AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Evolutionary Relationships

  (2 genera)

  (11 genera)

  (9 genera)

  (8 genera)

Gesomyrmex, Oecophylla

  (9 genera)

  (1 species)

  (1 species)

  (41 species)

  (8 genera)

Based on Ward et al. 2016.

A monotypic genus found in northern South America, Gigantiops destructor has garnered attention from tropical biologists due to their large eyed, large workers that leap around on the vegetation. These ants forage individually, have well developed jumping abilities and due to their keen eyesight are adept at avoiding capture by all but the most persistent myrmecologists.

At a Glance • Monotypic  • Jumping ants  

Photo Gallery

  • Worker
  • Young winged queen of Gigantiops destructor, from a nest excavated at base of tree (Villa Carmen, Peru). Photo by Christian Peeters.
  • Workers and queen of G. destructor, showing very slight dimorphism in body size (Villa Carmen, Peru). Photo by Christian Peeters.


In full face view the eyes of the worker extend from the clypeal border to the posterior margin. The large eyes of this ant make it distinctive among all ants in the subfamily Formicinae.

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Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps

Species by Region

Number of species within biogeographic regions, along with the total number of species for each region.

Afrotropical Region Australasian Region Indo-Australian Region Malagasy Region Nearctic Region Neotropical Region Oriental Region Palaearctic Region
Species 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Total Species 2839 1735 3036 932 834 4378 1708 2836


See Gigantiops destructor, the only known species within this genus.



Worker Morphology

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• Antennal segment count: 12 • Antennal club: absent • Palp formula: 6,4 • Spur formula: 1 simple, 1 simple • Eyes: >100 ommatidia • Scrobes: absent • Pronotal Spines: absent • Mesonotal Spines: absent • Propodeal Spines: absent • Petiolar Spines: absent • Caste: none or weak • Sting: absent • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: present



All Karyotype Records for Genus

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Taxon Haploid Diploid Karyotype Locality Source Notes
Gigantiops destructor 78 10M+66T French Guiana Mariano et al., 2011


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

  • GIGANTIOPS [Formicinae: Gigantiopini]
    • Gigantiops Roger, 1863b: 11. Type-species: Formica destructor, by monotypy.

Ward (2016) - A molecular phylogenetic analysis shows Gigantiops as sister to Santschiella, a monotypic African genus, but support for this relationship is not strong, so we retain a separate tribe for Santschiella. Although both genera share distinctively large eyes, they differ markedly in configuration of the frontoclypeal complex, with the antennal insertions of Gigantiops being located close to one another and between the eyes (Bolton 2003).