Pavement ant Tetramorium caespitum, photographed by Alex Wild.

Belongs within: Myrmicinae.

Tetramorium, pavement ants, is a genus of ants characterised by the combination of a raised transverse ridge below the antennal sockets together with the presence of a dorsal appendage on the sting (Heterick 2009). The majority of species are native to the Old World though some have been introduced to southern North America. Many species in the genus are difficult to distinguish and molecular studies have identified the existence of morphologically cryptic species, for instance in the Tetramorium caespitum group of Europe (Schlick-Steiner et al. 2006).

Characters (from Heterick 2009): Area of clypeus below antennal sockets raised into sharp ridge; propodeal angle usually a pair of stout spines, sometimes flanges; postpetiole attached to front of gaster; tip of sting with a triangular or club-like appendage projecting upwards from the shaft.

<==Tetramorium Mayr 1855 (see below for synonymy) Z01
    |--T. bicarinatum (Nylander 1846) S-SS06 (see below for synonymy)
    |--T. capitale (McAreavey 1949) S-SS06 [=Xiphomyrmex capitalis TB85]
    `--+--+--T. semilaeve (André 1883) S-SS06
       |  `--+--*T. caespitum (Linnaeus 1758) TB85, S-SS06 (see below for synonymy)
       |     `--T. hungaricum (Röszler 1935) S-SS06
       `--+--T. tsushimae (Emery 1925) S-SS06
          `--+--T. impurum (Foerster 1850) S-SS06
             `--+--T. moravicum (Kratochvil 1941) S-SS06
                `--+--T. chefketi (Forel 1911) S-SS06
                   `--T. forte (Forel 1904) S-SS06

Tetramorium incertae sedis:
  T. andrynicum Bolton 1977 TB85
  T. aptum N-ZLI11
  T. australe Bolton 1977 TB85
  T. belgaense Forel 1902 [=T. (Xiphomyrmex) belgaense] B03
  T. christiei Forel 1902 B03
  T. confusum Bolton 1977 TB85
  T. coonoorense Forel 1902 B03
  T. curtulum Emery 1894 B03
  T. curvispinosum Mayr 1897 B03
  T. dariae G89
  ‘Triglyphothrix’ decamera Forel 1902 B03
  T. deceptum Bolton 1977 TB85
  T. fergusoni Forel 1902 B03
  T. fuscipes (Viehmeyer 1925) [=Xiphomyrmex turneri fuscipes] TB85
  T. guangxiensis Zhou & Zheng 1997 Z01
  T. guineense (Fabr. 1793) B03 [=Formica guineensis B03; incl. T. guineense var. macra Emery 1914 E14]
  T. impressum (Viehmeyer 1925) [=Xiphomyrmex impressus] TB85
  T. inglebyi Forel 1902 B03
  T. insolens (Smith 1861) FT08
  T. kraepelini Forel 1905 [incl. T. eidmanni Menozzi 1941, T. yanoi Santschi 1937] Z01
  T. lanuginosum Mayr 1870 FT08 (see below for synonymy)
  T. laticephalum Bolton 1977 TB85
  T. megalops Bolton 1977 TB85
  T. meshena N-ZLI11
  T. mixtum Forel 1902 B03
  T. noratum N-ZLI11
  T. obesum André 1887 [=Triglyphothrix obesa] B03
  T. ornatum Emery 1897 TB85
  T. nursei Bingham 1903 B03
  T. pacificum Mayr 1870 FT08
    |--T. p. pacificum E14
    `--T. p. subscabra E14 [=T. scabrum var. subscabrum B03]
  T. parvum N-ZLI11
  ‘Myrmecina’ pilicornis Smith 1858 B03
  T. pilosum Emery 1893 [=T. (Xiphomyrmex) pilosum] B03
  T. salvatum Forel 1902 B03
  T. scabrum Mayr 1879 B03
  T. setuliferum BM76
  T. shensiense Bolton 1977 Z01
  T. simillimum (Smith 1851) FT08 (see below for synonymy)
  T. sjostedti Forel 1915 [=T. (Xiphomyrmex) sjostedti] TB85
  T. smithi Mayr 1871 FT08 (see below for synonymy)
  T. spininode Bolton 1977 TB85
  T. splendidior (Viehmeyer 1925) [=Xiphomyrmex striolatus splendidior] TB85
  T. strictum Bolton 1977 TB85
  T. striolatum Viehmeyer 1914 S-SS06 [=T. (Xiphomyrmex) viehmeyeri striolatus TB85]
  T. subcoecum A61
  ‘Xiphomyrmex’ tenuicrinis Emery 1914 E14
  T. thalidum Bolton 1977 TB85
  T. tortuosum Roger 1863 B03
  T. transversarium Roger 1863 B03
  T. turneri Forel 1902 [=T. (Xiphomyrmex) turneri] TB86
  T. validiusculum Emery 1897 [=T. pacificum validiusculum] TB85
  T. viehmeyeri Forel 1907 TB85 (see below for synonymy)
  T. walshi (Forel 1890) FT08 (see below for synonymy)
  T. yerburyi Forel 1902 [=T. (Xiphomyrmex) pilosum yerburyi] B03

Tetramorium Mayr 1855 [incl. Atopula Emery 1912, Lobomyrmex Kratochvil 1941, Macromischoides Wheeler 1920, Sulcomyrmex Kratochvil 1941, Tetrogmus Roger 1857, Triglyphothrix Forel 1890, Xiphomyrmex Forel 1887] Z01

Tetramorium bicarinatum (Nylander 1846) S-SS06 [=Myrmica bicarinata TB85; incl. M. cariniceps Guerin-Meneville 1852 Z01, M. kollari Mayr 1853 Z01, M. modesta Smith 1860 Z01, M. reticulata Smith 1862 Z01]

*Tetramorium caespitum (Linnaeus 1758) TB85, S-SS06 [=Formica caespitum Z01; incl. F. fusca Leach 1825 non Linnaeus 1758 S-SS06, Myrmica fuscula Nulander 1846 Z01, Tetramorium fuscula S-SS06, T. caespitum var. hammi Donisthorpe 1915 Z01, T. caespitum himalayanum Viehmeyer 1914 Z01, T. caespitum var. immigans Santschi 1927 Z01, T. caespitum var. indocile Santschi 1927 Z01, T. semilaeve transbaicalense Ruzschy 1936 Z01, Myrmica brevinodis var. transversinodis Enzmann 1946 Z01]

Tetramorium lanuginosum Mayr 1870 FT08 [=Triglyphothrix lanuginosa TB85; incl. Tr. (Xiphomyrmex) striatidens australis Forel 1902 TB85, Tr. ceramensis Stitz 1912 Z01, Tr. striatidens var. felix Forel 1912 Z01, Tr. striatidens var. flavescens Wheeler 1929 Z01, Tr. striatidens var. laevidens Forel 1900 Z01, Tr. mauricei Donisthorpe 1946 Z01, Tr. striatidens var. orissana Forel 1902 Z01, Tetramorium obesum r. striatidens Emery 1889 Z01, Tr. striatidens B03, Tr. tricolor Donosthorpe 1948 Z01]

Tetramorium simillimum (Smith 1851) FT08 [=Myrmica simillima TB85; incl. T. antipodum Wheeler 1927 TB85, T. pusillum var. bantouana Santschi 1910 Z01, T. pusillum st. bantuala var. breve Santschi 1924 Z01, Wasmannia auropunctata brevispinosa Borgmeier 1928 Z01, T. simillimum r. denticulatum Forel 1902 Z01, T. pusillum var. exoleta Santschi 1914 Z01, T. simillimum var. insulare Santschi 1928 Z01, T. simillimum var. opacior Forel 1913 Z01, Myrmica parallela Smith 1859 Z01, T. pygmaeum Emery 1877 Z01]

Tetramorium smithi Mayr 1871 FT08 [incl. T. smithi var. kanariense Forel 1903 Z01, T. simillimum r. laevinode Forel 1902 Z01]

Tetramorium viehmeyeri Forel 1907 TB85 [=T. (Xiphomyrmex) viehmeyeri TB85; incl. Xiphomyrmex viehmeyeri venustus Wheeler 1934 TB85, T. viehmeyeri venustus H09]

Tetramorium walshi (Forel 1890) FT08 [=*Triglyphothrix walshi B03; incl. Tr. musculus Forel 1902 Z01, Tr. walshi var. spuria Forel 1912 Z01]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Andreae, H. 1961. Coleoptera: Cossyphodidae. In: Hanström, B., P. Brinck & G. Rudebeck (eds) South African Animal Life: Results of the Lund University Expedition in 1950–1951 vol. 8 pp. 198–216. Almqvist & Wiksell: Uppsala.

[B03] Bingham, C. T. 1903. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Hymenoptera vol. 2. Ants and Cuckoo-Wasps. Taylor and Francis: London.

[BM76] Bohart, R. M., & A. S. Menke. 1976. Sphecid Wasps of the World. University of California Press: Berkeley.

[E14] Emery, C. 1914. Les fourmis de la Nouvelle-Calédonie & des îles Loyalty. In: Sarasin, F., & J. Roux (eds) Nova Caledonia: Forschungen in Neu-Caledonian und auf den Loyalty-Inseln. A. Zoologie vol. 1 pt 4 pp. 393–436, pl. 12. C. W. Kreidels Verlag: Wiesbaden.

[FT08] Framenau, V. W., & M. L. Thomas. 2008. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean): identification and distribution. Records of the Western Australian Museum 25 (1): 45–85.

[G89] Gestro, R. 1889. Viaggio ab Assab nel Mar Rosso dei signori G. Doria ed O. Beccari con il R. Avviso «Esploratore» dal 16 Novembre 1879 al 26 Febbraio 1880.—IV. Coleotteri. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a, 7: 5–72.

[H09] Heterick, B. E. 2009. A guide to the ants of south-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 76: 1–206.

[N-ZLI11] Nur-Zati A. M., G. T. Lim & A. B. Idris. 2011. Checklist of ants of selected hill dipterocarp forests of peninsular Malaysia. Serangga 16 (1): 91–105.

[S-SS06] Schlick-Steiner, B. C., F. M. Steiner, K. Moder, B. Seifert, M. Sanetra, E. Dyreson, C. Stauffer & E. Christian. 2006. A multidisciplinary approach reveals cryptic diversity in western Palearctic Tetramorium ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40 (1): 259–273.

[TB85] Taylor, R. W., & D. R. Brown. 1985. Formicoidea. In: Walton, D. W. (ed.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia vol. 2. Hymenoptera: Formicoidea, Vespoidea and Sphecoidea pp. 1–149. Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra.

[Z01] Zhou, S. 2001. Ants of Guangxi. Guangxi Normal University Press: Guilin (China).

Last updated: 31 May 2020.

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