Temnothorax lichtensteini

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Temnothorax lichtensteini
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Temnothorax
Species group: nylanderi
Species complex: lichtensteini
Species: T. lichtensteini
Binomial name
Temnothorax lichtensteini
(Bondroit, 1918)

Temnothorax lichtensteini casent0906005 p 1 high.jpg

Temnothorax lichtensteini casent0906005 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Temnothorax lichtensteini is distributed widely in xerothermous open forests across the northern coastline of the Mediterranean region from the Iberian Peninsula to Western Turkey, and from 47°N in Austria to 37°N in Greece.


Csösz et al. (2013) - Part of a lichtensteini species-complex of cryptic species, Temnothorax laconicus can be separated from T. lichtensteini by measuring a series of workers and using a Nest Centroid Clustering function (see Csősz et al. 2013).

Csösz et al. (2015) - Members of the Temnothorax lichtensteini complex (T. lichtensteini and Temnothorax laconicus) can be easily distinguished from other species treated in this revision by the very long propodeal spines and their low deviation (20–25°) from the mesosomal axis. Other species with long spines have more erect propodeal spines deviating from the mesosomal axis by >35°. How T. lichtensteini and T. laconicus can be separated is described under the latter.

Keys including this Species


This is a northern species recorded from Epirus, the Ionian Islands, Macedonia, Sterea Ellas, Thessaly and Thrace (Borowiec et al., 2022).

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 46.6981° to 37.6704°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Andorra, Austria, Balearic Islands, Bulgaria, Croatia, France (type locality), Greece, Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Spain, Türkiye.

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.


This species is a host for the ant Temnothorax gordiagini (a slave maker) (Buschinger et al., 1984).

Association with Other Organisms

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  • This species is a host for the cestode Choanotaenia crateriformis (a parasite) in Spain (Espadaler & Riasol, 1983; Laciny, 2021).


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



Images from AntWeb

Temnothorax lichtensteini casent0906004 h 1 high.jpgTemnothorax lichtensteini casent0906004 p 1 high.jpgTemnothorax lichtensteini casent0906004 d 1 high.jpgTemnothorax lichtensteini casent0906004 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0906004. Photographer Estella Ortega, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by PCAS, Andreas Schulz Collection.
Temnothorax lichtensteini casent0906165 h 1 high.jpgTemnothorax lichtensteini casent0906165 p 1 high.jpgTemnothorax lichtensteini casent0906165 d 1 high.jpgTemnothorax lichtensteini casent0906165 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0906165. Photographer Cerise Chen, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMUK, London, UK.


Images from AntWeb

Temnothorax lichtensteini casent0906006 h 1 high.jpgTemnothorax lichtensteini casent0906006 p 1 high.jpgTemnothorax lichtensteini casent0906006 d 1 high.jpgTemnothorax lichtensteini casent0906006 l 1 high.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0906006. Photographer Estella Ortega, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by PCAS, Andreas Schulz Collection.
Temnothorax lichtensteini casent0906007 h 1 high.jpgTemnothorax lichtensteini casent0906007 p 1 high.jpgTemnothorax lichtensteini casent0906007 d 1 high.jpgTemnothorax lichtensteini casent0906007 l 1 high.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0906007. Photographer Estella Ortega, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by PCAS, Andreas Schulz Collection.


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

  • lichtensteini. Leptothorax lichtensteini Bondroit, 1918: 123 (w.q.m.) FRANCE.
    • Combination in Temnothorax: Bolton, 2003: 271.
    • Subspecies of nylanderi: Menozzi, 1921: 28; Menozzi, 1922b: 329; Müller, 1923a: 71; Müller, 1923b: 95; Emery, 1924d: 255; Menozzi, 1925d: 27; Novák & Sadil, 1941: 91 (in key).
    • Status as species: Bondroit, 1920a: 154; Bernard, 1956a: 162; Bernard, 1967: 205 (redescription); Collingwood & Yarrow, 1969: 70; Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 114; Baroni Urbani, 1976: 214; Collingwood, 1978: 84 (in key); Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 274 (in key); Casevitz-Weulersse, 1990c: 418 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 240; Csösz, et al. 2014: 85 (redescription); Csösz, Heinze & Mikó, 2015: 33 (redescription).

Type Material

Csősz et al. (2013) - Four workers labeled “Montpellier Jean Lichtenstein”, Leptoth. lichtensteini Type Bondr. and “Lecotype Leptothorax lichtensteini Bondroit 1918 Top specimen det. A.Schulz & M.Verhaagh 1999”; IRSNB Bruxelles; lectotype with CS 546.6. 5 workers labeled “Menton de Dalmas” and “Leptoth. lichtensteini Type Bondr. ”; IRSNB Bruxelles. Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Csősz et al. (2013) - General colouration of this species is somewhat lighter than that of Temnothorax laconicus; appendages, mesosoma, waist and basis of first gaster tergite-yellow to dirty yellowish-brown. Head dorsum and the posterior surfaces of gaster tergites darker, usually dirty yellowish-brown to light-brown. Small species (CS 535 μm), but similar in size to its sister species. Head significantly longer than broad (CL/CWb 1.226) and with feebly convex sides. Vertexal corners rounded, posterior margin of vertex strait. Scape long (SL/CS 0.786) with variable pubescence: adpressed (0–5°) to decumbent (10–15°) on the surface that is adjacent to head surface when the scape is directed fully caudad and subdecumbent (30°) on the surface that becomes external in the same scape position. Clypeus between sagittal level of frontal carinaewith a number of longitudinal carinulae, interstices smooth and shiny. Eyes rather large (EL/CS 0.248) and more approached to hind margin of vertex (PoOc/CL 0.401). Vertex with fine microreticulate sculpture that is superimposed by a number of longitudinal rugulae. Frontal carinae non-divergent and widely distant (FRS/CS 0.357). Propodeal spines long, but significantly shorter than in T. laconicus (SPST/CS 0.347) and acute, in lateral view deviating from longitudinal axis of mesosoma by 20–25°. In dorsal view, propodeal spines less divergent than in the sibling species (SPWI/CS 0.393), spine-tips curving inward (SPTI/CS 0.373). Mesosoma as wide as in related species (MW/CS 0.610). Metanotal depression well visible, moderately deep. Mesosoma with fine microreticulate microsculpture that is superimposed by a few irregular or longitudinal rugulae. Petiole and postpetiole covered by a reticulate microsculpture that can occasionally be superimposed by a few irregular rugulae in particular on dorsum of petiolar node. Petiole in profile with a rather straight or slightly concave anterior face; top of node forms a short truncate dorsum that continue to posterior slope with a distinct step.


  • n = 14 (Croatia, France, Italy) (Fischer, 1987) (as Leptothorax lichtensteini).


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