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Subfamily: Amblyoponinae   Forel, 1893 


Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2015)

Extant: 1 tribe, 13 genera, 132 species

Fossil: 1 genus, 7 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.
Amblyoponinae as poneroid subfamily of Formicidae: Ouellette, Fisher, et al. 2006: 365; Brady, Schultz, et al. 2006: 18173; Moreau, Bell, et al. 2006: 102; Ward, 2007C PDF: 555.
Tribe of Amblyoponinae: Amblyoponini.
Genus incertae sedis in Amblyoponinae: Paraprionopelta.
Subfamily and tribe Amblyoponini references
Emery, 1895l PDF: 766 (diagnosis); Wheeler, 1910a: 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, Ito, et al. 1999: 3 (venom gland structure); Xu, 2000A: 300 (Malesian genera key); Bolton, 2003 PDF: 41, 153 (diagnosis, synopsis); Saux, Fisher & Spicer, 2004 PDF: 466 (phylogeny, diagnosis); Ouellette, Fisher, et al. 2006: 359 (phylogeny); Brady, Schultz, et al. 2006: 18173 (phylogeny); Moreau, Bell, et al. 2006: 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, 2012 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 (diagnosis)


African Region: Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda
Australian Region: Australia, Barrow Island, Lord Howe Island, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, Queensland, Solomon Islands, Western Australia
Eurasian Region: Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, China, Crete, Croatia, Gibraltar, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan
Malagasy Region: Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, Seychelles
Nearctic Region: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, British Columbia, California, Canada, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington
Neotropical Region: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States Virgin Islands, Uruguay, Venezuela
Pacific Islands Region: Fiji, Hawaii, Indonesia, Malaysia, Micronesia, Palau, Samoa, Singapore, Timor-Leste
South East Asia Region: Borneo, Cambodia, India, Krakatau Islands, Myanmar, Nicobar Island, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Xishuangbanna


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).

(-1 examples)

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