Tanipone subpilosa

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Tanipone subpilosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Tanipone
Species: V. subpilosa
Binomial name
Tanipone subpilosa
Bolton & Fisher, 2012

Tanipone subpilosa casent0110527 p 1 high.jpg

Tanipone subpilosa casent0110527 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Known from tropical dry forest where it has been found on low vegetation and as ground foragers.


The smallest, most diffusely sculptured, and least densely setose member of the hirsuta species group.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Little is known about the biology of Tanipone. They are predominantly terrestrial to subarboreal, being found as ground foragers in leaf litter, under stones, in rotten stumps and in rotten logs. Just as commonly workers have been captured on low vegetation, in living and dead stems above the ground and in rot pockets in tree trunks. No prey records exist for Tanipone. (Bolton and Fisher 2012)



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • subpilosa. Tanipone subpilosa Bolton & Fisher, 2012: 95, figs. 107-109 (w.) MADAGASCAR.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 1 paratype worker.
    • Type-locality: holotype Madagascar: Prov. Antsiranana, Montagne Françai, 7.2 km. 142° SE Diego Suarez, 12°19’S, 49°20’E, 180 m., 22-28.ii.2001, BLF3132, CASENT0410477, beating low vegetation, tropical dry forest (B.L. Fisher); paratype: Prov. Antsiranana, Rés. Analamerana,28.4 km. 99° Anivorano Nord, 12°44.80’S, 49°29.69’E, 60 m., 5-7.xii.2004, BLF11443, CASENT0110426, tropical dry forest (B.L. Fisher).
    • Type-depository: CASC.
    • Distribution: Madagascar.

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Type Material

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



(holotype in parentheses). HL 0.65–0.79 (0.69), HW 0.49–0.61 (0.54), SL 0.30–0.38 (0.30), EL 0.23–0.27 (0.23), PW 0.38–0.48 (0.41), AIIW 0.32–0.42 (0.34), AIIL 0.27–0.34 (0.29), AIIIW 0.46–0.61 (0.50), AIIIL 0.36–0.50 (0.39), WL 0.80–1.00 (0.86), MFL 0.44–0.58 (0.49), CI 75–80 (78), SI 56–64 (56), EL/HW 0.43–0.48 (0.43), AIIW/AIIL 1.06–1.26 (1.17), AIIIW/AIIIL 1.20–1.32 (1.28) (20 measured).

Cephalic pilosity and structure of AIII glandular patches as described in definition of maculata group, above. With head in full-face view the side in front of the eye with a single laterally projecting seta present, behind the level of the posterior clypeal margin. Posterior margin of head with 4 setae. Dorsum of pronotum, mesonotum and propodeum each usually with 2 pairs of setae; less commonly the mesonotum, propodeum, or both, with 3 pairs. Mesofemur in dorsal view with a single, curved seta present on the anterior surface, close to the apex; ventral surface with a single projecting seta, just distal of the trochanter. Metafemur usually without a preapical seta on its anterior surface but sometimes one present; ventral surface with a single projecting seta, just distal of the trochanter. Dorsal surfaces of AII, AIII and AIV each with a sparse transverse row of setae anteriorly, and a second sparse transverse row posteriorly; occasionally extra setae occur on the dorsum of one or more of these segments between the anterior and posterior rows. Sternites of AIII and AIV with several setae present. Cephalic dorsum with scattered punctures, the spaces between them smooth or with fine, weak ground sculpture that is variable in density; when present, ground sculpture usually fades out posteriorly. Katepisternum with very fine, dense longitudinal striolae, at least on its upper half. Dorsum of mesosoma with scattered punctures that are about as dense as on the head, or slightly less. AII (petiole) in dorsal view appears broader than long; in profile its tergite appears at least as high as long. Tergite of AIII, between the glandular patches, variably sculptured. At minimum this area has scattered, shallow but relatively large punctures. The cuticle between punctures may be more or less smooth, but most often some weak, superficial microsculpture is present. However, in most specimens there is distinct sculpture of very fine, dense, longitudinal striolae and minute punctulae that encroaches on the larger punctures; in many specimens this sculpture is very dense and extensive, almost obliterating the punctate component and extending from the posterior margin almost to the anterior margin of the tergite. The pale band at the apex of AIII tergite is usually distinct, but in relatively few specimens (10 out of 108) the band is very faint or even absent so that the tergite is more or less uniformly coloured throughout. Tergite of AIV is predominantly punctate, sometimes with spaces between punctures smooth, but commonly with fine ground sculpture between them. On occasion there may be weak superficial sculpture within the punctures themselves. Full adult colour uniform brown to blackish brown, except for pale band on AIII; AIV to apex often black; appendages usually somewhat lighter than mesosoma.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Madagascar: Prov. Antsiranana, Montagne Français, 7.2 km 142° SE Diego Suarez, 180 m, 12°19’S, 49°20’E, 22-28.ii.2001, beating low vegetation, tropical dry forest, BLF3132, CASENT0410477 (B.L. Fisher) (California Academy of Sciences). Paratype. 1 worker, Madagascar, Prov. Antsiranana, Rés. Analamerana, 28.4 km 99° Anivorano Nord, 12°44.80’S, 49°29.69’E, 60 m, 5-7.xii.2004, tropical dry forest, BLF11443, CASENT0110426 (B.L. Fisher) (CASC).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bolton B., and B. L. Fisher. 2012. Taxonomy of the cerapachyine ant genera Simopone Forel, Vicinopone gen. n. and Tanipone gen. n. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 3283: 1-101.
  • Goodman S., Y. Anbdou, Y. Andriamiarantsoa, B. L. Fisher, O. Griffiths, B. Keitt, J. J. Rafanomezantsoa, E. Rajoelison, J. C. Rakotonirina, L. Ranaivoarisoa et al. 2017. Results of a biological inventory of the Nosy Ankao island group, Parc National de Loky-Manambato, northeastern Madagascar. Malagasy Nature, Association Vahatra, 2017, 11, <http://www.vahatra.mg/volume11fr.html>