Temnothorax ravouxi

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Temnothorax ravouxi
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Temnothorax
Species group: palearctic
Species: T. ravouxi
Binomial name
Temnothorax ravouxi
(André, 1896)

Myrmoxenus ravouxi casent0173641 profile 1.jpg

Myrmoxenus ravouxi casent0173641 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label


Temnothorax rauouxi is an active slavemaker with a normally developed worker caste. It conducts well-organized raids upon colonies of its host species (Winter 1979, Buschinger, Winter 1983). Its hosts are most frequently Temnothorax unifasciatus (mainly in the west of Europe), as well as Temnothorax affinis (in the south), Temnothorax albipennis, Temnothorax nadigi (Poland), Temnothorax nigriceps and Temnothorax tuberum (in the east) (Czechowski & Czechowska, 2000).

At a Glance • Dulotic  


Prebus (2017) - A member of the Palearctic clade.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 49.78306° to 36.468611°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France (type locality), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Poland, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, 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.


Temnothorax ravouxi is a slave-making ant, as are most species of the former genus Myrmoxenus (Temnothorax adlerzi and Temnothorax corsicus are workerless degenerate slave-makers). Slaves include the following species (Czechowski & Czechowska, 2000):

Temnothorax ravouxi slave raid.jpg

For a slave raid a few T. ravouxi workers search around their nest for colonies of one of the host species. A successful scout ant then leads a small group of T. ravouxi workers on a short-lived pheromone trail (from poison gland secretion) to the host nest. The slave-makers fight with stinging the defending host workers mainly into the mouthparts or into the gaster. Finally, they carry the host pupae back to the slavemaker nest where they eclose to become slaves. (Winter, U. (1979): Epimyrma goesswaldi MENOZZI, eine sklavenhaltende Ameise. Naturwissenschaften 66, 581-582)

T. ravouxi queen attacking the queen of an invaded nest.
T. ravouxi queen attacking the queen of an invaded nest. Photo by Olivier Delattre

As all former Myrmoxenus species, T. ravouxi founds its colonies in dependence of one of the host species. A mated T. ravouxi queen seeks adoption in a nest, e. g. of T. unifasciatus, where it is barely attacked, then kills the host colony queen by throttling it with her mandibles grasping around the neck or throat of the host queen. This queen dies after several days or even weeks, and the adult host workers accept the T. ravouxi as their replacement queen.

Association with Other Organisms

Explore-icon.png Explore: Show all Associate data or Search these data. See also a list of all data tables or learn how data is managed.


  • This species is a host for the nematode Mermithidae (unspecified "Mermix") (a parasite) in Germany (Gosswald, 1930; Laciny, 2021) (as Epimyrma gösswaldi).

Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Source: antkeeping.info.

Life History Traits

  • Queen number: monogynous (Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)
  • Queen type: winged (Frumhoff & Ward, 1992) (queenless worker reproduction)



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

  • ravouxi. Formicoxenus ravouxi André, 1896a: 367 (q.) FRANCE. Combination in Epimyrma: Emery, 1915a: 262; in Myrmoxenus: Schulz & Sanetra, 2002: 162; in Temnothorax: Ward et al., 2014: 15. Senior synonym of goesswaldi: Buschinger, 1982: 352. See also: Menozzi, 1931c: 44; Kutter, 1973e: 281.
  • goesswaldi. Epimyrma goesswaldi Menozzi, in Gösswald, 1930: 464, figs. 1-3 (w.q.m.) GERMANY. [Also described as new by Menozzi, 1931c: 41.] Junior synonym of ravouxi: Buschinger, 1982: 352. See also: Stitz, 1939: 186; Kutter, 1973e: 281.



  • n = 10 (France; Germany; Italy; Switzerland) (Buschinger et al., 1986; Fischer, 1987) (as Epimyrma ravouxi).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • André E. 1896. Description d'une nouvelle fourmi de France (Hymén.). Bull. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 1896: 367-368.
  • AntArea. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at http://antarea.fr/fourmi/
  • Antarea (at www.antarea.fr on June 11th 2017)
  • Beibl, J., R.J. Stuart, J. Heinze and S. Foitzik. 2005. Six origins of slavery in formicoxenine ants. Insectes Sociaux 52:291-297
  • Bernard F. 1967. Faune de l'Europe et du Bassin Méditerranéen. 3. Les fourmis (Hymenoptera Formicidae) d'Europe occidentale et septentrionale. Paris: Masson, 411 pp.
  • Bezdecka P. 1996. The ants of Slovakia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Entomofauna carpathica 8: 108-114.
  • 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.
  • Borowiec L., and S. Salata. 2017. Ants of the Peloponnese, Greece (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Polish Journal of Entomology 86: 193-236.
  • Bracko G. 2010. First record of a slave-making ant Myrmoxenus gordiagini Ruzsky, 1902 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Slovenia. Acta Entomologica Slovenica. 18: 137-142.
  • Bracko G. 2007. Checklist of the ants of Slovenia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Natura Sloveniae 9: 15-24
  • Bracko, G. 2006. Review of the ant fauna (Hymenoptera:Formicidae) of Croatia. Acta Entomologica Slovenica 14(2): 131-156.
  • Buschinger A. 1999. Bemerkenswerte ameisenfunde aus Sudtirol (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecologische Nachrichten 3: 1-8.
  • Buschinger, A., W. Ehrhardt, and K. Fischer. "Doronomyrmex pacis, Epimyrma stumperi und E. goesswaldi (Hym., Formicidae) neu für Frankreich." Insectes Sociaux 28 (1981): 67-70.
  • Buschinger, A., and U. Winter. "Life history and male morphology of the workerless parasitic ant Epimyrma corsica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Entomologia Generalis 10 (1985): 65-75.
  • Buschinger, A. "Socially parasitic formicoxenine ants from Western Europe: a review (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)." Proc. Int. Coll. Social Insects, St. Petersburg 3-4 (1997): 1-9.
  • Buschinger, A. "Teleutomyrmex schneideri Kutter 1950 and other parasitic ants found in the Pyrenees." Spixiana 10 (1987): 81-83.
  • Buschinger, A. "The Epimyrma species of Corsica." Spixiana 8 (3) (1985): 277-280.
  • Cagniant, H. "Nouvelle description d'Aphaenogaster (Attomyrma) crocea (André) Hyménoptère Formicidae. Représentation des trois castes. Notes biologiques." Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France 91 (1966): 61-69.
  • Casevitz-Weulersse J. 1990. Etude Systematique de la Myrmecofaune Corse (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), deuxieme partie. Bull. Mus. Natn. Hist. Nat. Paris. 4eme serie 12, section A(2): 415-442.
  • Casevitz-Weulersse J. 1990. Étude systématique de la myrmécofaune corse (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) (Première partie). Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. Sect. A Zool. Biol. Écol. Anim. (4) 12: 135-163.
  • Casevitz-Weulersse, J. "Contribution a la connaisance des fourmis de la Corse (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." These de Doctorat Museum Nat (1989): 379pp.
  • 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. Fragmenta Faunistica 43: 29-33.
  • Douwes, P., K. Jessen, and A. Buschinger. "Epimyrma adlerzi sp. n. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Greece: morphology and life history." Entomologica Scandinavica 19 (1988): 239-249.
  • 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.
  • Galkowski C. 2008. Quelques fourmis nouvelles ou intéressantes pour la faune de France (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Bulletin de la Société Linnéenne de Bordeaux, 143, N.S. 36, 4 : 423-433.
  • Galkowski C., and J. Casevitz-Weulersse. 2008. Temnothorax clypeatus (Mayr) en France (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae). L'Entomologiste 64(4): 233-238.
  • Galle L., and G. Szonyi. 1988. A check list of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicoidea) of a sandy grassland in Kiskunsag National Park (Hungary). Acta Biol. Szeged 34: 167-168.
  • Heinze J., A. Buschinger, T. Poettinger, M. Suefuji. 2015. Multiple convergent Origins of workerlessness and inbreeding in the socially parasitic ant genus Myrmoxenus. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0131023. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131023
  • Legakis Collection Database
  • Lorite P., J. A. Carrillo, M. F. García, and T. Palomeque. 2000. Chromosome numbers in Spanish Formicidae. III. Subfamily Myrmicinae (Hymenoptera). Sociobiology 36: 555-570.
  • Mei M. 1992. A survey of the socially parasitic ant genera Epimyrma Emery, 1915 and Chalepoxenus Menozzi, 1922 in Italy (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae). Insectes Sociaux. 39: 145-156.
  • Menozzi C. 1931. Revisione del genere Epimyrma Em. (Hymen. Formicidae) e descrizione di una specie inedita di questo genere. Memorie della Società Entomologica Italiana. 10: 36-53.
  • Ortius-Lechner D., M. Rüger, and T. Wanke. 2003. Sexing at the larval stage in two ant species of the Formicoxenini (Hymenoptera). Zoomorphology 122: 41–45.
  • Poldi B., M. Mei, and F. Rigato. 1995. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Vol 102. Checklist delle specie della fauna Italiana: 1-10.
  • Schulz, A., and M. Sanetra. "Notes on the socially parasitic ants of Turkey and the synonymy of Epimyrma (Hymenoptera: Formcidae)." Entomofauna, Zeitschrift für Entomologie 23 (14) (2002): 157-172.
  • 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.