Temporal range: Aptian, Cretaceous Crato, Brazil
Brandão & Martins-Neto, 1990
Known from a single species, which is the oldest known fossil ant.
Note that Dlussky & Rasnitsyn (2003) treated this genus (and its sole species) as belonging to the family Sphecidae rather than Formicidae. They state: C. bipetiolata as described and figured by Brandão et al. (1989) looks very similar to an unnamed Santana fossil kept at the American Museum Natural History (New York, New York, USA) and described as belonging to either Sphecidae (Ampulicinae) or Dryinidae (Darling, Sharkey, 1990). One of us (APR) jointly with W.J. Pulawski of the California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco, California, USA) have studied that fossil (AMNH 44108) and found it belonging to Sphecidae (probably to subfamily Ampulicinae) rather than to Formicidae. That is why we maintain here our earlier conclusion that Cariridris is a genus of Sphecidae (Rasnitsyn, 1990; Dlussky, 1998).
Dlussky (2012) followed the treatment of Dlussky and Rasnitsyn (2003) and considered this genus to be incertae sedis in Ampulicidae. However, it appears he was unaware of the specimens examined by Osten (2007) (as he does not cite this paper). Osten's taxonomic placement is followed here, with the genus placed back within the Formicidae and in the subfamily Myrmeciinae (see Cariridris bipetiolata for details).
This taxon is known from Crato, Brazil (Aptian, Cretaceous).
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.
- †CARIRIDRIS [Myrmeciinae]
- †Cariridris Brandão & Martins-Neto, 1990: 201. Type-species: †Cariridris bipetiolata, by original designation.
- †Cariridris incertae sedis in Myrmeciinae: Brandão & Martins-Neto, 1990: 203; Brandão, 1991: 336; Bolton, 1994: 73; Bolton, 1995b: 23.
- †Cariridris incertae sedis in Formicidae: Bolton, 2003: 263.
- †Cariridris as genus: all authors.
- †Cariridris excluded from Formicidae, incertae sedis in Hymenoptera, Aculeata: Grimaldi, et al. 1997: 7; Ward & Brady, 2003: 362.
- †Cariridris excluded from Formicidae, transferred to Sphecidae: Verhaagh, 1996: 11.
- †Cariridris excluded from Formicidae, incertae sedis in Ampulicidae: Rasnitsyn, 2002: 249; Dlussky & Rasnitsyn, 2002: 418; Dlussky, 2012: 288 (in text).
- †Cariridris in Myrmeciinae: Osten, 2007: 353.
- Bolton, B. 1994. Identification guide to the ant genera of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 222 pp. (page 73, Cariridris incertae sedis in Myrmeciinae)
- Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 134, Cariridris incertae sedis in Myrmeciinae)
- Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 263, Cariridris incertae sedis in Formicidae)
- Brandão, C.R.F., Martins-Neto, R.G. & Vulcano, M.A. 1990. The earliest known fossil ant (first southern hemisphere Mesozoic record). Psyche 96 (1989): 195-208. [20.iv.1990]
- Dlussky G.M. 1998. [Formicoidea of Cretaceous and age of ants]. Materialy X Symposiuma "Muravji i zaschita lesa". Moscow.P.5-8 [in Russian].
- Dlussky, G.M. 2012. New fossil ants of the subfamily Myrmeciinae from Germany. Paleontological Journal 46 (3): 288-292.
- Dlussky, G.M., Rasnitsyn, A.P. 2003. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Formation Green River and some other Middle Eocene deposits of North America. Russian Entomological Journal 11(4): 411-436.
- Grimaldi, D.; Agosti, D.; Carpenter, J. M. 1997. New and rediscovered primitive ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Cretaceous amber from New Jersey, and their phylogenetic relationships. Am. Mus. Novit. 3208: 1-43 (page 7, Cariridris incertae sedis in Aculeata)
- Osten, T. 2007. 11.18 Hymenoptera: bees, wasps and ants. Pp. 350-365 in: Martill, D. M., Bechly, G., Loveridge R. F. (eds.) 2007. The Crato Fossil Beds of Brazil: Window into an Ancient World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 625 pp. (doi:10.1017/CBO9780511535512).
- Rasnitsyn A.P.1990. Table 1. Known Cretaceous Hymenoptera, in Darling D.Ch., Sharkey M.J., Order Hymenoptera, in D. A. Grimaldi (ed.): Insects from the Santana Formation, Lower Cretaceous, of Brazil. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 195: 124-129.
- Verhaagh, M. 1996. Warum die älteste bekannte Ameise keine ist (Hymenoptera). Beitr. Hymenopterol.-Tag. Stuttg. (page 11, Cariridris in Sphecidae)
- Ward, P., and Brady, S. 2003. Phylogeny and biogeography of the ant subfamily Myrmeciinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Invertebrate Systematics 17(3): 361-386 (page 362, Cariridris incertae sedis in Aculeata)