AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Temporal range: 42–37 Ma Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene
Eldermyrmex oblongiceps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Eldermyrmex
Shattuck, 2011
Type species
Iridomyrmex oblongiceps, now Eldermyrmex oblongiceps
2 fossil species
(Species Checklist)

It is curious that Wheeler (1915) did not establish a new genus for the species Eldermyrmex oblongiceps. He comments that it “does not seem to be a typical Iridomyrmex, but I know of no other genus to which it can be assigned”. His hesitation was based on the observed differences between this and other species placed in Iridomyrmex not being “very prominent”. However, the shape of the head and placement of the eyes, combined with the shape of the propodeum and petiole are unique and set this species apart from those of other genera. It is clear this species does not belong in Iridomyrmex or any other described genus, and therefore it was transferred to a new genus by Heterick and Shattuck (2011).


Head subrectangular with eyes low and lateral on head capsule (reminiscent of Tapinoma), propodeum low, with a longitudinal ridge separating the dorsal and lateral surfaces, and petiole with a low, broad cone- shaped node. This combination of characters will separate this genus from others within this subfamily.


This taxon is known from Baltic amber, Baltic Sea region, Europe (Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene) and Bitterfeld amber, Baltic Sea region, Europe (Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene).



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

  • ELDERMYRMEX [incertae sedis in Dolichoderinae]
    • Eldermyrmex Shattuck, in Heterick & Shattuck, 2011: 170. Type-species: †Iridomyrmex oblongiceps, by original designation.