Yantaromyrmex geinitzi

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Yantaromyrmex geinitzi
Temporal range: Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene Baltic amber, Baltic Sea region
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Tribe: Leptomyrmecini
Genus: Yantaromyrmex
Species: Y. geinitzi
Binomial name
Yantaromyrmex geinitzi
(Mayr, 1868)

Yantaromyrmex geinitzi MBI2290 02.jpg

Yantaromyrmex geinitzi MBI2291 02.jpg

This species was moved from Hypoclinea to Bothriomyrmex by Dalla Torre (1893) and then to Iridomyrmex by Wheeler (1915b), a position supported by Shattuck (1992a) and Dlussky (1997). Dlussky (1997), in a study of Baltic amber ants, provides a key to genera of ants occurring in this amber, where he states that the anterior margin of the clypeus in Iridomyrmex has a “small medial lobe projecting forwards”. However, his illustration of the head of H. geinitzi (fig. 2e) clearly shows the anterior clypeal margin as being uniformly convex and not with the anteromedial clypeal prominence characteristic of typical Iridomyrmex. Additionally, the eyes (based on fig. 2e) are placed more anteriorly and laterally on the head compared to extant Iridomyrmex, where they are typically positioned more medially and posteriorly. It seems clear that this species does not belong to Iridomyrmex, but rather to Anonychomyrma, as the head is typical of that genus. The body (based on Dlussky’s (1997) fig. 2d) is slightly more elongate than typical extant Anonychomyrma, but not unduly and approaches the morphology seen in some Papua New Guinean species of the genus. Because of this, this species was transferred from Iridomyrmex to Anonychomyrma by Heterick and Shattuck (2011). However, it was subsequently transferred to Yantaromyrmex by Dlussky & Dubovikoff (2013).



This taxon was described from Baltic amber (Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene) and is also known from Bitterfeld amber (Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene), Danish-Scandinavian amber (Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene) and Rovno amber (Priabonian, Late Eocene) (Perkovsky, 2016).



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

  • geinitzi. †Hypoclinea geinitzi Mayr, 1868c: 58, pl. 3, figs. 47-49 (w.q.m.) BALTIC AMBER (Eocene).
    • Combination in Bothriomyrmex: Emery, in Dalla Torre, 1893: 170.
    • Combination in Iridomyrmex: Wheeler, W.M. 1915h: 86; Shattuck, 1992a: 15; Dlussky, 1997: 58.
    • Combination in Anonychomyrma: Heterick & Shattuck, 2011: 169.
    • Combination in Yantaromyrmex: Dlussky & Dubovikoff, 2013: 308.
    • Status as species: Scudder, 1891: 710; Dalla Torre, 1893: 170; André, 1895b: 82 (in list); Handlirsch, 1907: 871; Wheeler, W.M. 1915h: 86; Keilbach, 1982: 278; Shattuck, 1994: 104; Bolton, 1995b: 218; Dlussky & Perkovsky, 2002: 8; Dlussky & Dubovikoff, 2013: 308 (redescription).