Tapinoma ibericum

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Tapinoma ibericum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Tapinoma
Species group: nigerrimum
Species: T. ibericum
Binomial name
Tapinoma ibericum
Santschi, 1925
At a Glance • Supercolonies  


A member of the Tapinoma nigerrimum complex.

Keys including this Species


The introduced colony of Tapinoma ibericum at the Ventnor Botanical Garden, Isle of Wight, UK, is still going strong as of October, 2020. It was expected that it would die out during its first winter a couple of years ago, but workers are still running about all over the path in the bright sunshine (B. Bolton).

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 52.45° to 31.216667°.

Tropical South
  • Source: AntMaps, Seifert et al. (2024)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.


Seifert et al. (2017) - There is almost nothing known on the biology of this species except for the fact that it may form large supercolonies. Tapinoma ibericum apparently has a weaker tramp species potential than Tapinoma magnum. Only one anthropogenous introduction is known so far: A mature polydomous colony was found in the Ventnor Botanic Garden on the Isle of Wight in 2016 which was probably founded during the import of several large plants from southern Spain some ten years ago (C. Pope, pers. comm.). Apart from this finding, T. ibericum seems to be restricted to its native range in Iberia south of 41° N – an area probably not exceeding 250,000 km2. It is unknown if T. ibericum is abundant along the shore line of southern Iberia because there was no systematic sampling at coastal sites. The phenology of sexual production, as derived from our poor data, seems to be comparable to the situation in the other species: 15 May ± 28 d [24 April – 15 June] n = 5. Low foraging temperatures are apparently also typical for this species: according to observation of the senior author in Portugal 14 February 2016, it was the only ant species showing surface activity at air temperatures of 10 °C.



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

  • ibericum. Tapinoma nigerrima var. ibericum Santschi, 1925g: 349 (m.) SPAIN.
    • Junior synonym of nigerrimum: Collingwood, 1978: 71.
    • Status as species: Seifert et al., 2017: 123.

Seifert et al. (2017) - Type male labelled "Type", "Tapinoma nigerrimum Nyl. v ibericum Sants. type" [Santschi's handwriting], "POZUELO La Fuente" and "ANTWEB CASENT 0911578", NHM Basel. The type was remounted and the genital prepared in an in situ position.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Baroni Urbani C. 1977. Katalog der Typen von Formicidae (Hymenoptera) der Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Basel (2. Teil). Mitt. Entomol. Ges. Basel (n.s.) 27: 61-102.
  • Diniz, M. A. "Estado actual do conhecimento dos himenópteros de Portugal." Memorias e Estudos do Museu Zoologico da Universidade de Coimbra 259 (1959): 1-42.
  • Seifert B. D. D'Eustacchio, B. E. Kaufmann, M. Centorame, and M. Modica. 2017. Four species within the supercolonial ants of the Tapinoma nigerrimum complex revealed by integrative taxonomy (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 24: 123-144.
  • Shattuck S. O. 1994. Taxonomic catalog of the ant subfamilies Aneuretinae and Dolichoderinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). University of California Publications in Entomology 112: i-xix, 1-241.