Titanomyrma

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Titanomyrma
Temporal range: 49.5–47 Ma
Middle Eocene
Titanomyrma lubei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formiciinae
Genus: Titanomyrma
Archibald, Johnson, Mathewes & Greenwood, 2011
Type species
Titanomyrma gigantea
Diversity
3 fossil species
(Species Checklist)

Titanomyrma is a fossil genus of giant ant. The latest species to be discovered, Titanomyrma lubei, was described in 2011, when a 49.5 million year old fossilized winged queen ant was found in Wyoming. This fossil is the first body of a giant ant found in the Western Hemisphere. The presence of Titanomyrma in North America is considered to indicate "the first reported cross-Arctic dispersal by a thermophilic insect group". Another fossil species of this genus, Titanomyrma gigantea, is the largest known fossil or extant species of giant ant in the world.

Identification

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • TITANOMYRMA [†Formiciinae]
    • Titanomyrma Archibald, et al. 2011: 3680. Type-species: †Titanomyrma lubei, by original designation.

References

  • Archibald SB, Johnson KR, Mathewes RW, Greenwood DR. 2011. Intercontinental dispersal of giant thermophilic ants across the Arctic during early Eocene hyperthermals. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 278(1725):3679–3686 (DOI 10.1098/rspb.2011.0729).
  • Katzke, J., Barden, P., Dehon, M., Michez, D., Wappler, T. 2018. Giant ants and their shape: revealing relationships in the genus Titanomyrma with geometric morphometrics. PeerJ 6:e4242 (DOI 10.7717/peerj.4242).