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Subfamily: Cerapachyinae   Forel, 1893 


Also Databased as Synonym: Dorylinae 

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2015)

Cerapachysii Forel, 1893b PDF: 162 . Type-genus: Cerapachys. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Cerapachyinae as family: Bernard, 1951c: 1046 [Cerapachyidae]; Bernard, 1953b PDF: 215 [Cerapachyidae].
Cerapachyinae as group of Dorylinae: Emery, 1901b PDF: 36 [Cerapachinae].
Cerapachyinae as dorylomorph subfamily of Formicidae: Bolton, 2003 PDF: 32, 137; Brady & Ward, 2005 PDF: 593.
Cerapachyinae as formicoid subfamily of Formicidae: Moreau, Bell, et al. 2006: 102.
Cerapachyinae as formicoid dorylomorph subfamily of Formicidae: Brady, Schultz, et al. 2006: 18173; Ward, 2007C PDF: 555.
Subfamily Cerapachyinae references
Emery, 1895l PDF: 765 (diagnosis); Wheeler, 1910a: 136 (diagnosis); Emery, 1911e PDF: 5 (tribes key); Wheeler, 1922: 51, 636 (diagnosis, tribes key); Morley, 1939: 114 (phylogeny); Smith, 1947f PDF: 528 (U.S.A. diagnosis, genera); Brown, 1954e PDF}: 26 (phylogeny, notes); Eisner, 1957 PDF: 476 (proventriculus morphology); Gotwald, 1969: 43 (mouthparts morphology); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1972a PDF: 37 (diagnosis); Kempf, 1972b PDF: 263 (Neotropical, synoptic classification); Brown, 1975 PDF}: 11 (revision of tribes and genera, diagnoses); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1976b PDF: 46 (larvae, review & synthesis); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1985b PDF: 261 (diagnosis); Ogata, 1987a PDF: 129 (Japan genera); Bolton, 1990a PDF: 53 (abdominal morphology, diagnosis, synoptic classification, zoogeography); Bolton, 1990c PDF: 1356 (diagnosis, morphology, phylogeny); Brandão, 1991 PDF: 390 (Neotropical fauna, synoptic classification, genera); Baroni Urbani, Bolton & Ward, 1992 PDF: 316 (phylogeny); Jaffe, 1993: 7 (Neotropical genera, synoptic classification); Lattke, in Jaffe, 1993: 165 (Neotropical genera); Bolton, 1994: 18 (diagnosis, synoptic classification, key to genera); Bolton, 1995a PDF: 1038 (census); Bolton, 1995b: 10 (catalogue); Hölldobler, Obermayer & Peeters, 1996}: 158 (metatibial gland); Perfil'eva, 2002: 1239 (venation); Palacio & Fernández, in {ref 133005}: 238 (Neotropical genera keys); Brady, 2003 PDF: 6575 (phylogeny); Bolton, 2003 PDF: 32, 137 (diagnosis, synopsis); Brady & Ward, 2005 PDF: 593 (phylogeny); Moreau, Bell, et al. 2006: 102 (phylogeny); Brady, Schultz, et al. 2006: 18173 (phylogeny); Ward, 2007C PDF: 555 (classification); Keller, 2011 PDF: 1 (morphology, phylogeny); General & Alpert, 2012 PDF: 70 (Philippines genera key).


Workers of Cerapachyinae can be identified by the structure of the pygidium (the last visible dorsal segment of the abdomen): it is flattened and armed with a pair of distally converging rows of teeth or spines. In addition, the frontal carinae are usually reduced and the antennal sockets are at least partly exposed; the pronotum is fused immovably to the mesonotum (with one exception); the propodeal spiracle is small, circular and located low on the side of the propodeum; and abdominal spiracles 5-7 are visible under normal distension of the segments.


This subfamily is represented by a single rare species in California. Cerapachyine ants are specialized predators of other ants and are most prevalent in the Old World tropics.


Bolton (1990a, 1990e, 1994); Brown (1975); Ogata (1987a).

(-1 examples)

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