Tetramorium indocile

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Tetramorium indocile
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species: T. indocile
Binomial name
Tetramorium indocile
Santschi, 1927

Tetramorium indocile casent0913998 p 1 high.jpg

Tetramorium indocile casent0913998 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Nests in soil, often under stones.


A member of the Tetramorium caespitum complex. The species can be determined with a discriminant analysis of a set of morphological measurements. See Wagner et al. (2017) and https://webapp.uibk.ac.at/ecology/tetramorium/


According to the present data (Csősz et al., 2014) T. indocile is widely distributed in steppe-like habitats from Kyrgyzstan (E 76.74◦) to Spain (W 04.06◦), but seems to be generally rare in Southern and Western Europe.

Wagner et al. (2017) - Disjunct: Iberia, France, Central Europe, Italy, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Armenia, France, Hungary, Iran, Kyrgyzstan (type locality), Russian Federation, Spain, Switzerland (type locality), Ukraine.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Wagner et al. (2017) - Moderately thermophilic, TAS of 42 sites 15.6 ± 3.2 °C [11.5, 25.4], different from all species except Tetramorium caespitum and Tetramorium caucasicum. In Central Europe rare and in arid habitats like south-facing, fallow, rocky grassland in dry inner-alpine Rhône valley near Brig, on sandy cattle pasture near Mals in Vinschgau, vineyard near Budapest. Replaced by T. caespitum in less dry areas of Central Europe. In Armenia in montane steppic meadow, in Chelyabinsk area in steppe, in Kyrgyzstan in meadows, dry grasslands, Juniperus-heaths, river banks, stony steppes, semideserts. Nests in soil, often under stones.

Adult sexuals in nests on 17 July ± 24 [20 June, 16 August] (n = 7).


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

  • indocile. Tetramorium caespitum var. indocile Santschi, 1927a: 53 (w.q.m.) KAZAKHSTAN.
    • Subspecies of caespitum: Pisarski, 1967: 402.
    • Junior synonym of caespitum: Radchenko, 1992b: 50; Bolton, 1995b: 409.
    • Status as species: Pisarski, 1969b: 304; Csösz, et al. 2014: 477; Radchenko, 2016: 382; Wagner, et al. 2017: 116 (redescription).
    • Senior synonym of kutteri: Wagner, et al. 2017: 116.
  • kutteri. Tetramorium semilaeve var. kutteri Santschi, 1927a: 57 (w.) SWITZERLAND.
    • Subspecies of semilaeve: Novák & Sadil, 1941: 85 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 410.
    • Junior synonym of indocile: Wagner, et al. 2017: 116.

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



Wagner et al. (2017) - Smaller than most other species of complex, CS = 717 ± 52 [575, 822] μm. Dark brown to blackish.

Head moderately elongate, CL / CW = 1.011 ± 0.014 [0.982, 1.051]. Eye medium-sized, EYE / CS = 0.174 ± 0.005 [0.162, 0.181]. Scape moderately long, SLd / CS = 0.764 ± 0.013 [0.734, 0.790]. Mesosoma moderately long and moderately wide, ML / CS = 1.155 ± 0.020 [1.107, 1.205], MW / CS = 0.637 ± 0.011 [0.609, 0.667].

Promesonotal dorsum convex, metanotal groove shallow. – Head dorsum and occiput with longitudinal costae and costulae. Postoculo-temporal area of head with rather few longitudinal costae and costulae, POTCos = 6.08 ± 1.69 [2.63, 9.75]. Mesosoma dorsum longitudinally rugulose, lateral side of propodeum with rather pronounced smooth and shiny area, Ppss = 50.0 ± 23.8 [17.6, 110.5]. – Dorsum of petiolar node often smooth, rarely feebly microreticulated. General surface appearance on average rather smooth and shiny compared with other species. – Connected stickman-like or reticulate microsculpture: small units scattered over 1st gastral tergite, MC1TG = 14.01 ± 2.44 [6.41, 19.96]. – Some workers with long c-shaped, crinkly, or sinuous hairs on ventral head posterior to buccal cavity.


Wagner et al. (2017) - Paramere structure belongs to caespitum-like form: ventral paramere lobe with one or two sharp corners; without distinct emargination between paramere lobes in posterior view, paramere lobes reduced in size; in ventro-posterior view, second corner on ventral paramere lobe missing or < 87 μm apart from first. In posterior view, two sharp corners on ventral lobe.

Type Material

  • Tetramorium caespitum indocile: Lectotype (designated by Csősz, Wagner, et al. 2014: 477), worker, Ssemiretschie, Kisil-Kija’ pass, Kyrgyzstan, Kusnezow, Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel.

In order to avoid any further nomenclatural problems lectotype designation for the type series is essential. We investigated 5 workers, one gyne and one male mounted on two pins. The lectotype worker by the present designation is labeled as: TYPE [—] “T. caespitum L. v indocile Sant [/] SANTSCHI det. 19 “26” [—] “Semiretschie”[/] “Kisil-Kija Pass” [/] “(Kusnezow)” [—] Sammlung Dr. F. SantschiKairouan [—] NATURHIST. MUSEUM BASEL [—] “9” [—]. The lectotype is positioned on the proximal end of the third card from the top. The lectotype worker is considered the best preserved one, a leg of a paralecto type worker is caught by its mandibles (Fig. 3A–C),but it does not hinder examination.