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Genus: Amblyopone   Erichson, 1842 


Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Extant: 10 valid species

Amblyopone Erichson, 1842 PDF: 260. Type-species: Amblyopone australis, by monotypy. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Amblyopone in Poneridae: Smith, 1858a PDF: 108; Smith, 1871b PDF: 324.
Amblyopone in Ponerinae: Mayr, 1862 PDF: 714 (in key) [Poneridae]; Mayr, 1865 PDF: 16 [Poneridae]; Emery & Forel, 1879 PDF: 455 [Poneridae]; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 13 [Poneridae]; Emery, 1896e PDF: 176 [Poneridae].
Amblyopone as genus: all authors.
[Amblyopopona: unjustified emendation of spelling by Schulz, 1906 PDF: 154.]
[Amblyopopone: unjustified emendation of spelling by Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 13.]
[Note: Amblyopopona was treated as a junior synonym of Amblyopone by Smith, 1979: 1334; Bolton, 1994: 164; Bolton, 1995b: 19; Bolton, 2003 PDF: 154, and Amblyopopone as a junior synonym of Amblyopone by Forel, 1893b PDF: 166; Emery, 1911e PDF: 25; Hölldobler & Wilson, 1990: 9; Bolton, 1995b: 19; Tang et al., 1995: 24; Bolton, 2003 PDF: 154; the names are best regarded as unjustified emendations of spelling.]
[Amblopone: incorrect subsequent spelling by Tang et al., 1995: 24.]
Genus Amblyopone catalogues
Mayr, 1863a PDF: 394; Roger, 1863b PDF: 20; Cresson, 1887 PDF: 259 (U.S.A.); Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 13; Emery, 1911e PDF: 25; Wheeler, 1922: 758 (Afrotropical); Chapman & Capco, 1951 PDF: 22 (Asia); Kempf, 1972b PDF: 19 (Neotropical); Smith, 1979: 1334 (North America); Taylor & Brown, 1985: 18 (Australia); Taylor, 1987a PDF: 6 (Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand); Bolton, 1995b: 61.
Genus Amblyopone references
Mayr, 1865 PDF: 16 (diagnosis); Emery, 1882a: 233 (Europe, Algeria species key); Forel, 1900d PDF: 55 (India, Sri Lanka species key); Bingham, 1903 PDF: 37 (India, Sri Lanka, Burma Stigmatomma species key); Emery, 1911e PDF: 25 (diagnosis); Santschi, 1915a PDF: 55 (Mediterranean species key); Emery, 1916a PDF: 100 (Italy species key); Bondroit, 1918 PDF: 80 (France, Belgium species key); Wheeler, 1927c PDF: 3 (Austral and New Guinea species key); Brown, 1958h PDF: 11 (New Zealand species); Brown, 1960a: 155 (diagnosis, review of genus), 191 (New World species key); Baroni Urbani, 1978a PDF: 41 (Mediterranean species key); Taylor, 1979 PDF: 824 (Melanesia species key); Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b PDF: 264 (Balkans species key); Ogata, 1987a PDF: 103 (diagnosis, Japan species); Dlussky & Fedoseeva, 1988: 78 (synoptic classification); Morisita et al., 1989: 11 (Japan species key); Terayama, 1989b PDF: 345 (Taiwan species key); Tinaut, 1990d PDF: 189 (Iberian Peninsula species); Dlussky et al., 1990 PDF: 173 (Turkmenistan species key); Lattke, 1991d PDF: 6 (New World species key); Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 61 (Bulgaria species key); Bolton, 1995a PDF: 1047 (census); Onoyama, 1999 PDF: 190 (Japan species key); Shattuck, 1999: 179 (Australia synopsis); Xu, 2001d PDF: 552 (East and South Asia species key); Lacau & Delabie, 2002 PDF: 40 (Neotropical species key); Xu, 2006 PDF: 152 (China species key); Arias-Penna, 2008a PDF: 43 (Neotropical species key); Terayama, 2009 PDF: 93 (Taiwan species key); Heterick, 2009 PDF: 131 (south-western Australia species key); Bharti & Wachkoo, 2011 PDF: 590 (India species key); Ward & Fisher, 2016 10.1111/syen.12186 PDF: 689 (phylogeny); Cantone, 2017 PDF: 103 (brief male diagnosis); Heterick, 2021 10.18195/issn.0313-122x.86.2021.001-245 PDF: 36 (Western Australia species key).
Genus Amblyopone references note
Prior to 2016, Amblyopone references usually also include species of some other Amblyoponinae genera.

Taxon Page Images:

Amblyopone australis dracula ants are subterranean predators. Here they are seen attacking a moth larva. Yandoit, Victoria, Australia.
Image © Alex Wild. // Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Asia: Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal
    Oceania: Australia, Lord Howe Island, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Australasia, Indomalaya
  Native biogeographic regions (according to species list records):
    Australasia, Indomalaya


Members of the genus Amblyopone have cryptic foraging habits and are specialist predators on certain arthropods, especially centipedes, living in soil or rotten wood. Despite these specialized habits, the ants of this genus also possess some behavioral and morphological traits considered "primitive" (ancestral) for ants as a whole.


Worker: mandibles elongate and multidentate, with an acute tooth at apex; anterior clypeal margin with a row of specialized stout setae; eyes reduced or absent; mesonotum short and transverse; abdominal segment 2 (petiole) broadly attached to segment 3 and lacking a distinct posterior face; sting well developed.


Amblyopone occurs in all major biogeographic regions. Two species are recorded from California.


Brown (1960a); Lattke (1991d); Onoyama (1999); Ward (1988, 1994); Xu (2001d).

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Amblyopone   Smith, F., 1858, Catalogue of the hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae., London: British Museum: 108-109, (download) 108-109 8127
Amblyopone   Ward, P. S., 2005, A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 936, pp. 1-68: 25, (download) 25 21008

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