Tetramorium insolens

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Tetramorium insolens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species: T. insolens
Binomial name
Tetramorium insolens
(Smith, F., 1861)

Tetramorium insolens casent0005828 profile 1.jpg

Tetramorium insolens casent0005828 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Tetramorium insolens is a pan-global tramp species with a relatively wide distribution range and is now considered invasive (Roberts & McGlynn, 2004). It was originally described from Sulawesi, Indonesia, and has since been recorded from other Indonesian islands, Sri Lanka, Philippines, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Hawaiian Islands, and several more Pacific islands, but also from Los Angeles, California, England, and Germany (Bolton, 1977, 1979). Its distribution might be even larger than as described above since T. insolens often has been misidentified as Tetramorium bicarinatum in the past (Bolton, 1977); thus, many other introductions might have occurred without being noticed. (Hita Garcia and Fisher 2011)

At a Glance • Invasive  


The following character combination isolates T. insolens from the other members of the T. bicarinatum species group in the Malagasy region: unsculptured mandibles, rectangular petiolar node with posterodorsal angle sharper and higher situated than the more rounded anterodorsal angle, and uniform pale yellow to orange-brown colouration with gaster always of same colour or lighter than the remainder of the body. (Hita Garcia and Fisher 2011)

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 29.78° to -11.3°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: New Caledonia.
Indo-Australian Region: American Samoa, Borneo, Fiji, Indonesia (type locality), Malaysia, New Guinea, Niue, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sulawesi, Tonga, Vanuatu.
Malagasy Region: Réunion.
Nearctic Region: United States.
Neotropical Region: Mexico.
Oriental Region: Laos, Sri Lanka, Thailand.
Palaearctic Region: China, Hungary, Poland.

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.




. Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Images from AntWeb

Tetramorium insolens casent0179062 head 1.jpgTetramorium insolens casent0179062 profile 1.jpgTetramorium insolens casent0179062 dorsal 1.jpgTetramorium insolens casent0179062 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0179062. Photographer Noel Tawatao, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Tetramorium insolens casent0173562 head 1.jpgTetramorium insolens casent0173562 profile 1.jpgTetramorium insolens casent0173562 dorsal 1.jpgTetramorium insolens casent0173562 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0173562. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by BNM, Koror, Palau.
Tetramorium insolens castype05027 head 1.jpgTetramorium insolens castype05027 profile 1.jpgTetramorium insolens castype05027 dorsal 1.jpgTetramorium insolens castype05027 label 1.jpg
Holotype of Tetramorium melanogyna pallidiventreWorker. Specimen code castype05027. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


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

  • insolens. Myrmica insolens Smith, F. 1861b: 47 (q., not w.) INDONESIA (Sulawesi). Bolton, 1977: 99 (w.); Imai, Kubota, et al. 1985: 47 (k.). Combination in Tetramorium: Emery, 1901g: 567; Donisthorpe, 1932c: 468. Senior synonym of macra, pallidiventre, wilsoni: Bolton, 1977: 99. See also: Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2011: 22.
  • macra. Tetramorium guineense var. macra Emery, 1914f: 415 (w.) NEW CALEDONIA. Junior synonym of insolens: Bolton, 1977: 99.
  • wilsoni. Tetramorium pacificum var. wilsoni Mann, 1921: 460 (w.) FIJI IS. Raised to species: Taylor, 1967b: 1093. Junior synonym of insolens: Bolton, 1977: 99.
  • pallidiventre. Tetramorium melanogyna var. pallidiventre Wheeler, W.M. 1934a: 177 (w.) SOLOMON IS. Junior synonym of insolens: Bolton, 1977: 99.

Type Material

Hita Garcia and Fisher 2011:

Holotype queen, INDONESIA, Sulawesi, Menado (A.R. Wallace) Oxford University Museum of Natural History [examined].

Tetramorium guineense var. macra Emery, 1914:415. Syntype workers, NEW CALEDONIA, Konè, 8.VIII.1911, (Sarasin & Roux) Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel [examined].

Tetramorium pacificum var. wilsoni Mann, 1921:460. Syntype workers, FIJI ISLAND, Viti Levu, Nausori, Waiyanitu, 1915-1916 (W.M. Mann) Museum of Comparative Zoology [not examined]. Tetramorium melanogyna var. pallidiventre Wheeler, W.M., 1934:177. Holotype worker, SOLOMON ISLANDS, NW end of Bellona Island, 19.VI.1933 (M. Willows) (CASC: CASTYPE05027) [examined].

The following notes on F. Smith type specimens have been provided by Barry Bolton (details):

Myrmica insolens

Holotype queen (not worker) in Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Labelled “Men.” (= Menado, Sulawesi). The original description begins “Worker,” but this is a misprint as Smith mentions the presence of black ocelli. Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Hita Garcia and Fisher (2011) - HL 0.725 - 0.825 (0.775); HW 0.655 - 0.750 (0.698); SL 0.540 - 0.605 (0.576); EL 0.155 - 0.185 (0.170); PW 0.485 - 0.520 (0.503); WL 0.890 - 1.015 (0.953); PSL 0.210 - 0.250 (0.235); PTL 0.245 - 0.300 (0.267); PTH 0.248 - 0.305 (0.276); PTW 0.225 - 0.270 (0.246); PPL 0.225 - 0.270 (0.248); PPH 0.250 - 0.305 (0.274); PPW 0.280 - 0.340 (0.305); CI 89 - 91 (90); SI 81 - 85 (83); OI 24 - 26 (24); PSLI 29 - 32 (30); PeNI 46 - 52 (49); LPeI 91 - 100 (97); DPeI 89 - 96 (92); PpNI 58 - 65 (60); LPpI 87 - 94 (91); DPpI 120 - 127 (123); PPI 119 - 128 (124) (12 measured).

Head distinctly longer than wide (CI 89 - 91). Anterior clypeal margin with median impression. Frontal carinae strongly developed, ending shortly before posterior head margin. Antennal scrobes weakly developed, narrow, shallow, and posterior and ventral margins never differentiated, as long as frontal carinae. Antennal scapes of moderate length, not reaching posterior margin of head (SI 81 - 85). Eyes moderate to relatively large (OI 24 - 26), with 10 to 12 ommatidia in longest row. Metanotal groove absent. Propodeal spines long, spinose, and acute (PSLI 29 - 32). Propodeal lobes short to medium-sized, triangular to elongate triangular, and acute. Node of petiole rectangular nodiform, anterodorsal angle more rounded than sharper posterodorsal angle, anterodorsal angle situated lower than posterodorsal, in profile dorsum weakly rising posteriorly, in dorsal view weakly longer than wide (DPeI 89 - 96), in lateral view slightly longer than high to as long as high (LPeI 91 - 100). Postpetiole roughly rounded, in dorsal view distinctly wider than long (DPpI 120 - 127), and in lateral view weakly higher than long (LPpI 87 - 94). Postpetiole in profile less voluminous than petiolar node, in dorsal view always distinctly wider than petiole (PPI 119 - 128). Mandibles unsculptured, smooth, and shiny. Clypeus longitudinally rugose, usually with three strong rugae. Most of head with reticulate-rugose sculpturation, more rugose between frontal carinae anteriorly close to posterior clypeal margin; ground sculpturation on head weak and faint. Mesosoma and waist segments reticulate-rugose. Gaster completely unsculptured, smooth, and shiny. All dorsal surfaces of head, mesosoma, waist segments and gaster with numerous fine, long, standing hairs; hairs on antennal scapes and tibiae appressed to suberect. Colouration uniformly pale yellow to orange-brown, gaster often lighter than rest of body.


  • 2n = 22 (Indonesia) (Imai et al., 1985).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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