Myrmecia nigriceps

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Myrmecia nigriceps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmeciinae
Tribe: Myrmeciini
Genus: Myrmecia
Species: M. nigriceps
Binomial name
Myrmecia nigriceps
Mayr, 1862

Myrmecia nigriceps casent0217498 p 1 high.jpg

Myrmecia nigriceps casent0217498 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


These ants are visual predators. Typical encounters with even a solitary forager shows that they are a formidable and aggressive species.


Myrmecia desertorum, Myrmecia fuscipes, Myrmecia gratiosa, Myrmecia nigriceps and Myrmecia vindex are all large to very large, reddish ants with red, brown or black heads and a black gaster.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • nigriceps. Myrmecia nigriceps Mayr, 1862: 728 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Forel, 1910b: 3 (q.); Viehmeyer, 1914b: 28 (m.). Subspecies of vindex: Forel, 1907h: 264. Revived status as species: Wheeler, W.M. 1933i: 38. Senior synonym of fasciata: Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1659. See also: Clark, 1951: 64.
  • fasciata. Myrmecia fasciata Clark, 1951: 63, fig. 40 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Junior synonym of nigriceps: Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1659.

Type Material



  • Clark, J. 1951. The Formicidae of Australia. 1. Subfamily Myrmeciinae: 230 pp. CSIRO, Melbourne. [(31.xii).1951.] PDF
  • Eriksson, E.S. 1985. Attack behaviour and distance perception in the Australian bulldog ant Myrmecia nigriceps. Journal of Experimental Biology 119, 115–131.
  • Forel, A. 1907j. Formicidae. In: Michaelsen, W., Hartmeyer, R. (eds.) Die Fauna Südwest-Australiens. Band I, Lieferung 7. Jena: Gustav Fischer, pp. 263-310. (page 264, Variety of vindex)
  • Forel, A. 1910b. Formicides australiens reçus de MM. Froggatt et Rowland Turner. Rev. Suisse Zool. 18: 1-94 (page 3, queen described)
  • Heterick, B. E. 2009. A guide to the ants of South-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 76:1-206. PDF
  • Mayr, G. 1862. Myrmecologische Studien. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 12: 649-776 (page 728, worker described)
  • Narendra,A., Reid,S.F., Greiner,B., Peters,R.A., Hemmi,J.M., Ribi,W.A., Jochen Zeil,J. 2011. Caste-specific visual adaptations to distinct daily activity schedules in Australian Myrmecia ants. Proc. R. Soc. B vol. 278 no. 1709, 1141-1149 (doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1378).
  • Ogata, K.; Taylor, R. W. 1991. Ants of the genus Myrmecia Fabricius: a preliminary review and key to the named species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmeciinae). J. Nat. Hist. 2 25: 1623-1673 (page 1659, Senior synonym of fasciata)
  • Viehmeyer, H. 1914b [1913]. Neue und unvollständig bekannte Ameisen der alten Welt. Arch. Naturgesch. (A)79(1 12: 24-60 (page 28, male described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1933i. Colony founding among ants, with an account of some primitive Australian species. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, viii + 179 pp. (page 38, Revived status as species)