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Gigantiops destructor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Gigantiopini
Genus: Gigantiops
Roger, 1863
Type species
Formica destructor, now Gigantiops destructor
1 species
(Species Checklist)

Gigantiops destructor casent0103316 profile 1.jpg

Gigantiops destructor

Gigantiops destructor casent0103316 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Evolutionary Relationships

  (2 genera)

  (10 genera)

  (9 genera)

  (8 genera)

Gesomyrmex, Oecophylla

  (9 genera)

  (1 species)

  (1 species)

  (41 species)

  (8 genera)

Based on Ward et al. 2016.

A monotypic genus found in northern South America, Gigantiops destructor has garnered attention from tropical biologists due to their large eyed, large workers that leap around on the vegetation. These ants forage individually, have well developed jumping abilities and due to their keen eyesight are adept at avoiding capture by all but the most persistent myrmecologists.

Photo Gallery

  • worker
  • Young winged queen of Gigantiops destructor, from a nest excavated at base of tree (Villa Carmen, Peru). Photo by Christian Peeters.
    Workers and queen of G. destructor, showing very slight dimorphism in body size (Villa Carmen, Peru). Photo by Christian Peeters.


In full face view the eyes of the worker extend from the clypeal border to the posterior margin. The large eyes of this ant make it distinctive among all ants in the subfamily Formicinae.  


Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps


See Gigantiops destructor, the only known species within this genus.



Worker Morphology

 • Antennal segment count 12 • Antennal club absent • Palp formula 6,4 • Spur formula 1 simple, 1 simple • Eyes present • Scrobes absent • Sting absent



All Karyotype Records for Genus

Explore Karyotype Data: All, Drilldown
Taxon Haploid Diploid Karyotype Locality Source Notes
Gigantiops destructor 78 10M+66T French Guiana Mariano et al., 2011


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

  • GIGANTIOPS [Formicinae: Gigantiopini]
    • Gigantiops Roger, 1863b: 11. Type-species: Formica destructor, by monotypy.

Ward (2016) - A molecular phylogenetic analysis shows Gigantiops as sister to Santschiella, a monotypic African genus, but support for this relationship is not strong, so we retain a separate tribe for Santschiella. Although both genera share distinctively large eyes, they differ markedly in configuration of the frontoclypeal complex, with the antennal insertions of Gigantiops being located close to one another and between the eyes (Bolton 2003).


  • Agosti, D. 1991. Revision of the oriental ant genus Cladomyrma, with an outline of the higher classification of the Formicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Syst. Entomol. 16: 293-310 PDF (page 295, Gigantiops in Formicinae, Oecophylla genus group.)
  • Ashmead, W. H. 1905c. A skeleton of a new arrangement of the families, subfamilies, tribes and genera of the ants, or the superfamily Formicoidea. Can. Entomol. 37: 381-384 (page 384, Gigantiops in Gesomyrmicinae, Gigantiopini)
  • Bolton, B. 1994. Identification guide to the ant genera of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 222 pp. (page 50, Gigantiops in Formicinae, Gigantiopini)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 111, Gigantiops in Formicinae, Gigantiopini)
  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 175, Gigantiops in Camponotinae )
  • Emery, C. 1895l. Die Gattung Dorylus Fab. und die systematische Eintheilung der Formiciden. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 8: 685-778 (page 772, Gigantiops in Camponotinae, Oecophyllini)
  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 48, Gigantiops in Formicinae, Gigantiopini)
  • Forel, A. 1878c. Études myrmécologiques en 1878 (première partie) avec l'anatomie du gésier des fourmis. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 15: 337-392 (page 370, Gigantiops in Camponotinae [Camponotidae])
  • Mayr, G. 1865. Formicidae. In: Reise der Österreichischen Fregatte "Novara" um die Erde in den Jahren 1857, 1858, 1859. Zoologischer Theil. Bd. II. Abt. 1. Wien: K. Gerold's Sohn, 119 pp. (page 9, Gigantiops in Formicinae [Formicidae])
  • Roger, J. 1863b. Verzeichniss der Formiciden-Gattungen und Arten. Berl. Entomol. Z. 7(B Beilage: 1-65 (page 11, Gigantiops as genus)
  • Ward, P.S., Blaimer, B.B., Fisher, B.L. 2016. A revised phylogenetic classification of the ant subfamily Formicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with resurrection of the genera Colobopsis and Dinomyrmex. Zootaxa. 4072(3):343–357. (doi 10.11646/zootaxa.4072.3.4).
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1910b. Ants: their structure, development and behavior. New York: Columbia University Press, xxv + 663 pp. (page 143, Gigantiops in Camponotinae, Oecophyllini)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1922i. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VII. Keys to the genera and subgenera of ants. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 45: 631-710 (page 700, Gigantiops in Formicinae, Gigantiopini)