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Temporal range: 11.608–0 Ma
Miocene – Recent
Podomyrma alae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Podomyrma
Smith, F., 1859
Type species
Podomyrma femorata
62 species
1 fossil species
(Species Checklist)

Podomyrma alae castype06980 profile 1.jpg

Podomyrma alae

Podomyrma alae castype06980 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label


These common ants nest in solid dead wood, often in pre-existing beetle burrows or cracks in trunks, in twigs, vines and mangrove, in large seeds and galls, or occasionally in the ground. Foraging is most common on tree trunks or around the base of trees and in the surrounding litter, as well as on grasses, especially in evenings. Most workers forage individually and trails are uncommon. Some species are primarily nocturnal and are rarely collected except at baits, while others will forage day and night. Although they can be common, they are often overlooked or are difficult to find because of their arboreal habits.


The antennae are 11 segmented (including the scape). In side view, the petiole and postpetiole are either low and rounded or barrel-shaped, or the petiole is armed above with 1 to 3 small spines or teeth. The middle and hind legs with greatly swollen femora (and often tibiae as well).

The modified petiole (low and rounded or armed with teeth above) and the swollen femora will separate these ants from others in the subfamily Myrmicinae.

Heterick (2009) – Medium-sized ants with rather long, low petioles, which are sometimes armed with small spines or denticles. The swollen tibiae, the 11-segmented antenna and the form of the petiole typically distinguish this genus from similar- looking myrmicines.

Keys including this Genus

Keys to Species in this Genus


World distribution based on political regions. View/Edit Data
Podomyrma Distribution.png Worlddistribution legend.jpg

Species richness

Species richness by country based on regional taxon lists (countries with darker colours are more species-rich). View Data

Podomyrma Species Richness.png

Regional Species List

Australian Species




Worker Morphology

 • Antennal segment count 11 • Antennal club 3 • Palp formula 5,3; 4,3 • Total dental count 5-6 • Spur formula 0, 0 • Sting present

Male Morphology

 • Antennal segment count 12 • Antennal club 0 • Palp formula 5,3; 4,3 • Total dental count 1-2 • Spur formula 0, 0


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

  • PODOMYRMA [Myrmicinae: Formicoxenini]
    • Podomyrma Smith, F. 1859a: 145. Type-species: Podomyrma femorata, by subsequent designation of Wheeler, W.M. 1911f: 170.
    • Podomyrma senior synonym of †Acrostigma: Dalla Torre, 1893: 59.
    • Podomyrma senior synonym of Dacryon, Pseudopodomyrma: Taylor & Brown, D.R. 1985: 80.
  • ACROSTIGMA [junior synonym of Podomyrma]
    • Acrostigma Emery, 1891a: 149 [as subgenus of Podomyrma]. Type-species: †Podomyrma (Acrostigma) mayri, by monotypy.
    • Acrostigma junior synonym of Podomyrma: Dalla Torre, 1893: 159.
  • DACRYON [junior synonym of Podomyrma]
    • Dacryon Forel, 1895f: 421. Type-species: Dacryon omniparens, by monotypy.
    • Dacryon junior synonym of Podomyrma: Taylor & Brown, D.R. 1985: 80.
  • PSEUDOPODOMYRMA [junior synonym of Podomyrma]
    • Pseudopodomyrma Crawley, 1925: 40. Type-species: Pseudopodomyrma clarki, by monotypy.
    • Pseudopodomyrma junior synonym of Podomyrma: Taylor & Brown, D.R. 1985: 80.


  • Ashmead, W. H. 1905c. A skeleton of a new arrangement of the families, subfamilies, tribes and genera of the ants, or the superfamily Formicoidea. Can. Entomol. 37: 381-384 (page 383, Podomyrma in Myrmicinae, Myrmecinini)
  • Bolton, B. 1994. Identification guide to the ant genera of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 222 pp. (page 105, Podomyrma in Myrmicinae, Formicoxenini)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 251, Podomyrma in Myrmicinae, Formicoxenini)
  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 59, Podomyrma senior synonym of Acrostigma)
  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 59, Podomyrma in Myrmicinae)
  • Davidson, D. W., McKey, D. (1993). The evolutionary ecology of symbiotic ant-plant relationships. Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 2 : 13–83 [relation to plants]
  • Dlussky, G. M.; Fedoseeva, E. B. 1988. Origin and early stages of evolution in ants. Pp. 70-144 in: Ponomarenko, A. G. (ed.) Cretaceous biocenotic crisis and insect evolution. Moskva: Nauka, 232 pp. (page 79, Podomyrma in Myrmicinae, Podomyrmini)
  • Emery, C. 1877b. Saggio di un ordinamento naturale dei Mirmicidei, e considerazioni sulla filogenesi delle formiche. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 9: 67-83 (page 81, Podomyrma in Myrmicidae, Myrmicidae)
  • Emery, C. 1895l. Die Gattung Dorylus Fab. und die systematische Eintheilung der Formiciden. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 8: 685-778 (page 769, Podomyrma in Myrmicinae, Myrmicini)
  • Emery, C. 1912b. Études sur les Myrmicinae. [I-IV.]. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 56: 94-105 (page 105, Podomyrma in Myrmicinae, Myrmecinini)
  • Emery, C. 1914e. Intorno alla classificazione dei Myrmicinae. Rend. Sess. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna Cl. Sci. Fis. (n.s.) 18: 29-42 (page 41, Podomyrma in Myrmicinae, Myrmecinini)
  • Emery, C. 1924f [1922]. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [concl.]. Genera Insectorum 174C: 207-397 (page 236, Podomyrma in Myrmicinae, Myrmecinini [subtribe Podomyrmini])
  • Fiedler, K. (2001). Ants that associate with Lycaeninae butterfly larvae: diversity, ecology and biogeography . Diversity and Distributions. 7 : 45–60 [association with Lepidoptera]
  • Forel, A. 1917. Cadre synoptique actuel de la faune universelle des fourmis. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 51: 229-253 (page 244, Podomyrma in Myrmicinae, Myrmecinini)
  • Mayr, G. 1865. Formicidae. In: Reise der Österreichischen Fregatte "Novara" um die Erde in den Jahren 1857, 1858, 1859. Zoologischer Theil. Bd. II. Abt. 1. Wien: K. Gerold's Sohn, 119 pp. (page 24, Podomyrma in Myrmicinae [Myrmicidae])
  • Smith, F. 1859a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects collected by Mr. A. R. Wallace at the islands of Aru and Key. [part]. J. Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. Zool. 3: 132-158 (page 145, Podomyrma as genus)
  • Smith, F. 1871a. A catalogue of the Aculeate Hymenoptera and Ichneumonidae of India and the Eastern Archipelago. With introductory remarks by A. R. Wallace. [part]. J. Linn. Soc. Lond. Zool. 11: 285-348 (page 327, Podomyrma in Myrmicidae)
  • Taylor, R. W.; Brown, D. R. 1985. Formicoidea. Zool. Cat. Aust. 2:1- 149: 1-149, 30 (page 80, Podomyrma senior synonym of Dacryon and Pseudopodomyrma)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1910b. Ants: their structure, development and behavior. New York: Columbia University Press, xxv + 663 pp. (page 139, Podomyrma in Myrmicinae, Myrmicini)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1911g. A list of the type species of the genera and subgenera of Formicidae. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 21: 157-175 (page 170, Type-species: Podomyrma femorata, by subsequent designation)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1922i. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VII. Keys to the genera and subgenera of ants. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 45: 631-710 (page 663, Podomyrma in Myrmicinae, Myrmecinini)