Temnothorax semiruber

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Temnothorax semiruber
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Temnothorax
Species group: rottenbergii
Species: T. semiruber
Binomial name
Temnothorax semiruber
(André, 1881)

Temnothorax semiruber casent0281557 p 1 high.jpg

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Specimen Labels


This is an uncommon species in Greece although it has been recorded from all Greek provinces except Ionian Islands. It prefers open rocky habitats, especially in mountains, it was noted also on rocks inside luminous forests and bushes. Workers were collected on stones and rocks, especially limestone rocks, and nests were found in cracked stones and rocks (Borowiec & Salata, 2021). On Crete this is an alpine species. Nests occur in rock crevices, under rocky vegetation and in rock dirt, always in sunlit positions. Workers forage within a maximum of 50cm from the nest (Salata, Borowiec & Trichas, 2018).

Photo Gallery

  • Foraging Temnothorax rottenbergii jesus worker, lower Galilee, Israel, 7 May 2016. Photo by Eran Schnecke.


Prebus (2017) - A member of the rottenbergi clade.

Salata et al. (2018) - Temnothorax semiruber is the only species known from Crete characterized by the following features: sparse and thick body sculpture, a long petiole peduncle and propodeal spines, a low and rounded petiole node, and a shiny body surface. It is the largest and the most strongly sculptured Cretan Temnothorax species.

Keys including this Species


Tjis is an uncommon species although recorded from all Greek provinces except the Ionian Islands (Borowiec et al., 2022).

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 42.596228° to 35.06667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Bulgaria, Greece, Israel (type locality), North Macedonia, Türkiye.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.


This species is a host for the ant Temnothorax muellerianus (a slave maker) in Crete (Salata, Borowiec & Trichas, 2018).




Temnothorax semiruber F70.jpgTemnothorax semiruber F71.jpgTemnothorax semiruber F68-69.jpgTemnothorax semiruber F74.jpgTemnothorax semiruber casent0906160 h 1 high.jpgTemnothorax semiruber casent0906160 p 1 high.jpgTemnothorax semiruber casent0906160 d 1 high.jpgTemnothorax semiruber casent0906160 l 1 high.jpg


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

  • semiruber. Leptothorax rottenbergi var. semiruber André, 1881b: 72 (w.) ISRAEL. Combination in Temnothorax: Bolton, 2003: 271. Subspecies of rottenbergi: Santschi, 1909b: 475; Santschi, 1921a: 111. Raised to species and senior synonym of balcanica: Agosti & Collingwood, 1987a: 56. See also: Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 141.
  • balcanica. Leptothorax rottenbergi var. balcanica Santschi, 1909b: 474, fig. 7 (w.) BULGARIA. Junior synonym of semiruber: Agosti & Collingwood, 1987a: 56.
  • jesus. Leptothorax rottenbergi var. jesus Forel, 1913d: 432 (w.) ISRAEL.
    • Subspecies of rottenbergi: Emery, 1924d: 252; Menozzi, 1933b: 68 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 240; Vonshak, et al. 2009: 44; Kiran & Karaman, 2012: 26.
    • Status as species: Kugler, J. 1988: 257; Tohmé, G. & Tohmé, 2014: 136.
    • Junior synonym of semiruber: Salata, Borowiec & Trichas, 2018: 796.

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



Salata et al. (2018) - (based on Cretan specimens). Workers (n=4): HL: 0.802 ± 0.03 (0.771-0.832); HW: 0.632 ± 0.02 (0.609-0.654); SL: 0.585 ± 0.01 (0.57- 0.603); EL: 0.171 ± 0.005 (0.168-0.179); EW: 0.137 ± 0.008 (0.131-0.151); ML: 0.969 ± 0.04 (0.921-1.011); PSL: 0.291 ± 0.02 (0.268-0.313); SDL: 0.152 ± 0.01 (0.134-0.162); PL: 0.42 ± 0.02 (0.408-0.447); PPL: 0.249 ± 0.01 (0.24-0.263); PH: 0.268 ± 0.0 (0.268-0.268); PPH: 0.294± 0.008 (0.282-0.302); HTL: 0.543 ± 0.015 (0.531- 0.57); PNW: 0.494 ± 0.015 (0.474-0.514); PW: 0.252 ± 0.007 (0.246-0.263); PPW: 0.294 ± 0.006(0.285-0.302); HI: 78.8 ± 0.4 (78.3-79.4); SI1: 73.0 ± 0.8 (71.9-73.9); SI2: 92.6 ± 1.4 (90.6-94.2); MI: 56.1 ± 1.4 (53.9-57.7); EI1: 80.0 ± 2.6 (78.0-84.4); EI2: 17.1 ± 0.8 (16.1-18.1); TI: 116.4 ± 2.6 (114.7-120.9); PI: 156.8 ± 5.8 (152.2- 166.8); PPI: 84.4 ± 1.8 (82.5-87.1).

Head and gaster reddish brown to black. Legs reddish brown to black with anterior and posterior edges from dark brown to brick-red. Scape black with dark brown to brick-red apex, funiculus black with few first segments from dark brown to brick-red. Mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole from reddish brown to brickred, only dorsal surface of postpetiole with black spot. Some specimens with uniform colouration on the whole body, from dark brown to almost completely black.

Head rectangular, 1.2 times as long as wide, lateral surfaces below eyes straight, above eyes gently convex, posterior edges convex, occipital margin of head straight or slightly convex. Anterior margin of the clypeus slightly convex, without medial notch. Eyes small, oval, 1.4 times as long as wide. Antennal scape short, in lateral view slightly curved, 0.75 times as long as length of the head, in apex gradually widened, its base with small, triangular tooth, funiculus long, club 3 segmented. Surface of scape with fine microreticulation, shiny, covered with thin, dense, adjusted to subdecumbent setae. Mandibles rounded with thick sparse, longitudinal striae, shiny. Clypeus shiny with thick, longitudinal striae, area between striae smooth. Frontal carinae short, not extending beyond frontal lobes. Antennal fossa deep, with sparse, thick reticulation, area between striae smooth and shiny. Frontal lobes narrow, smooth with thick, reticulation. Head on the whole surface covered by thick, irregular reticulation, sometimes, on frons, reticulation longitudinal, area between reticulation with slight microreticulation. Entire head bearing from suberect to erect, pale, long and thick setae.

Mesosoma elongate, 2.0 times as long as wide, slightly arched in profile. Pronotum convex on sides. Propodeal spines long, narrow, with wide base, angled, with acute tips. Mesosoma shiny, its whole surface covered by thick, irregular reticulation, area between reticulation with microsculpture. Entire mesosoma bearing suberect to erect, pale, short and thick setae.

Petiole, in lateral view, with long peduncle, node low, arched. Postpetiole, in lateral view, regularly convex, apical half with gently convex sides. Peduncle and petiolar node and postpetiole dorsum shiny, with thick, dense reticulation, area between reticulation with microsculpture. Petiole and postpetiole on dorsal surfaces bearing sparse, short, semierect to erect setae.

Gaster smooth and shiny, bearing erect, thin, pale setae and a layer of short adpressed microsetae. Legs short, shiny, with fine microreticulation. Tibiae 0.7 times as long as head length, bearing adpressed setae on the whole surface. Inner margins of tibia and femora without erect setae.

Type Material

Salata et al. (2018) - Lectotype (w.) (CAS ENT0915396): Lectotypus, Leptothorax rettenbergii


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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