AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Temporal range: 46–34 Ma Lutetian, Middle Eocene to Late Eocene
Protazteca elongata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae (incertae sedis)
Genus: Protazteca
Carpenter, 1930
Type species
Protazteca elongata
5 fossil species
(Species Checklist)
Protazteca elongata Obverse of holotype queen

There are four fossil species in the genus Protazteca, all are known from Florissant shale (Oligocene) in the United Sates. At this time Protazteca is incertae sedis within the Dolichoderinae. This genus is one of the commonest of Florissant ants.


Female. - Head quadrate or subquadrate; mandibles large, triangular, with a distinct terminal tooth; anterior margin of clypeus straight; antennae 12-segmented, short, the scapes not reaching the posterior margin of the head, inserted close together near the clypeus; eyes oval, rather small, situated on the sides of the anterior half of the head; posterior face of the propodeum rounded; petiole rather small, gaster of moderate size; forewing with two closed cubital cells.

Male. - Only a little smaller than the female; head triangular; antennae 11-segmented; scape about as long as first funicular segments, as in Azteca; thorax and gaster relatively large; venation as in the female.

Worker. - Much smaller than the female, but otherwise similar to it.


This taxon is known from Florissant, Colorado, United States (Late Eocene) and Kishenehn Formation shale, Montana, United States (Lutetian, Middle Eocene).


Queen, male, worker.


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

  • PROTAZTECA [incertae sedis in Dolichoderinae]
    • Protazteca Carpenter, 1930: 41. Type-species: †Protazteca elongata, by original designation.


  • Barden, P. 2017. Fossil ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): ancient diversity and the rise of modern lineages. Myrmecological News 24: 1-30.
  • Bolton, B. 1994. Identification guide to the ant genera of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 222 pp. (page 26, Proazteca in Dolichoderinae, Dolichoderini)
  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 369, Proazteca in Dolichoderinae, Dolichoderini)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 91, Proazteca in Dolichoderinae, Dolichoderini)
  • Carpenter, F. M. 1930. The fossil ants of North America. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 70: 1-66 [1] (page 41, Protazteca in Dolichoderinae, Tapinomini)
  • Dlussky, G. M.; Fedoseeva, E. B. 1988. Origin and early stages of evolution in ants. Pp. 70-144 in: Ponomarenko, A. G. (ed.) Cretaceous biocenotic crisis and insect evolution. Moskva: Nauka, 232 pp. (page 78, Protazteca in Dolichoderinae, Tapinomini)
  • Hölldobler, B.; Wilson, E. O. 1990. The ants. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, xii + 732 pp. (page 17, Protazteca in Dolichoderinae, Tapinomini)
  • Shattuck, S. O. 1994. Taxonomic catalog of the ant subfamilies Aneuretinae and Dolichoderinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Univ. Calif. Publ. Entomol. 112:i-xix, 1-241. (page 139, Proazteca in Dolichoderinae, Dolichoderini)
  • Ward, P.S., Brady, S.G., Fisher, B.L. & Schultz, T.R. 2010. Phylogeny and biogeography of Dolichoderinae ants: effects of data partitioning and relict taxa on historical inference. Systematic Biology 59: 342-362 [2]