Temnothorax albipennis

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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 Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • 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).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • AntArea. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at http://antarea.fr/fourmi/
  • Antarea (at www.antarea.fr on June 11th 2017)
  • Blatrix R., C. Lebas, C. Galkowski, P. Wegnez, P. Pimenta, and D. Morichon. 2016. Vegetation cover and elevation drive diversity and composition of ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a Mediterranean ecosystem. – Myrmecological News 22: 119-127.
  • Boer P. 2019. Species list of the Netherlands. Accessed on January 22 2019 at http://www.nlmieren.nl/websitepages/specieslist.html
  • Boer P., W. Dekoninck, A. J. van Loon, and F. Vankerkhoven. 2003. Lijst van mieren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) van Belgie en Nederland, hun Nederlandse namen en hun voorkomen. Entomologische Berichten 63(3): 54-57.
  • Boer P., W. Dekoninck, A. J. van Loon, and F. Vankerkhoven. 2003. List of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Belgium and The Netherlands, their status and Dutch vernacular names. Entomologische Berichten 63 (3): 54-58.
  • Boieiro M., X. Espadaler, A. R. Azedo, C. Collingwood, and A. R. M. Serrano. 2009. One genus and three ant species new to Portugal (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Boletín Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa 45: 515-517.
  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Borowiec M. L. 2009. New data on the occurrence of formicoxenine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Poland. Wiadomo?ci Entomologiczne 28: 237-246.
  • Borowiec M. L. 2009. Nowe dane o rozmieszczeniu mrówek (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) z plemienia Formicoxenini w Polsce. Wiadomosci Entomologiczne 28: 237-246.
  • Bracko, G. "New species for the ant fauna of Slovenia (Hymenoptera:Formicidae)." Natura Sloneniae 5 (1) (2003): 17-25.
  • Casevitz-Weulersse J., and C. Galkowski. 2009. Liste actualisee des Fourmis de France (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Bull. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 114: 475-510.
  • Csősz S., B. Markó, and L. Gallé. 2011. The myrmecofauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Hungary: an updated checklist. North-Western Journal of Zoology 7: 55-62.
  • Czechowski W., A. Radchenko, W. Czechowska and K. Vepsäläinen. 2012. The ants of Poland with reference to the myrmecofauna of Europe. Fauna Poloniae 4. Warsaw: Natura Optima Dux Foundation, 1-496 pp
  • Czechowski W., and W. Czechowska. 2000. Epimyrma ravouxi (André, 1896) (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the Pieniny Mts - notes on its occurrence and biology. Fragm. Faun. (Warsaw) 43: 29-33.
  • Dekoninck W., H. De Koninck, J. Y. Baugnee, and J. P. Maelfait. 2007. Ant biodiversity conservation in Belgian calcareous grasslands: active management is vital. Belg. J. Zool. 137 (2): 137-146.
  • Dekoninck W., J. P. Maelfait, F. Vankerkhoven, J. Y. Baugnée,and P. Grootaert. 2006. An update of the checklist of the Belgian ant fauna with comments on new species for the country (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Belgian Journal of Entomology 8: 27-41.
  • Dornhaus, A. and N.R. Franks. 2006. Colony size affects collective decision-making in the ant Temnothorax albipennis. Insectes Sociaux 53:420-427
  • 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
  • Espadaler X. F. Garcia, K. Gomez, S. Serrano, and R. Vila. 2009. Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Mont-Rebei gorge (Pallars Jussà). Boletín Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa 44: 393–399.
  • Espadaler X., X. Roig, K. Gómez, and F. García. 2011. Formigues de les Planes de Son i mata de València (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) Treballs de la Institució Catalana d'Història Natural 16: 609-627.
  • Espadaler, X. "Catàleg de les formigues del països catalans." Ses. Entomol. ICHN-SCL IX (1997): 23-42.
  • Formidabel Database
  • GRETIA. 2017. Bilan annuel de l'enquete sur la repartition des fourmis armoricaines. 23 pages.
  • 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.
  • Lebas C., C. Galkowski, P. Wegnez, X. Espadaler, and R. Blatrix. 2015. The exceptional diversity of ants on mount Coronat (Pyrénées-Orientales), and Temnothorax gredosi(Hymenoptera, Formicidae) new to France. R.A.R.E., T. XXIV (1): 24 – 33
  • Livory A. 2003. Les fourmis de la Manche. L'Argiope 39: 25-49.
  • McLeman, M.A., S.C. Pratt and N.R. Franks. 2002. Navigation using visual landmarks by the ant Leptothorax albipennis. Insectes Sociaux 49:203-208
  • Orledge G. M. 1998. The identity of Leptothorax albipennis (Curtis) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and its presence in Great Britain. Syst. Entomol. 23: 25-33.
  • Ovazza M. 1953. Contributions a l'etude biologique de la Camargue , Formicides. Vie et Milieu 4(4) : 751-753.
  • Partridge, L.W., K.A. Partridge and N.R. Franks. 1997. Field survey of a monogynous leptothoracine ant (Hymenoptera, Formicidae): evidence of seasonal polydomy? Insectes Sociaux 44:75-83
  • Pratt, S.C., E.B. Mallon, D.J.T. Sumpter and N.R. Franks. 2002. Quorum Sensing, Recruitment, and Collective Decision-Making during Colony Emigration by the Ant Leptothorax albipennis. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 52(2):117-127
  • Robinson, E.J.H., T.O. Richardson, A.B. Sendova-Franks, O. Feinerman and N.R. Franks. 2009. Radio tagging reveals the roles of corpulence, experience and social information in ant decision making. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 63:627-636
  • Seifert B. 1994. Die freilebenden Ameisenarten Deutschlands (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) und Angaben zu deren Taxonomie und Verbreitung. Abhandlungen und Berichte des Naturkundemuseums Görlitz 67(3): 1-44.
  • Seifert B. 1998. Rote Liste der Ameisen. - in: M. Binot, R. Bless, P. Boye, H. Gruttke und P. Pretscher: Rote Liste gefährdeter Tiere Deutschlands. Bonn-Bad Godesberg 1998: 130-133.
  • Steiner F. M., S. Schödl, and B. C. Schlick-Steiner. 2002. Liste der Ameisen Österreichs (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Stand Oktober 2002. Beiträge zur Entomofaunistik 3: 17-25.
  • Wegnez P. 2014. Premières captures de Lasius distinguendus Emery, 1916 et de Temnothorax albipennis (Curtis, 1854) au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (Hymenoptera : Formicidae). Bulletin de la Société royale belge d’Entomologie 150 (2014) : 168-171.
  • 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. 2018. Premières decouvertes de Myrmica bibikoffi Kutter, 1963 et de Ponera testacea Emery, 1895, au Luxembourg (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)Bulletin de la Société royale belge d’Entomologie 154: 263–272.
  • 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. 2005. First records of Leptothorax albipennis and L. nadigi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) from Slovakia. Biológia (Bratislava) 60: 170
  • Wiezik M. 2006. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formiciadae) of the Sitno National Nature Reserve (Štiavnické vrchy Protected Landscape Area). Naturae Tutela 10: 73-77.