Tapinoma wilsoni

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Tapinoma wilsoni
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Tapinoma
Species group: lugubre
Species: T. wilsoni
Binomial name
Tapinoma wilsoni
Sharaf & Aldawood, 2012

Tapinoma wilsoni casent0263919 p 1 high.jpg

Tapinoma wilsoni casent0263919 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The specimens of T. wilsoni were found foraging on the ground, and coexisting with the ant species Carebara abuhurayri Sharaf & Aldawood, Tetramorium sericeiventre Emery, Pheidole minuscula Bernard, Pheidole sp., Trichomyrmex destructor (Jerdon), Monomorium exiguum (Forel), Monomorium sp., and Crematogaster sp. The type locality of this new species is a semi isolated area which is completely surrounded by high mountains and largely under banana cultivation. The new species was collected at the base of banana trees. Due to continuous irrigation of the banana plantations, the soil is moist throughout the year. The type locality still has a diversity of native plants as well as many other cultivated species, especially date palm, Ficus trees, alfalfa and some lemon trees. Numerous small streams drain this area.


Sharaf et al. (2012) - Tapinoma wilsoni appears most similar to Tapinoma lugubre, which was described from Zimbabwe. The two species are similar in size (TL 1.50–1.80) and both have the propodeum in profile with the transition from dorsum to declivity sharply defined, the declivity concave, and the angle with a raised apex. Tapinoma wilsoni can be easily separated from T. lugubre by the following characters: color brownish yellow or yellowish with fine brownish tint on head dorsum, appendages clear yellow, while T. lugubre is much darker brown or dull yellowish black, with occiput and gaster blackish. In T. wilsoni, the scape surpasses the posterior margin of head by about 1/6 of its length, whereas in T. lugubre, the scape surpasses the posterior margin of head by about 1/4 not similar in formatting to 1/6 in the above line!. In addition, T. wilsoni has the anterior clypeal margin distinctly concave, while in T. lugubre the middle of the anterior clypeal margin is shallowly concave. Moreover, T. wilsoni has two pairs of setae on the dorsum of the head, one close to antennal insertions and the other at the level of the anterior margin of eyes and several pairs on clypeus; whereas T. lugubre lacks hairs on the dorsum of the head. T. wilsoni can be easily separated from other Arabian species by the concave propodeal declivity and the well-defined angle between dorsum of propodeum and declivity.

Bharti, Kumar and Dubovikoff (2013) - Key to lugubre species-group workers:


  • Anteromedial clypeal margin with a wide shallow medial concavity . . . . . Tapinoma lugubre
  • Anteromedial clypeal margin more deeply concave 2


  • Head relatively wide and short (CI 0.82). Scape is relatively short, surpassing of posterior margin of head about on 1/4 of its length (SI 0.88) . . . . . Tapinoma wilsoni
  • Head more narrow and long (CI 0.8). Scape is very long, surpassing of posterior margin of head more than 1/3 of its length (SI 1.2). . . . . Tapinoma himalaicum


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 19.92976° to 19.92972°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Saudi Arabia (type locality).

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.


Tapinoma wilsoni is the first new species to be described in the genus since Collingwood’s (1985) review of the Arabian ant fauna. We believe that the Mountains of Al Sarwat and Asir (southwestern region of the Arabian Peninsula) may yield a wealth of undescribed ant species.



Images from AntWeb

Tapinoma wilsoni casent0280973 h 1 high.jpgTapinoma wilsoni casent0280973 p 1 high.jpgTapinoma wilsoni casent0280973 d 1 high.jpgTapinoma wilsoni casent0280973 l 1 high.jpg
Paratype of Tapinoma wilsoniWorker. Specimen code casent0280973. Photographer Estella Ortega, 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.

  • wilsoni. Tapinoma wilsoni Sharaf & Aldawood, in Sharaf, Aldawood & El Hawagry, 2012: 38, figs. 1-3 (w.) SAUDI ARABIA.

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



Holotype: TL: 1.84, HL: 0.51, HW: 0.41, SL: 0.46, PW: 0.29, WL: 0.56, EL: 0.11. Indices: CI: 80, SI: 112, OI: 27, EPI: 71, DTI: 134. Paratypes: TL: 1.56-1.84, HL: 0.49-0.53, HW: 0.36-0.42, SL: 0.35-0.51, PW: 0.25-0.31, WL: 0.49-0.63, EL: 0.09-0.14. Indices: CI: 73-84, SI: 105-133, OI: 22-33, EPI: 67-82, DTI: 114-145 (11 measured).

Head distinctly longer than broad with feebly convex posterior margin and sides; anterior clypeal margin broadly and distinctly concave; scapes, in full-face view, surpassing posterior margin of head by about 1/6 of its length; all funicular segments clearly longer than broad; eyes relatively large (OI 22-33) with 8 ommatidia in the longest row; mandibles large, armed with two distinct apical teeth followed by two smaller teeth, the third tooth being smaller than the fourth; the remaining masticatory margin equipped with several indistinct and tiny denticles; mandibles with several long yellow hairs; head pilosity a fine, whitish, appressed pubescence; promesonotum in profile straight or feebly convex; metanotal groove indistinct; propodeum in profile with the transition from dorsum to declivity sharply defined, the declivity concave and the angle with a raised apex; body pilosity restricted to two pairs of setae on dorsum of head, located close to antennal insertions and at the level of the anterior eye margin, none on mesosoma, one pair on second and third gastral tergites (absent in some individuals), apex of gaster with several pairs of long hairs; body very finely and densely shagreenate; mesosoma dull, head and gaster more or less shining. Color brownish yellow or yellowish with very faint brownish tint on dorsum of head, appendages clear yellow.

Type Material

Holotype worker. Saudi Arabia, Al Baha, Al Sarawat Mountains, Dhi Ayn Archaeological Village, 19.92972 N, 41.44278 E, 741 m, 15.v.2011 (M. R. Sharaf Leg.); deposited in the King Saud Museum of Arthropods, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Paratype workers. 29 workers, same locality as holotype, deposited as follows: 1 in Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève (Dr Bernhard Merz); 1 in Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel (Mrs. Isabelle Zürcher-Pfander); 1 in California Academy of Sciences (Dr Brian Fisher); 1 in Museum of Comparative Zoology (Dr Stefan Cover); 2 in World Museum, Liverpool (Tony Hunter), 1 in The Natural History Museum (Mr. Barry Bolton); 1 in SEMC (Prof. Michael S. Engel) the remaining specimens in King Saud Museum of Arthropods (M. R. Sharaf).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • El-Hawagry M. S., M. W. Khalil, M. R. Sharaf, H. H. Fadl, and A. S. Aldawood. 2013. A preliminary study on the insect fauna of Al-Baha Province, Saudi Arabia, with descriptions of two new species. ZooKeys 274: 1–88. doi:10.3897/zookeys.274.4531
  • Sharaf M. R., H. M. Al Dhafer, and S. A. Aldawood. 2014. First record of the myrmicine ant genus Meranoplus Smith, 1853 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the Arabian Peninsula with description of a new species and notes on the zoogeography of Southwestern Kingdom Saudi Arabia. PLoS ONE 9(11): e111298 (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111298).