emery, 1911e PDF: 96 (subtribe Onychomyrmicini, diagnosis); Forel, 1917 PDF: 235 (synoptic classification); Wheeler, 1922: 640, 758, 1006 (genera key, Afrotropical, Malagasy catalogues); Brown, 1960a: 146 (diagnosis, all genera revision, key); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1976b PDF: 48 (larvae, review & synthesis); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1985b PDF: 256 (synoptic classification); Terayama, 1989b PDF: 345 (Taiwan fauna); Hölldobler & Wilson, 1990: 9 (synoptic classification); Brandão, 1991 PDF: 389 (Neotropical fauna, synoptic classification); Bolton, 1994: 164 (synoptic classification); Ward, 1994 PDF: 167 (tribe diagnosis & discussion); Bolton, 1995a PDF: 1042 (census); Bolton, 1995b: 9 (catalogue); Hashimoto, 1996 PDF: 353 (abdominal structure); Schoeters et al., 1999: 3 (venom gland structure); Xu, 2000A: 300 (Malesian genera key); Bolton, 2003 PDF: 41, 153 (diagnosis, synopsis); Saux et al., 2004 PDF: 466 (phylogeny, diagnosis); Ouellette et al., 2006 PDF: 359 (phylogeny); Brady et al., 2006 PDF: 18173 (phylogeny); Moreau et al., 2006 PDF: 102 (phylogeny); Ward, 2007C PDF: 555 (classification); Lyu, 2008 PDF: 315 (Korean Species); Fernández & Arias-Penna, 2008 PDF: 30 (Neotropical genera key); Terayama, 2009 PDF: 93 (Taiwan genera key); Keller, 2011 PDF: 1 (morphology, phylogeny); Yoshimura & Fisher, 2012 PDF: 11 (Malagasy genera males key); General & Alpert, 2012 PDF: 70 (Philippines genera key); Sarnat & Economo, 2012 PDF: 22 (Fiji species key); Boudinot, 2015 PDF: 17 (all sex diagnosis); Ward & Fisher, 2016 10.1111/syen.12186 PDF: 683 (phylogeny); Fisher & Bolton, 2016: 39 (worker diagnosis)


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mayotte, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda
    Americas: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela
    Asia: Borneo, Brunei, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam
    Europe: Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain
    Oceania: Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, Micronesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Afrotropical, Australasia, Indomalaya, Malagasy, Nearctic, Neotropical, Oceania, Palearctic


As newly defined by Bolton (2003), this ant subfamily (formerly considered a tribe within Ponerinae) is characterized by the following worker characters: eyes small or absent, situated behind midlength of side of head; anterior margin of clypeus with specialized dentiform setae; promesonotal suture flexible; petiole very broadly attached to abdominal segment 3 and without a distinct posterior face; postpetiole absent; sting present and well developed.


The ants in this subfamily are mostly specialized subterranean predators. One genus (with two species) is known from California.


Bolton (1994, 2003); Brown (1960a); Lattke (1991); Ogata (1987a); Ward (1994).

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