AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Temporal range: Late Eocene
Florissant, Colorado, United States
Elaeomyrmex gracilis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae (incertae sedis)
Genus: Elaeomyrmex
Carpenter, 1930
Type species
Elaeomyrmex gracilis
2 fossil species
(Species Checklist)

Elaeomyrmex gracilis Obverse of holotype (queen)

There are two fossil species in the genus Elaeomyrmex, both known from Florissant shale (Oligocene) in the United Sates. At this time Elaeomyrmex is incertae sedis within the Dolichoderinae.


Female.- Head much longer than broad, narrowed anteriorly, posterior margin straight or slightly rounded, posterior angles broadly rounded, lateral margins nearly straight; mandibles prominent, triangular, with a large terminal tooth and five or six smaller teeth on the inner margin; clypeus large, anterior margin apparently straight, posterior margin with a prominent, median prolongation; entire clypeus with a series of fine striations which converge anteriorly; scapes of moderate size, not quite reaching the anterior margin of the head; eyes oval, of moderate size, situated at about the middle of the sides of the head; ocelli well developed; thorax rather long, slender; petiole small, the scale flattened, highest anteriorly; gaster slender; forwing with two closed cubita cells. The whole insect has a peculiar greasy appearance, unlike that of any other of the Florissant ants.

Worker.- Much smaller than the female but essentially the same in structure, excpet for somewhat smaller eyes. Clypeus striated as in the female.


This taxon is known from Florissant, Colorado, United States (Late Eocene).


Queens, ergatogynes, and workers known.


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

  • ELAEOMYRMEX [incertae sedis in Dolichoderinae]
    • Elaeomyrmex Carpenter, 1930: 48. Type-species: †Elaeomyrmex gracilis, by original designation.


  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 187, Elaeomyrmex in Dolichoderinae, Dolichoderini)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 87, Elaeomyrmex in Dolichoderinae, Dolichoderini)
  • Carpenter, F. M. 1930. The fossil ants of North America. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 70: 1-66 [1] (page 48, Elaeomyrmex in Dolichoderinae, Tapinomini)
  • 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 91, Elaeomyrmex in Dolichoderinae, Dolichoderini)
  • Ward, P.S., Brady, S.G., Fisher, B.L. & Schultz, T.R. 2010. Phylogeny and biogeography of Dolichoderinae ants: effects of data partitioning and relict taxa on historical inference. Systematic Biology 59: 342-362 [2]