Gerontoformica orientalis

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Gerontoformica orientalis
Temporal range: Early Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous Burmese amber, Kachin State, Myanmar
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Sphecomyrminae
Tribe: Sphecomyrmini
Genus: Gerontoformica
Species group: uncertain
Species: G. orientalis
Binomial name
Gerontoformica orientalis
(Engel & Grimaldi, 2005)

Gerontoformica orientalis, the type species of †Sphecomyrmodes, is identifiable as †Gerontoformica relative to †Sphecomyrma Wilson & Brown, 1967 by the absence of the anteromedian clypeal process and presence of traction setae/ chaetae along the anterior clypeal margin, as recognized in the original description (Engel & Grimaldi, 2005) and illustrated in Boudinot et al. (2020b). However, in †Gerontoformica, the species †G. orientalis is unidentifiable due to poor preservation. No details of the head are clearly observable, except for the antenna, mandibles and anterior clypeal margin, while the mesosoma appears strongly distorted, the petiole is obscured, and the metasoma is mostly disarticulated. Boudinot et al. (2020b) placed †G. orientalis in the orientalis species group along with the type species of †Gerontoformica based on the absence of the cinctus of abdominal segment IV. As a more refined placement is not possible, we newly consider this species to be a nomen dubium. (Boudinot et al., 2022)

Photo Gallery

  • Gerontoformica orientalis, (1).jpg
  • Gerontoformica orientalis, (2).jpg



This taxon was described from Burmese amber, Kachin State, Myanmar (Early Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous).



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

  • orientalis. †Sphecomyrmodes orientalis Engel & Grimaldi, 2005: 5, figs. 3, 4 (w.) BURMESE AMBER (Myanmar, Cretaceous).
    • Combination in †Gerontoformica: Barden & Grimaldi, 2016: in supplemental information (not paginated).
    • Status as species: Barden & Grimaldi, 2013: 406; Barden, 2017: 3.
    • Nomen dubium: Boudinot, Richter, Katzke, et al. 2022: 8.