Identification Guide

From Ant Keeping Wiki


Worker Subfamily Key

1 Eyes very large, located near the front of the head, or the middle of the head. Antennal club absent. Constriction absent. Mandibles long, Two cases: Mandibles narrow and overlapping (Fig 1), postpetiole present, hard to tell sometimes because of broad connection to gaster (Fig 2), or, mandibles triangular and the full length are touching (Fig 3), mandibles curved, post petiole absent (Fig 4). -Myrmeciinae 1 Eyes present or missing, size varies. Club sometimes present.  -2
Fig 1
Fig 2

Fig 3
Fig 4

2 Mesosoma segments fused. Gaster is large and strongly curved. Either the first gastral segment will be much larger than the second (Fig 6), or the first and second segments will be roughly the same size, other segments very small. (FIg 5) Eyes usually very small or absent, sometimes larger. Sometimes the posterior part of the mesosoma will have a concave notch. (Fig 6)  -Proceratiinae 2 Mesosoma segments sometimes fused. Gaster sometimes large and curved. Eyes either present or missing, vary in size. -3
Fig 5
Fig 6

3 Petiole near the midpoint of the gaster. Petiole connection to the gaster is sometimes higher than the connection to the propodeum, making the petiole curve upward. Gaster has a strong downward curve, (Fig 7), sometimes pointing straight. Mandibles will be completely touching (Fig 8), or only the tips will be touching (Fig 9). -Ectatomminae 3 Petiole connection and size varies. Gaster sometimes with a strong downward curve. Mandibles sometimes long, shape and size vary.   -4
Fig 7
Fig 8
Fig 9
4 Mandibles very long and thin. Whole body is golden yellow. Eyes absent (Fig 10). -Martialinae 4 Mandibles sometimes very long and thin. Eyes present or missing. -5
Fig 10

5 Antennal club present and large, brighter color than the rest of the funiculus. Orangish brown body color. Mesosoma is flat. Waist and gaster are barrel like (Fig 11).  -Dolioponera 5 Antennal club present or absent. Colors vary. Gaster and waist not barrel like.  -6
Fig 11
6 Mesonotum and propodeum forming one segment, Making the mesosoma appear to be made up of two segments, mesosoma flat. Eyes absent. Orange/yellow in color. Looking at the back of the propodeum the top slightly overextends past the bottom (FIg 12). -Apomyrminae 6 Mesonotum and propodeum sometimes fused, making the mesosoma appear to be made of two segments. Color varies. Eyes present or absent.  -7
Fig 12
7 Ant is very large 18+mm. Reddish-black in color. Petiole has a small projection from the propodeum, but gets much largerl, spine underneath petiole (Fig 13). -Paraponera 7 Sometimes large, color varies, petiole doesn’t match other description. -8
Fig 13
8 Petiole is pedunculated, angled upwards. Propodeal spine present. Golden yellow in color (Fig 14). -Aneuretinae 8 Propodeal spines present/absent. Petiole without a long narrow anterior. -9
Fig 14
9 Gaster large and ball like, petiole and post petiole large. petiole has a broad connection to the postpetiole, postpetiole has a broad connection to the gaster. Either mainly red in color (Fig 15), or mainly black in color with large propodeal spines and large spines on petiole (Fig 16). -Agroecomyrmecinae 9 Postpetiole sometimes absent. Postpetiole sometimes connected broadly. Gaster sometimes large compared to body size, or ball like, not not both. First gastral segment sometimes makes up the entire gaster.  -10
Fig 15
Fig 16
10 Postpetiole present, in some cases, petiole is connected broadly to petiole (Fig 17). -11 10 Postpetiole absent (Fig 18). -14
Fig 17
Fig 18
11 Long and slender, eyes large, sometimes covering more than half the side of the head. Postpetiole present. Wast long. Antennae short, scapes very short (FIg 19). -Pseudomyrmecinae 11 Sometimes long and slender, eyes sometimes large, and covering more than half the side of the head. Waist sometimes long. Antenna lengths vary. -12
Fig 19
12 Antennal sockets close together, base of antenna not covered. Frontal carinae small. (Fig 20). -Dorylinae 12 Antennal sockets further apart, base of antenna sometimes covered. Frontal carinae sometimes small. (Fig 21). -13
Fig 20
Fig 21
13 Three cases; 1. Petiole connected to postpetiole broadly and postpetiole connected broadly to gaster (Fig 22), 2. Petiole and postpetiole very large (Fig 23), 3. postpetiole extends narrowly, downward past the petiole, mesosoma appears to be made of two segments (Fig 24). -Leptanillinae 13 Petiole not connected broadly to postpetiole and postpetiole not connected broadly to gaster, petiole and postpetiole aren’t very large, postpetiole doesn’t narrowly extend further than the petiole. -Myrmicinae
Fig 22
Fig 23

Fig 24

14 Eyes missing. Color orangish red. Petiole connected to mid point of gaster. Petiole is long and thin. Gaster is the length of head and mesosoma combined (FIg 25). -Opamyrma 14 Eyes present or missing. Color varies. Petiole sometimes long and thin. Gaster long or short. Petiole connection varies. -15
Fig 25
15 Petiole connected to the very top of the gaster, and broadly. Propodeal spines absent. (Fig 26). -Amblyoponinae 15 Petiole connected to the mid point (sometimes a little bit higher), or lower on the gaster, broad or thin connection. Sometimes connected broadly to the top, if, the last segment of the gaster will be flat and with spines (Fig 27). -16
Fig 26
Fig 27
16 Petiole connected near the midpoint (sometimes higher, connection will be thin) of the gaster, thin or broad connection. (Fig 28) Sometimes petiole connect low on gaster, if, petiole will be small and simple. scapes will be small. (Fig 29).  -Dorylinae 16 Petiole present or hidden, size varies. Petiole connected near the bottom of the gaster, very thin connection (Fig 30).  Sometimes connected in the middle, connection will be thin, and petiole will be long and start thin, but get wider towards the gaster (Fig 31). -17
Fig 28
Fig 30

Fig 29
Fig 31

17 Constriction present (Petiole varies, (Fig 32)), or absent (sometimes hard to see) between the first and second gastral segments. If absent, petiole node will be large, wide, and tall, surpassing the height of the gaster (Fig 33) -Ponerinae 17 Constriction absent. Petiole present or missing, not surpassing the height of the gaster. -18
Fig 32
Fig 33
18 Acidopor absent. -Dolichoderinae (Requires high magnification) 18 Acidopor present. -Formicinae (Requires high magnification)

Worker Genus Key


1. Propodeal spines present and long. Two spines on the petiole. -Ankylomyrma coronacantha 1. Propodeal spines not present, no spines on petiole. -Tatuidris tatusia


1. Long and slender, yellow to orange in color. Petiole connecting to the top of the gaster, looking absent in dorsal view. -Adetomyrma 1. Sometimes long and slender. Petiole connected high on gaster, but not to the very top, and not looking absent in dorsal view. -2
2. Mandibles are very long and thin. Longer than the length of the head. -Mystrium 2. Mandibles sometimes long, not longer than the length of the head, and not very thin. -3
3. E 3. A


Only one extant genus and species, Aneuretus simoni.


Only one extant genus, Apomyrma.


1. 1.


1. One petiole node. -2 1. Two petiole nodes, post petiole isn't connected broadly to the gaster. -
2. Long and slender, only one gastral constriction. Head is long, eyes large. Whole body yellow, antennal club present. Mesosoma flat. - Vicinopone Concillatrix 2. Sometimes long and slender, usually multiple gastral constrictions. Colors vary. Eyes sometimes missing, club sometimes missing. -3
3. Gaster is made up of multiple distinct sections, each separated by constriction. -4 3. Gaster isn't in multiple sections, only constriction, sometimes two.-6
4. Eyes absent. Yellow coloring. Gaster is broken into 4 segments, petiole small. Mesosoma not fused together, obvious separation. Petiole small and short. -Aenictogiton 4. Eyes present or absent. Colors vary. Gaster broken into 5 or 4 segments. Mesosoma fused, sometimes with slight seperation. -5
1. 1.


  1. Mesosoma with a deep impression, Propodeum lower than pronmotum. Petiole tall. -Ectatomma
  1. Sometimes with a slight impression, otherwise is rounded or flat. Petiole sometimes tall. -2
2. Antennal club present and large. Obvious promesonotal suture and metanotal groove. -Typhlomyrmex 2. Antennal club missing or present. Mesosoma either completly fused, or slightly fused, promesonotal suture and metanotal groove aren't obvious. -3
3. Antennal club absent. -Rhytidoponera 3. Antennal club present. -Gnaptogenys


1. Eyes very large, almost covering the whole side of the head. -2 1. Eyes not almost covering the side of the head -5
2. Mandibles long. -Myrmoteras 2. Mandibles not long -3
3. Petiole small, no propodeal spines present. -4 3. Petiol large, propodeal spines present. -Santschiella
4. Antenna very long, antennal sockets located past the middle of the head. Ant large, 7mm+, color black. -Gigantiops 4. Antenna short, antennal sockets located at the front of the head. Ant small, less than 4mm, colors vary. -Gesomyrmex
5. Mandibles sickle shaped. -Polyergus 5. Mandibles not sickle shaped. -6
6. Head long and cylindrical,usually parallel, sometimes slightly angled to the face of the ant. -7 6. Head not long and cylindrical. -9
7. Eyes large and located at the very back of the head.-Opisthopsis 7. Eyes sometimes located near the back of the head, but not at the very back. -8
8. Antenna short, scape not surpassing the back of the head. Antennal socket located at the front of the head. -Gesomyrmex 8. Antenna long, scape surpassing the back of the head. Antennal sockets located near the mid part of the head, or further. -Colobopsis
9. E 9. P


  1. Propodeal spines present and long, petiole has a single spine, that is long and angled upwards, making the top of the petiole angled upwards. Mesosoma somewhat flat. -Acanthoponera
  1. Propodeal spine absent, sometimes present, but short, sometimes long and with petiole spine but is angled backwards, making the top of the petiole flat. Mesosoma sometimes flat. -heteroponera

There is another genus in this subfamily but the only discovered specimen was a dealate female.


1. Petiole connected to post petiole very broadly. Post petiole connected to gaster broadly. -Anomalomyrma 1. Petiole not connected to post petiole broadly, postpetiole not connected to gaster broadly. Sometimes post petiole missing. -2
2. Post petiole absent. -Opamyrma 2. Post petiole present. -3
3. Petiole and post petiole small. -Leptanilla 3. Petiole and post petiole large. -Protanilla

There are other species in this genus but only alates have been discovered.


Only one genus and species, Martialis heureka.


1. One petiole node, with a long thin connection to the propodeum. Eyes at the midpoint of the head. -Nothomyrmecia 1. Two petiole nodes, sometimes appears to have one, not with a long connection. Eyes at the front of the head. -Myrmecia


1. Mandibles very long and thin, propodeal spine present, petiole pedunculated. Head long, dorsal of head very concave. -Acanthognathus 1. Doesn't completely mach previous description. -2
2. P 2. P


Only one extant genus and species, Paraponera clavata.


1. Mandibles long and sickle like, with two other long pairs of teeth. -Thaumatomyrmex 1. Mandibles sometimes long but not sickle like.-2
2. Mandibles long, almost the length of the head, and extending out far. Relatively straight, with a strong curve at the end, large teeth on each mandible. -3 2. Mandibles long but not with a curve at the end, usually shorter. Teeth sometimes present. If long, either completly straight with a slight curve, or completely curved. -4
3. Antennal club present. -Emeryopone 3. Antennal club missing. -Belonopelta attenuata
4. Mandibles long and straight, parallel. -5 4. Mandibles sometimes long but not straight -7
5. Mandibles originating from the middle of the head, head shaped somewhat like a hexagon. Eyes not large than half the length of the head. Sometimes large tooth at the end of mandibles, and sometimes teeth along the length of the mandibles.. -6 5. Mandibles originating from the side of the head. Head rounded. Eyes very large, half the length of the head. Mandibles with not large teeth. -Harpegnathos
6. Petiole comes to a very fine, and sometimes long, single point. Head is long, sometimes with a strong indent at the back of the head. -Odontomachus 6. Petiole is curved at the end, or there are two points on each side diverging outward. Head is short, Very strong indent at the back of the head. -Anochetus
7. Propodeal spine present. Petiole very wide, and with a strong curved backwards, with spines coming off. -Phrynoponera 7. Propodeal spines sometimes present. Petiole sometimes with a slight curve, sometimes a spine on the petiole. -8
8. Two spines coming off the top of the petiole, sometimes in the middle, sometimes on the edges. -Diacamma 8. No spines on the petiole. -9
9. Petiole tall and fin link, curved at the top, isn't wide, and narrows towards the top. -Streblognathus 9. Petiole sometimes tall, not fin like, not curved at the top. -10
10. Antenna; club very large, almost half the size of the funiculus. Petiole and gaster very large and straight. Second gastral segment is almost double the size of the first. -Dolioponera 10. Club missing or present, not half the size of the funiculus. Petiole sometimes large and straight. Gaster sometimes straight. Second gastral segment won't be almost double the size of the first. -11

11. Mandibles sicke like, with multiple rows of large teeth on each mandible.-Belonopelta 11. Mandibles sometimes sickle like, but without multiple rows of teeth. -12
12. Mandibles long, narrow, sometimes sickle like. -13 12. Mandibles sometimes long but not narrow. -16
13. Constriction not deep, and sometimes hard to see. -Promyopias silvestrii 13. Constriction obvious and deep. -14
14. First and second gastral segments making up most of the gaster. First segment straight, second segment relatively straight. -Boloponera 14. First and second gastral segments sometimes make up most of the gaster, if, both segments will have curves to them.-15
15. -Myopias 15. -Plectroctena
16. Long and slender. Eyes absent. Antennal club large. First second and third segments are all the same size.. Obvious promesonotal suture and metanotal groove. Yellow in color. -Iroponera 16. Sometimes long and slender. Eyes present or absent. Club present or missing, sometimes large. Sometimes yellow. First second and third segments not the same size. Promesonotal suture and metanotal groove, sometimes obvious. -17
17. Eyes missing. Antennal club made up of 4 segments, large, making up more than half of the funiculus. Mesosoma flat, propodeum at a 90 degree angle. -Feroponera ferox 17. Eyes missing or present. Antennal club(s) missing or present. Mesosoma sometimes flat. -18
18. Eyes very small. Gaster constriction either missing or weak. Gastral segments uniformly curved. Antennal club made up of 3 segments. petiole very tall and thin. -Asphinctopone 18. Antennal club missing or present. Petiole sometimes tall and thin. Constriction weak to strong.
19. M 19. M


1. Only one antennal club, very large making up almost half of the funiculus, other segments are very small. Funiculus short. -Discothyrea 1. Antennal club sometimes large, but other segments are also large. Funiculus long. -2
2. Funiculus segments thin, antennal club sometimes absent, if present, won't be as much larger than the rest of the segments. -Proceratium 2. Funiculus segments large, and thick. Antennal club large. -Probolomyrmex


1. Antennal club. Antenna very short. Eyes less than half the size of head. Gaster longer than mesosoma. Obvious promesonotal suture and metanotal groove. -Myrcidris 1. Eyes sometimes covering more than half the length of the head. Antennal club missing or present. Antenna sometimes short. Promesonotal suture and metanotal groove sometimes obvious. -2
2. Eyes very large, longer than 70% of the side of the head. -Pseudomyrmex 2. Eyes smaller, sometimes almost covering half the length of the head. -Tetraponera