Temnothorax tergestinus

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Temnothorax tergestinus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Temnothorax
Species group: nylanderi
Species complex: sordidulus
Species: T. tergestinus
Binomial name
Temnothorax tergestinus
(Finzi, 1928)

Temnothorax saxonicus casent0179902 p 1 high.jpg

Temnothorax saxonicus casent0179902 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Common in mainland Greece.


Csösz et al. (2015) - A member of the sordidulus species-complex. This species can be separated from members of other species complexes by the ruguloreticulate main sculpture on head dorsum that turns irregular on the vertex and the sides of the head. In some Western and Central European populations, the surface sculpturing might be less conspicuous, which may lead to possible confusion with Temnothorax parvulus and Temnothorax nylanderi, particularly if the body surface is covered by diffuse dust.

Weakly sculptured, lightly colored specimens of T. tergestinus can be safely separated from T. nylanderi using PoOC/CL and non-overlapping SPWI/CS ratios. Slightly overlapping NOH/CS, SPTI/CS and SPWI/CS ratios help to distinguish T. tergestinus and T. parvulus samples. This species is not supposed to be confused with other members of other species complexes by combination of various traits.

Temnothorax tergestinus shares most of its characters with Temnothorax sordidulus and Temnothorax artvinensis. The latter is separated from T. tergestinus both by the broad gap in their distribution range and by discriminant (D4) function (for details see differential diagnosis of T. artvinensis). A discriminant function (D7) that helps separating T. tergestinus from T. sordidulus is given in differential diagnosis under the latter.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 51.402° to 37°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany (type locality), Greece, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Slovenia.

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.



Salata and Borowiec (2018) - Temnothorax tergestinus is common on the mainland. It has been recorded from Epirus, Macedonia, Sterea Ellas, Peloponnese, Thessaly, and Thrace, mostly from mountain and submountain localities. Within Greece collections are predominataly the dark form of T. tergestinus (body mostly to completely brown to dark brown). In Macedonia we have collected samples with distinctly bicoloured specimens similar to populations from Central Europe. Surprisingly, in one nest of Temnothorax tergestinus observed in Epirus: Giannoti we found completely yellow specimens with characters of the Temnothorax nylanderi group that differed from typical specimens of T. tergestinus not only in body colour but also in their smaller size, smaller eyes and thinner propodeal spines. At first glance they look like a distinct species. We consulted S. Csősz, the expert in taxonomy of T. nylanderi group, and he informed us that he also observed similar sample collected in the Dynaric Alps. He found in the gaster of the yellow form cysticercoids (tapeworm larvae) which suggests that the yellow forms are the result of a parasitic infection.



Images from AntWeb

Temnothorax saxonicus casent0906034 h 1 high.jpgTemnothorax saxonicus casent0906034 p 1 high.jpgTemnothorax saxonicus casent0906034 d 1 high.jpgTemnothorax saxonicus casent0906034 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0906034. Photographer Estella Ortega, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by PCAS, Andreas Schulz Collection.
Temnothorax saxonicus casent0179928 h 1 high.jpgTemnothorax saxonicus casent0179928 p 1 high.jpgTemnothorax saxonicus casent0179928 d 1 high.jpgTemnothorax saxonicus casent0179928 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0179928. Photographer Erin Prado, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Salata and Borowiec 2018, Photos L. Borowiec. Color morphs, figures 59-61.


Images from AntWeb

Temnothorax saxonicus casent0906033 h 1 high.jpgTemnothorax saxonicus casent0906033 p 1 high.jpgTemnothorax saxonicus casent0906033 d 1 high.jpgTemnothorax saxonicus casent0906033 l 1 high.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0906033. 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.

  • tergestinus. Leptothorax sordidulus var. tergestina Finzi, 1928b: 129 (w.) ITALY.
    • Subspecies of sordidulus: Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 124; Bolton, 1995b: 245.
    • Junior synonym of sordidulus: Seifert, 2006: 8.
    • Status as species: Csösz, Heinze & Mikó, 2015: 57 (redescription).
    • Senior synonym of saxonicus: Csösz, Heinze & Mikó, 2015: 57.

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



Csösz et al. (2015) - Body color: brown. Body color pattern: head, mesosoma, waist and anterior region of 1st gastral tergite lighter antenna and legs except femora lighter than femora and posterior region of gaster. Antenna color pattern: clava concolorous funicle. Absolute cephalic size: 523–665 μm (mean = 592, n = 49). Cephalic length vs. Maximum width of head capsule (CL/CWb): 1.169–1.253 (mean = 1.206). Postocular distance vs. cephalic length (PoOc/CL): 0.373–0.400 (mean = 0.384). Postocular sides of cranium contour frontal view orientation: parallel; converging posteriorly. Postocular sides of cranium contour frontal view shape: broadly convex. Vertex contour line in frontal view shape: straight. Vertex sculpture: main sculpture homogenously forked costate, ground sculpture areolate. Genae contour from anterior view orientation: converging. Gena contour line in frontal view shape: feebly convex. Gena sculpture: rugoso-reticulate with areolate ground sculpture. Median region of antennal rim vs. frontal carina in frontal view structure: not fully overlapped by frontal carina. Concentric carinae laterally surrounding antennal foramen count: present. Eye length vs. absolute cephalic size (EL/CS): 0.237–0.280 (mean = 0.258). Frontal carina distance vs. absolute cephalic size (FRS/CS): 0.347–0.380 (mean = 0.361). Longitudinal carinae on median region of frons count: present. Longitudinal carinae on medial region of frons shape: forked. Smooth median region on frons count: absent. Antennomere count: 12. Scape length vs. absolute cephalic size (SL/CS): 0.781–0.824 (mean = 0.799). Facial area of the scape absolute setal angle: 0–15°. External area of the scape absolute setal angle: 30°; 35–45°. Ground sculpture of submedian area of clypeus: smooth. Median carina of clypeus count: present. Lateral carinae of clypeus count: present. Median anatomical line of propodeal spine angle value to Weber length in lateral view: 45–50°. Spine length vs. absolute cephalic size (SPST/CS): 0.220–0.335 (mean = 0.276). Minimum spine distance vs. absolute cephalic size (SPBA/CS): 0.248–0.295 (mean = 0.273). Maximum spine distance vs. absolute cephalic size (SPWI/CS): 0.283–0.372 (mean = 0.333). Apical spine distance vs. absolute cephalic size (SPTI/CS): 0.270–0.346 (mean = 0.312). Maximum mesosoma width vs. absolute cephalic size (MW/CS): 0.588–0.652 (mean = 0.620). Metanotal depression count: present. Metanotal depression shape: shallow. Dorsal region of mesosoma sculpture: areolate ground sculpture, superimposed by dispersed rugae. Lateral region of pronotum sculpture: areolate ground sculpture, main sculpture dispersed costate. Mesopleuron sculpture: areolate ground sculpture superimposed by dispersed rugulae. Metapleuron sculpture: areolate ground sculpture superimposed by dispersed rugulae. Frontal profile of petiolar node contour line in lateral view shape: concave. Dorsal profile of petiolar node contour line angle value to frontal profile of petiole contour line in lateral view: 110–120°. Anterodorsal rim of petiole count: absent medially. Dorsal profile of petiolar node contour line in lateral view shape: slightly convex. Dorsal region of petiole sculpture: ground sculpture areolate, main sculpture dispersed rugose; ground sculpture areolate, main sculpture absent. Dorso-caudal petiolar profile contour line in lateral view shape: straight; concave. Dorsal region of postpetiole sculpture: ground sculpture areolate, main sculpture dispersed rugose; ground sculpture areolate, main sculpture absent.

Type Material

Csösz et al. (2015) - Syntype workers “S.Croze” Ven. Giulia [Trieste] B. Finzi „6.27”, FinziColl. purch 1950, M.C.Z. “co”type “28840”, “Syntypus Leptothorax sordidulus var tergestinus Finzi”, [on the reverse side: “SP Cover 98”], Museum of Comparative Zoology Museum of Comparative Zoology (4## MCZ), [ITA:Ven-Giuliatergestinus- TYPE].


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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