Mystrium camillae

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Mystrium camillae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Amblyoponinae
Tribe: Amblyoponini
Genus: Mystrium
Species group: camillae
Species: M. camillae
Binomial name
Mystrium camillae
Emery, 1889

Mystrium camillae casent0006079 profile 1.jpg

Mystrium camillae casent0006079 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


According to the revision of Mystrium in the Indo-Australian region (Bihn and Verhaagh 2007), Mystrium camillae is widely distributed in the Indomalaya, and Australian regions: from Australia to Brunei, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore. We find that specimens currently determined as M. camillae display remarkable morphological variation, some of which appears not to be intra-specific but rather due to differences among species. For example, we found a small-sized queen with vestigial wings in Indonesian material, workers with longer setae on the anteromedial portion of the clypeus in specimens from New Guinea, a large queen with simple setae on the pronotal dorsum in specimens from China, and a strange yellow male from Australia. A reexamination of the species boundaries of Mystrium camillae based on a detailed comparative study using comprehensive colony samples from each local region is needed. (Yoshimura and Fisher 2014)

At a Glance • Larval Hemolymph Feeding  



The following character combination differentiates Mystrium camillae from all its congeners in the Indo-Australian region: the apex of each mandible distinctly expanded and rounded in lateral view, with a more or less triangular and caudally directed tip on the inner side; outer face of labrum entirely covered with a weakly developed, irregular rugoreticulum; maxillary palps 4-segmented; the second segment of the maxillary palp shorter than the basal (first) segment and less than half as broad as the basal segment; antennal segment III shorter than twice its width; each anterolateral corner of the head produced into a short, nearly triangular, pointed spine; dorsum of head with rugose-reticulate cuticular sculpture and spatulate hairs; minute compound eyes; petiolar node not broader than twice its length measured in dorsal view. (Bihn & Verhaagh 2007)


Widely distributed in the Indo-Australian region and neighboring countries. Recorded from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia.
Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea, Philippines.
Oriental Region: India, Myanmar (type locality), Vietnam.
Palaearctic Region: China.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Mystrium camillae occurs in well-developed forests but sometimes forest edges and second growth vegetation, and nests under stones and wood fragments. Workers are brown or brick red and dull, bear spatulate hairs, and are often clad in soil. These features make them difficult to detect when their nests are exposed. (Eguchi et al. 2014)

Mystrium are predators that specialize on capturing large centipedes. The long mandibles appear to be adapted to gripping what can be fast moving centipedes, and hold them in place to allow their being stung in the softer areas between their body segments. Foragers carrying out this task also need to have strong mandibular muscles that combined with their long mandbiles may compromise their efficiency in regards to brood care. Mystrium rogeri exhibits caste polymorphism where large workers appear to be specialized for foraging while smaller workers are adapted to specialize on brood care. Colonies of Mystrium oberthueri have large workers and many small reproductives. The vast majority of the the latter do not mate, do not leave the nest and both care for brood and are active in cleaning their nests. Colony size tends to be small (< 200 workers) and in some species, e.g., Mystrium rogeri, reproduction is based on having a single large queen morph that found nests independantly. In others, intermoph queens exist and colony founding can occur via fission.



Economo-header (  X-ray micro-CT scan 3D model of Mystrium camillae (worker) prepared by the Economo lab at OIST.

See on Sketchfab. See list of 3D images.




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

  • camillae. Mystrium camillae Emery, 1889b: 491, pl. 10, figs. 1-3 (w.q.) MYANMAR. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1952a: 113 (l.); Tjan, Imai, et al. 1986: 57 (k.). Senior synonym of javana: Brown, 1960a: 170; of oculatum: Bihn & Verhaagh, 2007: 3. See also: Menozzi, 1929d: 535.
  • javana. Mystrium camillae subsp. javana Karavaiev, 1925a: 73, fig. 1 (w.) INDONESIA (Java). Junior synonym of camillae: Brown, 1960a: 170.
  • oculatum. Mystrium oculatum Xu, 1998c: 161, figs. 1, 2 (w.) CHINA. Junior synonym of camillae: Bihn & Verhaagh, 2007: 3.

Type Material

  • Mystrium camillae: Lectotype (designated by Yoshimura & Fisher, 2014: 47), worker, Bhamo, Myanmar, April, 1886, Fea, CASENT0102123, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa.
  • Mystrium camillae: Paralectotype (designated by Yoshimura & Fisher, 2014: 47), 1 worker, Bhamo, Myanmar, Fea, CASENT0102124, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa.
  • Mystrium camillae: Paralectotype (designated by Yoshimura & Fisher, 2014: 47), 1 worker, Bhamo, Myanmar, Fea, CASENT0101450, Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle.
  • Mystrium camillae: Paralectotype (designated by Yoshimura & Fisher, 2014: 47), 2 workers, Bhamo, Myanmar, Fea, CASENT0101809, CASENT0101784, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève.
  • Mystrium camillae: Paralectotype (designated by Yoshimura & Fisher, 2014: 47), 1 dealate queen, Bhamo, Myanmar, Fea; specimen not located by Yoshimura & Fisher, 2014.

Bihn & Verhaagh (2007):

  • Syntype worker and queen: Myanmar (as “Birmania”: Bhamo (Fea) MSCN, not examined.
  • Mystrium camillae Emery subsp. javana syntype worker: Java, limestone mountain near Tjampea, no. 2389, 2 workers on the ground, under leaves (Karawaiew) (not examined).
  • Mystrium oculatum holotype worker: China: Yunnan Province, Mengla County, Menglun Town, Bakaxiaozhai (Xu Zheng-hui) SWFC (not examined).



  • 2n = 32 (Sarawak) (Tjan et al., 1986).