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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Taxonomic History

6 subspecies

Taxonomic history

Latreille, 1798 PDF: 50 (q.m.); Mayr, 1861 PDF: 62 (q.m.); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1954d PDF: 445 (l.); Hauschteck, 1961 PDF: 221 (k.); Imai, 1966b PDF: 119 (k.).
Combination Manica: Jurine, 1807 PDF: 279; in Tetramorium: Mayr, 1855 PDF: 426.
Senior synonym of Tetramorium fuscula: Smith, 1851 PDF: 118.
, Radchenko, 2007: 31; of Tetramorium modesta Foerster: Curtis, 1854: 215; Mayr, 1855 PDF: 426; of Tetramorium fusca: Dalla Torre, 1893: 132; of Tetramorium transversinodis: Brown, 1949a: 47; of Tetramorium immigrans: Bolton, 1979 PDF: 171; of Tetramorium himalayanum, Tetramorium indocile, Tetramorium transbaicalense: Radchenko, 1992b PDF: 50; of Tetramorium hammi: Bolton, 1995b: 405; of Tetramorium jiangxiense: Wu & Wang, 1995a: 82; of Tetramorium fusciclavum: Sanetra, Güsten & Schulz, 1999 PDF: 320.
Current subspecies: nominal plus Tetramorium caespitum barabense, Tetramorium caespitum caespitomoravicum, Tetramorium caespitum flavidulum, Tetramorium caespitum japonicum, Tetramorium caespitum pallidum, Tetramorium caespitum typicum.
See also: Emery, 1909f PDF: 697; Bondroit, 1918 PDF: 107; Emery, 1925a PDF: 177; Baroni Urbani, 1971c PDF: 135; Kutter, 1977c: 157; Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 544; Smith, 1979: 1400; Collingwood, 1979 PDF: 84; Cammaerts, Pasteels, et al. 1985: 109; Kupyanskaya, 1990a: 151; López, 1991a: 31; Tetramorium semilaeve André, 1881 (Hym., Formicidae). Boletín de la Asociación Española de Entomologia 15:65-78. [1991-12-30]">López, 1991b: 73; López, et al. 1992: 169; Radchenko, Czechowski & Czechowska, 1998: 108.
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Biology

Prefers grassland, especially steppe and rock steppe, also urban. Nests in soil, under rocks and in small loam hills.

Observation by J. Longino, 22 Mar 2012. This observation relates to whichever cryptic species of this complex inhabits Salt Lake City, Utah. The city has massive battles on the sidewalks. The first warm day of the season, above 15C, was on 15 Mar and I saw the first battle. Sometimes these battles seem to be a matter of grappling only, with very few casualties. But today was different. At 6:00pm I saw a mass of workers on the sidewalk. They were in a roughly circular patch over a sidewalk crack, a dense mass of grappling workers several ants deep, the circular mass around 20cm dia. A column of workers extended from the mass, about 1.5m long, through the grass at the side of the sidewalk to another crack. I returned at 7:30pm and found a triangular patch of more thinly spread workers, in an area of about 400 square cm. There was a low density of live workers, but most of the layer was dead workers, most of them dismembered. I counted the number of dead workers in a 2x2cm patch, got 60 workers, an estimated 6000 dead workers in the patch.
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Tetramorium caespitum (L.) HNS

(Figs 37, 49)

Formica caespitum L. HNS , 1758: 581. Holotype female, Europe (' in Europae tuberibus') (holotype not in Linnean Society collection, London). Tetramorium caespitum (L.) HNS ; Mayr, 1855: 426. Tetramorium caespitum var. immigrans Santschi HNS , 1927: 54. Syntype workers, Chile: Valparaiso (Miss Edwards) (probably in NM, Basle; not seen). Syn. n. Myrmica (Myrmica) brevinodis var. transversinodis Enzmann HNS , 1946: 47, figs 1, 2. Holotype worker, _ U. S. A.: Massachusetts, Dedham (in private coll. J. Enzmann; not seen). [Synonymy by Brown, 1949: 47; also Creighton, 1950: 291.]

Worker. With the group characters given above; the head densely and finely longitudinally rugulose everywhere. Spaces between rugulae with feeble ground sculpture, mostly shining. Head without unsculptured patches, without reticular or rugoreticular sculpture. Dorsal alitrunk longitudinally rugulose but on the posterior portion of the propodeal dorsum the rugulae being replaced by fine reticulatepunctate sculpture. Dorsal surfaces of petiole and postpetiole finely sculptured but each with a smooth median area or smooth median longitudinal strip. First gastral tergite unsculptured. Metanotal groove impressed in profile, the propodeal spines usually slightly longer than their basal width, but sometimes represented only by a pair of broadly triangular teeth. Pubescence of hind tibiae short and fine, decumbent to appressed.

During this study I have examined specimens from Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, all falling within the range given by Creighton (1950). The var. transversinodis HNS of Enzmann, noted above, is accepted as an absolute synonym of caespitum HNS without question for, although I have not seen the holotype, the figures and description fit the species very well.

The status of var. immigrans HNS is a little more dubious. It was first recorded from Chile by Santschi (1922) as T. caespitum HNS but later he described it as caespitum HNS var. immigrans HNS (1927), both records being based on the same specimens from Valparaiso. Snelling & Hunt (1975) in their review of the Chilean ant fauna note the 1922 record but state that they had seen no material in their survey. Under these circumstances I think it best to assume that the Chilean record represents a casual introduction and to refer immigrans HNS to the synonymy of caespitum HNS . Sporadic introductions of caespitum HNS in the neotropics are probably uncommon but I have seen material originating in Belize and Mexico during the course of this investigation.

  • Bolton, B. (1979): The ant tribe Tetramoriini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The genus Tetramorium Mayr in the Malagasy region and in the New World. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomology 38, 129-181: 171-171, URL:http://atbi.biosci.ohio-state.edu/HymOnline/reference-full.html?id=6435
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28. Tetramorium caespitum HNS (Linne, 1758)

Figs. 2, 110-112.

Formica caespitum Linne HNS , 1758:581.

Worker. Blackish brown, sometimes paler; head including clypeus and alitrunk regularly longitudinally striate. Petiole and postpetiole with shallow punctures and sculpture but smooth in centre. Propodeal spines very short, broadly denticulate, petiole and postpetiole about as broad as long. Length: 2.5-4 mm.

Queen. Blackish brown with appendages and mandibles paler. Pronotum concealed above by overarching mesonotum. Mesonotum and scutellum smooth and shining. Much larger than worker with petiole and postpetiole broadly transverse. Wings pale with 1 discoidal and 1 cubital cell and open radial cell; pterostigma and veins yellowish. Length: 6-8.0 mm.

Male. Head much narrower than alitrunk, rounded with very large eyes; antennal scape shorter than second funiculus segment. Y-shaped notauli and parapsidal furrows distinct. Postpetiole much wider than long. Head, propodeum, petiole and postpetiole longitudinally striate, mid body more finely striate. Size much larger than worker. Length: 5.5-7 mm.

Distribution. Locally common in Denmark and Southern Fennoscandia up to approximately latitude 62° 50' . - Range: holarctic: America to Japan, North Africa to N. Europe including British Isles.

Biology. The species tends to be coastal in North Europe but also inland on heath and on the open borders of woodland, nesting in the earth and also under stones. Colonies are normally single queened, but populous with up to 10,000 or more workers. This species is moderately aggressive, living by predation on other arthropods, scavenging and also from root aphid honeydew. Seeds of various herbs and grasses are often collected into the nest. The alatae are conspicuously large compared with the workers; they are developed in the early summer and fly in late June and July. prolonged backward; propodeal spines long. Length of worker: 3.4-4 mm, queen: 5-5.5 mm.

Male . Yellow brown to brown; mesonotum and postpetiole shining, rest of alitrunk and head weakly sculptured; frontal carinae prolonged backward; occiput bluntly angled at posterolateral borders; propodeum with 2 short spines. Length: 4.5-5 mm.

Biology. This is a cosmopolitan species of tropical origin often introduced and established in heated glasshouses in the British Isles. It nests in small communities in earth, under bark and in or on shrubby hothouse plants. Long know as Tetramorium guineense (Fabricius) HNS , Bolton (1977) has shown that the correct name is T. bicarinatum HNS .

  • Collingwood, C. A. (1979): The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 8, 1-174: 84-85, URL:http://antbase.org/ants/publications/6175/6175.pdf
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Tetramorium caespitum HNS s.l.

worker (Figs 15, 20): Spain , Prov. Huesca , Puerto de Monrepos

gyne (Fig. 9): Spain , Prov. Avila , 5 km swEl Tiemblo

  • Güsten, R., Schulz, A., Sanetra, M. (2006): Redescription of Tetramorium forte Forel, 1904 (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae), a western Mediterranean ant species. Zootaxa 1310, 1-35: 28-28, URL:http://antbase.org/ants/publications/21095/21095.pdf
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Tetramorium caespitum HNS sensu lato”

Species morphologically similar to T. caespitum (Linnaeus HNS , 1758) are the dominant Tetramorium HNS ants in temperate parts of Eurasia. Cammaerts et al. (1985) distinguished T. impurum (Foerster HNS , 1850) from T. caespitum HNS in central Europe based on male genitalic characters. It has recently become clear that the T. caespitum HNS / impurum HNS species complex constitutes in fact an assembly of cryptic species, which cannot yet be delimited clearly or assigned valid names (Steiner et al. 2002; Schlick-Steiner et al., 2006). More than one species is included within the current concepts of both T. caespitum HNS and T. impurum HNS . Throughout this paper we use the term “ T. caespitum HNS s.l.” to denote species of the complex.

  • Güsten, R., Schulz, A., Sanetra, M. (2006): Redescription of Tetramorium forte Forel, 1904 (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae), a western Mediterranean ant species. Zootaxa 1310, 1-35: 27-27, URL:http://antbase.org/ants/publications/21095/21095.pdf
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Tetramorium caespitum (Linnaeus HNS 1758)

I [introduced species]

  • Ward, P. S. (2005): A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 936, 1-68: null, URL:http://antbase.org/ants/publications/21008/21008.pdf
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Tetramorium caespitum HNS s.l.

Greece , Pref. Corinthia , Killini N-slope ; Germany , State Rheinland-Pfalz , Lorchhausen ; France , Dept. Gard , 15 km nnwLe Vigan ; Spain , Prov. Girona , 5 km sseCamprodon ; Spain , Prov. Granada , Puerto de la Ragua

  • Güsten, R., Schulz, A., Sanetra, M. (2006): Redescription of Tetramorium forte Forel, 1904 (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae), a western Mediterranean ant species. Zootaxa 1310, 1-35: 29-29, URL:http://antbase.org/ants/publications/21095/21095.pdf
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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Geographic Range

Tetramorium caespitum are native to Europe and were introduced to North America in the 1700's. Pavement ants are now found in most of the eastern and southern United States.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced ); palearctic (Native )

  • Wheeler, W. 1910. Ants: Their Structure, Development and Behavior. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Holldobler, B., E. Wilson. 1990. The Ants. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press.
  • National Pest Management Association inc., 2001. "Welcome to the Pest World" (On-line). Accessed 23 Nov 2001 at http://www.pestworld.com/homeowners/spotlight/pavement_ant.asp.
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Holarctic, America to Japan, North Africa to North Europe including British Isles
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Tetramorium caespitum have dark brown bodies with pale legs. Both queen and male ants are larger than workers. Both queens and males have wings, which fall off shortly after mating. A typical worker (which is an unfertilized, sterile female) is about 3.25mm while the queen is about 8mm long. Pavement ants have 12-segmented antennae with a three -segmented club. On females, the thorax has a pair of small spines on the upper part while males do not have spines on their back. A stinger is present, and the pedicel has two segmented parts. Worker pavement ants have distinguishing characteristics. They have two clearly visible humps, and grooves or ridges running from anterior to the posterior part of their bodies (National Pest Management Assoc., 2001).

A colony can sustain about 10,000 workers who weigh about 6.5g in the aggregate (Wilson 1971).

Range length: 2 to 4 mm.

Average length: 3.25 mm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry ; polymorphic ; venomous

  • Wilson, E. 1971. The Insect Societies. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press.
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Diagnostic Description

(Figs 37, 49)

 

Formica caespitum L. , 1758: 581. Holotype female, Europe (' in Europae tuberibus') (holotype not in Linnean Society collection, London). Tetramorium caespitum (L.) ; Mayr, 1855: 426. Tetramorium caespitum var. immigrans Santschi , 1927: 54. Syntype workers, Chile: Valparaiso (Miss Edwards) (probably in NM, Basle; not seen). Syn. n. Myrmica (Myrmica) brevinodis var. transversinodis Enzmann , 1946: 47, figs 1, 2. Holotype worker, _ U. S. A.: Massachusetts, Dedham (in private coll. J. Enzmann; not seen). [Synonymy by Brown, 1949: 47; also Creighton, 1950: 291.]

 

Worker. With the group characters given above; the head densely and finely longitudinally rugulose everywhere. Spaces between rugulae with feeble ground sculpture, mostly shining. Head without unsculptured patches, without reticular or rugoreticular sculpture. Dorsal alitrunk longitudinally rugulose but on the posterior portion of the propodeal dorsum the rugulae being replaced by fine reticulatepunctate sculpture. Dorsal surfaces of petiole and postpetiole finely sculptured but each with a smooth median area or smooth median longitudinal strip. First gastral tergite unsculptured. Metanotal groove impressed in profile, the propodeal spines usually slightly longer than their basal width, but sometimes represented only by a pair of broadly triangular teeth. Pubescence of hind tibiae short and fine, decumbent to appressed.

 

During this study I have examined specimens from Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, all falling within the range given by Creighton (1950). The var. transversinodis of Enzmann, noted above, is accepted as an absolute synonym of caespitum without question for, although I have not seen the holotype, the figures and description fit the species very well.

 

The status of var. immigrans is a little more dubious. It was first recorded from Chile by Santschi (1922) as T. caespitum but later he described it as caespitum var. immigrans (1927), both records being based on the same specimens from Valparaiso. Snelling & Hunt (1975) in their review of the Chilean ant fauna note the 1922 record but state that they had seen no material in their survey. Under these circumstances I think it best to assume that the Chilean record represents a casual introduction and to refer immigrans to the synonymy of caespitum . Sporadic introductions of caespitum in the neotropics are probably uncommon but I have seen material originating in Belize and Mexico during the course of this investigation.

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Taxonomic Treatment

Forel, A., 1890:
 Variétés diverses jaunes et noires partout, très commun. Les petites variétés claires se rapportant à peu prèsàpunicum Smith et semilaeve André sont les plus fréquentes . Ce sont elles qui servent d'esclaves àl'espèce suivante:
 

Emery, C., 1893:
 — Fuerteventura (31), [[ worker ]], [[ queen ]], [[ male ]]; Canana (22, 61, 78, 84), Tenerife (M. Noualhier).
  La plupart des exemplaires que j'ai sous les yeux se rapportent a la race depressum , decrite recemment par M. A. Forel, dont la couleur varie beaucoup. D'autres font passage a semilaeve Andre La [[ queen ]] de depressum est tres foncee, presque noire et caractensee par la forme courte du 1 er segment du pedicule. Sa taille, ainsi que celle du [[ male ]], correspond a telle des exemplaires mediterraneens de semilaeve .
  Quelques [[ worker ]] de Tenerife ne different pas sensiblement de semilaeve .
 Deux [[ queen ]], l'une de Lanzarote, l'autie de Canaria, ont le mesonotum en grande partie strie; elles paraissent se rapporter a une variete a sculpture plus forte.
 T. caespitum est repandu dans toute la region palearctique et la race semilaeve est l'une des plus communes dans la region mediterraneenne.
 

Ward, P. S., 2005:
 I [introduced species]
 

Güsten, R., 2006:
  Cagniant (1997), treating this taxon as a subspecies of T. caespitum , cites records from diverse sites throughout Morocco. We have recently procured further samples, including the first known gyne ( Morocco , Middle Atlas, Reg. Meknes , in CAS ) , and regard it as a good species which may occur throughout the Maghreb. Some specimens from Tunisia (in NHMB ) are very similar , as are workers from the northeastern mountains of Teneriffa .
  Species morphologically similar to T. caespitum (Linnaeus , 1758) are the dominant Tetramorium ants in temperate parts of Eurasia. Cammaerts et al. (1985) distinguished T. impurum (Foerster , 1850) from T. caespitum in central Europe based on male genitalic characters. It has recently become clear that the T. caespitum / impurum species complex constitutes in fact an assembly of cryptic species, which cannot yet be delimited clearly or assigned valid names (Steiner et al. 2002; Schlick-Steiner et al., 2006). More than one species is included within the current concepts of both T. caespitum and T. impurum . Throughout this paper we use the term “ T. caespitum s.l.” to denote species of the complex.
  worker (Figs 15, 20): Spain , Prov. Huesca , Puerto de Monrepos
  gyne (Fig. 9): Spain , Prov. Avila , 5 km swEl Tiemblo
 Greece , Pref. Corinthia , Killini N-slope ; Germany , State Rheinland-Pfalz , Lorchhausen ; France , Dept. Gard , 15 km nnwLe Vigan ; Spain , Prov. Girona , 5 km sseCamprodon ; Spain , Prov. Granada , Puerto de la Ragua
 

Mayr, G., 1862:
 Es duerfte interessant sein, zu erwaehnen, dass diese Art auch aus Hongkong von der Novara-Expedition mitgebracht wurde.
 

Forel, A., 1905:
 - Kairouan.
 - Kairouan.
  - Kairouan. - - Faisant un peu passage a la var. semileve Andre.
 

Bolton, B., 1979:
 (Figs 37, 49)
 Formica caespitum L. , 1758: 581. Holotype female, Europe (' in Europae tuberibus') (holotype not in Linnean Society collection, London). Tetramorium caespitum (L.) ; Mayr, 1855: 426. Tetramorium caespitum var. immigrans Santschi , 1927: 54. Syntype workers, Chile: Valparaiso (Miss Edwards) (probably in NM, Basle; not seen). Syn. n. Myrmica (Myrmica) brevinodis var. transversinodis Enzmann , 1946: 47, figs 1, 2. Holotype worker, _ U. S. A.: Massachusetts, Dedham (in private coll. J. Enzmann; not seen). [Synonymy by Brown, 1949: 47; also Creighton, 1950: 291.]
  Worker. With the group characters given above; the head densely and finely longitudinally rugulose everywhere. Spaces between rugulae with feeble ground sculpture, mostly shining. Head without unsculptured patches, without reticular or rugoreticular sculpture. Dorsal alitrunk longitudinally rugulose but on the posterior portion of the propodeal dorsum the rugulae being replaced by fine reticulatepunctate sculpture. Dorsal surfaces of petiole and postpetiole finely sculptured but each with a smooth median area or smooth median longitudinal strip. First gastral tergite unsculptured. Metanotal groove impressed in profile, the propodeal spines usually slightly longer than their basal width, but sometimes represented only by a pair of broadly triangular teeth. Pubescence of hind tibiae short and fine, decumbent to appressed.
  During this study I have examined specimens from Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, all falling within the range given by Creighton (1950). The var. transversinodis of Enzmann, noted above, is accepted as an absolute synonym of caespitum without question for, although I have not seen the holotype, the figures and description fit the species very well.
  The status of var. immigrans is a little more dubious. It was first recorded from Chile by Santschi (1922) as T. caespitum but later he described it as caespitum var. immigrans (1927), both records being based on the same specimens from Valparaiso. Snelling & Hunt (1975) in their review of the Chilean ant fauna note the 1922 record but state that they had seen no material in their survey. Under these circumstances I think it best to assume that the Chilean record represents a casual introduction and to refer immigrans to the synonymy of caespitum . Sporadic introductions of caespitum in the neotropics are probably uncommon but I have seen material originating in Belize and Mexico during the course of this investigation.
 

Forel, A., 1910:
 Jerusalem (Schmitz).
 

Forel, A., 1904:
 Transcaucasie: Zakataly, Lagodechi, 1 [[ queen ]], 2. X. 1896 (MlokoseviC!).
 
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Records

 

(Map 38): Bulgaria ( Emery 1914 , Agosti and Collingwood 1987a , Atanassov and Dlusskij 1992 ); Western Predbalkan: Rachene river valley ( Vassilev 1984 ); Central Predbalkan: Dermantsi vill. (Lukovit) ( Atanassov 1934 , 1936 ); Western Stara Planina Mts: Vrattsata loc., Milanovo vill. ( Atanassov 1934 ), Lakatnik station ( Atanassov 1936 ), Chepan Mt. (Dragoman) ( Borisova et al. 2005 ); Central Stara Planina Mts: Teteven ( Atanassov 1934 ), Tsarichina peak ( Atanassov 1936 ); Eastern Stara Planina Mts: Sliven ( Forel 1892 ); Zemen Gorge: Skakavitsa vill., Zemen ( Atanassov 1936 ), Zemen gorge ( Lapeva-Gjonova 2004b ); Sofia Basin: Boyana ( Atanassov 1934 ); Pancharevo vill. ( Atanassov 1936 ), Sofia ( Forel 1892 , Lapeva-Gjonova and Atanasova 2004 , Antonova 2005 , Antonova and Penev 2006 , 2008 ), surroundings of Sofia near Vladaya vill. ( Atanasov 1936 , Antonova and Penev 2006 , 2008 ); Lyulin Mt.:Mihaylovo district ( Atanassov 1936 ); Vitosha Mt. ( Atanassov 1952 ); Plana Mt.: Plana vill., Pasarel vill., Richov well loc. (Dolni okol vill.), Tsiganka peak (Pasarel vill.), Yovichina mogila peak (Popovyane vill.) ( Vagalinski and Lapeva-Gjonova in press ); Podbalkan Basins: Rose valley ( Atanassov et al. 1955 ); Lozenska Planina Mt. ( Vassilev and Evtimov 1973 ): German monastery ( Atanassov 1936 , Antonova and Penev 2008 ), north of Pasarel vill. ( Antonova and Penev 2008); Thracian Lowland: Pazardzhik ( Forel 1892 , Atanassov 1936 ), Krichim ( Atanassov 1936 ); Bakadzhik-Burgas district: Aytos ( Forel 1892 ); Strandzha Mt. ( Antonova et al. in press ); Ograzhden Mt. ( Atanassov 1964 ); Belasitsa Mt. ( Atanassov 1964 ); Krupnik-Sandanski-Petrich Valley: west of Petrich ( Atanassov 1964 ); Dupnitsa Basin: Dupnitsa; Rila Mt.: Rilska river valley ( Forel 1892 ), Kostenets, Borovets ( Atanassov 1936 ); Slavianka Mt. ( Atanassov 1936 ); Mesta Valley: Petrelik vill. (Gotse Delchev) ( Lapeva-Gjonova 2004b ); Western Rhodopi Mts: Asenovgrad ( Forel 1892 ), Peshtera ( Atanassov 1936 , Lapeva-Gjonova in press (a) ), Batak, Devin, Smolyan, Rakitovo, Velingrad, Dospat ( Lapeva-Gjonova in press (a) ); Eastern Rhodopi Mts: Dedets vill. (Zlatograd), Byal Izvor vill. (Arda), Beli Plast vill. (Kardzhali), Kokiche vill. (Kardzhali), Momchilgrad, Madzharovo, Malko Popovo vill. (Madzharovo), between Dabovetz and Kamilski dol vill. (Ivaylovgrad), between Odrintsi and Svirachi vill. (Ivaylovgrad), Svirachi vill. (Ivaylovgrad) ( Lapeva-Gjonova 2004a ); Southern Black Sea coast: Pomorie, Burgas, Sozopol, Veselie vill. ( Forel 1892 ), Maslen nos, Mandra lake ( Atanassov 1934 ), Nesebar ( Barrett 1970 ).

 

Notes:

 

According to Schlick-Steiner et al. (2006b) the Tetramorium caespitum/impurum complex comprises seven Palaearctic species. The taxonomy of the complex is not properly resolved and we assume that there are several cryptic species related to Tetramorium caespitum in Bulgaria.

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I [introduced species]

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Greece , Pref. Corinthia , Killini N-slope ; Germany , State Rheinland-Pfalz , Lorchhausen ; France , Dept. Gard , 15 km nnwLe Vigan ; Spain , Prov. Girona , 5 km sseCamprodon ; Spain , Prov. Granada , Puerto de la Ragua

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worker (Figs 15, 20): Spain , Prov. Huesca , Puerto de Monrepos

 

gyne (Fig. 9): Spain , Prov. Avila , 5 km swEl Tiemblo

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Species morphologically similar to T. caespitum (Linnaeus , 1758) are the dominant Tetramorium ants in temperate parts of Eurasia. Cammaerts et al. (1985) distinguished T. impurum (Foerster , 1850) from T. caespitum in central Europe based on male genitalic characters. It has recently become clear that the T. caespitum / impurum species complex constitutes in fact an assembly of cryptic species, which cannot yet be delimited clearly or assigned valid names (Steiner et al. 2002; Schlick-Steiner et al., 2006). More than one species is included within the current concepts of both T. caespitum and T. impurum . Throughout this paper we use the term “ T. caespitum s.l.” to denote species of the complex.

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Güsten, R.

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— Fuerteventura (31), [[ worker ]], [[ queen ]], [[ male ]]; Canana (22, 61, 78, 84), Tenerife (M. Noualhier).

 

La plupart des exemplaires que j'ai sous les yeux se rapportent a la race depressum , decrite recemment par M. A. Forel, dont la couleur varie beaucoup. D'autres font passage a semilaeve Andre La [[ queen ]] de depressum est tres foncee, presque noire et caractensee par la forme courte du 1 er segment du pedicule. Sa taille, ainsi que celle du [[ male ]], correspond a telle des exemplaires mediterraneens de semilaeve .

 

Quelques [[ worker ]] de Tenerife ne different pas sensiblement de semilaeve .

 

Deux [[ queen ]], l'une de Lanzarote, l'autie de Canaria, ont le mesonotum en grande partie strie; elles paraissent se rapporter a une variete a sculpture plus forte.

 

T. caespitum est repandu dans toute la region palearctique et la race semilaeve est l'une des plus communes dans la region mediterraneenne.

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Variétés diverses jaunes et noires partout, très commun. Les petites variétés claires se rapportant à peu prèsàpunicum Smith et semilaeve André sont les plus fréquentes . Ce sont elles qui servent d'esclaves àl'espèce suivante:

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[[ worker ]]. Buchara orient. (Darvas, Tasch-Kurgan, 15 [[ worker ]], 22. VIII. 1897. A. Kaznakov!; 1 [[ worker ]], 1896, BarSCevskij!).

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Forel, A.

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Transcaucasie: Zakataly, Lagodechi, 1 [[ queen ]], 2. X. 1896 (MlokoseviC!).

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Forel, A.

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- Kairouan.

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Es duerfte interessant sein, zu erwaehnen, dass diese Art auch aus Hongkong von der Novara-Expedition mitgebracht wurde.

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Ecology

Habitat

Tetramorium caespitum tend to nest under sidewalks, stones, pavement, and in the crevices of housing structures (Day 1998).

Pavement ants prefer a temperature range of 10-40 degrees Celsius (Holldobler 1990).

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest ; scrub forest

Other Habitat Features: urban ; suburban

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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Tetramorm caespitum are scavengers and will eat almost anything left within their territory. T. caespitum tend to be drawn toward sugary food. The pavement ant also stores seeds and grains in its nest for later use. T. caespitum has a mutualistic relationship with several species of lycaenid caterpillar. Pavement ants drink nectar produced by the caterpillars, and in return ants provide shelter and protect the caterpillers from predators.

Animal Foods: body fluids; carrion ; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods

Plant Foods: seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit; nectar; pollen; flowers; sap or other plant fluids

Foraging Behavior: stores or caches food

Primary Diet: omnivore ; coprophage

  • Holldobler, B., E. Wilson. 1994. Journey to the Ants. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Animal / guest
Anergates atratulus is a guest in nest of Tetramorium caespitum

Animal / vector
seed of Calluna vulgaris is spread by worker of Tetramorium caespitum

Animal / slave maker
Strongylognathus testaceus makes a slave of worker of Tetramorium caespitum

Foodplant / feeds on
Tetramorium caespitum feeds on seed of Calluna vulgaris

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Ecosystem Roles

Tetramorium caespitum is the host for many parasitic ant species. The most common is Teleutomyrmex schneideri. The T. schneideri queen lives with the T. caespitum queen, often sitting on the pavement ant queen's back in order remain within the nest. Other parasitic ants include Anergates atratlus and species of Strongylognathus.

Pavement ants may host the caterpillars of lycaenid butterflies, including Lycaeides melissa. The caterpillars secret sugary compounds that the ants consume, and the ants allow the caterpillars to spend the winter in their nest.

These ants also aerate soil as they dig their nests.

Ecosystem Impact: soil aeration

Mutualist Species:

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

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Predation

T. caespitum has a foul taste when eaten due to a toxin produced by the species. Pavement ants also possess a stinger, and give off a smell of banana oil that aids in deterring potential predators.

Known Predators:

  • none known

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

Pavement ants use chemical signals in order to communicate with one another. When foraging for food, Tetramorium caespitum workers will leave a chemical trail by wiping their gasters on the ground as they walk. In this way, workers may follow trails to food, and also find their way back to the nest without getting lost. T. caespitum have been observed to not travel more than 30 meters from their nest, and therefore generally stay closer to home than many ant species. In addition to chemical signals (called pheromones), pavement ants use polarized light to navigate and guide their paths.

Communication Channels: visual ; chemical

Other Communication Modes: pheromones ; scent marks

Perception Channels: visual ; polarized light ; tactile ; vibrations ; chemical

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Life Cycle

Development

Tetramorium caespitum hatch from the egg as grub-like larvae, and pass through three larval instars (growth stages) before they undergo complete metamorphosis into adult physiology. T. caespitum queens (there may be more than one) lay all of the eggs in the colony, which are cared for by workers throughout the development process.

Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis

  • Brian, M. 1965. Social Insect Populations. Great Britain: W & J Mackay & Co..
  • Werner, F., C. Olson. 1994. Insects of the Southwest. Tuscon, AZ: Fisher Books.
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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Individual workers live approximately 5 years, and queens may live much longer than that. Tetramorium caespitum are very adaptable to changes in their environment.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
5 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
5 years.

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Reproduction

Both queen and male ants have wings until shortly after mating. When environmental conditions are right, virgin queens and males fly into the air in order to copulate (called their nuptial flight). After mating takes place, they lose their wings and the young queens set out to start their nests while the males die.  The queen stores all of the sperm from her nuptial flight in her spermatheca. There is enough sperm from that one flight that she can fertilize all of her eggs for the rest of her life.

Mating System: polyandrous ; eusocial

Pavement ants have polygyne colonies (colonies that may have more than one queen). This means there colonies can grow very quickly and very large since there is more than one egg layer. Queens lay fertilized eggs that become workers or other queens, and unfertilized eggs that either develop into male ants or eaten by the colony. One queen will lay anywhere from five to forty eggs per day.

The queen stores all of the sperm from her nuptial flight in her spermatheca. There is enough sperm from that one flight that she can fertilize all of her eggs for the rest of her life.

Breeding season: June-July

Range gestation period: 28 to 30 days.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 30 to 45 days.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 30 to 45 days.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); oviparous ; sperm-storing ; delayed fertilization

Female workers care for all eggs, larvae, and pupae. The queen has no part in the care of her brood, her only job is to lay eggs.

  • Brian, M. 1965. Social Insect Populations. Great Britain: W & J Mackay & Co..
  • Holldobler, B., E. Wilson. 1990. The Ants. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press.
  • Werner, F., C. Olson. 1994. Insects of the Southwest. Tuscon, AZ: Fisher Books.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Tetramorium caespitum

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 19
Specimens with Barcodes: 78
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Tetramorium caespitum

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 8 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CCCCCATTAGCATCTAATGTCTTTCACAGAGGAGCATCAATTGATCTATCA---ATTTTTTCTCTTCATATTGCCGGAATATCTTCTATTATAGGAGCAATTAATTTTATTGCTACTATTATAAACATACACCATAAAAAATTAACCTTAGATAAAATCCCCTTATTAGTTTGATCTATTTTAATCACAGCAATTTTATTACTTTTATCTCTTCCTGTATTAGCAGGG---GCTATTACCATACTTCTAACAGATCGTAATTTAAATACCTCATTTTTTGATCCATCGGGAGGAGGGGACCCAATTCTGTATCAACATTTATTTTGATTTTTTGGACACCCAGAAGTATATATTTTAATTTTACCTGGATTTGGTTTAATTTCTCATATTATTATAAATGAAAGAGGAAAAAAA---GAAACATTCGGATCACTCGGAATAATTTATGCCATAATAGCTATTGGCTTCTTAGGATTTATTGTATGAGCCCATCATATATTTACTGTAGGTATAGATGTAGATACTCGAGCATATTTTACCTCAGCTACGATAATTATTGCAATTCCTACAGGAATTAAAATTTTTAGATGAATCTCA---ACTCTTCATGGAATA---AAAATTAATTATAATCCCTGCTTATGATGAACTATAGGATTTCTTTTTTTATTTACCTTAGGCGGATTAACTGGAATTATACTAGCTAACTCTTCCATTGATATCATTTTACATGACACATACTATGTTGTTGCACACTTTCATTATGTA---CTATCAATAGGAGCAGTATTTGCAATTATTGCAAGATTTATTCACTGATTTCCCCTAATAACTGGATTTAGATTAAATCCCTTTTATTTAAATATTCAATTCTTATCTATATTTGTAGGTGTAAATTTAACATTTTTCCCTCAACATTTTTTAGGATTAAGAGGAATACCACGT---CGATATTCAGATTATCCTGATACTTTTTTA---GCTTGAAATATAATTTCTTCAATTGGCTCTATTATTTCCATATTAAGAATTTCATTACTCATATTTTCTATTTGAGAAGCCTTTGCTTCAAAACGAAAAATC---ATTAATGTATTTTTCTTAAATTCTTCC
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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There is no threat to this species.

US Migratory Bird Act: no special status

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Pavement ants excavate large amounts of sand and soil from under roads, walkways and shallow building foundations. Over time this activity can cause these items to sink and settle causing structural damage. The most common complaint about pavement ants however, is of ants foraging for food in peoples houses. These ants can also sting.

Negative Impacts: injures humans (bites or stings); household pest

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Pavement ants provide no direct economic benefit to humans.

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Wikipedia

Pavement ant

The pavement ant, Tetramorium caespitum, is a common household pest. Its name comes from the fact that colonies usually make their homes in pavement. It is distinguished by one pair of spines on the back, two nodes on the petiole, and grooves on the head and thorax .[1] The species is native to Europe, but was introduced to North America in the 18th century.

During early spring, colonies attempt to conquer new areas and often attack nearby enemy colonies. These result in huge sidewalk battles, sometimes leaving thousands of ants dead. Because of their aggressive nature, they often invade and colonize seemingly impenetrable areas. In summer time the ants dig out the sand in between the pavements to vent the nests.

Diagram of the pavement ant. (a = Female; b = female after loss of wings; c = male, d = worker, e = larva; g = pupa; f = head of larva more highly magnified)

Description[edit]

The pavement ant is dark brown to blackish, and 2.5–4 mm long. Like other ants there are the workers, alates, and a queen. Alates, or new queen ants and drones, have wings, and are twice as large as the workers.

The drone's only job is to mate with the queen, and reproduction is at its highest in spring and summer. Tetramorium, like many other ants have nuptial flights where drones fly high up in the air and mate with new queens. The queen finds a suitable nesting location and digs a founding chamber. As the eggs hatch and the ants develop they will spend that time, about two to three months, tending to the queen of their colony. They will continue helping in the colony until they are a month old.

Older workers hunt and defend the colony. They will eat almost anything, including insects, seeds, honeydew, honey, bread, meats, nuts, ice cream and cheese. The pavement ant serves as host to the ectoparasitic Teleutomyrmex schneideri.

References[edit]

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