(Smith, F., 1860)
Collections with habitat information include foraging workers from lowland rainforest vegetation (New Guinea, Sarawak, Singapore), fogging samples from Dryobalanops beccarri in mixed dipterocarp forest (Brunei), and fogging samples from Aporusa sp. in lower montane dipterocarp forest (Sabah). The localities from which this species has been collected cover a much wider range of habitats, however. (Ward 2001)
A member of the Tetraponera allaborans species-group.
Ward (2001) - Tetraponera modesta can be recognised by the combination of small size (HW <0.65, LHT <0.58), yellow to orange-brown coloration of the head and mesosoma, and relatively slender petiole (PLI <0.60). Throughout its rather wide range this species shows a substantial amount of variation in color and body form.
As one proceeds south there is a gradual trend towards darkening of the gaster, this being most pronounced in samples from Bali, Lombok and New Guinea where the gaster is uniformly dark brown. In intervening regions one finds workers with intermediate (and variable) maculation on the gaster. More puzzling are a few samples of modesta-like specimens from Borneo (Sabah: Poring Spring) and the Philippines (Dumaguete) that show a tendency towards darkening of the head, posterior mesosoma and femora. These specimens thus show contrasts in body color similar to those of Tetraponera extenuata, and the distinction between the two becomes difficult to sustain. It is possible that there is some genetic introgression between the two forms in these localities, but additional studies are needed to address this question.
Keys including this Species
- Key to Tetraponera of China
- Key to Tetraponera of India
- Key to Tetraponera of the Oriental and Australian regions
Widely distributed from eastern India to southern China south through Malaysia and Indonesia to Papua New Guinea.
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Indonesia (type locality), Malaysia, New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore.
Oriental Region: India, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.
Palaearctic Region: China, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- modesta. Pseudomyrma modesta Smith, F. 1860b: 106 (w.) INDONESIA (Batjan I.). Combination in Sima: Dalla Torre, 1893: 54; in S. (Tetraponera): Emery, 1921f: 26; in Tetraponera: Donisthorpe, 1932c: 462. Senior synonym of fulva, pisarskii: Ward, 2001: 616.
- fulva. Sima (Tetraponera) fulva Viehmeyer, 1916a: 117, fig. 2 (w.q.) SINGAPORE. Combination in Tetraponera: Chapman & Capco, 1951: 80. Junior synonym of modesta: Ward, 2001: 616.
- pisarskii. Tetraponera pisarskii Radchenko, 1997g: 480, figs. 1, 2 (w.) KOREA. Junior synonym of modesta: Ward, 2001: 616.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Ward (2001) - HW 0.49-0.64, HL 0.63-0.77, LHT 0.43-0.58, CI 0.71-0.84, FCI 0.08-0.12, REL 0.34-0.41, REL2 0.43-0.52, SI 0.58-0.68, SI3 1.17-1.48, FI 0.36-0.43, PLI 0.45-0.59, PWI 0.38-0.44, PDI 1.03-1.29, LHT/HW 0.82-0.92, CSC 1-2, MSC 2-4.
Small species (HW <0.65); median clypeal lobe narrow, furnished with 2-3 small denticles (often effaced), and usually extending anteriorly beyond the reach of the anterolateral clypeal margins (but shorter than the anterolateral margins in some specimens); profemur relatively slender; lateral margins of pronotum soft-edged, convex in dorsal view, and corresponding to the maximum width of pronotum; mesopropodeal impression well developed, longitudinally rugulate, and lacking metanotal plate; propodeum relatively high and narrow, PDI usually > 1.10, less than this in some northern samples; petiole relatively slender (see PLI and PWI values). Integument smooth and shiny, with scattered fine punctures (c. 0.01 mm diameter) and fine irregular lineations; lower malar area longitudinally carinate; a few weak longitudinal carinulae may be present on the mesopleuron, metapleuron and side of propodeum. Standing pilosity sparse; long standing hairs (>0.05 mm) present on gaster and apex of head and as follows: one supraocular pair, 1-2 pairs (usually two) on pronotum, 0-1 pair on petiole and 0-1 pair on postpetiole; shorter, mostly appressed hairs scattered over body, inconspicuous. Body color varying from light yellow to medium orange-brown, the gaster either concolorous, partially infuscated, or wholly dark brown; appendages usually somewhat lighter than body.
Ward (2001) - Holotype (by monotypy), worker, Bachian [as 'Bac.'], Indonesia (Oxford University Museum of Natural History).
- Bharti, H. and Akbar, S.A. 2014. Tetraponera periyarensis, a new pseudomyrmecine ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from India. Asian Myrmecology. 6:43–48.
- Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 54, Combination in Sima)
- Donisthorpe, H. 1932c. On the identity of Smith's types of Formicidae (Hymenoptera) collected by Alfred Russell Wallace in the Malay Archipelago, with descriptions of two new species. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 10(10): 441-476 (page 462, Combination in Tetraponera)
- Emery, C. 1921c. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [part]. Genera Insectorum 174A:1-94 94: 1-94 + 7 (page 26, Combination in S. (Tetraponera))
- Radchenko, A. G. 1997h. Tetraponera pisarskii sp. nov. - the first native member of subfamily Pseudomyrmicinae from Palaearctic Asia. Ann. Zool. (Warsaw) 47: 479-480 PDF
- Smith, F. 1860b. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects collected by Mr. A. R. Wallace in the islands of Bachian, Kaisaa, Amboyna, Gilolo, and at Dory in New Guinea. J. Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. Zool. 5(17b)(suppl. to vol. 4 4: 93-143 (page 106, worker described)
- Ward, P. S. 2001. Taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of the ant genus Tetraponera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Oriental and Australian regions. Invertebrate Taxonomy. 15:589-665. PDF (page 616, Senior synonym of fulva and pisarskii)
- Ward, P. S. 2006. The ant genus Tetraponera in the Afrotropical region: synopsis of species groups and revision of the T. ambigua-group. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecologische Nachrichten. 8:119-130.