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Genus: Myrmecocystus   Wesmael, 1838 


Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Extant: 29 valid species

Myrmecocystus Wesmael, 1838 PDF: 770. Type-species: Myrmecocystus mexicanus, by monotypy. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Myrmecocystus in Camponotinae: Forel, 1878c PDF: 372 [Camponotidae]; Emery & Forel, 1879 PDF: 449 [Camponotidae]; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 216.
Myrmecocystus in Camponotinae, Camponotini: Forel, 1886h PDF: 201.
Myrmecocystus in Formicinae, Lasiini: Ashmead, 1905c PDF: 384; Emery, 1925d PDF: 238; subsequent authors except the above; Smith, 1979: 1445; Bolton, 1994: 50; Bolton, 2003 PDF: 98.
Myrmecocystus as junior synonym of Cataglyphis: Roger, 1863b PDF: 12; Mayr, 1863a PDF: 431
Myrmecocystus as genus: Forel, 1878c PDF: 372; all subsequent authors.
Genus Myrmecocystus references
Forel, 1878c PDF: 372 (diagnosis); Cresson, 1887 PDF: 255 (U.S.A. catalogue); Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 216 (catalogue); Wheeler, 1912e PDF: 173 (all species key); Emery, 1925d PDF: 238 (diagnosis, catalogue); Cole, 1942 PDF: 385 (U.S.A., Utah species key); Creighton, 1950a PDF: 440 (North America species key); Gregg, 1963: 643 (U.S.A., Colorado species key); Snelling, 1969b PDF: 6 (Myrmecocystus melliger complex, key); Snelling, 1976 PDF: 22, 25, 27, 93, 115 (diagnosis, all species revision, keys); Smith, 1979: 1445 (North America catalogue); Snelling, 1982b PDF: 77, 83 (supplements to 1976 keys); Allred, 1982: 451 (U.S.A., Utah species key); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1986g PDF: 69 (U.S.A., Nevada species key); Dlussky & Fedoseeva, 1988: 77 (synoptic classification); Bolton, 1995a PDF: 1050 (census); Bolton, 1995b: 274 (catalogue); Mackay & Mackay, 2002 PDF: 344 (U.S.A., New Mexico species key); Cantone, 2017 PDF: 161 (brief male diagnosis); van Elst et al., 2021 10.1016/j.ympev.2020.107036 PDF: 1 (phylogeny, divergence dating, ancestral state reconstruction)

Taxon Page Images:

Myrmecocystus mexicanus. Honeypot ants have an unusual food storage system. Some members of each colony act as living receptacles known as "repletes", these ants become engorged with food and hang from the ceilings of chambers deep underground. Captive colony at the California Academy of Sciences.
Image © Alex Wild. // Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Mexico, United States
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Nearctic, Neotropical
  Native biogeographic regions (according to species list records):
    Nearctic, Neotropical


Snelling, R.R. 1976. Revision of the Honey Ants, genus Myrmecocystus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). PDF:

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Myrmecocystus   Smith, F., 1858, Catalogue of the hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae., London: British Museum, pp. -1--1: 200, (download) 200 8127
Myrmecocystus   Ward, P. S., 2005, A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 936, pp. 1-68: 29-30, (download) 29-30 21008

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