Tetramorium aspersum

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tetramorium aspersum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species: T. aspersum
Binomial name
Tetramorium aspersum
(Smith, F., 1865)

Tetramorium aspersum castype12628 profile 1.jpg

Tetramorium aspersum castype12628 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Some sparse collection information shows this ant occurs in forest habitats and has been collected from epiphyte roots and on vegetation.


Bolton (1977) - This is a widespread and very variable species. Of the material which I have examined no two populations are exactly alike but all show variation in eye diameter, intensity and density of sculpture, size and degree of hairiness. Considerable variation may be met in nest-series as one sample from Dumaguete (Philippines) collected by J. W. Chapman on 4.ix.1927 shows a CI range of 87-93 and an SI range of 109-123, which virtually spans the known range for the species as a whole.

There is an obvious temptation to separate the more extreme forms of this species and treat them as separate entities but I am by no means convinced (with the rather limited number of samples available) that any lines other than arbitrary ones can be drawn to subdivide this mass at present. Of course, when more collections have been made one or more siblings may possibly be separated, but I feel that this will not be accomplished for some time yet.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 9.316667° to -10.444°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Indonesia (type locality), New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands.

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.





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

  • aspersum. Myrmica aspersa Smith, F. 1865: 72 (w.) INDONESIA (Morotai I.). Combination in Xiphomyrmex: Donisthorpe, 1932c: 473; in Tetramorium: Bolton, 1977: 86. Senior synonym of bismarckii, willowsi: Bolton, 1977: 86.
  • bismarckii. Tetramorium (Xiphomyrmex) bismarckii Forel, 1901b: 11 (w.) NEW GUINEA (Bismarck Archipelago). Junior synonym of aspersum: Bolton, 1977: 86.
  • willowsi. Xiphomyrmex costatus subsp. willowsi Wheeler, W.M. 1934a: 177 (w.) SOLOMON IS. Junior synonym of aspersum: Bolton, 1977: 86.

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



Bolton (1977) - TL 3.6-4.4, HL 0.86-1.00, HW 0.76-0.90, CI 82-93, SL 0.86-1.10, SI 109-126, PW 0.60-0.74, AL 1.06-1.20 (31 measured).

Mandibles feebly and superficially longitudinally striate. Antennal scapes very long. SI always > 105, projecting well beyond the occipital margin when laid back in full-face view. Scrobes reduced to a narrow impression bounded above by the extensions of the frontal carinae, petering out posteriorly, and with a series of transverse rugae running across the impression. Metapleural lobes long and dentiform, acute. Petiole in profile a high, narrow node, the tergal portion much higher than long. Postpetiole generally more massive than petiole. Dorsum and sides of head covered with a loose, open rugoreticulum except anteriorly between the frontal carinae where the cross-meshes are feeble or absent and the sculpture is predominantly or completely of longitudinal rugae. Density and intensity of cephalic sculpture vary amongst different populations but are always distinctive. Dorsal alitrunk with a rugoreticulum but the pedicel segments and gaster unsculptured, completely smooth. All dorsal surfaces of body and head with erect or suberect hairs. Colour uniform yellow-brown to reddish brown.

Type Material

Bolton (1977) - Syntype workers, Indonesia: Morty (= Morotai) Is (A. R. Wallace) (Oxford University Museum of Natural History; The Natural History Museum) [examined].


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bolton B. 1977. The ant tribe Tetramoriini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The genus Tetramorium Mayr in the Oriental and Indo-Australian regions, and in Australia. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 36:67-151.
  • Bolton, B. "The ant tribe Tetramoriini (Hymenoptera: Formicinae. The genus Tetramorium Mayr in the Oriental and Indo-Australian regions and in Australia." Bulletin of the British Museum (National History): Entomology series 36, no. 2 (1977): 68-151.
  • Dahl F. 1901. Das Leben der Ameisen im Bismarck-Archipel, nach eigenen Beobachtungen vergleichend dargestellt. Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berl. 2: 1-70.
  • Forel A. 1901. Formiciden aus dem Bismarck-Archipel, auf Grundlage des von Prof. Dr. F. Dahl gesammelten Materials. Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berl. 2: 4-37.
  • Forel A. 1911. Die Ameisen des K. Zoologischen Museums in München. Sitzungsber. Math.-Phys. Kl. K. Bayer. Akad. Wiss. Münch. 11: 249-303.
  • Janda M., G. D. Alpert, M. L. Borowiec, E. P. Economo, P. Klimes, E. Sarnat, and S. O. Shattuck. 2011. Cheklist of ants described and recorded from New Guinea and associated islands. Available on http://www.newguineants.org/. Accessed on 24th Feb. 2011.
  • Mann W. M. 1919. The ants of the British Solomon Islands. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 63:273-391.
  • Mann William. 1916. The Ants of the British Solomon Islands. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College 63(7): 273-391
  • Mann, W.M. 1919. The ants of the British Solomon Islands. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology of Harvard College 63: 273-391
  • Viehmeyer H. 1912. Ameisen aus Deutsch Neuguinea gesammelt von Dr. O. Schlaginhaufen. Nebst einem Verzeichnisse der papuanischen Arten. Abhandlungen und Berichte des Königlichen Zoologischen und Anthropologische-Ethnographischen Museums zu Dresden 14: 1-26.
  • Wheeler W.M. 1934. Formicidae of the Templeton Crocker expedition, 1933. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 21(14): 173-181.
  • Wheeler W.M. 1935. Check list of the ants of Oceania. Occasional Papers of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum 11(11):1-56.
  • Wheeler, William Morton.1935.Checklist of the Ants of Oceania.Occasional Papers 11(11): 3-56