Odontomachus cephalotes

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Odontomachus cephalotes
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Odontomachus
Species: O. cephalotes
Binomial name
Odontomachus cephalotes
Smith, F., 1863

Odontomachus cephalotes casent0172403 profile 1.jpg

Odontomachus cephalotes casent0172403 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels



A member of the Odontomachus ruficeps group.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -0.233333° to -34.033°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).
Indo-Australian Region: Indonesia (type locality), New Guinea.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.




Odontomachus cephalotes hef.jpgOdontomachus cephalotes hal.jpgOdontomachus cephalotes had.jpgOdontomachus cephalotes lbs.jpg
. Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.


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

  • cephalotes. Odontomachus cephalotes Smith, F. 1863: 19 (w.) INDONESIA (Seram I.).
    • Type-material: 2 syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: Indonesia: Ceram (= Seram I.), “Cer.E” (A.R. Wallace).
    • Type-depository: OXUM.
    • Forel, 1915b: 34 (q.m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1971b: 1212 (l.).
    • Subspecies of ruficeps: Emery, 1911b: 531; Emery, 1911c: 250; Emery, 1911d: 115; Stitz, 1911a: 356; Forel, 1911e: 251; Stitz, 1912: 501; Viehmeyer, 1913: 155; Viehmeyer, 1914a: 113; Forel, 1915b: 34; Donisthorpe, 1932c: 471; Donisthorpe, 1940c: 108; Donisthorpe, 1941h: 53; Donisthorpe, 1943d: 446; Chapman & Capco, 1951: 46.
    • Status as species: Roger, 1863b: 21; Smith, F. 1865: 70; Smith, F. 1871a: 320; Mayr, 1886c: 363; Emery, 1887b: 428; Emery, 1892d: 561 (in key); Dalla Torre, 1893: 49; Crawley, 1922b: 441 (redescription); Wilson, 1959a: 490; Brown, 1976a: 103, 120; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 36; Taylor, 1987a: 48; Bolton, 1995b: 295.
    • Senior synonym of ajax: Brown, 1976a: 103; Bolton, 1995b: 295.
    • Senior synonym of aruanus: Wilson, 1959a: 491; Brown, 1976a: 103; Bolton, 1995b: 295.
    • Senior synonym of tamensis: Wilson, 1959a: 491; Brown, 1976a: 103; Bolton, 1995b: 295.
    • Material of the unavailable names cruenta, fusca, longitudinalis, ternatensis referred here by Wilson, 1959a: 491; Brown, 1976a: 103.
    • Material of the unavailable names cooktownensis, obtusa, yorkensis referred here by Brown, 1976a: 103.
    • Distribution: Australia, Indonesia (Irian Jaya, Seram, Ternate, Waigeu), Papua New Guinea.
  • ajax. Odontomachus ajax Clark, 1928b: 169.
    • Type-material: syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: Australia: Queensland, Kuranda, nr Cairns (R. Turner).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • [First available use of Odontomachus ruficeps subsp. turneri var. ajax Forel, 1910b: 10 (w.) AUSTRALIA; unavailable (infrasubspecific) name (Taylor, 1986: 34).]
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Emery, 1911c: 250; Emery, 1911d: 115.
    • Junior synonym of cephalotes: Brown, 1976a: 103; Bolton, 1995b: 294.
  • aruanus. Odontomachus ruficeps subsp. aruanus Karavaiev, 1925c: 295, fig. 14 (w.m.) INDONESIA (Aru Is).
    • Type-material: syntype workers, syntype males (numbers not stated).
    • Type-locality: Indonesia: Aru Is, Wammer, Nr. 2566, Nr. 2575, and Nr. 2675 (Karawaiew?).
    • Type-depository: SIZK.
    • Subspecies of ruficeps: Chapman & Capco, 1951: 46.
    • Junior synonym of cephalotes: Wilson, 1959a: 491; Brown, 1976a: 103; Bolton, 1995b: 295.
  • tamensis. Odontomachus ruficeps var. tamensis Chapman & Capco, 1951: 45.
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated, “several”).
    • Type-locality: Papua New Guinea: Tami Is (Schultze).
    • Type-depository: MNHU.
    • [First available use of Odontomachus ruficeps r. cephalotes var. tamensis Stitz, 1912: 503, fig. 7 (w.) PAPUA NEW GUINEA; unavailable (infrasubspecific) name.]
    • Junior synonym of cephalotes: Wilson, 1959a: 491; Brown, 1976a: 103; Bolton, 1995b: 297.

Type Material

The following notes on F. Smith type specimens have been provided by Barry Bolton (details):

Odontomachus cephalotes

Two worker syntypes in Oxford University Museum of Natural History, both labelled “Cer.E” (= Ceram); one of them also bears a Donisthorpe type-label.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Brown W. L., Jr. 1976. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. Part VI. Ponerinae, tribe Ponerini, subtribe Odontomachiti. Section A. Introduction, subtribal characters. Genus Odontomachus. Stud. Entomol. 19: 67-171.
  • CSIRO Collection
  • Chapman, J. W., and Capco, S. R. 1951. Check list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Asia. Monogr. Inst. Sci. Technol. Manila 1: 1-327
  • Crawley W. C. 1922. New ants from Australia. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (9)9: 427-448.
  • Donisthorpe H. 1940. Some new forms of Odontomachus (Hym., Formicidae). Entomologist 73: 106-109.
  • Donisthorpe, Horace. 1941. The Ants of Japen Island, Dutch New Guinea (Hym. Formicidae). The Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London. 91(2):51-64.
  • Emery C. 1887. Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte terza. Formiche della regione Indo-Malese e dell'Australia (continuazione e fine). [concl.]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. 25(5): 427-473.
  • Emery C. 1911. Formicidae. Résultats de l'expédition scientifique néerlandaise à la Nouvelle-Guinée en 1907 et 1909 sous les auspices de Dr. H. A. Lorentz. Nova Guin. 9: 249-259
  • Emery C. 1911. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118: 1-125.
  • Emery, C. "Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte terza. Formiche della regione Indo-Malese e dell'Australia (continuazione e fine)." Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria (Genova) (2) 5, no. 25 (1887): 427-473.
  • Forel A. 1911. Die Ameisen des K. Zoologischen Museums in München. Sitzungsber. Math.-Phys. Kl. K. Bayer. Akad. Wiss. Münch. 11: 249-303.
  • Janda M., G. D. Alpert, M. L. Borowiec, E. P. Economo, P. Klimes, E. Sarnat, and S. O. Shattuck. 2011. Cheklist of ants described and recorded from New Guinea and associated islands. Available on http://www.newguineants.org/. Accessed on 24th Feb. 2011.
  • Karavaiev V. 1925. Ponerinen (Fam. Formicidae) aus dem Indo-Australischen Gebiet. (Schluss). Konowia 4: 276-296.
  • Karavaiev V. 1926. Ameisen aus dem Indo-Australischen Gebiet. Treubia 8: 413-445.
  • Lucky A., E. Sarnat, and L. Alonso. 2011. Ants of the Muller Range, Papua New Guinea, Chapter 10. In Richards, S. J. and Gamui, B. G. (editors). 2013. Rapid Biological Assessments of the Nakanai Mountains and the upper Strickland Basin: surveying the biodiversity of Papua New Guinea’s sublime karst environments. RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 60. Conservation International. Arlington, VA.
  • Reichel H., and A. N. Andersen. 1996. The rainforest ant fauna of Australia's Northern Territory. Australian Journal of Zoology 44: 81-95.
  • Smith F. 1863. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects collected by Mr. A. R. Wallace in the islands of Mysol, Ceram, Waigiou, Bouru and Timor. Journal and Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London. Zoology 7: 6-48.
  • Smith F. 1865. Descriptions of new species of hymenopterous insects from the islands of Sumatra, Sula, Gilolo, Salwatty, and New Guinea, collected by Mr. A. R. Wallace. Journal and Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London. Zoology 8: 61-94.
  • Snelling R. R. 1998. Insect Part 1: The social Hymenoptera. In Mack A. L. (Ed.) A Biological Assessment of the Lakekamu Basin, Papua New Guinea, RAP 9. 189 ppages
  • Snelling R. R. 2000. Ants of the Wapoga river area, Irian Jaya, Indonesia. In Mack, Andrew L. and Leeanne E. Alonso (eds.). 2000. A Biological Assessment of the Wapoga River Area of Northwestern Irian Jaya, Indonesia. RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 14, Conservation International, Washington, DC.
  • Stitz H. 1912. Ameisen aus Ceram und Neu-Guinea. Sitzungsberichte der Gesellschaft Naturforschender Freunde zu Berlin 1912: 498-514.
  • Taylor R. W. 1987. A checklist of the ants of Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) Division of Entomology Report 41: 1-92.
  • Taylor R. W., and D. R. Brown. 1985. Formicoidea. Zoological Catalogue of Australia 2: 1-149. 
  • Viehmeyer H. 1912. Ameisen aus Deutsch Neuguinea gesammelt von Dr. O. Schlaginhaufen. Nebst einem Verzeichnisse der papuanischen Arten. Abhandlungen und Berichte des Königlichen Zoologischen und Anthropologische-Ethnographischen Museums zu Dresden 14: 1-26.
  • Viehmeyer H. 1913. Ameisen aus dem Kopal von Celebes. Stettiner Entomologische Zeitung 74: 141-155.
  • Viehmeyer H. 1914. Ameisen aus Perak, Bali und Ceram (Hym.) (Freiburger Molukken-Expedition), gesammelt von E. Streesemann. Entomologische Mitteilungen. Berlin-Dahlem 3: 112-116.
  • Wilson E. O. 1959. Studies on the ant fauna of Melanesia V. The tribe Odontomachini. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 120: 483-510.
  • Wilson Edward O. 1959. Adaptive Shift and Dispersal in a Tropical Ant Fauna. Evolution 13(1): 122-144