Tetramorium marginatum

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Tetramorium marginatum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species: T. marginatum
Binomial name
Tetramorium marginatum
Forel, 1895

Tetramorium marginatum casent0101287 profile 1.jpg

Tetramorium marginatum casent0101287 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

This species seems to prefer montane rainforest habitats, but can be also found in lowland rainforests, making its elevation range from 30 to 1300 m. In terms of preferred microhabitat, T. marginatum appears primarily to be a leaf litter inhabitant, though it was occasionally sampled from lower vegetation. (Hita Garcia and Fisher 2012)


A member of the Tetramorium marginatum-species group

The following character combination separates Tetramorium marginatum from the other members of the species group: head longer than wide to almost as long as wide (CI 94 - 99); petiolar node in profile triangular cuneiform and strongly anteroposteriorly compressed dorsally; mesosomal dorsum usually completely unsculptured, smooth and shining, very rarely few superficial traces of rugulae present on pronotum; long standing hairs on mesosoma comparatively few and generally restricted to dorsolateral margins of pronotum and mesonotum, sometimes one or two hairs present medially at border between mesonotum and propodeum; body colouration dark brown to black. (Hita Garcia and Fisher 2012)

Keys including this Species


Tetramorium marginatum is distributed in eastern and northern Madagascar, although its range is somewhat disjunct. The southernmost known locality is Manombo and from there the species seems to be comparatively common through Vevembe, Ivohibe to Ranomafana. The next known region to the north, where it appears to be common, is from Andasibe, Ambatovy, and Torotorofotsy to Zahamena. Further north in eastern Madagascar it is only known from Marotandrano. Interestingly, T. marginatum also occurs in one locality at the northernmost tip of Madagascar, the Montagne d'Ambre. (Hita Garcia and Fisher 2012)

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -12.51444° to -23.1583°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).

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.





Images from AntWeb

Tetramorium marginatum casent0101288 head 1.jpgTetramorium marginatum casent0101288 profile 1.jpgTetramorium marginatum casent0101288 dorsal 1.jpgTetramorium marginatum casent0101288 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0101288. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MHNG, Geneva, Switzerland.
Tetramorium marginatum casent0102398 head 1.jpgTetramorium marginatum casent0102398 profile 1.jpgTetramorium marginatum casent0102398 dorsal 1.jpgTetramorium marginatum casent0102398 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0102398. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMUK, London, UK.


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

  • marginatum. Tetramorium (Xiphomyrmex) marginatum Forel, 1895h: 485 (w.) MADAGASCAR. See also: Bolton, 1979: 142; Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2012a: 96.



Hita Garcia and Fisher (2012) - HL 0.68 - 0.80 (0.73); HW 0.65 - 0.79 (0.71); SL 0.53 - 0.63 (0.58); EL 0.14 - 0.17 (0.15); PH 0.31 - 0.41 (0.36); PW 0.46 - 0.60 (0.54); WL 0.83 - 1.00 (0.90); PSL 0.26 - 0.36 (0.31); PTL 0.09 - 0.16 (0.12); PTH 0.29 - 0.36 (0.33); PTW 0.27 - 0.31 (0.28); PPL 0.20 - 0.25 (0.23); PPH 0.28 - 0.33 (0.31); PPW 0.28 - 0.35 (0.31); CI 94 - 99 (97); SI 80 - 84 (82); OI 21 - 22 (22); DMI 53 - 62 (59); LMI 37 - 41 (39); PSLI 38 - 46 (42); PeNI 50 - 59 (53); LPeI 29 - 47 (37); DPeI 189 - 300 (242); PpNI 53 - 61 (57); LPpI 71 - 77 (74); DPpI 128 - 142 (135); PPI 104 - 113 (109) (15 measured).

Head longer than wide to almost as long as wide (CI 94 - 99). Anterior clypeal margin medially impressed. Frontal carinae weakly to moderately developed, ending between posterior eye margin and posterior head margin, usually closer to posterior eye. Antennal scrobes absent. Antennal scapes of moderate length, not reaching posterior head margin (SI 80 - 84). Eyes comparatively small (OI 21 - 22). Mesosomal outline in profile strongly convex, and margination from lateral to dorsal mesosoma strongly developed; promesonotal suture and metanotal groove absent; mesosoma comparatively high, compact, and stout (LMI 37 - 41). Propodeal spines very long, spinose, and acute (PSLI 38 - 46); propodeal lobes inconspicuous, small and broadly triangular. Petiolar node in profile triangular cuneiform, strongly anteroposteriorly compressed dorsally, approximately 2.1 to 3.5 times higher than long (LPeI 29 - 47), anterior and posterior faces not parallel, anterodorsal margin situated higher than posterodorsal, dorsum tapering backwards posteriorly; node in dorsal view between 1.8 to 3 times wider than long (DPeI 189 - 300). Postpetiole in profile approximately rounded and weakly anteroposteriorly compressed, approximately 1.3 to 1.4 times higher than long (LPpI 71 - 77), in dorsal view approximately 1.2 to 1.4 times wider than long (DPpI 128 - 142). Postpetiole in profile appearing approximately the same volume as petiolar node, in dorsal view approximately as wide as petiolar node to weakly wider (PPI 104 - 113). Mandibles varying from almost unsculptured, smooth, and shining to finely striate, usually mostly unsculptured with few striate areas; clypeus with one distinct median ruga and one or two weaker rugae or rugulae laterally; cephalic dorsum between frontal carinae with four to eight longitudinal rugae or rugulae, median ruga present, usually shorter or approximately of same length as frontal carinae and diverging approximately at eye level into two rugae running to posterior clypeal margin, remaining rugae or rugulae generally of same length as frontal carinae, sometimes broken or shorter; lateral and ventral head anteriorly with reticulate-rugose to rugulose sculpture, posteriorly almost unsculptured; ground sculpture on head faint to absent. Mesosoma laterally mostly unsculptured, posteroventrally reticulate-rugose to rugulose; dorsal mesosoma usually completely unsculptured, smooth, and shiny, rarely with few superficial traces of rugulae on pronotum. Waist segments and gaster unsculptured, smooth, and shiny. All dorsal surfaces of body with comparatively scarce, long, erect pilosity, hairs on mesosomal dorsum usually restricted to lateral margins, sometimes one or two hairs present medially at border between mesonotum and propodeum. Body of uniform dark brown to black colour.

Syntype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Hita Garcia and Fisher (2012) - Syntype workers, MADAGASCAR, Central Madagascar (Sikora) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève: CASENT0101287, CASENT0101288) [examined].


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bolton B. 1979. The ant tribe Tetramoriini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The genus Tetramorium Mayr in the Malagasy region and in the New World. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 38:129-181.
  • Fisher B. L. 1996. Ant diversity patterns along an elevational gradient in the Réserve Naturelle Intégrale d'Andringitra, Madagascar. Fieldiana Zoology (n.s.)85: 93-108
  • Fisher B. L. 1997. Biogeography and ecology of the ant fauna of Madagascar (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Natural History 31: 269-302.
  • Fisher B. L. 1998. Ant diversity patterns along an elevational gradient in the Réserve Spéciale d'Anjanaharibe-Sud and on the western Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar. Fieldiana Zoology (n.s.)90: 39-67.
  • Fisher B. L. 2003. Formicidae, ants. Pp. 811-819 in: Goodman, S. M.; Benstead, J. P. (eds.) 2003. The natural history of Madagascar. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, xxi + 1709 pp.
  • Garcia H. F. and B. L. Fisher. 2012. The ant genus Tetramorium Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Malagasy region—taxonomy of the T. bessonii, T. bonibony, T. dysalum, T. marginatum, T. tsingy, and T. weitzeckeri species groups. Zootaxa 3365: 1-123
  • Rakotonirina J. C. 2010. Survey of leaf litter ant species and assessment of invasive ants in the mining sites at Ambatovy, Madagascar. In Biodiversity, exploration, and conservation of the natural habitats associated with the Ambatovy project, eds. S. M. Goodman & V. Mass. Malagasy Nature, 3: 77-91.