Anoplolepis tenella

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Anoplolepis tenella
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Plagiolepidini
Genus: Anoplolepis
Species: A. tenella
Binomial name
Anoplolepis tenella
(Santschi, 1911)

Anoplolepis tenella casent0906282 p 1 high.jpg

Anoplolepis tenella casent0906282 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroon, Congo (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The root feeding Hemipteran Stictococcus Vayssierei is a cassava plant pest that can cause significant damage to this important food crop in some parts of Africa. Anoplolepis tenella tend this scale insect to access the honeydew they produce (Fotso et al. 2008). Ant colonies will establish nests under cassava plants infested with Stictococcus Vayssierei. The ants also transport the scale insects to new plants (Fotoso et al. 2015b). Anoplolepis tenella has also been found tending this same Hemipteran on other plants as well (Fotoso et al. 2015a).



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

  • tenella. Plagiolepis tenella Santschi, 1911c: 364 (w.) CONGO. [Also described as new by Santschi, 1911g: 210.] Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 214 (q.m.). Combination in Plagiolepis (Anoplolepis): Santschi, 1914b: 123; in Anoplolepis: Emery, 1925b: 18.



  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 18, combination in Anoplolepis)
  • Fotso, A. K., R. Hanna, M. Tindo, A. Doumtsop, and P. Nagel. 2015a. How plants and honeydew-producing hemipterans affect ant species richness and structure in a tropical forest zone. Insectes Sociaux. 62:443-453. doi:10.1007/s00040-015-0423-5
  • Fotso, A. K., R. Hanna, M. Tindo, and P. Nagel. 2015b. Transport and Dispersal of Stictococcus Vayssierei (Hemiptera, Stictococcidae) by Anoplolepis Tenella (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Journal of Insect Behavior. 28:426-435. doi:10.1007/s10905-015-9513-5
  • Santschi, F. 1911c [1910]. Nouvelle fourmis d'Afrique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 79: 351-369 (page 364, worker described)
  • Santschi, F. 1911g. Nouvelles fourmis du Congo et du Benguela. Rev. Zool. Afr. (Bruss.) 1: 204-217 (page 210, also described as new)
  • Santschi, F. 1914b. Voyage de Ch. Alluaud et R. Jeannel en Afrique Orientale, 1911-1912. Résultats scientifiques. Insectes Hyménoptères. II. Formicidae. Paris: Libr. A. Schulz, pp. 41-148. (page 123, combination in Plagiolepis (Anoplolepis))
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1922b. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. II. The ants collected by the American Museum Congo Expedition. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 45: 39-269 (page 214, queen, male described)