Tetramorium caespitum

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Tetramorium caespitum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species: T. caespitum
Binomial name
Tetramorium caespitum
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Tetramorium caespitum casent0005827 profile 1.jpg

Tetramorium caespitum casent0005827 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Subspecies
Synonyms

This is the most common European Tetramorium species. Long believed to be introduced to North America, Wagner et al. (2017) conclusively determined the North American species is Tetramorium immigrans.

Identification

A member of the Tetramorium caespitum complex. The species can be determined with a discriminant analysis of a set of morphological measurements. See Wagner et al. (2017) and https://webapp.uibk.ac.at/ecology/tetramorium/

Blackish brown, sometimes paler; head including clypeus and alitrunk regularly longitidinally striate. Petiole and postpetiole with shallow punctures and sculpture but smooth in centre. Propodeal spines very short, broadly denticulate, petiole and postpetiole about as broad as long. Length: 2.5-4 mm (Collingwood 1979).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Europe, up to 63° N, Caucasus. This species does not occur in North America. (Wagner et al. 2017)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States.
Neotropical Region: Argentina, Chile, Mexico.
Palaearctic Region: Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Austria, Balearic Islands, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Channel Islands, China, Croatia, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jersey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Wagner et al. (2017) - Moderately thermophilic, TAS of 465 sites 16.1 ± 2.0 °C [7.9, 21.1], different from all species except Tetramorium indocile. Most common species in most of Europe and more euryoecious than other species of complex. Most records from non-forested habitats like meadows, pastures, heaths, arid or semi-arid grasslands, vineyards, fallow grounds, ruderal areas, road embankments, rock heaps, gravel pits, river banks, but also light pine and oak forests. Urban areas like parks, pavements, and roadsides. Nest construction more flexible than in other species: in soil, under stones, rarely in dead wood; only species building soil mounds higher than 10 cm.

Monogynous (Seifert 2007). Hybridizes with Tetramorium immigrans.

Adult sexuals in nests on 25 June ± 14d [28 May, 19 August] (n = 67). Direct swarming behavior observed on 14 June, 15 June at 11:05 true solar time, and 30 June at 07:15 true solar time.

Collingwood (1979) - The species tends to be coastal in North Europe but also inland on heath and on the open borders of woodland, nesting in the earth and also under stones. Colonies are normally single queened, but populous with up to 10,000 or more workers. This species is moderately aggressive, living by predation on other arthropods, scavenging and also from root aphid honeydew. Seeds of various herbs and grasses are often collected into the nest. The alatae are conspicuously large compared with the workers; they are developed in the early summer and fly in late June and July.

Associations with other Organisms

Fungi

This species is a host for the endoparastic fungus Myrmicinosporidium durum (Espadaler & Santamaria, 2012).

Other Ants

This ant is parasitized by Tetramorium atratulum and Strongylognathus testaceus.

Castes

Worker

Queen

Male

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • caespitum. Formica caespitum Linnaeus, 1758: 581 (w.) EUROPE. Latreille, 1798: 50 (q.m.); Mayr, 1861: 62 (q.m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1954d: 445 (l.); Hauschteck, 1961: 221 (k.); Imai, 1966: 119 (k.). Combination Manica: Jurine, 1807: 279; in Tetramorium: Mayr, 1855: 426. Senior synonym of fuscula: Smith, F. 1851: 118, Radchenko, 2007: 31; of modesta Foerster: Curtis, 1854: 215; Mayr, 1855: 426; of fusca: Dalla Torre, 1893: 132; of transversinodis: Brown, 1949a: 47; of immigrans: Bolton, 1979: 171; of himalayanum, indocile, transbaicalense: Radchenko, 1992b: 50; of hammi: Bolton, 1995b: 405; of jiangxiense: Wu & Wang, 1995: 82; of fusciclavum: Sanetra, Güsten & Schulz, 1999: 320. Current subspecies: nominal plus barabense, caespitomoravicum, flavidulum, japonicum, pallidum, typicum. See also: Emery, 1909d: 697; Bondroit, 1918: 107; Emery, 1925c: 177; Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 135; Kutter, 1977c: 157; Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 544; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1400; Collingwood, 1979: 84; Cammaerts, Pasteels et al. 1985: 109; Kupyanskaya, 1990: 151; López, 1991a: 31; López, 1991b: 73; López, et al. 1992: 169; Radchenko, Czechowski & Czechowska, 1998: 108.
  • fusca. Formica fusca Leach, 1825: 290 (q.m.) FRANCE. [Unresolved junior primary homonym of Formica fusca Linnaeus, 1758: 580.] Junior synonym of caespitum: Dalla Torre, 1893: 132.
  • fuscula. Myrmica fuscula Nylander, 1846a: 935, pl. 18, figs. 34, 36 (w.q.m.) FINLAND. Junior synonym of caespitum: Smith, F. 1851: 118; Radchenko, 2007: 31.
  • modesta. Myrmica modesta Foerster, 1850a: 49 (w.) GERMANY. Junior synonym of caespitum: Curtis, 1854: 215; Mayr, 1855: 426.
  • himalayanum. Tetramorium caespitum subsp. himalayanum Viehmeyer, 1914b: 38 (w.q.m.) INDIA. Junior synonym of caespitum: Radchenko, 1992b: 50.
  • hammi. Tetramorium caespitum var. hammi Donisthorpe, 1915d: 178 (w.) GREAT BRITAIN. Junior synonym of caespitum: Bolton, 1995b: 408.
  • immigrans. Tetramorium caespitum var. immigrans Santschi, 1927a: 54 (w.) CHILE. Junior synonym of caespitum: Bolton, 1979: 171.
  • transbaicalense. Tetramorium semilaeve subsp. transbaicalense Ruzsky, 1936: 93 (w.) KAZAKHSTAN. Junior synonym of caespitum: Radchenko, 1992b: 50.
  • transversinodis. Myrmica (Myrmica) brevinodis var. transversinodis Enzmann, J. 1946b: 47, figs. 1,2 (w.) U.S.A. Junior synonym of caespitum: Brown, 1949a: 47.
  • fusciclavum. Tetramorium caespitum var. fusciclavum Consani & Zangheri, 1952: 42 (w.) ITALY. [First available use of Tetramorium caespitum subsp. caespitum var. fusciclava Emery, 1925c: 187; unavailable name (Bolton, 1995b: 408).] Junior synonym of caespitum: Sanetra, Güsten & Schulz, 1999: 320.
  • jiangxiense. Tetramorium jiangxiense Wang & Xiao, in Wang, M., Xiao & Wu, 1988: 269, figs. 24, 25 (w.) CHINA. Junior synonym of caespitum: Wu & Wang, 1995: 82.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Description

Worker

Wagner et al. (2017) - Larger than most species of complex, CS = 761 ± 50 [591, 867] μm. Dark brown to blackish.

Head moderately elongate, CL / CW = 1.012 ± 0.015 [0.969, 1.043]. Eye rather small, EYE / CS = 0.171 ± 0.005 [0.158, 0.188]. Scape length moderate, SLd / CS = 0.777 ± 0.015 [0.724, 0.812]. Mesosoma long and wide, ML / CS = 1.172 ± 0.026 [1.104, 1.233], MW / CS = 0.645 ± 0.015 [0.605, 0.687].

Promesonotal dorsum convex, metanotal groove shallow. – Head dorsum and occiput with longitudinal costae and costulae, in Iberia longitudinal costae and costulae of head dorsum sometimes interrupted by smooth and shiny areas. Postoculo-temporal area of head with moderate number of longitudinal costae and costulae, POTCos = 7.45 ± 1.92 [3.38, 12.13]. Mesosoma dorsum longitudinally rugulose, in Iberia longitudinal costae and costulae sometimes interrupted by smooth and shiny areas. Lateral side of propodeum with a moderately pronounced smooth and shiny area, Ppss = 39.9 ± 20.0 [13.3, 107.7]. Dorsum of petiolar node smooth or with slightly microreticulate sculpture. General surface appearance on average moderately smooth and shiny compared with other species. – Connected stickman- like or reticulate microsculpture: small units scattered over 1st gastral tergite, MC1TG = 12.62 ± 2.31 [7.00, 19.58]. – Some workers with long c-shaped, crinkly, or sinuous hairs on ventral head posterior to buccal cavity.

Male

Wagner et al. (2017) - Paramere structure belongs to caespitum-like form: ventral paramere lobe with one or two sharp corners; without distinct emargination between paramere lobes in posterior view, both paramere lobes reduced in size; in ventro-posterior view, second corner on ventral paramere lobe missing or < 87 μm apart from first. In posterior view, typically only one sharp corner on ventral lobe.

Type Material

Wagner et al. (2017) - Neotype designation: Schlick-Steiner et al. 2006. Floghult Bohuslan (Sweden), 58.97° N, 11.42° E, 100 m a.s.l., leg. C.A. Collingwood, 21.VI. 2000.

References

  • Arnol'di, K. V.; Dlussky, G. M. 1978. Superfam. Formicoidea. 1. Fam. Formicidae - ants. Pp. 519-556 in: Medvedev, G. S. (ed.) Keys to the insects of the European part of the USSR. Vol. 3. Hymenoptera. Part 1. Opredeliteli Faune SSSR 119:3-584. (page 544, see also)
  • Baroni Urbani, C. 1971c. Catalogo delle specie di Formicidae d'Italia (Studi sulla mirmecofauna d'Italia X). Mem. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 50: 5-287 (page 135, see also)
  • Bharti, H. & Kumar, R. 2012. Taxonomic studies on genus Tetramorium Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) with report of two new species and three new records including a tramp species from India with a revised key. ZooKeys. 207:11-35. doi:10.3897/zookeys.207.3040
  • Bolton, B. 1979. The ant tribe Tetramoriini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The genus Tetramorium Mayr in the Malagasy region and in the New World. Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Entomol. 38: 129-181 (page 171, Senior synonym of immigans)
  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 405, Senior synonym of hammi; new synonymy)
  • Bondroit, J. 1918. Les fourmis de France et de Belgique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 87: 1-174 (page 107, see also)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1949a. Synonymic and other notes on Formicidae (Hymenoptera). Psyche (Camb.) 56: 41-49 (page 47, Senior synonym of transversinodis)
  • Collingwood, C. A. 1979. The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. Fauna Entomol. Scand. 8: 1-174 (page 84, see also)
  • Csosz, S. ; Marko, B. 2004. Redescription of Tetramorium hungaricum Roeszler, 1935, a related species of T. caespitum (Linnaeus, 1758) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecologische Nachrichten 6: 49-59 (page 56, diagnostic characters)
  • Curtis, J. 1854. On the genus Myrmica and other indigenous ants. Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 21: 211-220 (page 215, Senior synonym of modesta)
  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 132, Senior synonym of fusca)
  • Emery, C. 1909f. Beiträge zur Monographie der Formiciden des paläarktischen Faunengebietes. (Hym.) Teil IX. Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 1909: 695-712 (page 697, see also)
  • Emery, C. 1925a [1924]. Notes critiques de myrmécologie. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 64: 177-191 (page 177, see also)
  • 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).
  • Hauschteck, E. 1961. Die Chromosomen von fünf Ameisenarten. Rev. Suisse Zool. 68: 218-223 (page 221, karyotype described)
  • Imai, H. T. 1966b. The chromosome observation techniques of ants and the chromosomes of Formicinae and Myrmicinae. Acta Hymenopterol. 2: 119-131 (page 119, karyotype described)
  • Klarica, J.; Bittner, L.; Pallua, J.; Pezzei, C.; Huck-Pezzei, V.; Dowell, F.; Schied, J.; Bonn, G. K.; Huck, C.; Schlick-Steiner, B. C.; Steiner, F. M. 2011. Near-infrared imaging spectroscopy as a tool to discriminate two cryptic Tetramorium ant species. Journal of Chemical Ecology 37:549-552 PDF
  • Kupyanskaya, A. N. 1990a. Ants of the Far Eastern USSR. Vladivostok: Akademiya Nauk SSSR, 258 pp. (page 151, see also)
  • Kutter, H. 1977c. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Insecta Helv. Fauna 6: 1-298 (page 157, see also)
  • Latreille, P. A. 1798. Essai sur l'histoire des fourmis de la France. Brive: F. Bourdeaux, 50 pp. (page 50, queen, male described)
  • Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae [= Stockholm]: L. Salvii, 824 pp. (page 581, worker described)
  • López, F. 1991a. Estudio morfológico y taxonómico de los grupos de especies ibéricas del género Tetramorium Mayr, 1855 (Hym., Formicidae). Bol. Asoc. Esp. Entomol. 15: 29-52 (page 31, see also)
  • López, F. 1991b. Variabilidad morfológica y problemas taxonómicos en Tetramorium caespitum (Linné, 1758) y Tetramorium semilaeve André, 1881 (Hym., Formicidae). Bol. Asoc. Esp. Entomol. 15: 65-78 (page 73, see also)
  • Mackay, W. P. and E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY.
  • Mayr, G. 1855. Formicina austriaca. Beschreibung der bisher im österreichischen Kaiserstaate aufgefundenen Ameisen, nebst Hinzufügung jener in Deutschland, in der Schweiz und in Italien vorkommenden Arten. Verh. Zool.-Bot. Ver. Wien 5: 273-478 (page 426, Combination in Tetramorium, Senior synonym of modesta)
  • Mayr, G. 1861. Die europäischen Formiciden. Nach der analytischen Methode bearbeitet. Wien: C. Gerolds Sohn, 80 pp. (page 62, queen, male described)
  • Radchenko, A. G. 1992b. Ants of the genus Tetramorium (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the USSR fauna. Report 2. Zool. Zh. 71(8 8: 50-58 (page 50, Senior synonym of himalayanum, indocile and transbaicalense)
  • Radchenko, A. G.; Czechowski, W.; Czechowska, W. 1998. The genus Tetramorium Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in Poland - a survey of species and a key for their identification. Ann. Zool. (Warsaw) 48: 107-118 (page 108, see also)
  • Rigato, F.; Toni, I. 2011. Short notes 21. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Pp. 873-882 in: Nardi, G.; Whitmore, D.; Bardiani, M.; Birtele, D.; Mason, F.; Spada, L.; Cerretti, P. (eds.) 2011. Biodiversity of Marganai and Montimannu (Sardinia). Research in the framework of the ICP Forests network. Conservazione Habitat Invertebrati, 5. Sommacampagna, Verona: Cierre Edizioni, 896 pp.
  • Smith, D. R. 1979. Superfamily Formicoidea. Pp. 1323-1467 in: Krombein, K. V., Hurd, P. D., Smith, D. R., Burks, B. D. (eds.) Catalog of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico. Volume 2. Apocrita (Aculeata). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Pr (page 1400, see also)
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  • Wagner, H.C., Arthofer, W., Seifert, B., Muster, C., Steiner, F.M. & Schlick-Steiner, B.C. 2017. Light at the end of the tunnel: Integrative taxonomy delimits cryptic species in the Tetramorium caespitum complex. Myrmecological News 25: 95-129.
  • Wheeler, G. C. and J. Wheeler. 1986. The ants of Nevada. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles.
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1954d. The ant larvae of the myrmicine tribes Meranoplini, Ochetomyrmicini and Tetramoriini. Am. Midl. Nat. 52: 443-452 (page 445, larva described)