These ants inhabit grasslands and light scrub, especially on lime subsoil and are sometimes common in dunes. They nests in rock crevices and rubble or in tree stumps and in dry fallen branches. Colonies are reported as monogynous, with up to 200 workers, and may form temporary polydomous systems (Salata & Borowiec, 2013).
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Palaearctic Region: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (type locality).
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
Hunt et al. (2018) studied asymmetries in left and right eye ommatidia count of T. albipennis. This work was stimulated by an earlier finding that individuals searching for new nest sites exhibit a leftward turning bias. They found "Fifty-six workers were examined: 45% had more ommatidia in the right eye, 36% more in the left, and 20% an equal number. A tentative connection between relative ommatidia count for each eye and turning behaviour was identified, with a stronger assessment of behavioural lateralization before imaging and a larger sample suggested for further work. There was a clear sexual dimorphism in ommatidia counts between queens and males."
This species is a host for the fungus Myrmicinosporidium durum (Espadaler & Santamaria, 2012).
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- albipennis. Stenamma albipennis Curtis, 1854: 218 (w.m.) GREAT BRITAIN. Combination in Leptothorax: Orledge, 1998: 31; in Temnothorax: Bolton, 2003: 271. Junior synonym of unifasciatus: Nylander, 1856b: 92; of nylanderi: Smith, F. 1858b: 120; of tuberum: Emery, 1924d: 256. Revived from synonymy and senior synonym of tuberointerruptus: Orledge, 1998: 31.
- tuberointerruptus. Leptothorax tuberointerruptus Bondroit, 1918: 126 (w.q.) SWITZERLAND. [First available use of Leptothorax tuberum var. tuberointerruptus Forel, 1874: 86. Nomen nudum. Leptothorax tuberum r. interruptus var. tuberointerruptus Forel, 1915d: 24 (in key); unavailable name.] Status as species: Betrem, 1926: 217. Subspecies of interruptus: Novak & Sadil, 1941: 93. Revived status as species: Seifert, 1994: 22. Junior synonym of albipennis: Orledge, 1998: 31.
Plateaux, L. & Cagniant, H. 2012: 436: We conclude from all these observations that Leptothorax tuberum unifasciatointerruptus is a hybrid of Temnothorax unifasciatus and Temnothorax albipennis. Hybridization works in both directions, parents may be alternately of the two species, and males are from the parthenogenetic egg of the queen mother. Note that both species exist also in places (especially in Luberon and Ventoux) where the where the form was found. We therefore ask: T. albipennis x T. unifasciatus = L. tuberum unifasciatointerruptus Forel.
- Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 271, Combination in Temnothorax)
- Curtis, J. 1854. On the genus Myrmica and other indigenous ants. Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 21: 211-220 (page 218, worker, male described)
- Emery, C. 1924f . Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [concl.]. Genera Insectorum 174C: 207-397 (page 256, Junior synonym of tuberum)
- Espadaler, X., Santamaria, S. 2012. Ecto- and Endoparasitic Fungi on Ants from the Holarctic Region. Psyche Article ID 168478, 10 pages (doi:10.1155/2012/168478).
- Hunt, E. R., C. Dornan, A. B. Sendova-Franks, and N. R. Franks. 2018. Asymmetric ommatidia count and behavioural lateralization in the ant Temnothorax albipennis. Scientific Reports. 8:11. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-23652-4
- Nylander, W. 1856b. Synopsis des Formicides de France et d'Algérie. Ann. Sci. Nat. Zool. (4) 5: 51-109 (page 92, Junior synonym of unifasciatus)
- Orledge, G. M. 1998. The identity of Leptothorax albipennis (Curtis) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and its presence in Great Britain. Syst. Entomol. 23: 25-33 PDF (page 31, Revived from synonymy, combination in Leptothorax and senior synonym of tuberointerruptus)
- Plateaux, L. & Cagniant, H. 2012. Quelques synonymies dans le genre Temnothorax Mayr, 1855 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France 117 (4), 427-440.
- Salata, S. & Borowiec, L. 2013. Temnothorax albipennis (Curtis, 1854) in Poland and identification of the T. tuberum species complex (Hymenoptera Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 24, 403-413.
- Smith, F. 1858a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp. (page 120, Junior synonym of nylanderi)
- Wiezik, M. 2005a. First records of Leptothorax albipennis and L. nadigi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) from Slovakia. Biológia (Bratisl.) 60: 170 (page 170, see also)