Tapinoma subboreale

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Tapinoma subboreale
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Tapinoma
Species: T. subboreale
Binomial name
Tapinoma subboreale
Seifert, 2012

Tapinoma subboreale casent0280681 p 1 high.jpg

Tapinoma subboreale casent0280681 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Part of a cryptic species complex, a recent morphometric taxonomic study made no mention of any natural history details of this species.


Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 51.367° to 41.774°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany (type locality), Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, Ukraine, 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.




Images from AntWeb

Tapinoma subboreale casent0914256 h 1 high.jpgTapinoma subboreale casent0914256 p 1 high.jpgTapinoma subboreale casent0914256 d 1 high.jpgTapinoma subboreale casent0914256 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0914256. Photographer Michele Esposito, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Images from AntWeb

Tapinoma subboreale casent0914257 h 1 high.jpgTapinoma subboreale casent0914257 p 1 high.jpgTapinoma subboreale casent0914257 d 1 high.jpgTapinoma subboreale casent0914257 l 1 high.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0914257. Photographer Michele Esposito, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


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

  • subboreale. Tapinoma subboreale Seifert, 2012: 143, figs. 1, 2, 4 (w.q.m.) GERMANY.

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



Worker (Table 1): All data primary ratios (without RAV correction). Rather small, mean CS 699 μm. Depth of anteromedian clypeal excision 5.2% of cephalic size, much lower than in Tapinoma erraticum or Tapinoma nigerrimum but equal to Tapinoma madeirense. In general most similar to T. madeirense but the following three characters show statistically significant differences: With maximum cephalic length in visual plane, excavation of hind vertex just notable, being ± 0.43% of CS (in T. madeirense almost zero). Head and mesosoma more elongated than in T. madeirense, CL / CW 1.153, ML / CS 1.362. Using the seven characters, presented in Table 1, there was no clear clustering of workers in a PCA while a DA and LOOCV-DA resulted in error rates of 12.5 and 18.7% in 62 workers (data not shown). The univariate analysis of variance (ANOVA) confirmed as highly significant difference to T. madeirense a smaller CL / CW0.75, ExOcc / CS0.75 and ML / CS0.75 (Tab. 1). For differences to T. erraticum and T. nigerrimum see Table 1.


Gyne (Tab. 2): Rather small, CS 836-930 μm. Depth of anteromedian clypeal excision much lower than in Tapinoma erraticum or T. nigerrimum but equal to T. madeirense. In all studied characters most similar to T. madeirense but statistically significant differences are the more elongated head, the larger distance of the inner margins of antennal fossae and the larger eye length (Tab. 2). Using the seven characters presented in Table 2, there was no clear clustering of gynes of T. subboreale sp.n. and T. madeirense in a PCA while a DA and LOOCV-DA resulted in error rates 5.1 and 15.4% in 38 gynes (data not shown). For differences to T. erraticum and T. nigerrimum see below and Table 2.


Absolute body size equal to Tapinoma madeirense, ML 1310-1630 μm. Anteromedian clypeal incision shallow, clearly wider than deep. With the genital in ventral view and the subgenital plate positioned in visual plane, stipal tips much less surpassing the caudal tips of the subgenital plate than in T. madeirense (dSPST 122-172 vs. 252-268 μm), the divergence of the caudal tips of the subgenital plate is much larger (SPdT 472-563 vs. 370-435 μm, compare also Figs. 3 and 4). As a result, the ratio SPdT / dSPST is much larger than in T. madeirense – 3.04-4.12 vs. 1.46-1.88. Due to extreme elongation and strong divergence of the tips of subgenital plate these are clearly visible also in dorsal aspect of the genital – there is no other Tapinoma species in Europe with a comparable morphology of the subgenital plate.

Type Material

Holotype male labelled “GER: 51.2294 °N, 11.7329°E, Weischütz-Kirche 1.7 km NE, limestone grassland, 215 m, Seifert 2002.06.14-542”, “Holotype Tapinoma subboreale Seifert}; five paratype males and five paratype workers with the same locality label and “Paratype Tapinoma subboreale Seifert” on a separate pin (1 male, 2 workers) and in ethanol (4 males, 3 workers); all material from the same nest sample; five paratype gynes labelled “GER: 50.879°N, 10.840°E, 300 m, Wanderlebener Gleiche, B. Seifert 1984.09.03” and “Paratype Tapinoma subboreale Seifert”; all material in Senckenberg Museum für Naturkunde Görlitz.


The species epithet is an adjective derived from Latin, meaning "below northern" – referring to the fact that the most northern Scandinavian populations are found south of the boreal zone.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Boer P. 2019. Species list of the Netherlands. Accessed on January 22 2019 at http://www.nlmieren.nl/websitepages/specieslist.html
  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Borowiec L., and S. Salata. 2012. Ants of Greece - Checklist, comments and new faunistic data (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus 23(4): 461-563.
  • Dubovikoff D. A., and Z. M. Yusupov. 2018. Family Formicidae - Ants. In Belokobylskij S. A. and A. S. Lelej: Annotated catalogue of the Hymenoptera of Russia. Proceedingss of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences 6: 197-210.
  • Else G., B. Bolton, and G. Broad. 2016. Checklist of British and Irish Hymenoptera - aculeates (Apoidea, Chrysidoidea and Vespoidea). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e8050. doi: 10.3897/BDJ.4.e8050
  • Formidabel Database
  • Glaser F., A. Freitag, and H. Martz. 2012. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Münstertal (Val Müstair) – a hot spot of regional species richness between Italy and Switzerland. Gredleriana 12: 273 - 284.
  • Nemet E., Z. Czekes, I. Tausan, and B. Marko. 2012. Contribution to the knowledge of the myrmecofauna of the Cefa Nature Park (North-Western Romania). Acta Scientiarum Transylvanica 20(1): 61-72.
  • Seifert B. 2012. Clarifying naming and identification of the outdoor species of the ant genus Tapinoma Förster, 1850 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Europe north of the Mediterranean region with description of a new species. Myrmecological News 16: 139-147.
  • 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.
  • Tausan I., J. Dauber, M. R. Tricia, and B. Marko. 2017. Succession in ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in deciduous forest clear-cuts – an Eastern European case study. European Journal of Entomology 114: 92-100.
  • Tausan I., M. M. Jerpel, I. R. Puscasu, C. Sadeanu, R. E. Brutatu, L. A. Radutiu, and V. Giurescu. 2012. Ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Sibiu County (Transylvania, Romania). Brukenthal. Acta Musei 7(3): 499-520.
  • Wegnez P. 2017. Découverte de Myrmica lobicornis Nylander, 1846 et Lasius jensi Seifert, 1982, deux nouvelles espèces pour le Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bulletin de la Société royale belge d’Entomologie 153: 46-49.
  • Wegnez P., and M. Fichaux. 2015. Liste actualisee des especes de fourmis repertoriees au Grand-Duche de Luxembourg (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bulletin de la Société royale belge d’Entomologie 151: 150-165
  • Wiezik M., M. Svitok, A. Wiezikova, and M. Dovciak. 2013. Shrub encroachment alters composition and diversity of ant communities in abandoned grasslands of western Carpathians. Biodivers Conserv 22: 2305–2320.