Tetramorium species groups

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It is convenient to organize species by region and species groups. This approach has been followed by most of the more informative taxonomic treatments of Tetramorium. The contents of this page are an attempt to organize information from various papers, as detailed in the list of references at the bottom of the page. There still remains much work to be done, with future taxonomy both adding to and potentially changing previous groups, arrangements and identification keys. With this in mind this page and other Tetramorium species groups webpages are provisional - and are not meant to represent a complete or definitive overview of this diverse and widely distributed genus.

Afrotropical region Tetramorium

More than half of the 594 species in the genus are found in this region. A detailed list with all the species groups and species complexes can be found here: Afrotropical Tetramorium species groups

India

Agavekar et al. 2017 have shown the named species represent 12 species groups. Many more species remain to be described and our understanding of the diversity and taxonomy of this genus in the country is a work in progress.

See the Tetramorium of India page for more details.

Indo-Australian

Key to the Australian Tetramorium

Sorger (2011) - Tetramorium lucyae is a member of Bolton’s (1977) ciliatum-group defined by the following characters: “Antennae with 12 segments. Sting appendage triangular or dentiform. Anterior clypeal margin entire, not notched or indented medially. Frontal carinae extending back well beyond the level of the posterior margins of the eyes, ranging in development from feeble in Tetramorium curvispinosum to very strong in Tetramorium ciliatum. Propodeal spines long and usually strongly developed, never downcurved along their length. Gaster without modification as shown in mixtum group.” (Bolton 1977: 120). Bolton established this group as a “convenience group” and he mentioned several species within the group that he considered more closely interrelated than others, including Tetramorium ciliatum, Tetramorium flagellatum and Tetramorium tylinum; T. lucyae obviously also belongs in this species-complex. The remaining members of the ciliatum-group are: Tetramorium chapmani, T. curvispinosum, Tetramorium khnum and Tetramorium zypidum. All of the species of this group are distributed in the Oriental and Indo-Australian regions.

Malagasy Tetramorium

Key to Malagasy Tetramorium species groups

The species groups can be organized as per the following table (Hita Garcia and Fisher 2015):

Malagasy Species Species Group Zoogeography Antennal segments Sting shape Anterior Clypeal Margin

Hita Garcia and Fisher publication

Habitat Affinities
6 bessonii MAD 11 spatulate notched 2012a dry forests, savanna, grassland, anthropogenic habitats
8 bonibony MAD 11 spatulate notched 2012a dry forests, savanna, grassland, anthropogenic habitats
10 dysalum MAD 11 spatulate notched 2012a predominantly lowland or montane rainforests
2 kelleri MAL 11 spatulate notched 2012b dry and humid forests
6 marginatum MAD 11 spatulate notched 2012a lowland or montane rainforests
5 naganum MAD 11 spatulate notched 2014 lowland or montane rainforests
5 plesiarum MAD 11 spatulate notched 2014 dry forests, savanna, grassland
21 ranarum MAD 11 spatulate notched predominantly lowland or montane rainforests
20 schaufussii MAL 11 spatulate notched 2014 mostly lowland or montane rainforests, rarely dry forests or open habitats
1 severini MAD 11 spatulate notched 2014 lowland or montane rainforests
2 tsingy MAD 11 spatulate notched 2012a dry forest
22 tortuosum NEA, AFR, MAD, ORI, INA 11 spatulate notched 2012b predominantly lowland or montane rainforests
1 weitzeckeri AFR, MAL 11 spatulate notched 2011 dry forests, savanna, grassland, anthropogenic habitats
3 bicarinatum AFR, ORI, INA, MAL, T 12 triangular to dentiform notched 2011 habitat generalist
1 obesum ORI, INA, MAL, T 12 triangular to dentiform notched 2011 habitat generalist
2 sericeiventre AFR, MAL 12 triangular to dentiform entire 2011 anthropogenic habitats, spiny forest, thicket, coastal and littoral forests, woodland
1 setigerum AFR, MAD 12 triangular to dentiform entire 2015 dry forest
7 simillimum AFR, MAL, MAL, T 12 triangular to dentiform entire habitat generalist
2 tosii MAD 12 triangular to dentiform entire 2011 lowland or montane rainforests
125 Total


Tetramorium bessonii species group

An endemic Malagasy group.

Key to Tetramorium bessonii-group workers

Tetramorium bicarinatum species group

A number of species in this group are tramp species. There are three members of the group in the Malagasy region.

Tetramorium bonibony species group

Endemic to the Malagasy region, the group is comprised of 8 species.

Key to Tetramorium bonibony-group species

Tetramorium dysalum species group

All appear to be endemic to the Malagasy region.

Key to Tetramorium dysalum-group species

Tetramorium kelleri species group

Endemic to Madagascar and Mayotte, there are two species in this group.

Tetramorium marginatum species group

An endemic Madagascar group comprised of 6 species.

Key to Tetramorium marginatum-group species

Tetramorium naganum species group

Five species found in eastern and northern Madagascar.

Key to Tetramorium naganum-group species

Tetramorium obesum species group

The single member of this group that occurs in the Malagasy species is a well known, widespread tramp species.

Tetramorium plesiarum species group

A small group of 5 species from the Malagasy region.

Key to Tetramorium plesiarum-group species

Tetramorium ranarum species group

An endemic species group only found in the Malagasy region that holds numerous valid and more than 25 tentatively undescribed species.

Tetramorium schaufussii species group

A Malagasy group that is divided into two species complexes.

Tetramorium cognatum species complex

Key to Tetramorium cognatum species complex workers

Tetramorium sericeiventre species group

This group is present in the Malagasy region in the form of two species, one of which is shared with the Afrotropical and Southern Palaearctic regions, while the other represents a new species (T. mahafaly) endemic to Madagascar.

Tetramorium setigerum species group

There is one species present in the Malagasy region.

Tetramorium severini species group

This species group contains a single endemic species, T. severini, that is one of the most conspicuous Tetramorium species in Madagascar.

Tetramorium simillimum species group

This group includes species from other regions. Within the Malagasy region there are 5 described species and potentially 2 new species.

Tetramorium tortuosum species group

This group is widespread and present in most zoogeographic regions except the Palaearctic. Nevertheless, the highest species richness can be found in the Oriental and Indo-Australian regions while the Afrotropics and the New World are relatively species-poor. In the Malagasy region it is represented by about 20 species.

Key to Malagasy Tetramorium tortuosum-group workers

Tetramorium andrei species complex

Tetramorium jedi species complex

Tetramorium noeli species complex

Tetramorium smaug species complex

Tetramorium tosii species group

An endemic Madagascar species group.

Tetramorium tsingy species group

Endemic to a comparatively small area in Western Madagascar

Tetramorium weitzeckeri species group

This group is diverse in the Afrotropical region: Afrotropical Tetramorium weitzeckeri species group. The sole representive in the Malagasy region also occurs in the Afrotropics.

Tetramorium humbloti


New World Tetramorium

Relatively depauperate with just 13 species.

Key to US species

Oriental

Tetramorium mixtum species group

Created by Bolton (1977), abandoned as per Roncin (2002).

Tetramorium scabrosum species group

Tetramorium tonganum species group

Palaearctic Tetramorium

See Steiner et al., 2005; Schlick-Steiner et al., 2006a; Csösz et al., 2007; Csösz & Schulz, 2010; Steiner et al., 2010.

Tetramorium caespitum species group

Tetramorium ferox species complex

Tetramorium caespitum species complex

Tetramorium chefketi species complex

Tetramorium semilaeve species complex

References