AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Evolutionary Relationships

  (6 species)

  (210 species)

  (3 genera)

  (7 genera)

  (22 genera)

  (49 genera)

  (65 genera)

Based on Ward et al., 2014

Four of the six species in this genus are found in western North America. One species is endemic to Japan and the other is Palearctic. Colonies are small and nests are usually found in openings in coniferous forests, commonly under stones or with open craters.


Nearly monomorphic ants; total length of workers around 5 - 8 mm. Similar to Myrmica, but differing as follows: Antennal funiculus with a 5-segmented club; propodeum without spines, armed instead with blunt tubercles. Promesonotal suture weak but distinct dorsally. Metanotal groove strongly impressed. Masticatory margins of mandibles each with two large teeth and 12 - 14 following denticles. Palpal formula 6:4. Body wholly yellowish brown, reddish brown, black, or with the head and gaster black and the mesosoma brown. Larvae without anchor-tipped hairs. Pupae are yellow.

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Keys including this Genus


Keys to Species in this Genus


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 4 0 0 2
Total Species 2839 1735 3036 932 834 4378 1708 2836


Fossils are known from Baltic amber (Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene).


Little has been published on the biology of species within this genus. Food habits, foraging ecology and other aspects of their ecology are poorly known. Probably a generalized scavenger and predator.

Wheeler and Wheeler (1986) report the following about the free living western North American Manica species (Manica invidia, Manica hunteri and Manica bradleyi: The basic nest structure is probably the same for all three species: a reticulum of chambers and galleries connected with chambers under stones and opening to the surface by holes in the bottom of one or more small craters constructed of excavated soil; but great plasticity is manifest in the variations on the basic plan. The nests are usually polycalic and their limits almost impossible to determine. The nature of their food is an unsolved mystery. Workers take insects into the nest; but, in M. bradleyi and hunter only a few workers are out at anyone time, for only a few hours during the day and rarely at night; surely they cannot support a flourishing colony.

Fig 15 and 16 Manica.jpg

Our latest hypothesis is that Manica feeds on ants of other genera. Our tenuous evidence consists of three bits: (1) In Montana we found a Formica fusca mound which contained in one half Formica and in the other half Manica hunteri. (2) In Wyoming we found a F. fusca mound which was occupied only by M. hunteri. (3) Their intrageneric tolerance contrasted with their hostility toward other genera. If this hypothesis is correct, raiding must be an underground affair, for we have never witnessed any raids on the surface.

The ants of this genus are not aggressive, but when their nest is disturbed the workers sting promptly and effectively. The effect of the sting has been reported to be very painful, but we have found it only moderately so. The genus is unusual in that workers show no hostility to workers of another colony of the same species or even of a different species of the same genus; but they are murderously hostile toward workers of other genera.

The gait of the workers is characteristic: steady, deliberate and unhurried but never sluggish.

Association with Other Organisms

All Associate Records for Genus

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Taxon Relationship Associate Type Associate Taxon Associate Relationship Locality Source Notes
Manica bradleyi host ant Manica parasitica inquiline
Manica invidia xenobiont ant Formicoxenus chamberlini xenobiont Wheeler (1904)
Manica parasitica inquiline ant Manica bradleyi host
Manica yessensis host ant Myrmica luteola temporary parasite Japan de la Mora et al., 2021; Jansen et al., 2010; Masuko & Terayama, 2002

Flight Period

All Flight Records for Genus

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Taxon Month Source Notes
Manica rubida May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Manica yessensis Aug Japan

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: Up to 400 (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Compound colony type: inquilinism (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Nest site: hypogaeic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Diet class: predator (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging stratum: subterranean/leaf litter (Greer et al., 2021)


Workers, queens and males are present for all species. Microgyne queens are known for M. rubida.


Worker Morphology

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• Antennal segment count: 12 • Antennal club: 4-5 • Palp formula: 6,4 • Total dental count: 10-16 • Spur formula: 1 simple-pectinate, 1 simple-pectinate • Eyes: >100 ommatidia • Pronotal Spines: absent • Mesonotal Spines: absent • Propodeal Spines: absent • Petiolar Spines: absent • Caste: none or weak • Sting: present • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: absent

Male Morphology

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 • Antennal segment count 13 • Antennal club 0 • Palp formula 6,4 • Total dental count 11-13 • Spur formula 1 pectinate, 1 pectinate


All Karyotype Records for Genus

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Taxon Haploid Diploid Karyotype Locality Source Notes
Manica rubida 44 Switzerland Hauschteck, 1965; Hauschteck-Jungen & Jungen, 1983 as ''Myrmica rubida''


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

  • MANICA [Myrmicinae: Myrmicini]
    • Manica Jurine, 1807: 276. Type-species: Formica rubida, by subsequent designation of Wheeler, W.M. 1911f: 166.
    • Manica junior synonym of Myrmica: Roger, 1863b: 28; Mayr, 1863: 431; Forel, 1915d: 9.
    • Manica revived from synonymy as subgenus of Myrmica: Emery, 1921f: 42; Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 660.
    • Manica revived status as genus: Weber, 1947: 440.
    • Manica senior synonym of Neomyrma (and its junior synonym Oreomyrma): Emery, 1921f: 42; Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 660.
  • NEOMYRMA [junior synonym of Manica]
    • Neomyrma Forel, 1914a: 275 [as subgenus of Aphaenogaster]. Type-species: Aphaenogaster (Neomyrma) calderoni (junior synonym of Myrmica bradleyi), by monotypy.
    • Neomyrma subgenus of Myrmica: Emery, 1915d: 69; Emery, 1916b: 120.
    • Neomyrma senior synonym of Oreomyrma: Wheeler, W.M. 1915a: 50; Forel, 1915c: 364; Forel, 1915d: 9; Donisthorpe, 1916b: 242.
    • Neomyrma junior synonym of Myrmica: Donisthorpe, 1916b: 242.
    • Neomyrma raised to genus: Bondroit, 1918: 97.
    • Neomyrma junior synonym of Manica: Emery, 1921f: 42.
  • OREOMYRMA [junior synonym of Manica]
    • Oreomyrma Wheeler, W.M. 1914d: 118 [as subgenus of Myrmica]. Type-species: Formica rubida, by original designation.
    • Oreomyrma junior synonym of Neomyrma: Wheeler, W.M. 1915a: 50; Donisthorpe, 1916b: 242.
    • Oreomyrma junior synonym of Manica: Emery, 1921f: 42.