Every Ant Tells a Story - And Their Stories Are Here
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Temporal range: Fossil only
Sphecomyrma freyi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Sphecomyrminae
Wilson & Brown, 1967
13 fossil genera
33 fossil species

Photo Gallery

  • Sphecomyrminae, Burmese amber.jpg

Sphecomyrminae is an extinct subfamily known from Cretaceous fossils found in North America, Europe, and Asia. The subfamily is divided into three tribes, †Haidomyrmecini (6 species), †Sphecomyrmini (4 species) and †Zigrasimeciini (3 species). In addition, the family Armaniidae was recently synonymised with Sphecomyrminae and its genera and species placed within the tribe Sphecomyrmini (Borysenko, 2017). See Armaniidae for a discussion of this proposed change.


Extant Taxa

No living taxa are known from this subfamily.

Fossil Taxa

Fossil Genera % World Fossil Genera Valid Fossil Species/Subsp. % World Fossil Species/Subsp.
13 8.5% 33 4.01%

Fossils known from: Burmese amber, Kachin Province, Myanmar (Early Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous), Charentese amber, Aquitaine Basin, France (Late Albian to Early Cenomanian, Cretaceous), Emanra Formation, Khetana River, Khabarovsk, Russian Federation (Turonian, Cretaceous), Foremost Formation amber, Alberta, Canada (Campanian, Late Cretaceous), Ola Formation, Tenkinskii, Russian Federation (Early/Lower Campanian, Cretaceous), Orapa kimberlitic deposits, Botswana (Turonian, Late Cretaceous), Raritan (New Jersey) amber, New Jersey, United States (Turonian, Late Cretaceous), Yantardakh, Siberia, Russia (Santonian, Late Cretaceous).

List of Tribes and Genera



Extant Genera

This subfamily is known only from fossils.

Fossil Genera



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

  • SPHECOMYRMINAE [subfamily of Formicidae]
    • Sphecomyrminae Wilson & Brown, in Wilson, et al. 1967: 6. Type-genus: †Sphecomyrma Wilson & Brown, in Wilson, et al. 1967: 8.

Taxonomic history

  • †Sphecomyrminae as family: Dlussky, 1983: 77 [†Sphecomyrmidae]; Dlussky, 1987: 132 [†Sphecomyrmidae]; Dlussky & Fedoseeva, 1988: 77 [†Sphecomyrmidae].
  • †Sphecomyrminae as subfamily of Formicidae: Wilson, et al. 1967: 6; Dlussky, 1975: 114; Wilson, 1987: 49; Hölldobler & Wilson, 1990: 9; Bolton, 1994: 184; Dlussky, 1996: 83; Grimaldi, et al. 1997: 7; Dlussky, 1999a: 63; Bolton, 2003: 74, 260; LaPolla, et al. 2013: 618 (in text).
  • †Sphecomyrminae as stem-ant subfamily of Formicidae: Ward, 2007a: 555; Borysenko, 2017: 3.
  • Tribes of †Sphecomyrminae: †Haidomyrmecini, †Sphecomyrmini, †Zigrasimeciini.
  • †Sphecomyrminae references: Bolton, 2003: 74, 260 (diagnoses, comments, synopsis); Barden & Grimaldi, 2016: 4 (phylogeny); Borysenko, 2017: 15 (diagnosis).