Temnothorax parvulus

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Temnothorax parvulus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Temnothorax
Species group: nylanderi
Species complex: parvulus
Species: T. parvulus
Binomial name
Temnothorax parvulus
(Schenck, 1852)

Temnothorax parvulus casent0173197 profile 1.jpg

Temnothorax parvulus casent0173197 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Photo Gallery

  • Worker and larvae. Photo by Michal Kukla.


Csösz et al. (2015) - A member of the parvulus species-complex. Temnothorax parvulus can be separated easily from members of other species-complexes by its homogenously areolate microsculpture on the head dorsum. The head sculpture of other species complexes may vary from smooth to coarsely rugulo-reticulate but is never homogenously areolate. In exceptional cases, long-spined species of the Temnothorax lichtensteini complex might exhibit a homogenous areolate sculpture on an extended area of the head dorsum, but T. parvulus is distinguished from T. lichtensteini and Temnothorax laconicus by its more erect propodeal spines (38–42° vs. ca. 20–25°). Temnothorax parvulus can also be safely separated from weakly sculptured, lightly colored Temnothorax tergestinus samples using slightly overlapping NOH/CS, SPTI/CS and SPWI/CS ratios (see S4 Table).

Temnothorax parvulus shares most its surface sculpture characters with other species belonging to this complex, Temnothorax ariadnae and Temnothorax helenae. Spine length ratio (SPST/CL) helps distinguish Temnothorax parvulus from T. ariadnae and T. helenae.

Non-overlapping values of SPST/CL for nest sample means of T. parvulus (mean: 0.282 [min: 0.259, max: 0.303]); and T. ariadnae (mean: 0.216 [min: 0199, max: 0.227]) provide a prefect means of separation. As 5% of nest samples of T. parvulus and T. helenae (mean: 0.234 [min: 0.189, max: 0.274] overlap in this ratio, the safest determination is provided by a discriminant (D5 = 0.0393_CL -0.0616_SPST +0.0892_PEW -0.0580_PPW -0.0338_SPWI -8.7356) formula, which separates 97.1% of single individuals and all nest samples of T. parvulus and T. helenae.

Keys including this Species


Western Europe to the Black see coast and Turkey and from Italy and the Balkans to Central Europe.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany (type locality), Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Iran, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Turkmenistan.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Life History Traits

  • Queen number: monogynous (Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)



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

  • parvulus. Myrmica parvula Schenck, 1852: 103 (w.) GERMANY.
    • [Also described as new by Schenck, 1853: 187.]
    • Mayr, 1855: 448 (q.); Novák, in Kratochvíl, Novák & Šnoflák, 1944: 116 (m.).
    • Combination in Leptothorax: Mayr, 1855: 448.
    • Combination in Temnothorax: Bolton, 2003: 271.
    • Junior synonym of cingulata: Nylander, 1856b: 93.
    • Junior synonym of nylanderi: Smith, F. 1858b: 8; Roger, 1863b: 26.
    • Subspecies of tuberum: André, 1883a: 300.
    • Subspecies of nylanderi: Forel, 1874: 86; Dalla Torre, 1893: 126; Ruzsky, 1902d: 23; Stitz, 1914: 64; Forel, 1915d: 22 (in key); Emery, 1916b: 175; Menozzi, 1918: 85; Bondroit, 1918: 123; Menozzi, 1918: 85; Müller, 1923b: 95; Emery, 1924d: 255; Novák & Sadil, 1941: 91 (in key).
    • Status as species: Mayr, 1855: 448; Bernard, 1956a: 161; Bernard, 1959: 349; Bernard, 1967: 203 (redescription); Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 119; van Boven, 1977: 105; Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 541 (in key); Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 274 (in key); Dlussky, Soyunov & Zabelin, 1990: 191; Casevitz-Weulersse, 1990c: 418 (in key); Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 140; Arakelian, 1994: 56; Radchenko, 1994d: 153 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 242; Radchenko, 1995d: 4; Czechowski, et al. 2002: 52; Seifert, 2007: 241; Boer, 2010: 52; Czechowski, et al. 2012: 150; Csösz, Heinze & Mikó, 2015: 47 (redescription).

Type Material

Csösz et al. (2015) - Lectotype: “L. parvulus # Sch” and “Lectotype Leptothorax parvulus Schenck, 1852 det. A. Schulz &M. Verhaagh 1999” (1# / SMF), [GER:parvulus-TYPE]. Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Csösz et al. (2015) - Body color: brown; yellow. Body color pattern: mesosoma, antenna and legs, waist and anterior region of 1st gastral tergite lighter than head dorsum and posterior region of gaster. Antenna color pattern: clava concolorous funicle. Absolute cephalic size: 488–586 μm (mean = 550, n = 29). Cephalic length vs. Maximum width of head capsule (CL/CWb): 1.147–1.214 (mean = 1.184). Postocular distance vs. cephalic length (PoOc/CL): 0.392–0.413 (mean = 0.405). Postocular sides of cranium contour frontal view orientation: converging posteriorly. Postocular sides of cranium contour frontal view shape: strongly convex. Vertex contour line in frontal view shape: straight. Vertex sculpture: main sculpture absent, ground sculpture areolate; main sculpture dispersed forked costate sculpture, ground sculpture areolate. Genae contour from anterior view orientation: converging. Gena contour line in frontal view shape: convex. Gena sculpture: rugoso-reticulate with areolate ground sculpture. Median region of antennal rim vs. frontal carina in frontal view structure: not fully overlapped by frontal carina. Concentric carinae laterally surrounding antennal foramen count: present. Eye length vs. absolute cephalic size (EL/CS): 0.237–0.262 (mean = 0.250). Frontal carina distance vs. absolute cephalic size (FRS/CS): 0.353–0.376 (mean = 0.361). Longitudinal carinae on median region of frons count: absent. Smooth median region on frons count: present. Antennomere count: 12. Scape length vs. absolute cephalic size (SL/CS): 0.763–0.796 (mean = 0.778). Facial area of the scape absolute setal angle: 0–15°. External area of the scape absolute setal angle: 30°. Ground sculpture of submedian area of clypeus: smooth. Median carina of clypeus count: present. Lateral carinae of clypeus count: present. Median anatomical line of propodeal spine angle value to Weber length in lateral view: 38–42°. Spine length vs. absolute cephalic size (SPST/CS): 0.278–0.331 (mean = 0.306). Minimum spine distance vs. absolute cephalic size (SPBA/CS): 0.273–0.312 (mean = 0.292). Maximum spine distance vs. absolute cephalic size (SPWI/CS): 0.353–0.415 (mean = 0.384). Apical spine distance vs. absolute cephalic size (SPTI/CS): 0.332–0.395 (mean = 0.364). Maximum mesosoma width vs. absolute cephalic size (MW/CS): 0.599–0.636 (mean = 0.618). Metanotal depression count: present. Metanotal depression shape: shallow. Dorsal region of mesosoma sculpture: rugulose with areolate ground sculpture. Lateral region of pronotum sculpture: areolate ground sculpture, main sculpture forked costate. Mesopleuron sculpture: areolate ground sculpture superimposed by dispersed rugulae. Metapleuron sculpture: areolate ground sculpture superimposed by dispersed rugulae. Frontal profile of petiolar node contour line in lateral view shape: concave. Dorsal profile of petiolar node contour line angle value to frontal profile of petiole contour line in lateral view: 105–110°. Anterodorsal rim of petiole count: absent medially.

Dorsal profile of petiolar node contour line in lateral view shape: slightly convex. Dorsal region of petiole sculpture: ground sculpture areolate, main sculpture dispersed rugose; ground sculpture areolate, main sculpture absent. Dorso-caudal petiolar profile contour line in lateral view shape: straight; concave. Dorsal region of postpetiole sculpture: ground sculpture areolate, main sculpture dispersed rugose; ground sculpture areolate, main sculpture absent.


  • n = 14 (France, Italy, Switzerland) (Fischer, 1987) (as Leptothorax parvulus).


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  • Bernard, F. 1967a [1968]. Faune de l'Europe et du Bassin Méditerranéen. 3. Les fourmis (Hymenoptera Formicidae) d'Europe occidentale et septentrionale. Paris: Masson, 411 pp. (page 203, Revived status as species)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 271, Combination in Temnothorax)
  • Boven, J. K. A. van. 1977. De mierenfauna van België (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Acta Zool. Pathol. Antverp. 67: 1-191 (page 105, Revived status as species)
  • Csösz, S., Heinze, J. and Mikó, I. 2015. Taxonomic synopsis of the Ponto-Mediterranean ants of Temnothorax nylanderi species-group. PLoS ONE. 10(11):62pp. e0140000 (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0140000).
  • Emery, C. 1924f [1922]. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [concl.]. Genera Insectorum 174C: 207-397 (page 255, Variety/subspecies of mylanderi)
  • Forel, A. 1874. Les fourmis de la Suisse. Systématique, notices anatomiques et physiologiques, architecture, distribution géographique, nouvelles expériences et observations de moeurs. Neue Denkschr. Allg. Schweiz. Ges. Gesammten Naturwiss. 26: 1-452 (page 86, Revived from synonymy as variety of nylanderi)
  • Forel, A. 1915d. Fauna insectorum helvetiae. Hymenoptera. Formicidae. Die Ameisen der Schweiz. Mitt. Schweiz. Entomol. Ges. 12(B Beilage: 1-77 (page 22, Variety/subspecies of mylanderi)
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  • Menozzi, C. 1918. Primo contributo alla conoscenza della fauna mirmecologica del Modenese. Atti Soc. Nat. Mat. Modena (5) 4: 81-88 (page 85, Variety/subspecies of mylanderi)
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  • Nylander, W. 1856b. Synopsis des Formicides de France et d'Algérie. Ann. Sci. Nat. Zool. (4) 5: 51-109 (page 93, Junior synonym of cingulata)
  • Ruzsky, M. 1902d. Material on the ant fauna of the Caucasus and the Crimea. Protok. Obshch. Estestvoispyt. Imp. Kazan. Univ. 206(su suppl: 1-33 (page 23, Variety/subspecies of mylanderi)
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  • Smith, F. 1858a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp. (page 8, Junior synonym of nylanderi)

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