The ant genus Cardiocondyla is characterized by a striking male polymorphism, with wingless, local fighter males (ergatoid males) with life-long spermatogenesis, and winged, peaceful disperser males with limited sperm supply. We examined the evolution of male morphology by reconstructing the phylogeny of Cardiocondyla from sequences of the mitochondrial COI/COII and 16S RNA genes from 13 of the 15 species, of which males are known. Data suggest that male polymorphism is ancestral and that winged males were lost convergently in several taxa, such as C. elegans, C. batesii, and C. mauritanica. Saber-shaped mandibles and lethal fighting among adult ergatoid males might probably have been the original condition, from which strong, shear-shaped mandibles and attacks directed predominantly against freshly eclosed, not yet sclerotized males might have evolved once. The evolution of queen number from ancestral polygyny to derived monogyny appears to be associated with a switch in the behavior of ergatoid males from fighting to mutual tolerance.