Tetramorium of India

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Agavekar et al. 2017 have shown the named species represent 12 species groups. Many more species remain to be described and our understanding of the diversity and taxonomy of this genus in the country is a work in progress. They summarized the fauna as follows:

With 42 known species the Tetramorium fauna of India is the largest in Asia. As the Indian Subcontinent is largely undersampled and we expect that species count to increase significantly with future collections. The Indian Tetramorium fauna also appears to be highly unique with an endemism rate of 64%. Based on unpublished data, this rate is only higher in sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, New Guinea, and Australia, all of which have rates of 90% or higher.

The distinctive character of the Indian fauna can also be observed in the species groups present. Most groups, such as the Tetramorium bicarinatum, Tetramorium melleum, Tetramorium tonganum, Tetramorium tortuosum, and Tetramorium walshi groups are widespread in the Indomalayan and Australasian regions and also well presented in India. The predominantly South East Asian Tetramorium ciliatum group and the Palearctic Tetramorium caespitum group have their main distributions elsewhere but extend into India where they are represented by one species each. The Tetramorium simillimum group contains two panglobal tramps of African origin. Finally, there are four “genuinely” Indian groups: the Tetramorium inglebyi, Tetramorium fergusoni, Tetramorium mixtum, and Tetramorium obesum groups. The Tetramorium inglebyi and Tetramorium fergusoni groups are entirely endemic to the Indian Subcontinent, whereas the Tetramorium mixtum and Tetramorium obesum groups (the Tetramorium obesum complex) have their main diversity in India but also have species further east in Southeast Asia. The faunal composition of these groups show that the Indian fauna is well embedded within the Indomalayan region but also has faunal affinities with the Palearctic, and most importantly, a high level of unique diversity.

The following lists the species known from India under their respective group. Links to the diagnostic pages for each group also allow access to notes about the Indian fauna under the notes section for each species group.

Key to Tetramorium species groups of India

Tetramorium angulinode species group

angulinode group Diagnosis

Indian species:

Tetramorium bicarinatum species group

bicarinatum group Diagnosis

Indian species:

Tetramorium caespitum species group

caespitum group Diagnosis

Indian species:

Tetramorium ciliatum species group

ciliatum group Diagnosis

Indian species:

Tetramorium fergusoni species group

fergusoni group Diagnosis

An endemic, monotypic group.

Indian species:

Tetramorium inglebyi species group

inglebyi group Diagnosis, Key to Tetramorium inglebyi-group species

Indian species:

Tetramorium melleum species group

melleum group Diagnosis

Indian species:

Tetramorium mixtum species group

mixtum group Diagnosis

Indian species:

Tetramorium obesum species group

obesum group Diagnosis

Indian species:

Tetramorium simillimum species group

simillimum group Diagnosis

Indian species:

Tetramorium tonganum species group

tonganum group Diagnosis, Key to Indian Tetramorium tonganum-group species

Indian species:

Tetramorium tortuosum species group

tortuosum group Diagnosis

Indian species:

Tetramorium walshi species group

walshi group Diagnosis

Indian species:

uncertain group affinity