Tetramorium setuliferum

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Tetramorium setuliferum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species group: solidum
Species: T. setuliferum
Binomial name
Tetramorium setuliferum
Emery, 1895



Specimen Label


This species has populous colonies that nest in open areas. There is often a mound of refuse surrounding a single nest entrance. (Mbanyana et al. 2018)


Mbanyana et al. (2018) - Tetramorium setuliferum is morphologically similar to Tetramorium clunum. The two species are separated by the characters listed under T. clunum.

Keys including this Species


This is a widespread and common species in savanna and grassland regions of southern Africa.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa (type locality), Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Known from forest clearings, weedy areas, savanna on white clay soil, dry forest savanna, Thornveld savanna, Kimberley Thornveld, Miombo woodland, riverine-grassveld, old tobacco fields, sandy soil areas dominated by shrubs, and citrus orchards. The ecoregions where it is known include: Angolan Mopane Woodlands, Drakensberg Montane Grasslands, Highveld Grasslands, Kalahari Xeric Savanna, Kalahari Acacia–Baikiaea Woodlands, Maputaland-Pondoland Bushland and Thickets, Nama Karoo, Namibian Savanna Woodlands, Southern Africa Bushveld, Southern Africa Mangroves, Southern Miombo Woodlands, Succulent Karoo, Zambezian and Mopane Woodlands, Zambezian Flooded Grasslands.


A general scavenger including seeds as well as insect prey in their diet. The species normally nests in sandy to loamy soils, with nest entrances found in open areas, away from the basal parts of plants or at the base of a grass tuft. There can be more than one nest entrance per colony. Circles of grass seed husks, piles of small stones or scattered soil particles have been found around nest entrances. Seeds are regularly found in nests. Reproductive forms have been collected from nests between October and February. Collected using pitfall traps, tuna baits, and sugar baits.



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

  • setuliferum. Tetramorium setuliferum Emery, 1895h: 36 (w.) SOUTH AFRICA. Forel, 1910f: 19 (q.); Arnold, 1917: 290 (m.). Material of the nomen nudum squamiferum referred here by Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 903. Senior synonym of cucalense (and its junior syonym triptolemus): Bolton, 1980: 250.
  • cucalense. Tetramorium setuliferum var. cucalense Santschi, 1911c: 356 (w.) ANGOLA. Santschi, 1930b: 71 (q.). Senior synonym of triptolemus: Santschi, 1930b: 71. Junior synonym of setuliferum: Bolton, 1980: 250.
  • triptolemus. Tetramorium setuliferum var. triptolemus Arnold, 1917: 292 (w.) ZAMBIA. Junior synonym of cucalense: Santschi, 1930b: 71.

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



Mbanyana et al. (2018) - (N = 13) HL 0.964–1.210 (1.114); HW 0.969–1.259 (1.151); SL 0.698–0.846 (0.803); EL 0.220–0.275 (0.254); PH 0.433–0.561 (0.486); PW 0.610–0.799 (0.724); WL 0.983–1.210 (1.118); PSL 0.197–0.285 (0.289); PTH 0.266–0.403 (0.362); PTL 0.293–0.388 (0.337); PTW 0.329–0.433 (0.391); PPH 0.329–0.408 (0.364); PPL 0.197–0.310 (0.279); PPW 0.401–0.600 (0.540); OI 20–24 (22); CI 100–106 (103); SI 66–74 (70); DMI 62–70 (65); LMI 41–50 (44); PSLI 21–31 (26); PeNI 51–57 (54); LPeI 79–108 (93); DPeI 103–147 (117); PpNI 66–79 (75); LPpI 74–87 (77); DPpI 167–212 (194); PPI 122–143 (138).

Type Material

Mbanyana et al. (2018):

South Africa: syntypes of Tetramorium setuliferum Emery, 1895: 2 pinned workers, Orange Free State, Bethlehem, Weitzecker leg. (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa: CASENT0904839). Angola: syntypes of Tetramorium setuliferum var. cucalense Santschi, 1910: 1 pinned worker, Cucala, Benguela, J. Cruchet leg. (RMCAENT000017786); 1 pinned worker, Cucala near Caconda, Benguela, 31 Dec. 1910, Santschi leg. (Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel: CASENT0915077; Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle: CASENT0915425).

Zambia: syntype of Tetramorium setuliferum var. triptolemus Arnold, 1917: 1 pinned worker, “N. Rhod.” according to label, Lusakas, Oct. 1913, G. Arnold leg. (The Natural History Museum: CASENT0901177).


  • Arnold, G. 1917. A monograph of the Formicidae of South Africa. Part III. Myrmicinae. Ann. S. Afr. Mus. 14: 271-402 (page 290, male described)
  • Bolton, B. 1980. The ant tribe Tetramoriini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The genus Tetramorium Mayr in the Ethiopian zoogeographical region. Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Entomol. 40: 193-384 (page 250, Senior synonym of cucalense (and its junior synonym triptolemus))
  • Emery, C. 1895i. Voyage de M. E. Simon dans l'Afrique australe (janvier-avril 1893). 3e mémoire. Formicides. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 64: 15-56 (page 36, worker described)
  • Forel, A. 1910e. Zoologische und anthropologische Ergebnisse einer Forschungsreise im westlichen und zentralen Südafrika ausgeführt in den Jahren 1903-1905 von Dr. Leonhard Schultze. Vierter Band. Systematik und Tiergeographie. D) Formicidae. Denkschr. M (page 19, queen described)
  • Mbanyana, N., Hita Garcia, F., Robertson, H.G., Le Roux, J.J. 2018. A taxonomic revision of seed harvester ants of the Tetramorium solidum group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in southern Africa. European Journal of Taxonomy 454: 1–59 (DOI 10.5852/ejt.2018.454).
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1922j. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VIII. A synonymic list of the ants of the Ethiopian region. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 45: 711-1004 (page 903, Material of the nomen nudum squamiferum referred here)