Several years ago Australian myrmecologist Alan Andersen proposed a set of categories for arranging ant species by “functional group“. These groups carried names like “cold-climate specialists,” and “subordinate camponotines,” and they were widely adopted by ecologists for their ease of use. The scheme also drew considerable ire from taxonomists, especially since the categories were somewhat arbitrary and many blended behavioral and taxonomic attributes.
Another issue was that these groups, crafted from Andersen’s knowledge of the Australian fauna, didn’t always make sense outside of Australia. Certainly the “Dominant Dolichoderines” were aptly described on the great southern continent. Any stray bit of picnic lunch in Australia is nearly instantly covered by ravenous and aggressive Iridomyrmex. But do the same functional categories apply to the more timid dolichoderines of Europe?
I’m not sure.
In any case, the Aussie genus Anonychomyrma fits the bill of a dominant dolichoderine. Here are couple recent photos of Anonychomyrma defending their title.