Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
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Temporal range: Early Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous
Burmese amber, Kachin Province, Myanmar
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Uncertain
Genus: Cretopone
Dlussky, 1975
Type species
Cretopone magna
Species List

The taxonomomic placement of this genus is uncertain and it is currently considered incertae sedis in Hymenoptera, Aculeata.


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

  • CRETOPONE [incertae sedis in Aculeata]
    • Cretopone Dlussky, 1975: 119. Type-species: †Cretopone magna, by original designation.

Taxonomic history

    • Cretopone in Ponerinae: Dlussky, 1975: 119
    • Cretopone incertae sedis in †Sphecomyrminae: Wilson, 1987: 49.
    • Cretopone incertae sedis in †Armaniinae: Dlussky & Fedoseeva, 1988: 77 [†Armaniidae]; Bolton, 1994: 187.
    • Cretopone incertae sedis in Formicidae (poneromorph subfamilies): Bolton, 2003: 49, 180.
    • Cretopone as junior synonym of †Sphecomyrma?: Hölldobler & Wilson, 1990: 9.
    • Cretopone as genus: Dlussky, 1975: 119; Wilson, 1987: 49; Dlussky & Fedoseeva, 1988: 77; Bolton, 1994: 187; Bolton, 1995b: 166; Grimaldi, et al. 1997: 7; Bolton, 2003: 180; Borysenko, 2017: 20.
    • Cretopone excluded from Formicidae, incertae sedis in Hymenoptera, Aculeata: Grimaldi, et al. 1997: 7; Borysenko, 2017: 20.


  • Bolton, B. 1994. Identification guide to the ant genera of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 222 pp. (page 187, Cretopone in Armaniinae; as genus)
  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 166, Cretopone as genus)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 180, Cretopone incertae sedis in Formicidae poneromorph subfamilies)
  • Borysenko, L.H. 2017. Description of a new genus of primitive ants from Canadian amber, with the study of relationships between stem- and crown-group ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insecta Mundi 570: 1–57.
  • Dlussky, G. M. 1975a. Superfamily Formicoidea Latreille, 1802. Family Formicidae Latreille, 1802. Pp. 114-122 in: Rasnitsyn, A. P. (ed.) Hymenoptera Apocrita of Mesozoic. Tr. Paleontol. Inst. Akad. Nauk USSR 147:1-134. (page 119, Cretopone in Ponerinae; as genus)
  • 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 77, Cretopone in Armaniidae; as genus)
  • 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, Cretopone incertae sedis in Aculeata; as genus)
  • Hölldobler, B.; Wilson, E. O. 1990. The ants. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, xii + 732 pp. (page 9, Cretopone as junior synonym of Sphecomyrma?)
  • Wilson, E. O. 1987b. The earliest known ants: an analysis of the Cretaceous species and an inference concerning their social organization. Paleobiol. 13: 44-53 (page 49, Cretopone incertae sedis in Sphecomyrminae; as genus)