Temnothorax unifasciatus

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Temnothorax unifasciatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Temnothorax
Species group: tuberum
Species: T. unifasciatus
Binomial name
Temnothorax unifasciatus
(Latreille, 1798)

Temnothorax unifasciatus casent0173188 profile 1.jpg

Temnothorax unifasciatus casent0173188 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

At a Glance • Tandem running  



Yellowish with the head often brown and the gaster characteristically having a dark band across the first gaster segment. The propodeal spines are short but strong and distinct. The outline of the alitrunk is more flattened than in L. interruptus and the petiole node in the worker has a distinct dorsal truncate area which meets the anterior face at a clearly defined angle. Length: 2.8-3.5 mm (Collingwood 1979).


An abundant species throughout Central and South Europe from Spain, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Switzerland to the Caucasus and from South Italy to North Germany and the Netherlands (Collingwood 1979).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Channel Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France (type locality), Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Israel, Italy, Jersey, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Collingwood (1979) - This widely distributed and common species is rather similar to Temnothorax tuberum but is slightly larger and in the female castes easily distinguished by the banded gaster. It nests among rocks and under stones but also frequently occurs under bark. Individual colonies are usually more populous than the other North European Temnothorax species with workers numbering 200 or more. Alatae are found in July and August.

This species is a host for the slave-making species Temnothorax gordiagini (Buschinger et al., 1984), Temnothorax kutteri (rare host) (Espadaler & Restrepo, 1983; Buschinger et al., 1988), Temnothorax muellerianus (a common host) (Buschinger et al., 1988), Temnothorax ravouxi (Czechowski & Czechowska, 2000) and Temnothorax tamarae (Gratiashvili et al., 2014, needs confirmation).


This species is a host for the fungus Myrmicinosporidium durum (a pathogen) (Espadaler & Santamaria, 2012).

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 325 (Lane, 1977; Beckers et al., 1989)
  • Foraging behaviour: tandem recruitment (Lane, 1977; Beckers et al., 1989)



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

  • unifasciatus. Formica unifasciata Latreille, 1798: 47 (w.q.m.) FRANCE. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1955b: 25 (l.). Combination in Manica: Jurine, 1807: 279; in Leptothorax: Mayr, 1855: 444; in Temnothorax: Bolton, 2003: 272. Subspecies of tuberum: Forel, 1874: 85; Emery & Forel, 1879: 459; André, 1883a: 299; Forel, 1890a: lxxv; Emery, 1891b: 5; Bondroit, 1910: 497; Emery, 1916b: 175; Finzi, 1924a: 13; Menozzi, 1925d: 28; Karavaiev, 1926c: 163. Status as species: Saunders, E. 1880: 220; Nasonov, 1889: 32; Dalla Torre, 1893: 129; Ruzsky, 1902d: 21; Bondroit, 1912: 351; Bondroit, 1918: 131; Müller, 1923: 91; Finzi, 1928b: 130; Finzi, 1930d: 314; Finzi, 1933: 164; Boven, 1947: 179; Bernard, 1967: 211; Kutter, 1977c: 134; Collingwood, 1979: 76; Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 144. Senior synonym of anoplogynus: Emery, 1916b: 175; of unifasciatointerruptus Kutter, 1977c: 14; of cordieri and material of the unavailable name paolii referred here: Casevitz-Weulersse, 1990b: 417; of brauneri Karavaiev, kirillovi, salina, ucrainicus: Radchenko, 1995c: 15; of volubilis: Cagniant & Espadaler, 1997: 274. Current subspecies: nominal plus obenbergeri, staegeri, unifasciatonigriceps.
  • anoplogynus. Leptothorax anoplogynus Emery, 1869b: 15 (w.q.) ITALY. Subspecies of tuberum: André, 1883a: 300; of unifasciatus: Ruzsky, 1902d: 22. Junior synonym of unifasciatus: Emery, 1916b: 175.
  • unifasciatointerruptus. Leptothorax tuberum var. unifasciatointerruptus Forel, 1874: 86 (m.) SWITZERLAND. Subspecies of unifasciatus: Bondroit, 1918: 131. Junior synonym of unifasciatus: Kutter, 1977c: 14.
  • kirillovi. Leptothorax tuberum subsp. kirillovi Ruzsky, 1905b: 591, fig. 140 (w.) KAZAKHSTAN. Junior synonym of unifasciatus: Radchenko, 1995c: 15.
  • volubilis. Leptothorax volubilis Santschi, 1929e: 155, fig. 5 (w.q.) MOROCCO. Junior synonym of unifasciatus: Cagniant & Espadaler, 1997: 274.
  • brauneri. Leptothorax (Leptothorax) tuberum var. brauneri Karavaiev, 1937: 172, fig. 2 (w.) RUSSIA. [Junior primary homonym of brauneri Ruzsky, above.] Replacement name: brauniella Radchenko, 1995c: 15.
  • salina. Leptothorax tuberum var. salina Karavaiev, 1937: 174, fig. 2 (w.) UKRAINE. Junior synonym of unifasciatus: Radchenko, 1995c: 15.
  • ucrainicus. Leptothorax unifasciatus subsp. ucrainicus Arnol'di, 1977a: 204 (w.) UKRAINE. Junior synonym of unifasciatus: Radchenko, 1995c: 15.
  • brauniella. Leptothorax tuberum brauniella Radchenko, 1995c: 15. Replacement name for brauneri Karavaiev, above. [Junior primary homonym of brauneri Ruzsky, 1905b: 603.] Junior synonym of of unifasciatus: Radchenko, 1995c: 15.

Taxonomic Notes

Plateaux, L. & Cagniant, H. 2012: 436: We conclude from all these observations that Leptothorax tuberum unifasciatointerruptus is a hybrid of Temnothorax unifasciatus and Temnothorax albipennis. Hybridization works in both directions, parents may be alternately of the two species, and males are from the parthenogenetic egg of the queen mother. Note that both species exist also in places (especially in Luberon and Ventoux) where the where the form was found. We therefore ask: T. albipennis x T. unifasciatus = L. tuberum unifasciatointerruptus Forel.

Salata & Borowiec (2019): Results presented by Prebus (2017) suggest that the tuberum species group (sensu Cagniant and Espadaler 1997) and unifasciatus species group (sensu Bernard 1967) are paraphyletic. In both cases species groups were defined based on West-Mediterranean taxa. Only two Greek members of the tuberum species group were included in analysis presented by Prebus (2017): Temnothorax nigriceps and Temnothorax unifasciatus and they created a separate cluster. Confirmation, if the tuberum species group as defined by us here is a natural, monophyletic group requires further studies.



  • n = 9 (Croatia; France; Germany; Greece; Italy) (Fischer, 1987) (as Leptothorax unifasciatus).
  • n = 9, 2n = 18 (Germany; Switzerland) (Hauschteck-Jungen & Jungen, 1983) (as Leptothorax unifasciatus).


  • André, E. 1883a. Les fourmis. [part]. Pp. 281-344 in: André, Edm. 1881-1886. Species des Hyménoptères d'Europe et d'Algérie. Tome Deuxième. Beaune: Edmond André, 919 + 48 pp. (page 299, Race/subspecies of tuberum)
  • Atanassov, N.; Dlussky, G. M. 1992. Fauna of Bulgaria. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Fauna Bûlg. 22: 1-310 (page 144, Status as species)
  • Beckers R., Goss, S., Deneubourg, J.L., Pasteels, J.M. 1989. Colony size, communication and ant foraging Strategy. Psyche 96: 239-256 (doi:10.1155/1989/94279).
  • 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 211, Status as species)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 271, Combination in Temnothorax)
  • Bondroit, J. 1910 [1909]. Les fourmis de Belgique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 53: 479-500 (page 497, Race/subspecies of tuberum)
  • Bondroit, J. 1912. Fourmis de Hautes-Fagnes. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 56: 351-352 (page 351, Status as species)
  • Bondroit, J. 1918. Les fourmis de France et de Belgique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 87: 1-174 (page 131, Status as species)
  • Boven, J. K. A. van. 1947b. Liste de détermination des principales espèces de fourmis belges (Hymenoptera Formicidae). Bull. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 83: 163-190 (page 179, Status as species)
  • Cagniant, H.; Espadaler, X. 1997. Les Leptothorax, Epimyrma et Chalepoxenus du Maroc (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Clé et catalogue des espèces. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. (n.s.) 33: 259-284 (page 274, Senior synonym of volubilis)
  • Casevitz-Weulersse, J. 1990c. Étude systématique de la myrmécofaune corse (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) (Deuxième partie). Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. Sect. A Zool. Biol. Écol. Anim. (4) 12: 415-442 (page 417, Senior synonym of cordieri, and material of the unavailable name paolii referred here.)
  • Collingwood, C. A. 1979. The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. Fauna Entomol. Scand. 8: 1-174 (page 76, Status as species)
  • Espadaler, X., Santamaria, S. 2012. Ecto- and Endoparasitic Fungi on Ants from the Holarctic Region. Psyche Article ID 168478, 10 pages (doi:10.1155/2012/168478).
  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 129, Status as species)
  • Emery, C. 1891c. Exploration scientifique de la Tunisie. Zoologie. - Hyménoptères. Révision critique des fourmis de la Tunisie. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, iii + 21 pp. (page 5, Race/subspecies of tuberum)
  • Emery, C. 1916a [1915]. Fauna entomologica italiana. I. Hymenoptera.-Formicidae. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 47: 79-275 (page 175, Race/subspecies of tuberum)
  • Emery, C. 1916a [1915]. Fauna entomologica italiana. I. Hymenoptera.-Formicidae. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 47: 79-275 (page 175, Senior synonym of anoplogynus)
  • Emery, C.; Forel, A. 1879. Catalogue des Formicides d'Europe. Mitt. Schweiz. Entomol. Ges. 5: 441-481 (page 459, Race/subspecies of tuberum)
  • Finzi, B. 1924a. Formiche dell'isola d'Elba e Monte Argentario. Boll. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 56: 12-15 (page 13, Race/subspecies of tuberum)
  • Finzi, B. 1928b. Quarto contributo alla conoscenza della fauna mirmecologica della Venezia Giulia. Boll. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 60: 128-130 (page 130, Status as species)
  • Finzi, B. 1930d. Zoologische Forschungsreise nach den Jonischen Inseln und dem Peloponnes. XII. Teil. Die Ameisen der Jonischen Inseln. Sitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wien Math.-Naturwiss. Kl. Abt. I 139: 309-319 (page 314, Status as species)
  • Finzi, B. 1933. Raccolte entomologiche nell'Isola di Capraia fatte da C. Mancini e F. Capra (1927-1931). II. Formicidae. Mem. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 11: 162-165 (page 164, Status as species)
  • 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 85, Race/subspecies of tuberum)
  • Forel, A. 1890b. Fourmis de Tunisie et de l'Algérie orientale. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 34:lxi-lxxvi. (page lxxv, Race/subspecies of tuberum)
  • Karavaiev, V. 1926c. Beiträge zur Ameisenfauna des Kaukasus, nebst einigen Bemerkungen über andere palaearktische Formen. (Fortsetzung). Konowia 5: 161-169 (page 163, Race/subspecies of tuberum)
  • Kutter, H. 1977c. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Insecta Helv. Fauna 6: 1-298 (page 134, Status as species)
  • Kutter, H. 1977c. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Insecta Helv. Fauna 6: 1-298 (page 14, Senior synonym of unifasciatointerruptus)
  • Latreille, P. A. 1798. Essai sur l'histoire des fourmis de la France. Brive: F. Bourdeaux, 50 pp. (page 47, worker, queen, male described)
  • Menozzi, C. 1925d [1924]. Res mutinenses. Formicidae (Hymenoptera). Atti Soc. Nat. Mat. Modena 55[=(6)3 3: 22-47 (page 28, Race/subspecies of tuberum)
  • Müller, G. 1923b. Le formiche della Venezia Guilia e della Dalmazia. Boll. Soc. Adriat. Sci. Nat. Trieste 28: 11-180 (page 91, Status as species)
  • Nasonov, N. V. 1889. Contribution to the natural history of the ants primarily of Russia. 1. Contribution to the ant fauna of Russia. Izv. Imp. Obshch. Lyubit. Estestvozn. Antropol. Etnogr. Imp. Mosk. Univ. 58: 1-78 (page 32, Status as species)
  • Plateaux, L. & Cagniant, H. 2012. Quelques synonymies dans le genre Temnothorax Mayr, 1855 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France 117 (4), 427-440.
  • Radchenko, A. G. 1995c. A review of the ant genus Leptothorax (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the central and eastern Palearctic. Communication 2. Groups tuberum, corticalis, affinis, clypeatus, alinae and singularis. Vestn. Zool. 2-3: 14-21 (page 15, Senior synonym of brauneri Karavaiev, kirillovi, salina and ucrainicus)
  • 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 21, Status as species)
  • Sendova Franks, A.B., Franks, N.R. 1995. Spatial relationships within nests of the ant Leptothorax unifasciatus (Latr.) and their implications for the division of labour. Animal Behaviour 50: 121-136.
  • Saunders, E. 1880. Synopsis of the British Heterogyna and fossorial Hymenoptera. Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. 1880: 201-304 (page 220, Status as species)
  • Salata, S., Borowiec, L. 2019. Preliminary division of not socially parasitic Greek Temnothorax Mayr, 1861 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) with a description of three new species. ZooKeys 877: 81-131 (doi:10.3897/zookeys.877.36320).
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1955b. The ant larvae of the myrmicine tribe Leptothoracini. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 48: 17-29 (page 25, larva described)