Temnothorax albipennis

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Temnothorax albipennis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Temnothorax
Species: T. albipennis
Binomial name
Temnothorax albipennis
(Curtis, 1854)

Temnothorax albipennis casent0173192 profile 1.jpg

Temnothorax albipennis casent0173192 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


These ants inhabit grasslands and light scrub, especially on lime subsoil and are sometimes common in dunes. They nests in rock crevices and rubble or in tree stumps and in dry fallen branches. Colonies are reported as monogynous, with up to 200 workers, and may form temporary polydomous systems (Salata & Borowiec, 2013).

At a Glance • Tandem running  




Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Hunt et al. (2018) studied asymmetries in left and right eye ommatidia count of T. albipennis. This work was stimulated by an earlier finding that individuals searching for new nest sites exhibit a leftward turning bias. They found "Fifty-six workers were examined: 45% had more ommatidia in the right eye, 36% more in the left, and 20% an equal number. A tentative connection between relative ommatidia count for each eye and turning behaviour was identified, with a stronger assessment of behavioural lateralization before imaging and a larger sample suggested for further work. There was a clear sexual dimorphism in ommatidia counts between queens and males."

This species is a host for the ant Temnothorax ravouxi (a slave maker) (Czechowski & Czechowska, 2000).


This species is a host for the fungus Myrmicinosporidium durum (a pathogen) (Espadaler & Santamaria, 2012).




The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • albipennis. Stenamma albipennis Curtis, 1854: 218 (w.m.) GREAT BRITAIN. Combination in Leptothorax: Orledge, 1998: 31; in Temnothorax: Bolton, 2003: 271. Junior synonym of unifasciatus: Nylander, 1856b: 92; of nylanderi: Smith, F. 1858b: 120; of tuberum: Emery, 1924d: 256. Revived from synonymy and senior synonym of tuberointerruptus: Orledge, 1998: 31.
  • tuberointerruptus. Leptothorax tuberointerruptus Bondroit, 1918: 126 (w.q.) SWITZERLAND. [First available use of Leptothorax tuberum var. tuberointerruptus Forel, 1874: 86. Nomen nudum. Leptothorax tuberum r. interruptus var. tuberointerruptus Forel, 1915d: 24 (in key); unavailable name.] Status as species: Betrem, 1926: 217. Subspecies of interruptus: Novak & Sadil, 1941: 93. Revived status as species: Seifert, 1994: 22. Junior synonym of albipennis: Orledge, 1998: 31.

Taxonomic Notes

Plateaux, L. & Cagniant, H. 2012: 436: We conclude from all these observations that Leptothorax tuberum unifasciatointerruptus is a hybrid of Temnothorax unifasciatus and Temnothorax albipennis. Hybridization works in both directions, parents may be alternately of the two species, and males are from the parthenogenetic egg of the queen mother. Note that both species exist also in places (especially in Luberon and Ventoux) where the where the form was found. We therefore ask: T. albipennis x T. unifasciatus = L. tuberum unifasciatointerruptus Forel.



  • n = 8 (Great Britain) (Orledge, 1998) (as Leptothorax albipennis, L. tuberointerruptus, Stenamma albipennis).
  • n = 8 (Germany) (Fischer, 1987) (as Leptothorax albipennis, L. tuberointerruptus, Stenamma albipennis).