Temnothorax cenatus has been collected in savannah habitat in central Kenya. The holotype collection, from leaf litter sampling, suggests this ant nests in the ground.
Prebus (2015) - The following character combination distinguishes T. cenatus from the other Afrotropical genus members: Antennal scapes surpassing the posterior margin of the head by the length of the first funicular segment; postpetiole widest at the anterior 1/3 of the segment; posterior margin of head rounded; metanotal groove shallowly impressed; compound eyes moderate in size; propodeal spines moderately long.
Bolton (1982) - T. cenatus is closest related to Temnothorax megalops but differs in having smaller eyes and a differently shaped petiole node.
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
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Only known from the worker caste.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- cenatus. Leptothorax cenatus Bolton, 1982: 327, figs. 11, 15 (w.) KENYA. Combination in Temnothorax: Bolton, 2003: 271.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Holotype. TL 3.6, HL 0.78, HW 0.60, CI 77, SL 0.64, SI 107, PW 0.47, AL 0.98.
Mandibles finely but strongly longitudinally rugulose. Anterior clypeal margin convex and concealing the basal tooth of the mandibles. Median clypeal carina feebly developed, weaker than the more laterally situated clypeal carinae, which converge anteriorly. The anteriormost clypeal carina runs across the clypeus in an unbroken transverse arc just behind the anterior margin, terminating at the antennal fossa on each side. Frontal carinae represented by a pair of feeble meandering rugula-like ridges which run back from the narrow frontal lobes to a point behind the level of the posterior margins of the eyes; these carinae scarcely stronger than the rugular sculpture of the head and merging with that sculpture posteriorly. Antennal scrobes absent, the scapes relatively long, SI > 100. Eyes quite large, maximum diameter 0.18, about 0.30 x HW and with 11 ommatidia in the longest row. With the head in full-face view the occipital margin shallowly transversely convex, the occipital corners rounded. With alitrunk in dorsal view the pronotal corners rounded. With alitrunk in profile the promesonotum shallowly evenly convex, the metanotal area broadly but shallowly impressed and the propodeum armed with a pair of acute narrow spines. Metapleural lobes very low, rounded. Petiole in profile with a moderately long anterior peduncle, the dorsal surface of which is confluent with the anterior face of the node, the two not separated by an angle. Node with well developed antero- and posterodorsal angles, the dorsum between them more or less flat. In dorsal view the dorsum of the petiole node broader than long, and the petiole narrower than the postpetiole. Dorsum of head with fine, widely spaced, irregular rugulae which are predominantly longitudinal. Occipitally the rugulae are more sharply defined and have a few cross-meshes, although no reticulation is developed. Spaces between rugulae smooth or at most with only vestiges of ground-sculpture. Sides of head above eyes sculptured as dorsum but both in front of and behind the eyes the rugulae are more crowded and tend to form a loose reticulum. Promesonotal dorsum finely and predominantly longitudinally rugulose, with very sparse cross-meshes. The rugulae widely spaced and with a ground-sculpture of extremely fine superficial punctulae between them, which in places is almost effaced. Rugulae present on propodeal dorsum but weaker than on promesonotum. Petiole and postpetiole with fine superficial shagreening and a few weak inconscpicuous rugulae. First gastral tergite unsculptured except for hair-pits. All dorsal surfaces of head and body with numerous stout blunt mainly straight hairs which are shorter and more erect on the head than on the first gastral tergite. Legs and scapes without such hairs. Dorsum of head brown, remainder of body dull yellow with a brown tint, especially on the petiole and postpetiole which are somewhat darker than the alitrunk and gaster but not as dark as the head.
Paratype. TL 3.2, HL 0.74, HW 0.58, CI 78, SL 0.62, SI 107, PW 0.42, AL 0.90.
As holotype but slightly smaller, maximum diameter of eye 0.18, about 0.31 x HW and with 10 ommatidia in the longest row.
Holotype worker, Kenya: Lake Nakuru, Nat. Park, 6.xi.l974, leaf litter (V. Mahnert) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève). Paratype. 1 worker, Kenya: Nakuru, Lake Elmenteita, 7.xi.1977, 1800 m (V. Mahnert & J.-L. Perret) (The Natural History Museum).
- Bolton, B. 1982. Afrotropical species of the myrmecine ant genera Cardiocondyla, Leptothorax, Melissotarsus, Messor and Cataulacus (Formicidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology, 46: 307-370 PDF (page 327, figs. 11, 15 worker described)
- Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 271, Combination in Temnothorax)
- Prebus, M. 2015. Palearctic elements in the old world tropics: a taxonomic revision of the ant genus Temnothorax Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) for the Afrotropical biogeographical region. ZooKeys, 483, 23–57 (doi: 10.3897/zookeys.483.9111).