Acanthomyrmex ferox

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Acanthomyrmex ferox
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Acanthomyrmex
Species: A. ferox
Binomial name
Acanthomyrmex ferox
Emery, 1893

Acanthomyrmex ferox casent0178570 profile 1.jpg

Acanthomyrmex ferox casent0178570 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels




Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia (type locality).
Oriental Region: Thailand.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Soldiers have specialized morphological traits that allow two distinct functions: (1) trophic eggs are produced in ovaries (6 ovarioles) that are the same as in queens (Gobin & Ito 2000); (2) mandibles are modified in shape to crush fig seeds, just as in queens. A. ferox colonies (n=49) have 25±11 workers and 2.6±1.5 soldiers (Gobin & Ito 2000).

Acanthomyrmex ferox, small natural colony with two soldiers, a couple of workers and the queen looking into the picture from below, surrounded by fig seeds that serve as food. 1-II-1998 Ulu Gombak, leg. A. Buschinger.

Ito, Gobin and Hashim (2017) - Foragers can be found on the forest floor and on low vegetation, typically in gaps and forest edges where sunlight reaches the ground (Ulu Gombak field station, Peninsular Malaysia). Nests occur in small dead twigs and accumulated dead leaves. Fig seeds were collected by the workers with field observations revealing the source of these seeds were from bird droppings. In the laboratory workers would also harvest fig seeds when offered, suggesting the seeds would be collected if found independent of bird feces.






The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • ferox. Acanthomyrmex ferox Emery, 1893f: 245 (footnote), pl. 6, fig. 11 (w.) WEST MALAYSIA. Moffett, 1986c: 72 (s.q.m.). Senior synonym of dyak: Moffett, 1986c: 70. See also: Moffett, 1985a: 165.
  • dyak. Acanthomyrmex dyak Wheeler, W.M. 1919e: 86 (s.w.) BORNEO. Junior synonym of ferox: Moffett, 1986c: 70.