Tetraponera penzigi

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Tetraponera penzigi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Pseudomyrmecinae
Genus: Tetraponera
Species: T. penzigi
Binomial name
Tetraponera penzigi
(Mayr, 1907)

MCZ ENT Tetraponera penzigi hal.jpg

MCZ ENT Tetraponera penzigi had.jpg

Specimen Label


One of four ant species (also Crematogaster gerstaeckeri sjostedti, Crematogaster mimosae, Crematogaster nigriceps) that live on Acacia drepanolobium. This small arboreal ant assemblage, nesting in this dominant Africa savanna tree, have been the subject of intensive research by a large group of ecologists studying species interactions and species co-existence.


A member of the Tetraponera allaborans species-group.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Tetraponera penzigi workers on the outside of their domatia (swollen thorn of Whistling Thorn acacia). Photo by Dino Martins)



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

  • penzigi. Sima penzigi Mayr, 1907b: 10 (w.q.m.) TANZANIA.
    • Combination in S. (Tetraponera): Arnold, 1916: 180.
    • Combination in Tetraponera: Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 800.
    • Current subspecies: nominal plus praestigiatrix.

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



  • Arnold, G. 1916. A monograph of the Formicidae of South Africa. Part II. Ponerinae, Dorylinae. Ann. S. Afr. Mus. 14: 159-270 (page 180, Combination in S. (Tetraponera))
  • Mayr, G. 1907b. 2. Formicidae. Pp. 7-24 in: Sjöstedt, Y. 1907-1910. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Schwedischen Zoologischen Expedition nach dem Kilimandjaro, dem Meru und umgebenden Massaisteppen Deutsch-Ostafrikas 1905-1906. 2. Band, Abt. 8. Stockho (page 10, worker, queen, male described)
  • Sensenig, R. L., D. K. Kimuyu, J. C. Ruiz Guajardo, K. E. Veblen, C. Riginos, and T. P. Young. 2017. Fire disturbance disrupts an acacia ant–plant mutualism in favor of a subordinate ant species. Ecology. 98:1455-1464. doi:10.1002/ecy.1797
  • 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.
  • 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 800, Combination in Tetraponera)