AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: †Haidomyrmecinae
Bolton, 2003
10 fossil genera
16 fossil species

Hell ant cranial morphology is unlike any modern group of ants, a reflection of ancient diversification ultimately bound for extinction. Phylogenetic analyses have recovered haidomyrmecines as a stem-group lineage that diverged from modern ants prior to the most common recent ancestor of all living ants (Barden and Grimaldi, 2016; Barden et al., submitted). This phylogenetic placement, molecular divergence estimates (Moreau and Bell, 2013) and the presence of crown ants in Cretaceous amber (Grimaldi and Agosti, 2000; McKellar et al., 2013b; Zheng et al., 2018; Perrichot, 2019) indicate that hell ants and early members of extant lineages overlapped for tens of millions of years. The extinction of haidomyrmecines following their diversification remains an outstanding question in ant evolution, as is the function and evolutionary history responsible for this striking expansion into unparalleled phenotypic space. (Perrichot, Wang & Barden, 2020)

Photo Gallery

  • Artistic reconstructions of the heads of hell ants in lateral view, with mandibles in closed position. A, Haidomyrmex. B, Protoceratomyrmex. C, Aquilomyrmex. D, Linguamyrmex. E, Ceratomyrmex. F, Chonidris. G, Dhagnathos. Scale bars: 0.5 mm. (From Perrichot et al. 2020.)



Extant Taxa

No living taxa are known from this subfamily.

Fossil Taxa

Fossil Genera % World Fossil Genera Valid Fossil Species/Subsp. % World Fossil Species/Subsp.
10 6.2% 16 1.87%

Fossils known from: Burmese amber, Kachin Province, Myanmar (Early Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous), Charentese amber, Aquitaine Basin, France (Late Albian to Early Cenomanian, Cretaceous), Foremost Formation amber, Alberta, Canada (Campanian, Late Cretaceous).

List of Tribes and Genera


No tribes within subfamily.

Extant Genera

This subfamily is known only from fossils.

Fossil Genera



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

  • HAIDOMYRMECINI [tribe of †Sphecomyrminae]
    • †Haidomyrmecini Bolton, 2003: 74, 261. Type-genus: †Haidomyrmex Dlussky, 1996: 84.

Taxonomic History

  • †Haidomyrmecini as tribe of †Sphecomyrminae: Bolton, 2003: 74, 261; Perrichot, et al. 2008: 92; McKellar, et al. 2013b: 457; Borysenko, 2017: 17.
  • †Haidomyrmecinae as subfamily of Formicidae: Perrichot, Wang & Barden, 2020: 3.

Taxonomic References

McKellar, et al. 2013b: 457 (genera and all species key); Perrichot, Wang & Engel, 2016: in supplemental information (not paginated) (genera and all species key); Barden, et al. 2017: 838 (synopsis of species); Borysenko, 2017: 19 (diagnosis); Perrichot, Wang & Barden, 2020: 3 (status as subfamily).