Tetramorium spininode

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Tetramorium spininode
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species: T. spininode
Binomial name
Tetramorium spininode
Bolton, 1977

Tetramorium spininode castype12542 profile 1.jpg

Tetramorium spininode castype12542 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Nothing is known about the biology of Tetramorium spininode.


Bolton (1977) - The most distinctive and spectacular tetramoriine yet described from anywhere in the world, spininode cannot be confused with any other species in the tribe. The combination of the uniquely formed petiole node and flanged/carinate base to the first gastral tergite are characteristic and unmistakable and, also, this is one of the few Tetramorium species known which combines 11-merous antennae with an acute sting appendage situated apicodorsally on the sting shaft.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • spininode. Tetramorium spininode Bolton, 1977: 140, fig. 62 (w.q.) AUSTRALIA.

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

Apart from the type-series a single further specimen has been seen from MCZ, Cambridge, collected by C. Barrett at Newcastle Waters, Northern Territory. This specimen agrees with the description but has the head, alitrunk and pedicel segments pale orange-yellow, the gaster and legs yellow.



Holotype. TL 4.3, HL 0.98, HW 0.92, CI 94, SL 0.76, SI 82, PW 0.76, AL 1.32.

Mandibles coarsely striate; anterior clypeal margin straight to very feebly concave medially but without a notch or distinct impression, the median carina extending to the clypeal margin. Frontal carinae elongate and forming the dorsal margins of a narrow and shallow scrobe which is as broad as the scape and which has no defined posterior margin. Eyes moderate, maximum diameter c. 0.24. Propodeal spines elongate and acute, the metapleural lobes low and rounded (Fig. 62), not triangular or dentiform. Petiole in profile with the posterodorsal portion of the node drawn out into a broad, blunt, subconical process resembling a thick spine which overhangs the posterior face. Postpetiole in profile with a similar but less well-developed structure, the projecting posterodorsal angle overhanging the posterior face. In dorsal view the petiole longer than broad, broadest at about the midlength, narrowed and truncated anteriorly, more strongly narrowed and narrowly rounded posteriorly at the apex of the prominence. Basal angles of gaster with a narrow, rounded, prominent, semitranslucent flange which goes around the corner on each side and along the tergite as a carina on each side for about one-third the length of the sclerite, the carina narrowing posteriorly. Head rugose dorsally, the rugae spaced out, predominantly longitudinal but with a number of cross-meshes, especially posteriorly. Spaces between rugae finely and densely punctulate. Alitrunk dorsally predominantly longitudinally rugose but with scattered branches and cross-meshes, most common on the anterior pronotum. Petiole and post petiole rugose, the spaces between rugae finely punctulate both here and on the alitrunk. Basal half of first gastral tergite densely finely costulate, a few reaching to the posterior margin of the sclerite. Stout, blunted hairs present on all dorsal surfaces of head and body. Head, alitrunk and petiole blackish brown, postpetiole red-brown, gaster and legs yellow.

Paratypes. As holotype, range TL 4.2-4.5, HL 0.94-1.00, HW 0.88-0.94, CI 93-96, SL 0.70-0.76, SI 80-82, PW 0.72-0.78, AL 1.26-1.34 (10 measured). Generally as holotype but the immature workers are much lighter in colour, being approximately the same shade of yellow everywhere. The costulae of the first tergite often fade out on the posterior half of the sclerite.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Australia: Western Australia, Winjana Gorge, 100 m, 17.x.1962 (E. S. Ross & D. Cavagnaro) (California Academy of Sciences). Paratypes. 24 workers, 3 females (2 alate), with same data as holotype (CASC; The Natural History Museum; Museum of Comparative Zoology; Naturhistorisches Museum Basel).