Myrmecina americana

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Myrmecina americana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Myrmecina
Species: M. americana
Binomial name
Myrmecina americana
Emery, 1895

Myrmecina americana casent0104118 profile 1.jpg

Myrmecina americana casent0104118 dorsal 1.jpg

Syntype Specimen Label


This species nests under stones, in the soil and in acorns on the ground. Workers are predaceous and are not known to tend Homoptera.

Photo Gallery

  • Worker from Salisbury, Massachusetts. Photo by Tom Murray.
  • Worker with larva.
  • Dealate queen from Greenfield, New Hampshire. Photo by Tom Murray.


Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


This is a common species in deciduous forests of southern New England. Sifting litter and soil in such forests, it is not difficult to find individuals of Myrmecina americana. What is difficult is finding more than one or two individuals at once. Nests are hard to find and generally these ants are rarely seen since their foragers do not venture out into exposed areas of the forest floor.

Headley (1943) reported finding nests of Myrmecina americana in Oak acorns.






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

  • americana. Myrmecina latreillei subsp. americana Emery, 1895c: 271 (w.) U.S.A. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1954c: 130 (l.). Subspecies of graminicola: Wheeler, W.M. 1904e: 300; Wheeler, W.M. 1906b: 1. Raised to species: Brown, 1949a: 44; Creighton, 1950a: 248. Senior synonym of brevispinosa: Smith, D.R. 1979: 1399; of quadrispina: Brown, 1949a: 44; of texana: Brown, 1951: 103; Brown, 1967c: 236; of californica: Brown, 1967c: 236. See also: Snelling, R.R. 1965b: 101.
  • texana. Myrmecina graminicola subsp. texana Wheeler, W.M. 1908e: 422 (w.) U.S.A. Subspecies of americana: Creighton, 1950a: 250. Junior synonym of americana: Brown, 1967c: 236.
  • quadrispina. Myrmecina graminicola subsp. quadrispina Enzmann, J. 1946a: 13, figs. 1, 2 (w.) U.S.A. Junior synonym of americana: Brown, 1949a: 44.
  • californica. Myrmecina californica Smith, M.R. 1948: 239 (w.) U.S.A. Subspecies of americana: Snelling, R.R. 1965b: 104. Junior synonym of americana: Brown, 1967c: 236.
  • brevispinosa. Myrmecina americana subsp. brevispinosa Creighton, 1950a: 249 (w.q.m.) U.S.A. [First available use of Myrmecina latreillei subsp. americana var. brevispinosa Emery, 1895c: 271; unavailable name.] Subspecies of americana: Snelling, R.R. 1965b: 105. Junior synonym of americana: Smith, D.R. 1979: 1399.



  • n = 14 (Crozier, 1975).


  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1949a. Synonymic and other notes on Formicidae (Hymenoptera). Psyche (Camb.) 56: 41-49 (page 44, Raised to species)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1949a. Synonymic and other notes on Formicidae (Hymenoptera). Psyche (Camb.) 56: 41-49 (page 44, Senior synonym of quadrispina)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1951. New synonymy of a few genera and species of ants. Bull. Brooklyn Entomol. Soc. 46: 101-106 (page 103, Senior synonym of texana)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1967c. Studies on North American ants. II. Myrmecina. Entomol. News 78: 233-240 (page 236, Senior synonym of texana)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1967c. Studies on North American ants. II. Myrmecina. Entomol. News 78: 233-240 (page 236, Senior synonym of californica)
  • Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 248, Raised to species)
  • Emery, C. 1895d. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der nordamerikanischen Ameisenfauna. (Schluss). Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 8: 257-360 (page 271, Myrmecina latreillei subsp. americana, description of worker)
  • Headley, A. E. 1943. Population studies of two species of ants, Leptothorax longispinosus Roger and Leptothorax curvispinosus Mayr. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 36: 743-753 (doi:10.1093/aesa/36.4.743).
  • Smith, D. R. 1979. Superfamily Formicoidea. Pp. 1323-1467 in: Krombein, K. V., Hurd, P. D., Smith, D. R., Burks, B. D. (eds.) Catalog of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico. Volume 2. Apocrita (Aculeata). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp. i-xvi, 1199-2209. (page 1399, Senior synonym of brevispinosa)
  • Snelling, R. R. 1965b. Studies on California ants. 2. Myrmecina californica M. R. Smith (Hymenoptera; Formicidae). Bull. South. Calif. Acad. Sci. 64: 101-105 (page 101, see also)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1954c. The ant larvae of the myrmicine tribe Myrmecinini (Hymenoptera). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 56: 126-138 (page 130, description of larva)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1904f. The ants of North Carolina. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 20: 299-306 (page 300, Subspecies of graminicola)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1906g. Fauna of New England. 7. List of the Formicidae. Occas. Pap. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 7: 1-24 (page 1, Subspecies of graminicola)