Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


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Family FORMICIDAE Latreille, 1809



Best known as the 'ants', members of this family are characterised by having highly-developed social colonies comprising large numbers of the wingless sterile worker caste and fewer winged reproductives. Ants are the most ubiquitous group of insects on earth, and are extremely important as predators and herbivores in natural environments, and in nutrient turnover in soil. Numerous species have a painful sting (Myrmecia spp.), and several have become nuisance pests in urban environments. They vary in size from less than 1 mm to approximately 50 mm. Nests are most commonly constructed under rocks, in the ground or in logs, but some also construct specialised nests in tree branches by gluing green leaves together (Oecophylla spp.) or using plant fibre to construct the walls of their nest (Polyrhachis spp.). There are more than 1,300 described species recorded from Australia but this is probably about half the true number.


Excluded Taxa


FORMICIDAE: Polyrhachis sericeopubescens Donisthorpe, 1941 — Kohout, R. 2012. A review of the Australian Polyrhachis ants of the subgenera Myrma Billberg, Myrmothrynax Forel and Polyrhachis Fr. Smith, with synonymic list of the species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum - Nature 56(1): 25-59 (with revision of species this is recognised as a New Guinea species)


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
20-May-2023 FORMICIDAE Latreille, 1809 20-May-2023 MODIFIED
05-Aug-2022 FORMICIDAE Latreille, 1809 09-May-2023 MODIFIED
10-May-2022 FORMICIDAE Latreille, 1809 20-May-2023 MODIFIED
25-Feb-2022 FORMICIDAE Latreille, 1809 20-May-2023 MODIFIED
01-Jun-2021 VESPOIDEA 20-May-2023 MODIFIED
01-Feb-2019 FORMICIDAE Latreille, 1809 20-May-2023 MODIFIED
18-May-2017 FORMICIDAE 20-May-2023 MODIFIED
23-Mar-2015 VESPOIDEA 20-May-2023 MODIFIED
12-Mar-2015 FORMICIDAE 20-May-2023 MODIFIED
08-Apr-2014 FORMICIDAE 20-May-2023 MODIFIED Dr Federica Turco (QM)
07-Aug-2012 20-May-2023 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)