Key to Afrotropical Tetramorium solidum species group

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This worker key is based on Mbayana et al (2018)[1], with the addition of Tetramorium nama described by Hawkes (2020) [2]

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Tetramorium rothschildi casent0217078 p 1 high.jpg
Tetramorium rothschildi casent0217078 d 1 high.jpg
  • Body either lacking pilosity or with simple pilosity (Fig. 2A–B, D–I) => 2


return to couplet #1

  • Dorsum of mesosoma in profile without any erect hairs, with appressed pubescence only (Fig. 2D–H) => 3
  • Dorsum of mesosoma in profile with erect hairs (Fig. 2A–B, I) => 14
Figure 2. Body in profile showing pilosity and pubescence. A. T. dichroum Santschi, 1932 (CASENT0746320). B. T. peringueyi Arnold, 1926 (CASENT0250873). C. T. rothschildi (Forel, 1907) (CASENT0764434). D. T. clunum Forel, 1913 (CASENT0764600). E. T. galoanasum Santschi, 1910 (CASENT0915015 – Antweb, William Ericson). F. T. setuliferum Emery, 1895 (MCZ_ENT00512567). G. T. glabratum Stitz, 1923 (SAM-HYM-C024395). H. T. rufescens Stitz, 1923 (CASENT0250852). I. T. solidum Emery, 1886 (CASENT0250960).


return to couplet #2

  • Body with short, broad, blunt, much flattened and strongly appressed glittering silvery hairs (Fig. 2D–F) => 4
  • Body without such hairs, only with sparse simple appressed pubescence (Fig. 2G–H) => 6


return to couplet #3

  • Appressed pubescence long, dense and strap-like, hairs often overhanging one another (Fig. 2E) => Tetramorium galoasanum
Tetramorium galoasanum casent0901178 p 1 high.jpg
Tetramorium galoasanum casent0901178 d 1 high.jpg
  • Appressed pubescence sparse and spaced out, not strap-like and not overlapping (Fig. 2D–E) => 5
Figure 3. A–B. Waist segments and gaster oblique lateral view. A. T. setuliferum Emery, 1895 (MCZ_ ENT00512567). B. T. clunum Forel, 1913 (CASENT0764600). C–F. Waist segments in dorsal view. C. T. grandinode Santschi, 1913 (CASENT0764655). D. T. lerouxi ' Mbanyana, Robertson & Hita Garcia sp. nov. (SAM-HYM-C023329). E. T. signatum Emery, 1895 (SAM-HYM-C020573). F. T. glabratum Stitz, 1923 (SAM-HYM-C024395). G–I. Mesosoma in profile. G. T. jordani Santschi, 1937 (CASENT0248475). H. T. glabratum (SAM-HYM-C024395). I. T. rufescens Stitz, 1923 (CASENT0250852). J–M. Head in full-face view. J. T. barbigerum Bolton, 1980 (CASENT0901181). K. T. pogonion Bolton, 1980 (CASTYPE13390 – Antweb, photographer unknown). L. T. glabratum (SAM-HYM-C024395). M. T. rufescens (CASENT0250852). N–P. Waist segments in profile. N. T. duncani Mbanyana, Robertson & Hita Garcia sp. nov. (SAM-HYM-C027003). O. T. glabratum (SAM-HYM-C024395). P. T. rufescens (CASENT0250852).


return to couplet #4

  • The base of the first gastral tergite in profile forming a thick, laterally projecting downcurved flange, which obscures the tergosternal suture basally and base of the sternite; reddishbrown or red species (Fig. 3A) => Tetramorium setuliferum
  • The base of the first gasteral tergite in profile not projecting as above, the tergosternal suture and base of the sternite clearly visible; blackish brown to black species (Fig. 3B) => Tetramorium clunum
Tetramorium clunum casent0217964 p 1 high.jpg
Tetramorium clunum casent0217964 d 1 high.jpg


return to couplet #3

  • In dorsal view both waist segments much broader than long and transverse, especially postpetiole extremely broadened with very well developed alar extensions making it approximately as broad as pronotum (Fig. 3C) => Tetramorium grandinode
Tetramorium grandinode casent0280904 p 1 high.jpg
Tetramorium grandinode casent0280904 d 1 high.jpg
  • Waist segments, especially the postpetiole never shaped as above; if postpetiole with small alar extensions, then petiole not broadened (Fig. 3D–F) => 7


return to couplet #6

Tetramorium jordani casent0901180 p 1 high.jpg
Tetramorium jordani casent0901180 d 1 high.jpg
  • Propodeum armed with a pair of spines (Fig. 3H–I) => 8


return to couplet #7

  • Petiole node distinctly broader than long (DPeI 145–165) => 8a
  • Petiole node usually broader than long, but not distinctly so, sometimes slightly longer than broad (DPeI 90–135) => 9


return to couplet #8

  • Mesosoma and petiole dorsally finely reticulate, postpetiole dorsum smooth to finely reticulate, with scattered piligerous foveolae, postpetiole narrower (DPpI 162–179) => Tetramorium lerouxi
  • Mesosoma dorsum longitudinally costulate, petiole dorsum with roughly concentric to irregularly transverse costulae, postpetiole transversely costulate, postpetiole broader (DPpI 184–201) => Tetramorium nama


return to couplet #8

Tetramorium barbigerum castype13386 profile 1.jpg
Tetramorium barbigerum castype13386 dorsal 1.jpg
  • In full-face view head broader in front of eyes than behind the eyes, or same width (Fig. 3K–M) => 10


return to couplet #9

  • In profile posterodorsal corner of petiolar node sharply angled and slightly projecting posteriorly (Fig. 3N) => Tetramorium duncani
Tetramorium duncani 10c.JPG
Tetramorium duncani 10a-b.JPG
  • In profile posterodorsal corner of petiolar node rounded or rectangular but not sharply angled as above (Fig. 3O–P) => 11


return to couplet #10

Tetramorium pogonion castype13390 profile 1.jpg
Tetramorium pogonion castype13390 dorsal 1.jpg
  • Head same width in front of eyes as behind eyes (Fig. 3L–M) => 12


return to couplet #11

  • Dorsum of mesosoma completely longitudinally or irregularly rugulose/rugose (Fig. 4A) => Tetramorium signatum
Tetramorium signatum casent0904841 p 1 high.jpg
Tetramorium signatum casent0904841 d 1 high.jpg
  • Dorsum of mesosoma either predominantly shiny with only superficial punctate sculpture, or densely reticulate punctate, often with few faint longitudinal costulae, median area of mesosoma usually very weakly sculptured (Fig. 4B) => 13
Figure 4. A–B. Mesosoma in dorsal view. A. T. signatum Emery, 1895 (SAM-HYM-C020573). B. T. glabratum Stitz, 1923 (SAM-HYM-C024395). C–D. Antennal scape in frontal view. C. T. aisha Mbanyana, Robertson & Hita Garcia sp. nov. (CASENT0250969). D. T. peringueyi Arnold, 1926 (SAM-HYM-C026796). E–F. Mesosoma in dorsal view. E. T. peringueyi (CASENT0250873). F. T. margueriteae Mbanyana, Robertson & Hita Garcia sp. nov. (SAM-NC07-012). G–H. Body in profile. G. T. peringueyi (CASENT0250873). H. T. margueriteae sp. nov. (SAM-HYM-C019839). I–L. Mesosoma in profile. I. T. dichroum Santschi, 1932 (CASENT0746320). J. T. brigitteae Mbanyana, Robertson & Hita Garcia sp. nov. (SAM-HYM-C027040). K. T. solidum Emery, 1886 (CASENT0250960). L. T. aisha sp. nov. (CASENT0250969).


return to couplet #12

Mbanyana taxonomy 2013-37Fig21B.jpg
Mbanyana taxonomy 2013-37Fig21C.jpg
Tetramorium rufescens casent0217976 p 1 high.jpg
Tetramorium rufescens casent0217976 d 1 high.jpg


return to couplet #13

  • Abundant erect hairs on all dorsal surfaces of head and body (Fig. 2D–E) => 15
  • Only one to four pairs of hairs present on dorsum of mesosoma (Fig. 2L) => 18


return to couplet #14

  • Antennal scapes with erect hairs (Fig. 4C) => 16
  • Antennal scapes without erect hairs, only with flattened pubescence (Fig. 4D) => 17


return to couplet #15

  • Dorsal surface of mesosoma with strongly developed irregular reticulate sculpture; colour orange (Fig. 4E, G) => Tetramorium peringueyi
Tetramorium peringueyi casent0901179 p 1 high.jpg
Tetramorium peringueyi casent0901179 d 1 high.jpg
  • Dorsal surface of mesosoma with short longitudinal rugulae; ground sculpture mainly smooth and shiny with peripheral patches of fine, superficial reticulations; colour uniformly black (Fig. 4F, H) => Tetramorium margueriteae
Tetramorium margueriteae F16c.JPG
Tetramorium margueriteae F16a-b.JPG


return to couplet #16

  • Propodeum armed with acute spines (PSLI 10–16); colour light brown, with gaster a little bit darker compared to mesosoma (Fig. 4I) => Tetramorium dichroum
Tetramorium dichroum casent0280905 p 1 high.jpg
Tetramorium dichroum casent0280905 d 1 high.jpg
  • Propodeum with short propodeal teeth (PSLI 6); colour reddish brown, with gaster black (Fig. 4J) => Tetramorium brigitteae
Tetramorium brigitteae F7c.JPG
Tetramorium brigitteae F7a-b.JPG


return to couplet #14

Tetramorium solidum casent0217978 p 1 high.jpg
Tetramorium solidum casent0217978 d 1 high.jpg
Tetramorium aisha F5c.JPG
Tetramorium aisha F5a-b.JPG


  1. *Mbanyana N., Hita Garcia F., Robertson H.G. & Le Roux J.J. 2018. A taxonomic revision of seed harvester ants of the Tetramorium solidum group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in southern Africa. European Journal of Taxonomy 454: 1–59.
  2. Hawkes PG (2020) A new species in the Tetramorium solidum-group (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) from the Richtersveld National Park, South Africa, with an assessment of threats and conservation status. ZooKeys 965: 55–71.