Anonychomyrma nitidiceps

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Anonychomyrma nitidiceps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Tribe: Leptomyrmecini
Genus: Anonychomyrma
Species: A. nitidiceps
Binomial name
Anonychomyrma nitidiceps
(André, 1896)

MCZ-ENT00030743 Iridomyrmex nitidiceps hal.jpg

MCZ-ENT00030743 Iridomyrmex nitidiceps had.jpg

Type Specimen Label

Anonychomyrma nitidiceps is a large-headed arboreal species with a dome-shaped mesonotum, which forages on the ground near standing trees or fallen wood. If disturbed, this species emits an odour plume that can easily be detected several metres away. Anonychomyrma nitidiceps is found in a range of woodland types in south-western Western Australia (Heterick, 2009).


Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -16.06666667° to -43.15°.

Tropical South

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.

  • nitidiceps. Iridomyrmex nitidiceps André, 1896b: 258 (w.) AUSTRALIA (Victoria).
    • Forel, 1907h: 292 (m.).
    • Combination in Anonychomyrma: Shattuck, 1992a: 14.
    • Subspecies of itinerans: Forel, 1902h: 472; Forel, 1907h: 292; Forel, 1911e: 283; Emery, 1913a: 25.
    • Status as species: Taylor & Brown, 1985: 101; Taylor, 1987a: 32; Shattuck, 1994: 7; Bolton, 1995b: 66; Heterick, 2009: 43.

Type Material



  • Andersen, A. N. 2003. Records of two new ant genera, Anonychomyrma Donisthorpe and Probolomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), for the Northern Territory. Beagle 19: 125-126 (page 125, Northern Territory)
  • André, E. 1896d. Fourmis nouvelles d'Asie et d'Australie. Rev. Entomol. (Caen) 15: 251-265.(page 258, worker described)
  • Emery, C. 1911e. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118: 1-125 (page 25, subspecies of itinerans)
  • Forel, A. 1902j. Fourmis nouvelles d'Australie. Rev. Suisse Zool. 10: 405-548 (page 472, subspecies of itinerans)
  • Forel, A. 1907j. Formicidae. In: Michaelsen, W., Hartmeyer, R. (eds.) Die Fauna Südwest-Australiens. Band I, Lieferung 7. Jena: Gustav Fischer, pp. 263-310. (page 292, male described)
  • Heterick, B. E. 2009a. A guide to the ants of South-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 76: 1-206.
  • Heterick, B.E. 2021. A guide to the ants of Western Australia. Part I: Systematics. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 86, 1-245 (doi:10.18195/issn.0313-122x.86.2021.001-245).
  • 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 14, combination in Anonychomyrma)
  • Shattuck, S. O. 1994. Taxonomic catalog of the ant subfamilies Aneuretinae and Dolichoderinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Univ. Calif. Publ. Entomol. 112:i-xix, 1-241. (page 7, see also)
  • Taylor, R. W.; Brown, D. R. 1985. Formicoidea. Zool. Cat. Aust. 2:1- 149: 1-149, 30 (page 101, revived status as species)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • CSIRO Collection
  • 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.
  • Majer J. D., R. L. Kitching, B. E. Heterick, K. Hurley, and K. E. C. Brennan. 2001. North-south patterns within arboreal ant assembalages from rain forests in Eastern Australia. Biotropica 33(4): 643-661.
  • Sinclair J. E., and T. R. New. 2004. Pine plantations in south eastern Australia support highly impoverished ant assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Insect Conservation 8: 277-286.