Anonychomyrma itinerans

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Anonychomyrma itinerans
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Tribe: Leptomyrmecini
Genus: Anonychomyrma
Species: A. itinerans
Binomial name
Anonychomyrma itinerans
(Lowne, 1865)

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Specimen Labels




Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Anonychomyrma species are common in moist to semi-arid forested areas (and are less common in rain forests). They nest either in soil with or without coverings, or arboreally in living or dead wood. Workers forage in conspicuous trails on the ground and on tree trunks. Although not studied in detail, they seem to be general predators and also collect plant juices. Some species are associated with the caterpillars of selected butterflies. Nest sizes are moderate to large, ranging from 500 to tens of thousands of workers. When disturbed, most species elevate their gasters and release strong, acrid smelling chemicals as a defensive measure. While similar to Iridomyrmex in general habitat preferences and ecology, most Anonychomyrma prefer moister sites and are predominately arboreal. Iridomyrmex species occur in drier sites and are predominantly terrestrial.




The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • itinerans. Formica itinerans Lowne, 1865a: 278 (w.) AUSTRALIA (New South Wales).
    • Forel, 1913g: 189 (m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1966: 729 (l.); Crozier, 1969: 249 (k.).
    • Combination in Hypoclinea: Mayr, 1870b: 955;
    • combination in Iridomyrmex: Emery, 1887a: 249;
    • combination in Anonychomyrma: Shattuck, 1992a: 13.
    • Status as species: Mayr, 1870b: 958 (in key); Mayr, 1876: 79 (in key); Dalla Torre, 1893: 169; André, 1896b: 260 (in key); Forel, 1902h: 471; Forel, 1907a: 27; Emery, 1913a: 25; Forel, 1913g: 189; Emery, 1914b: 180; Forel, 1915b: 79; Clark, 1934c: 63; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 100; Taylor, 1987a: 32; Shattuck, 1994: 5; Bolton, 1995b: 66; Heterick, 2009: 43.
    • Current subspecies: nominal plus ballaratensis, depilis, perthensis.

Type Material

  • Formica itinerans Lowne, 1865: Syntype, 10 workers, unspecified, Australia, The Natural History Museum.
  • Formica itinerans Lowne, 1865: Syntype, workers, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



  • n = 8, 2n = 16 (Australia) (Crozier, 1968a) (as Iridomyrmex itinerans).


  • Crozier, R. H. 1969a [1968]. Cytotaxonomic studies on some Australian dolichoderine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Caryologia 21: 241-259 (page 249, karyotype described)
  • Emery, C. 1887b [1886]. Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte terza. Formiche della regione Indo-Malese e dell'Australia. [part]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. 24[=(2)(4): 241-256 (page 249, combination in Iridomyrmex)
  • Flanders, B.J., McKillup, S.C. & McKillup, R.V. 2013. Temporal stability of a mosaic of two competitively exclusive arboreal ants in a tropical mangrove forest. Insectes Sociaux 60, 173-178.
  • Forel, A. 1913h. Fourmis de Tasmanie et d'Australie récoltées par MM. Lae, Froggatt etc. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 49: 173-195 (page 189, male described)
  • Lowne, B. T. 1865a. Contributions to the natural history of Australian ants. Entomologist 2: 275-280 (page 278, worker described)
  • Mayr, G. 1870b. Neue Formiciden. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 20: 939-996 (page 955, combination in Hypoclinea)
  • Shattuck, S. O. 1992a. Review of the dolichoderine ant genus Iridomyrmex Mayr with descriptions of three new genera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Aust. Entomol. Soc. 31: 13-18 (page 13, combination in Anonychomyrma)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1966. Ant larva of the subfamily Dolichoderinae: supplement. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 59: 726-732 (page 729, larva described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • CSIRO Collection
  • Emery, C. "Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte terza. Formiche della regione Indo-Malese e dell'Australia." Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria (Genova) (2) 4, no. 24 (1887): 209-258.
  • Forel A. 1913. Fourmis de Tasmanie et d'Australie récoltées par MM. Lae, Froggatt etc. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 49: 173-195
  • Lowery B. B., and R. J. Taylor. 1994. Occurrence of ant species in a range of sclerophyll forest communities at Old Chum Dam, north-eastern Tasmania. Australian Entomologist 21: 11-14.