Temnothorax rudis

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Temnothorax rudis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Temnothorax
Species group: andrei
Species: T. rudis
Binomial name
Temnothorax rudis
(Wheeler, W.M., 1917)

Temnothorax rudis casent0005689 profile 1.jpg

Temnothorax rudis casent0005689 dorsal 1.jpg

Summarized from Ward (2005): Colonies can be found in rotten wood, under stones, in fallen acorns, and in the leaf litter. Common in mixed coniferous forests of California, up to about 1750m elevation.


Ward (2005) "Temnothorax rudis is readily distinguished from Temnothorax nevadensis by petiole shape. In Temnothorax rudis the petiole is broader in profile, with the anterior and posterodorsal faces meeting at approximately 90º, and the posterodorsal face declining gently. In Temnothorax nevadensis the petiole is more slender in profile, with the anterior and posterodorsal faces forming an acute angle. In addition Temnothorax rudis has coarser body sculpture and is lighter in color than Temnothorax nevadensis."

Keys including this Species


Western Canada and United States: coastal, including California, Oregon, Washington and SW British Columbia

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 50.1° to 36.25°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


mixed coniferous forest


common in some parts of its range


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

  • rudis. Leptothorax nevadensis subsp. rudis Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 508 (w.q.) U.S.A. Combination in Temnothorax: Ward, 2005: 19. Junior synonym of nevadensis: Mackay, 2000: 376. Revived from synomymy and raised to species: Ward, 2005: 19.

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



Worker. Length 2.6-3.3 mm. Distinctly larger and more robust than the typical nevadensis and much more coarsely sculptured. Funicular joints 2-8 distinctly broader in proportion to their length. Head subopaque, finely and densely longitudinally rugose, with punctate interrugal spaces and sometimes with an interrupted shining median line. Frontal area shining; very finely striated. Mandibles coarsely punctate, striated at their bases. Thorax and petiole coarsely punctate-rugose, the rugae on the pleurae and often also on the pro- and epinotum longitudinal, on the mesonotum often vermiculate. Declivity of epinotum densely punctate and as opaque as the remainder of the thorax (more shining in the typical form). Postpetiole densely punctate and opaque. The epinotal spines are much stouter and blunter, and the petiolar node is much less compressed anteroposteriorly, its posterior surface being much more convex than in typical nevadensis. The color is considerably darker, the body being castaneous, with the head and gaster, except its incisures, blackish, the mandibles, clypeus, antennae and legs yellowish brown, the femora infuscated in the middle. Pilosity as in the typical form.


Smaller than the female of typical nevadensis, with longer and more slender epinotal spines and the funicular joints 2-8 shorter. Sculpture of the head, thorax and petiole a little coarser. Petiolar node like that of the worker. In the typical form it is much compressed anteroposteriorly and has a sharp, transverse superior border. There is very little difference in color between the two forms.


Males are known for this species but they have not been described.

Type Material

Described from numerous workers and a single female taken from small colonies nesting under the edges of stones in Tenaya Canyon, Yosemite Valley, Cala. Presumably Museum of Comparative Zoology and National Museum of Natural History.


  • MacKay, W. P. 2000. A review of the New World ants of the subgenus Myrafant, (genus Leptothorax) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 36: 265-444 (page 376, Junior synonym of nevadensis)
  • Prebus, M.M. 2021. Taxonomic revision of the Temnothorax salvini clade (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with a key to the clades of New World Temnothorax. PeerJ 9, e11514 (doi:10.7717/peerj.11514).
  • Snelling, R.R., Borowiec, M.L. & Prebus, M.M. 2014. Studies on California ants: a review of the genus Temnothorax (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). ZooKeys 372, 27–89 doi:10.3897/zookeys.372.6039
  • Stuart, R. J.; Page, R. E. 1991. Genetic component to division of labor among workers of a leptothoracine ant. Naturwissenschaften 78: 375-377 (page 375, raised to species)
  • Ward, P.S. 2005. A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 936: 1-68 (page 19, Status revived; raised to species; new combination in Temnothorax)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1917a. The mountain ants of western North America. Proc. Am. Acad. Arts Sci. 52: 457-569 (page 508, worker, queen described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • La Rivers I. 1968. A first listing of the ants of Nevada. Biological Society of Nevada, Occasional Papers 17: 1-12.
  • Ratchford, J.S., S.E. Wittman, E.S. Jules, A.M. Ellison, N.J. Gotelli and N.J. Sanders. 2005. The effects of fire, local environment and time on ant assemblages in fens and forests. Diversity and Distributions 11:487-497.
  • Snelling R.R., M. L. Borowiec, and M. M. Prebus. 2014. Studies on California ants: a review of the genus Temnothorax (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). ZooKeys 372: 27–89. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.372.6039