Temnothorax andrei

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Temnothorax andrei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Temnothorax
Species: T. andrei
Binomial name
Temnothorax andrei
(Emery, 1895)

Temnothorax andrei casent0005683 profile 1.jpg

Temnothorax andrei casent0005683 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Temnothorax andrei occurs in relatively dry coniferous forests, oak woodland, laurel forest, pinyon-juniper and cool deserts. Nests are small, usually less than 100 workers, and found under stones or in loose layers of large stones. Colonies have also been found living within Camponotus and Formica nests.


Mackay (2000) - A member of the Temnothorax andrei species complex. This is a small, light yellow or brown species with a 12 segmented antenna; striae are on head, except for a narrow central strip which is smooth and shining, entire mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole are punctate. The clypeus has a number of poorly defined carinae, the medial carina is poorly developed. The subpeduncular tooth is well developed, the petiolar node is blunt and rounded in profile, gaster entirely smooth and shining. The propodeal spines consist of small angles. The postpetiole is not broadened. The hairs on the petiole and postpetiole are somewhat clavate.

It could be confused with members of the andersoni species complex, but differs in that the node of the petiole is not broadly rounded. It would be easily separated from Temnothorax bestelmeyeri by the smaller eyes, from Temnothorax terrigena in that the head has striae (not punctate) and from Temnothorax furunculus by the very different sculpture of the clypeus (numerous, poorly developed carinae instead of a single medial carina and 2 prominent lateral carinae). Specimens from Arizona (Cochise Co.) are roughly sculptured, having poorly defined rugae on head, mesosoma and top of petiole and may represent an undescribed species.

Ward (2005): In coastal regions of central and northern California populations of T. andrei tend to produce workers that are darker in color, with a shinier head and better developed propodeal spines.

Keys including this Species


USA, MEXICO: US - Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico; Mexico - Baja California Norte

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Dryer habitats including oak woodland, dry coniferous forest, laurel forest, pinyon-juniper, and cool desert (summarized by Mackay 2000).




Colony Attributes

Cole (1958) found colonies contained from 32 to 109 workers but, based on the collection information included in his account of Temnothorax andrei, this is based on a small number of samples.

Nesting Biology

Nests are found under stones or in interstitial spaces between rocks (Wheeler and Wheeler, 1973, 1986; Cole 1958, Mackay. pers. obs.).

Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Sexuals have been found in nests June and July (Cole, 1958).

Associations with other Organisms

Other Ants

This species occasionally lives in nests of Camponotus yogi as well as with other Camponotus and Formica (Creighton and Snelling, 1966), including Formica moki (Mann, 1911) and the thatched nests of Formica ravida (Mackay & Mackay, 1984).




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

  • andrei. Leptothorax (Leptothorax) andrei Emery, 1895c: 322, pl. 8, fig. 15 (w.) U.S.A. Cole, 1958c: 537 (q.m.). Combination in L. (Myrafant): Smith, D.R. 1979: 1392; in Temnothorax: Bolton, 2003: 271. Senior synonym of heathii, occidentalis, ocellatus: Ward, 2005: 15. See also: Wheeler, W.M. 1903c: 256; Mackay, 2000: 316.
  • heathii. Leptothorax nitens var. heathii Wheeler, W.M. 1903c: 245 (w.) U.S.A. Subspecies of nitens: Creighton, 1950a: 265. Junior synonym of nitens: Cole, 1958c: 536; of andrei: Ward, 2005: 15.
  • occidentalis. Leptothorax nitens subsp. occidentalis Wheeler, W.M. 1903c: 245 (w.) U.S.A. Junior synonym of nitens: Creighton, 1950a: 265; of andrei: Ward, 2005: 15.
  • ocellatus. Leptothorax (Myrafant) ocellatus Mackay, 2000: 383, figs. 19, 143-145 (w.) U.S.A. Combination in Temnothorax: Bolton, 2003: 272. Junior synonym of andrei: Ward, 2005: 15.

Type Material

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



Testacea, abdomine postice obscuriore, pedibus pallidis, capite, thorace pedunculoque opacis, abdomine reliquo nitido; capite longitrorsum punctat-ruguloso, genis clypeoque striatis, hoc et linea media frontis et verticis nitidulis, clypeo ipso medio debiliter carinato, antice subsinuato, mandibulis striatis; antennis 12 articulatis, articulo funiculi primo sequentibus 3 una paulo breviore, clavae articulo 2. praecedente paulo majore; thorace confertim punctato, dorso haud impresso, dentibus metanoti crassis, pedunculi subtilius punctati segrnento 1. antice longius petiolato, superne nodo subrotundato, 2. praecedente tertia parte circiter latiore, parum latiore quam longiore; pilis corporis parcis, brevibus, clavatis. Long. 2 1/4 mm.


(Cole 1958) Head moderately shining, longitudinally punctato-rugulose; dorsum with rather coarse and numerous, scattered, widely-spaced, short, blunt, yellow, fully erect hairs which are subequal in length; gular region with several slender, moderately long, pointed hairs. Thorax with dorsum very smooth, nearly free of any sculpture, highly shining; lateral surfaces shining, very faint longtidinally striolate except for those of epinotum which are rather strongly longitudinally punctato-rugulose and dull; epinotal spines prominent, rather long, very broad at base, dully pointed at apex, directed posteriorly; infraspinal facet shining, faintly punctate; hairs virtually limited to dorsum and similar to those of cephalic dorsum but more sparse. Petiolar and postpetiolar nodes like those of worker; hairs limited to nodes, somewhat longer than those on head and thorax.


(Cole 1958) Head finely and sparsely punctate, shining; vertex with a few widely-spaced, fine, blunt, erect, golden hairs. Thorax faintly shagreened, strongly shining; dorsum (except epinotum) and petiolar and postpetiolar nodes smooth, strongly shining. Gaster with sparse, slender, pointed, erect and suberect hairs.


  • n = 10 (USA) (Fischer, 1987) (as Leptothorax andrei).


Patronym. Named after the collector (André) that supplied Emery with a worker.


  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 271, Combination in Temnothorax)
  • Cole, A. C., Jr. 1958c. North American Leptothorax of the nitens-carinatus complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 51:535-538. (page 537, queen, male described)
  • Creighton, W. S. and R. R. Snelling. 1967 (1966). The rediscovery of Camponotus (Myrmaphaenus) yogi Wheeler (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche (Cambridge). 73:187-195.
  • Emery, C. 1895. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der nordamerikanischen Ameisenfauna. (Schluss). Zoologische Jahrbücher, Abteilung für Systematik, Geographie und Biologie der Tiere. 8:257-360, Tav. 258. (page 322, pl. 8, fig. 15 worker described)
  • Mackay, E. E. and W. P. MacKay. 1984. Biology of the thatching ant Formica haemorrhoidalis Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist. 60:79-87.
  • Mackay, W. P. and E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY.
  • MacKay, W. P. 2000. A review of the New World ants of the subgenus Myrafant, (Genus Leptothorax) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology. 36:265-444.
  • Mann, W. M. 1911a. Notes on the guests of some Californian ants. Psyche (Cambridge) 18:27-31. [1911-02] PDF
  • Smith, D. R. 1979. Superfamily Formicoidea. Pp. 1323-1467 in: Krombein, K. V., Hurd, P. D., Smith, D. R., Burks, B. D. (eds.) Catalog of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico. Volume 2. Apocrita (Aculeata). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Pr (page 1392, Combination in L. (Myrafant))
  • Snelling, R.R., Borowiec, M.L. & Prebus, M.M. 2014. Studies on California ants: a review of the genus Temnothorax (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). ZooKeys 372, 27–89 (doi: 10.3897/zookeys.372.6039)
  • Ward, P.S. 2005. A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 936: 1-68 (page 15, Senior synonym of nitens var. heathii)
  • Wheeler, G. C. and J. Wheeler. 1973. Ants of Deep Canyon. University of California, Riverside, Calif.
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1903d. A revision of the North American ants of the genus Leptothorax Mayr. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila. 55: 215-260 (page 256, see also)