Dinomyrmex gigas

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Dinomyrmex gigas
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Dinomyrmex
Species: D. gigas
Binomial name
Dinomyrmex gigas
(Latreille, 1802)

Camponotus gigas L.jpg

Camponotous-gigas Dorsal.jpg

Specimen Label




Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines.
Oriental Region: Thailand.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Monogynous (i.e. one queen) colonies. Established colonies have tens of thousands of workers distributed in 8-14 underground nests that are 10-20 meters apart (i.e. polydomy) (Pfeiffer & Linsenmair 1998, 2000).

Diet is mostly honeydew as well as insect prey, bird droppings and other excrements (Pfeiffer & Linsenmair 2007).

Nest of D. gigas in a rotting log on the ground. The ants have used soil and debris to build a wall and close off the entrance (partially broken in photo). From Maliau, Sabah. Photo by Christian Peeters.


This species is a host for the fungus Ophiocordyceps halabalaensis (a pathogen) (Araujo et al., 2018).


One large colony studied in Kinabalu (Sabah) consisted of 87.3% workers or "minors" (mean weight was 135mg) and 12.7% soldiers or "majors" (mean weight 372mg) (Pfeiffer & Linsenmaier 2000).

Bimodal distribution of 948 workers ("minors") and 137 soldiers ("majors") in D. gigas. From Pfeiffer & Linsenmaier (2000).
Worker of D. gigas retrieving a cricket. From Maliau, Sabah. Photo by Christian Peeters.


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

  • gigas. Formica gigas Latreille, 1802c: 105, pl. 2, fig. 6 (s.) "Grandes-Indes". Smith, F. 1858b: 14 (w.q.m.). Combination in Camponotus: Mayr, 1862: 669; in Dinomyrmex: Ashmead, 1905b: 384; in C. (Myrmogigas): Forel, 1912i: 91; in C. (Dinomyrmex): Forel, 1914a: 268. Combination in Colobopsis: Ward, et al., 2016: 350. See also: Bingham, 1903: 369. Current subspecies: nominal plus borneensis.



  • Araújo, J.P.M., Evans, H.C., Kepler, R., Hughes, D.P. 2018. Zombie-ant fungi across continents: 15 new species and new combinations within Ophiocordyceps. I. Myrmecophilous hirsutelloid species. Studies in Mycology 90: 119–160 (DOI 10.1016/j.simyco.2017.12.002).
  • Ashmead, W. H. 1905c. A skeleton of a new arrangement of the families, subfamilies, tribes and genera of the ants, or the superfamily Formicoidea. Can. Entomol. 37: 381-384 (page 384, Combination in Dinomyrmex)
  • Baltazar, C. R. 1966. A catalogue of Philippine Hymenoptera (with a bibliography, 1758-1963). Pac. Insects Monogr. 8: 1-488 (page 270, listed)
  • Bingham, C. T. 1903. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Hymenoptera, Vol. II. Ants and Cuckoo-wasps. London: Taylor and Francis, 506 pp. (page 369, see also)
  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 227, Junior synonym of cruentatus)
  • Forel, A. 1912j. Formicides néotropiques. Part VI. 5me sous-famille Camponotinae Forel. Mém. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 20: 59-92 (page 91, Combination in C. (Myrmogigas))
  • Forel, A. 1914a. Le genre Camponotus Mayr et les genres voisins. Rev. Suisse Zool. 22: 257-276 (page 268, Combination in C. (Dinomyrmex))
  • Latreille, P. A. 1802b. Histoire naturelle générale et particulière des Crustacés et des insectes. Tome 3. Familles naturelles des genres. Paris: F. Dufart, xii + 467 pp. (page 105, pl. 2, fig. 6 soldier described)
  • Leach, W. E. 1825. Descriptions of thirteen species of Formica and three species of Culex found in the environs of Nice. Zool. J. Lond. 2: 289-293 (page 292, worker, queen, male described)
  • Mayr, G. 1862. Myrmecologische Studien. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 12: 649-776 (page 669, Combination in Camponotus)
  • Pfeiffer M & Linsenmair KE, 1998. Polydomy and the organization of foraging in a colony of the Malaysian giant ant Camponotus gigas (Hym./ Form.). Oecologia 117 (4): 579-590. PDF
  • Pfeiffer M & Linsenmair KE, 2000. Contributions to the life history of the Malaysian giant ant Camponotus gigas (Hymenoptera / Formicidae). Insectes Sociaux 47 (2): 123-132.
  • Pfeiffer, M. & Linsenmair, K.E. 2007. Trophobiosis in a tropical rainforest on Borneo: Giant ants Camponotus gigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) herd wax cicadas Bythopsyrna circulata (Auchenorrhyncha: Flatidae). Asian Myrmecology, 1, 105–119.
  • Roger, J. 1859. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Ameisenfauna der Mittelmeerländer. I. Berl. Entomol. Z. 3: 225-259 (page 229, Junior synonym of herculeanus)
  • Smith, F. 1858a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp. (page 14, worker, queen, male described)
  • Ward, P.S., Blaimer, B.B., Fisher, B.L. 2016. A revised phylogenetic classification of the ant subfamily Formicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with resurrection of the genera Colobopsis and Dinomyrmex. Zootaxa 4072 (3): 343–357 (doi 10.11646/zootaxa.4072.3.4).