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Teratomyrmex greavesi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Melophorini
Genus: Teratomyrmex
McAreavey, 1957
Type species
Teratomyrmex greavesi
3 species
(Species Checklist, Species by Country)

Teratomyrmex greavesi casent0102382 profile 1.jpg

Teratomyrmex greavesi

Teratomyrmex greavesi casent0102382 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Evolutionary Relationships

  (2 genera)

  (11 genera)


  (92 species)

  (39 species)

  (3 species)

  (6 species)

  (2 species)

  (6 species)

  (2 species)

  (19 species)

  (3 species)

  (8 genera)

Gesomyrmex, Oecophylla

  (9 genera)

Gigantiops, Myrmoteras, Santschiella

  (8 genera)

Based on Ward et al. 2016.

Teratomyrmex is rarely encountered and fewer than 30 collections are present in ANIC. The majority come from rainforests, except one which is from a dry sclerophyll forest on Mt. Coot-tha, Brisbane. Teratomyrmex greavesi can be locally common but the other two known species are rarely found and then only as stray foragers. They may nest in rotten wood on the ground. Very little is known of their biology. (Shattuck and Reilly 2013)


The propodeum has a single pair of spines. The pronotum is expanded towards the sides into wing-like projections.

Shattuck and Reilly (2013) - The genus has been characterised by the distinct wing-like projections on the pronotum which were described (Wheeler and Wheeler 1974, Teratomyrmex greavesi) ‘as if it has a huge tumor on the top of its thorax’. However, two more recently found species have these pronotal projections less well developed, although still present.

AntWeb icon 02.png See images of species within this genus

Keys including this Genus


Keys to Species in this Genus


Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps

Species by Region

Number of species within biogeographic regions, along with the total number of species for each region.

Afrotropical Region Australasian Region Indo-Australian Region Malagasy Region Nearctic Region Neotropical Region Oriental Region Palaearctic Region
Species 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total Species 2837 1734 3036 929 832 4375 1686 2823


Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: ? (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Compound colony type: not parasitic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Nest site: hypogaeic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Diet class: ? (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging stratum: subterranean/leaf litter; arboreal (Greer et al., 2021)


Head of worker Side of worker Top of worker

Worker of T. greavesi from Queensland.


Worker Morphology

• Antennal segment count: 12 • Antennal club: gradual • Palp formula: 6,4 • Spur formula: 1 simple, 1 simple • Eyes: >100 ommatidia • Pronotal Spines: absent • Mesonotal Spines: absent • Propodeal Spines: present • Petiolar Spines: absent • Caste: none or weak • Sting: absent • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: present

Male Morphology

 • Caste unknown


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

  • TERATOMYRMEX [Formicinae: Lasiini]
    • Teratomyrmex McAreavey, 1957: 54. Type-species: Teratomyrmex greavesi, by original designation.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Worker. Monomorphic.

Head almost square with broad triangular mandibles furnished with five small sharp teeth. Maxillary palpi with four slender, equal segments. Labial palpi with two slender, equal segments. Clypeus rather large, anterior border entire, posterior border rounded and not extending back between the frontal carinae. Frontal area sub triangular, distinct. Frontal carinae, short and stralght. Antennal and clypeal fossae not confluent, but antennae placed close to the clypeus. Antennae twelve segmented, funiculus filiform, with first segment as long as two following, remaining segments longer than broad, apical longer than preceding segment. Eyes moderately large, convex. Ocelli distinct.

Thorax of most unusual shape. Dorsum of pronotum very flattened, margined. This flattened surface is about three times as broad as long, the anterior and posterior borders deeply concave, the sides strongly convex, the corners rounded. The sides of the pronotum slope inwards and can be seen only in the profile view. The mesonotum resembles a cylinder which fits under the posterior raised lip of the pronotum, and is about a third as broad as the pronotum. Metanotum slightly broader than mesonotum and surmounted by two distinct spiracular tubercles. The dorsum of epinotum resembles a wide-necked flask, the anterior half circular, the posterior half is narrowed, with parallel sides, the posterior corners produced as broad sharp teeth. The posterior border, between these teeth deeply concave. Petiole surmounted by an erect scale-like node which is greatly narrowed at the top. It bears no spines. Gaster not overhanging petiole, ovate, with the cloacal orifice surrounded by a fringe of hairs. Legs moderately long, middle and hind tibiae with pectinate spurs, tarsal claws simple.


McAreavey gave the genus the name Teratomyrmex after the latin ‘terato’, meaning monster, wonder, or marvel. (Shattuck and Reilly 2013)