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Subfamily: Amblyoponinae   Forel, 1893 


Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Extant: 1 valid tribe, 9 valid genera, 143 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.
Tribes 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, 2012a doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033325 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 (male-based diagnosis); Ward & Fisher, 2016 10.1111/syen.12186 PDF: 683 (phylogeny); Fisher & Bolton, 2016: 39 (worker diagnosis).
// Distribution


  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, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda
    Americas: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, United States Virgin Islands, Uruguay, Venezuela
    Asia: Borneo, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Christmas Island, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Krakatau Islands, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicobar Island, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Vietnam
    Europe: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain
    Oceania: Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, Lord Howe Island, Micronesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, 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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