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Genus: Amblyopone   Erichson, 1842 


Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2022)

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.
Amblyopone in Ponerinae, Amblyoponini: Emery, 1895d PDF: 261; Emery, 1895l PDF: 766; Emery, 1901b PDF: 34; Wheeler, 1910a PDF: 134; Emery, 1911e PDF: 25; Forel, 1917 PDF: 235; Wheeler, 1922: 641; Donisthorpe, 1943g: 621; Brown, 1953c PDF: 11; all subsequent authors to the following.
Genus Amblyopone references
Roger, 1863b PDF: 20 (catalogue); Mayr, 1863a PDF: 394, 454 (catalogue); Mayr, 1865 PDF: 16 (Amblyopone, Stigmatomma diagnoses); Emery, 1882a: 233 (Europe & Algeria species key); Cresson, 1887 PDF: 259 (U.S.A. catalogue); Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 13, 14 (Amblyopone, Stigmatomma catalogues); Forel, 1900d PDF: 55 (India & Sri Lanka species key); Bingham, 1903 PDF: 37 (India, Sri Lanka & Burma Stigmatomma species key); Emery, 1911e PDF: 23 (Stigmatomma diagnosis, catalogue); Emery, 1911e PDF: 25 (diagnosis, catalogue); Santschi, 1915a PDF: 55 (Mediterranean species key); Emery, 1916a PDF: 100 (Italy species key); Bondroit, 1918 PDF: 80 (France & Belgium species key); Wheeler, 1922: 758 (Afrotropical catalogue); Wheeler, 1927c PDF: 3 (Austral & New Guinea species key); Chapman & Capco, 1951 PDF: 22, 24 (Asia Amblyopone, Stigmatomma checklists); Brown, 1958h PDF: 11 (New Zealand species); Brown, 1960a: 155, 191 (diagnosis & review of genus, New World species key); Kempf, 1972b PDF: 19 (Neotropical catalogue); Baroni Urbani, 1978a PDF: 41 (Mediterranean species key); Smith, 1979: 1334 (North America catalogue); Taylor, 1979 PDF: 824 (Melanesia species key); Taylor & Brown, 1985: 18 (Australia catalogue); Taylor, 1987a PDF: 6 (Australia, New Caledonia & New Zealand checklist); Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b PDF: 264 (Balkans species key); Dlussky & Fedoseeva, 1988: 78 (synoptic classification); Morisita et al., 1989: 8 (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); Bolton, 1995b: 61 (catalogue); Onoyama, 1999 PDF: 190 (Japan species key); Shattuck, 1999: 179 (Australia synopsis); Xu, 2001d PDF: 552 (East & 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); Cantone, 2017 PDF: 103 (brief male diagnosis)

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, Micronesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Australasia, Indomalaya, Oceania
  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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