Tetramorium sericeiventre

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Tetramorium sericeiventre
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species: T. sericeiventre
Binomial name
Tetramorium sericeiventre
Emery, 1877

Tetramorium sericeiventre casent0102388 profile 1.jpg

Tetramorium sericeiventre casent0102388 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label


Tetramorium sericeiventre is a fairly widely distributed species within the Afrotropical, Malagasy, and Southern Palaearctic regions. It can be found from Northern Africa to South Africa, from West to East Africa, and is also present in the Arabian Peninsula. In the Malagasy region it is widespread in Madagascar and also occurs on the Comoros and the Seychelles. On the African continent it may be the most successful Tetramorium species in open habitats, occurring almost everywhere outside humid rain forest habitats. In Madagascar it is fairly common as well, but is less abundant than in Africa. (Hita Garcia and Fisher 2011)

At a Glance • Limited invasive  


Tetramorium sericeiventre can be diagnosed by the following characters (AL-Keridis et al., 2021):

  • Frontal carinae short and feebly developed
  • Metanotal groove absent
  • Propodeal spines sharp
  • Propodeal lobes long, usually of same length of propodeal spines
  • Petiolar nodes rectangular, in profile with a feebly convex dorsum
  • Cephalic surface, mesosoma (except propodeum), petiole, postpetiole, and gaster with sparse and stout standing hairs.

Among Arabian Tetramorium species, T. sericeiventre can be confused with Tetramorium khyarum from Nigeria in all morphological characters except the lack of the single pair of hairs on the propodeal dorsum.

Tetramorium sericeiventre displays a wide range of colour variation ranging from distinctly contrasting body colour with head, mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole clear yellow, light brown or dark brown and gaster frequently dark black brown to black. In rare cases, workers have bark brown to black brown body with head conspicuously paler usually reddish to brown. Its body sculpture also shows a remarkable degree of variation, comprehensively discussed by Bolton (1980) and Hita Garcia and Fisher (2011). Some workers are uniform black with superficial sculpture on the head, mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole, while some workers are relatively smooth and shiny. Bolton (1980) presented 25 synonyms for T. sericeiventre', 13 of which were from a single reference (Santschi 1918). Hita Garcia and Fisher (2011) added eight additional synonyms from the Malagasy fauna. This high number of synonyms is the result of the wide range of variation within the species.

Keys including this Species


This is the most common Tetramorium species found in the Arabian Peninsula (Collingwood, 1985; Collingwood and Agosti, 1996; Collingwood et al. 2011) and is also broadly distributed in the savannah of tropical Africa (Sharaf et al., 2013).

AL-Keridis et al. (2021): Tetramorium sericeiventre is broadly spread throughout open habitats of the Arabian Peninsula, the Afrotropical (Bolton 1980) and the Malagasy (Hita Garcia and Fisher 2011). On the Arabian Peninsula, it is one of the most widely distributed Tetramorium species (Collingwood 1985; Collingwood and Agosti 1996; Collingwood et al. 2011; Sharaf et al. 2013).

We did not map three erroneous or questionable published site records of T. sericeiventre. Chapman and Capco (1951) erroneously listed a record of Tetramorium sericeiventre munda Santschi from Guinea, West Africa as from Melanesian island of New Guinea. Collingwood and Agosti (1996) marked in a table that T. sericeiventre occurs in Kuwait, but the paper included no records from Kuwait. De Haro and Collingwood (1994) listed T. sericeiventre as present in southern Iberia, but we found no specimen records supporting this.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 36.033333° to -34.76667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Comoros, Eritrea, Ethiopia (type locality), Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe.
Malagasy Region: Madagascar, Seychelles.
Palaearctic Region: Algeria, Libya, Oman, Tunisia.

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.


In Rawdhat Khorim, Saudi Arabia, this species is very common and occurs during all months of the year, with a peak in December. It was observed foraging on Calotropis procera (Aiton) W. T. Aiton (Apocynaceae) (Sharaf et al., 2013).

In Benin, Taylor et al. (2018) report this species from mango (Mangifera indica) orchards, and as prey of Oecophylla longinoda. It is ground nesting.

Saudi Arabia

Tetramorium sericeiventre occurs in a wide range of habitats in KSA. In the woodland forests of the Asir Mountains, this species builds nests in ground under rocks and stones near Acacia (Fabaceae) and Juniper (Cupressaceae) trees. We observed workers foraging in humid leaf litter in the Al Sarawat Mountains and coexisting with some beetle species of the families Pselaphinae, Staphylinidae and Tenebrionidae. In the Fayfa Mountains, T. sericeiventre foraging at night and attracted to tight traps. Males are frequently attracted to light (Collingwood 1985).

In the KSA, T. sericeiventre was found at numerous mid and high elevation (572–2387 m) sites. It was the most abundant Tetramorium collected by pitfall traps in Acacia thorn woodlands and in areas of cactus pear, Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae) and wild olive trees Olea europaea ssp cuspidata (Wall. ex G. Don) Cifferi (Oleaceae) in the mountainous areas of southwest of the KSA.

The species is also the commonest Tetramorium in sandy areas of Riyadh Province, with Acacia ehrenbergiana Heyne (Fabaceae), Echinops sp. (Compositae), Pulicaria undulata (L.) C. A. Mey. (Asteraceae), and Artemisia graveolens Rydb. (Asteraceae).

In wadi Hanifa, Riyadh, we found T. sericeiventre more abundant in the rural and suburban areas than in urban areas. At Rawdhat Khorim, Sharaf et al. (2013) found a similarly high abundance of T. sericeiventre. In Al-Baha Province, El-Hawagry et al. (2013) collected T. sericeiventre in five different natural areas in the Al Sarawat Mountains: Amadan forest, Baljurashi, Raghdan forest, Shahba forest, and wadi El-Zarayeb.

See AL-Keridis et al. (2021) for further details.

Association with Other Organisms

Explore-icon.png Explore: Show all Associate data or Search these data. See also a list of all data tables or learn how data is managed.

Tetramorium sericeiventre is a host for the inquiline species Tetramorium microgyna.


Additional images can be found on the Tetramorium sericeiventre category page.

MCZ ENT Tertramorium MOZ sp6 hef 10x.jpgMCZ ENT Tertramorium MOZ sp6 hal.jpgMCZ ENT Tertramorium MOZ sp6 had 63x.jpgMCZ ENT Tertramorium MOZ sp6 lbs.JPGMCZ ENT MOZ Tetramorium-sp3 hef 10x.jpgMCZ ENT MOZ Tetramorium-sp3 hal 5x.jpgMCZ ENT MOZ Tetramorium-sp3 had 5x.jpgMCZ ENT MOZ Tetramorium-sp3 lbs.jpgMCZ ENT Tetramorium MOZ sp5 hef 10x.jpgMCZ ENT Tetramorium MOZ sp5 hal 6.jpgMCZ ENT Tetramorium MOZ sp5 had 6.jpgMCZ ENT Tetramorium MOZ sp5 lbs.jpgMCZ ENT Tetramorium mozsp1 hef.jpgMCZ ENT Tetramorium mozsp1 hal.jpgMCZ ENT Tetramorium mozsp1 had.jpgMCZ ENT Tetramorium mozsp1 lbs.jpgTetramorium sericeiventre casent0101266 head 1.jpgTetramorium sericeiventre casent0101266 profile 1.jpgTetramorium sericeiventre casent0101266 dorsal 1.jpgTetramorium sericeiventre casent0101266 label 1.jpg


Images from AntWeb

Tetramorium quadrispinosum casent0101997 head 1.jpgTetramorium quadrispinosum casent0101997 profile 1.jpgTetramorium quadrispinosum casent0101997 dorsal 1.jpgTetramorium quadrispinosum casent0101997 label 1.jpg
Syntype of Tetramorium blochmanniiQueen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0101997. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MHNG, Geneva, Switzerland.
Tetramorium quadrispinosum casent0102386 head 1.jpgTetramorium quadrispinosum casent0102386 profile 1.jpgTetramorium quadrispinosum casent0102386 dorsal 1.jpgTetramorium quadrispinosum casent0102386 label 1.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0102386. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMUK, London, UK.


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

  • sericeiventre. Tetramorium sericeiventre Emery, 1877b: 370 (w.) ETHIOPIA. Senior synonym of hortensis: Bolton, 1976: 363; of blochmannii: Bolton, 1979: 155; of arenarium, bipartita, cinnamomeum, continentis, debile, femoratum, gamaii, hori, inversa, jasonis, munda, neuvillei, nigriventre, vascoi, vividum and material of the unavailable names colluta, defricta, evidens, georgei, gladiator, kenyense, platonis, transversa referred here: Bolton, 1980: 332.; of angolense, beirae, calvum, elegans, montanum, otaviensis, quadrispinosum, repertum: Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2011: 34.
  • hortensis. Atopula hortensis Bernard, 1948: 173, fig. 9 (w.q.m.) LIBYA. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1976: 363; Bolton, 1980: 333.
  • blochmannii. Tetramorium blochmannii Forel, 1887: 384 (w.) MADAGASCAR. Forel, 1910f: 19 (q.m.). Subspecies of sericeiventre: Santschi, 1918b: 124 (in key). Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1979: 155.
  • calvum. Tetramorium blochmanni var. calvum Stitz, 1923: 162 (w.) NAMIBIA. Junior synonym of quadrispinosum: Bolton, 1980: 330; of sericeiventre: Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2011: 34.
  • continentis. Tetramorium blochmanni subsp. continentis Forel, 1910e: 426 (w.) SOUTH AFRICA. Forel, 1913b: 319 (q.); Arnold, 1917: 279 (m.). Subspecies of sericeiventre: Santschi, 1918b: 130; Arnold, 1926: 250. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.
  • montanum. Tetramorium blochmannii var. montanum Forel, 1891b: 152, pl. 5, fig. 2 (w.q.) MADAGASCAR. Subspecies of quadrispinosum: Santschi, 1918b: 122 (in key). Junior synonym of quadrispinosum: Bolton, 1979: 155; of sericeiventre: Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2011: 34.
  • nigriventre. Tetramorium blochmanni var. nigriventre Stitz, 1910: 144 (w.) CAMEROUN. Subspecies of sericeiventre: Santschi, 1918b: 126. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.
  • neuvillei. Tetramorium neuvillei Forel, 1907c: 135 (w.) ETHIOPIA. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.
  • quadrispinosum. Tetramorium quadrispinosum Emery, 1886: 362, pl. 17, fig. 8 (w.) SOUTH AFRICA. Senior synonym of montanum: Bolton, 1979: 155; of angolense, beirae, calvum, elegans, eudoxia, otaviensis, repertum and material of the unavailable name benguelense referred here: Bolton, 1980: 330. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2011: 34.
  • angolense. Tetramorium quadrispinosum st. angolense Santschi, 1930b: 71 (w.q.) ANGOLA. Junior synonym of quadrispinosum: Bolton, 1980: 330; of sericeiventre: Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2011: 34.
  • beirae. Tetramorium quadrispinosum r. beirae Arnold, 1926: 252 (w.) MOZAMBIQUE. Junior synonym of quadrispinosum: Bolton, 1980: 330; of sericeiventre: Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2011: 34.
  • elegans. Tetramorium quadrispinosum st. elegans Santschi, 1918b: 125 (w.) SOUTH AFRICA. Junior synonym of eudoxia: Arnold, 1926: 252; of quadrispinosum: Bolton, 1980: 330; of sericeiventre: Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2011: 34.
  • eudoxia. Tetramorium quadrispinosum st. eudoxia Santschi, 1918b: 122 (w.) SOUTH AFRICA. [First available use of Tetramorium blochmanni r. continentis var. eudoxia Forel, 1914d: 231; unavailable name.] Senior synonym of elegans: Arnold, 1926: 252. Junior synonym of quadrispinosum: Bolton, 1980: 330; of sericeiventre: Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2011: 34.
  • otaviensis. Tetramorium quadrispinosum r. otaviensis Arnold, 1926: 253 (w.) NAMIBIA. Junior synonym of quadrispinosum: Bolton, 1980: 330; of sericeiventre: Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2011: 34.
  • arenarium. Tetramorium sericeiventre var. arenarium Santschi, 1918b: 126 (w.) TUNISIA. Santschi, 1937g: 82 (m.). Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.
  • bipartita. Tetramorium sericeiventre var. bipartita Santschi, 1918b: 126 (w.) KENYA. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.
  • cinnamomeum. Tetramorium sericeiventre st. cinnamomeum Santschi, 1918b: 124 (diagnosis in key) (w.) MOZAMBIQUE (attributed to Arnold). [Also described as new by Arnold, 1926: 249.] Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.
  • debile. Tetramorium sericeiventre var. debile Forel, 1894b: 80 (w.) ETHIOPIA. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.
  • femoratum. Tetramorium sericeiventre subsp. femoratum Emery, 1895h: 37 (w.) SOUTH AFRICA. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.
  • gamaii. Tetramorium sericeiventre var. gamaii Santschi, 1918b: 128 (w.) ZIMBABWE. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.
  • hori. Tetramorium sericeiventre var. hori Santschi, 1918b: 125 (w.) SUDAN. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.
  • inversa. Tetramorium sericeiventre var. inversa Santschi, 1910c: 384 (w.) CONGO. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.
  • jasonis. Tetramorium sericeiventre var. jasonis Santschi, 1918b: 127 (w.q.) IVORY COAST. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.
  • munda. Tetramorium sericeiventre var. munda Santschi, 1918b: 127 (w.) GUINEA. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.
  • repertum. Tetramorium sericeiventre var. repertum Santschi, 1926b: 242 (w.) MOZAMBIQUE. Junior synonym of quadrispinosum: Bolton, 1980: 330; of sericeiventre: Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2011: 34.
  • vascoi. Tetramorium sericeiventre var. vascoi Santschi, 1918b: 128 (w.q.) ZIMBABWE. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.
  • vividum. Tetramorium sericeiventre var. vividum Santschi, 1926b: 242 (w.) MOZAMBIQUE. Junior synonym of sericeiventre: Bolton, 1980: 332.

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



Hita Garcia and Fisher (2011) - HL 0.770 - 0.990 (0.871); HW 0.665 - 0.855 (0.753); SL 0.680 - 0.910 (0.813); EL 0.140 - 0.200 (0.171); PW 0.460 - 0.630 (0.548); WL 0.950 - 1.30 (1.117); PSL 0.135 -0.205 (0.159); PTL 0.240 - 0.350 (0.296); PTH 0.220 - 0.320 (0.268); PTW 0.180 - 0.260 (0.218); PPL 0.205 - 0.300 (0.240); PPH 0.230 - 0.330 (0.273); PPW 0.250 - 0.360 (0.294); CI 83 - 90 (86); SI 102 - 113 (108); OI 20 - 24 (23); PSLI 16 - 21 (18); PeNI 36 - 43 (40); LPeI 104 - 120 (111); DPeI 68 - 81 (74); PpNI 50 - 59 (54); LPpI 81 - 94 (88); DPpI 117 - 128 (123); PPI 128 - 143 (135) (38 measured).

Head distinctly longer than wide (CI 83 - 90). Anterior clypeal margin entire and convex, lateral clypeus characteristically modified, in full-face view distinctly raised in front of antennal condyle and projecting forward as a tooth or denticle. Frontal carinae weakly developed and short, usually ending at median eye level, very often distinctly shorter and ending much before anterior eye level. Antennal scrobes absent. Antennal scapes relatively long, surpassing posterior head margin (SI 102 - 113). Eyes small to moderate (OI 20 - 24), with 11 to 14 ommatidia in longest row. Mesosomal profile relatively flat. Metanotal groove absent. Propodeal spines short to medium-sized (PSLI 26 - 30), elongate-triangular to spinose, relatively narrow and acute. Propodeal lobes relatively long, generally of same length as propodeal spines, sometimes weakly longer or shorter, shape of lobes triangular to elongate-triangular, usually acute, sometimes blunt. Node of petiole rectangular nodiform, in profile anterior and posterior faces roughly parallel, dorsum weakly convex, antero- and posterodorsal angle at about same height, node always longer than high (LPeI 104 - 120), in dorsal view distinctly much longer than high (DPeI 68 - 81). Postpetiole in profile rounded, markedly higher than long (LPpI 81 - 94), in dorsal view distinctly wider than long (DPpI 117 - 128), and much wider than petiolar node (PPI 128 - 143). Mandibles usually strongly sculptured, longitudinally striate or rugose. Clypeus with 1 strongly developed longitudinal ruga. Cephalic sculpturation highly variable, usually with reticulate-rugose or reticulate-rugulose sculpturation ventrally and posteriorly, dorsally between frontal carinae more longitudinally rugose or rugulose, often rugulation to variable degree weaker developed, rarely rugae and rugulae absent and cephalic dorsum almost unsculptured and relatively smooth, ground sculpture usually strongly and finely reticulate-punctulate providing head with a rough, matte, and granular appearance, often reduced and less conspicuous without granular appearance, rarely absent, head almost smooth and shiny. Sculpturation of mesosoma and waist segments highly variable, usually with longitudinal rugae or rugulae of varying strength with a reticulate-punctulate ground sculpturation, also with granular appearance, often only superficially punctulate with unsculptured areas and without granular appearance, only weakly matte. First gastral tergite also with variable sculpturation, generally densely punctulate and strongly shagreened along entire length, often only basally sculptured, sometimes with superficial punctulation only, and more rarely completely unsculptured, smooth, and shiny. All dorsal surfaces of head, mesosoma (except propodeum), waist segments, and gaster with very sparse and stout standing hairs, pronotum and mesonotum at most with 5 to 6 pairs of hairs, propodeum without; antennal scapes and tibiae with very short and appressed pubescence. Colouration reddish to brown, sometimes dark brown, gaster often darker than remaining body.

Type Material

Bolton (1980) - Syntype worker. Ethiopia. Sciotel (Beccari) Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève [Examined}


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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