Temnothorax stenotyle

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Temnothorax stenotyle
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Temnothorax
Species group: sallei
Species: T. stenotyle
Binomial name
Temnothorax stenotyle
(Cole, 1956)

Temnothorax stenotyle casent0102844 profile 1.jpg

Temnothorax stenotyle casent0102844 dorsal 1.jpg


The nest of the type colony was found under a stone on a moist slope covered with pine and spruce. A second nest was also under a stone. The populations range from 53-55 workers. Alate females were found in a nest in August. Modified from Mackay (2000) and Cole (1956).


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

Mackay (2000) - This is a roughly sculptured, relatively large, dark brown ant, with a 12 segmented antenna. The head, mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole are covered with coarse rugae, the intrarugal spaces are shining. There may be a central area at the vertex without sculpture. The propodeal spines are poorly developed and are essentially elongate angles (approximately 0.05mm in length). The petiole is thick in profile with a blunt apex.

This species can be distinguished from Temnothorax tricarinatus as it has a more slender mesosoma and a narrower post-petiolar node. It differs from Temnothorax neomexicanus in that it is longer, more rugose and has an opaque head, which lacks distinct punctures and smaller postpetiole. It differs from Temnothorax obliquicanthus as the eye is of normal size and shape for the genus. It can be separated from the smaller Temnothorax rugithorax as the head is covered with coarse sculpture; the head of Temnothorax rugithorax has fine rugulae.

Keys including this Species


United States: Southeastern Arizona, Cochise Co., Chiricahua Mountains.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 34.156971° to 31.73333333°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).

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.



Type specimens collected from "a stone on a moist slope covered with pine and spruce."


Rarely collected.


Explore-icon.png Explore Overview of biology 
Not much is known about the the biology of this taxon. We can speculate that its biology is likely to be similar to other North American species of this genus.

Temnothorax is a diverse genus but most species do show a remarkable consistency in some important aspects of their biology. Workers and colonies are small. As a group they nest in many places: small cavities in the soil, under or among stones or in small cavities in living or dead vegetation. Individually, most species have a strong preference for how and where they nest, e.g., there are gall nesting species, soil nesters, arboreal species, those that nest in small downed twigs, etc. Their nest entrances are often a cryptic, tiny hole that is only found by observing a worker exiting or entering the nest. A few common and abundant species are relatively well studied but the majority are rare or are rarely collected. For all but the most common and abundant species finding a nest is difficult because of the combination of their small colony size, small workers, unaggressive behavior, and diminutive, inconspicuous nests. In a few cases where we do know the diet of a species, it consists of sweet exudates and general scavenging of insect pieces and other items. It is presumed most of the unstudied Temnothorax have a similar diet. Aphid tending and hunting small soil arthropods may also be a part of their foraging repertoire. For all the consistency in these characters, individual species exhibit wide variation in others. Habitat affinities are often restrictive at the species level (but overall Temnothorax can be found in places that range from high elevation, high latitude, forests to hot, dry desert regions). Queen number is difficult to predict; there are species that are polygnous, monogynous, and even some species with seasonal polydomy that vary in nesting site queen number over the course of the year. There is also little consistency in color from species to species. ‎



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

  • angustinodus. Leptothorax (Leptothorax) angustinodus Cole, 1956b: 28 (w.q.) U.S.A. [Junior primary homonym of angustinodis Stitz, above.] Replacement name: stenotyle Cole, 1956e: 214.
  • stenotyle. Leptothorax stenotyle Cole, 1956e: 214. Replacement name for angustinodus Cole, 1956b: 28. [Junior primary homonym of angustinode: Stitz, 1917: 336.] Combination in L. (Myrafant): Smith, D.R. 1979: 1395; in Temnothorax: Bolton, 2003: 272. See also: Mackay, 2000: 410.

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



Holotype, worker (Cole Coll., AR-201).

Head subrectangular, with subparallel sides, nearly straight occipital border, and rounded posterior corners. Antennae l2-segmented, the scapes exceeding the posterior corners of the head by a little less than their greatest distal width. Eyes oval, rather prominent, situated distinctly at more than their greatest diameter from the mandibular articulations. Frontal area rather distinct, smooth, shining. Clypeus with a prominent median carina and two lateral carinulae.

Thorax viewed from above slender, the pronotal humeri distinctly angulate, pronotum in lateral profile very broadly convex; mesonotum and epinotum in lateral profile nearly flat, with only a faint trace of a mesoepinotal impression. Epinotal spines short, subdentiform, not more than one-half as long as the distance between their bases, broad at the base, acute, rather sharp at the tips. Postpetiolar node viewed from above subquadrate, only slightly (less than 1 ½ times) broader than long, the anterior and posterior borders nearly straight, the sides subparallel, and the anterior corners rounded. Venter of petiolar peduncle with a prominent, ventrally directed tooth which is broad at the base and rather acute apically.

Head, thorax, petiole, and postpetiole subopaque. Clypeus, frontal area, and a narrow, median, longitudinal band extending from frontal area to occipital border somewhat shining. Gaster smooth and strongly shining. Mandibles finely, longitudinally striated, with scattered piligerous punctures. Head granulose and irregularly, longitudinally rugulose, the rugulae being most prominent on the genae, occipital lobes, and especially around the eyes, finer and less numerous mesally. There are some rather weak reticulations between the eyes and the occipital corners. Thorax reticulaterugose, more coarsely so laterally, less coarsely so on mesonotum than on pronotum and epinotum. Petiolar node coarsely reticulate-rugose; postpetiolar node coarsely and densely granulose and weakly and irregularly rugulose. Intraspinal space of epinotum transversely and rather coarsely striate, bordered in front by two lateral carinulae which originate at the base of the spines and converge anteriorly to form the apex of a triangle. Epinotal declivity transversely striate.

Body covered with numerous, scattered, coarse, blunt, silvery, erect and suberect, medium-long hairs. Hairs on cephalic dorsum perceptibly shorter than those elsewhere. Coxae, trochanters, and femora with scattered, slender, pointed, erect, suberect, and appressd hairs. Tibial hairs mostly appressed. Pubescence absent from gaster.

Body a rather uniform, deep brownish black; mandibles, funicular bases, and legs (especially the tarsi) lighter.

Length of head, 0.77 mm.; width of head, 0.63 mm.; length of thorax, 1.04 mm.; maximum width of pronotum, 0.49 mm.; minimum width of thorax, 0.35 mm.; width of petiolar node, 0.19 mm.; length of postpetiolar node, 0.19 mm.; width of postpetiolar node, 0.27 mm.; length of gaster, 1.18 mm.; total body length, 3.55 mm.


Paratype female (nest queen). (Cole Coll., AR-201).

Head, excluding mandibles, nearly as wide as long, subquadrate, subopaque, rather uniformly covered with irregular, longitudinal rugae, the interrugal spaces smooth and somewhat shining; reticulate-rugose between eyes and mandibular articulations, from the mandibular articulations the rugae sweep in an even curve around and in front of the eyes back to the occipital corners. Frontal area distinctly impressed, smooth, and shining. Mandibles striate and finely granulose. Scapes reaching posterior corners of head. Eyes large, placed at a distance from the mandibular articulations of about two-thirds of their greatest diameter.

Thorax, except for the shining scutellum, subopaque. Sides of thorax, except for meso thoracic epimera, episterna, sternites, and the. metathoracic epimera longitudinally rugose; mesothoracic epimera, episterna, and sternites, and the metathoracic epimera, faintly striolate; scutum and paraptera longitudinally rugulose; scutellum smooth and shining. All interrugal spaces smooth and somewhat shining. Epinotal spines short, no more than one•third as long as the space between their bases, stubby, broad at the base, flattened laterally, rather blunt at the apex. Intraspinal space and epinotal declivity transversely striate. Petiolar node in profile with the anterior declivity longer than the posterior one; the apex of the node sloping perceptibly posteriorly, the surface coarsely granulose and with two prominent, vertical rugulae. Viewed from above the anterior declivity of the petiolar node is finely and faintly vertically striate. Petiole, viewed from above, broadest across the region of the base of its node, the anterior portion being longer than the posterior portion; apex of the node irregularly, transversely rugulose, the posterior declivity finely granulose and rather smooth. Postpetiole in profile with steep, broadly convex, anterior declivity and a very short, abrupt, posterior declivity, the apex between being broadly convex. Viewed from above the postpetiole is about one and one-half times as broad as long, the anterior width greater than the posterior, the humeral angles convex and well developed, the overall shape being somewhat that of a truncated cone. Postpetiolar node transversely rugose, the remainder of the postpetiole granulose.

Gaster large, elliptical, smooth, strongly shining.

Body covered with scattered, coarse, blunt, erect and suberect, rather short, silvery hairs; shortest on scutum, longest on petiolar and postpetiolar nodes, absent from the basal and declivious surfaces of the epinotum. Hairs on legs similar to those on legs of holotype.

Body dark brown; mandibles, appendages, pronotal collar, petiole and postpetiole (except nodes) lighter.

Length of head, 0.89 mm.; width of head, 0.83 mm.; length of thorax, 1.64 mm.; length of petiolar node, 0.41 mm.; width of petiolar node, 0.31 mm.; length of postpetiolar node, 0.27 mm.; width of postpetiolar node, 0.43 mm.; length of gaster, l.71 mm.; total body length, 4.95 mm.

Type Material

The holotype worker, paratype queen, and a series of 55 para type workers were collected by the writer near Rustler's Park, Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona, on August 2, 1954. The nest (AR-201) was beneath a stone on a moist slope covered with pine and spruce. Another nest (AR-273) was under a nearby stone and from it were collected 53 workers and two alate females, all of which have been incorporated into the paratype series.

Mackay (2000) - Holotype worker and paratype female in Cole collection, paratype workers in USNM, MCZC, Cole collection, W. Creighton collection and R. Gregg collection [seen].


  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 272, Combination in Temnothorax)
  • Cole, A. C., Jr. 1956b. A new species of Leptothorax from Arizona (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Tenn. Acad. Sci. 31: 28-31 (page 28, Junior primary homonym of angustinode)
  • Cole, A. C., Jr. 1956e. Leptothorax stenotyle (n. nov.) for Leptothorax angustinodus Cole. J. Tenn. Acad. Sci. 31: 214. (page 214, replacement name for angustinodus)
  • MacKay, W. P. 2000. A review of the New World ants of the subgenus Myrafant, (genus Leptothorax) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 36: 265-444 (page 410, see also)
  • Mackay W. P. and Mackay, E. E. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 400 pp.
  • Prebus, M. 2017. Insights into the evolution, biogeography and natural history of the acorn ants, genus Temnothorax Mayr (hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bmc Evolutionary Biology. 17:250. doi:10.1186/s12862-017-1095-8 (The doi link to the publication's journal webpage provides access to the 24 files that accompany this article).
  • Prebus, M.M. 2021. Taxonomic revision of the Temnothorax salvini clade (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with a key to the clades of New World Temnothorax. PeerJ 9, e11514 (doi:10.7717/peerj.11514).
  • 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 1395, Combination in L. (Myrafant))
  • Stitz, H. 1917. Ameisen aus dem westlichen Mittelmeergebiet und von den Kanarischen Inseln. Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berl. 8: 333-353 (page 336, primary homonym)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Cover S. P., and R. A. Johnson. 20011. Checklist of Arizona Ants. Downloaded on January 7th at http://www.asu.edu/clas/sirgtools/AZants-2011%20updatev2.pdf
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at http://www.asu.edu/clas/sirgtools/resources.htm
  • Mackay W. P. 2000. A review of the New World ants of the subgenus Myrafant, (genus Leptothorax) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 36: 265-444.
  • Mackay W. P. and Mackay, E. E. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 400 pp.