These large, conspicuous ants are most abundant and diverse in southern regions and are rare in the tropics. They are often abundant and can be found in a range of habitats including parks and gardens.
The subfamily contains a single genus (with three additional genera known only from fossils) and its 89 described species and subspecies are limited to Australia and New Caledonia.
This subfamily contains a single known species (Nothomyrmecia macrops) and is restricted to mallee of southern Australia. Although they are rarely encountered, it appears that they are more common and widespread than the known material would suggest. This is largely because of their inconspicuous nests and cryptic foraging behaviour. Considered from an evolutionary viewpoint they are an important group and have received extensive attention.