Tetramorium pinnipilum

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Tetramorium pinnipilum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species: T. pinnipilum
Binomial name
Tetramorium pinnipilum
Bolton, 1980

Tetramorium pinnipilum casent0178321 profile 1.jpg

Tetramorium pinnipilum casent0178321 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Found in the leaf litter of rainforests. In Western Kenya it is one of the most common species in leaf litter and is often abundantly present in pitfall traps and Winkler samples..


Tetramorium pinnipilum is the only species in the whole species group with pinnate, pectinate, or even plumose pilosity, thus easily identifiable. It shares many morphological similarities with Tetramorium philippwagneri and Tetramorium schoutedeni that separate them from the rest of the edouardi complex, especially the small eyes (OI 21 - 23 in all three species), and a very dark brown gaster that strongly contrasts with the yellowish or orange brown head, mesosoma, petiole, and postpetiole.

A member of the Afrotropical edouardi species complex, which is part of the weitzeckeri species group.

Keys including this Species


Known from Angola and Kenya.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 1.91° to -0.317°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Angola (type locality), Kenya.

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.

  • pinnipilum. Tetramorium pinnipilum Bolton, 1980: 230, figs. 3, 6 (w.) ANGOLA. See also: Hita Garcia, Fischer & Peters, 2010b: 31.

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



Hita Garcia et al. (2010) - HL 0.733 - 0.83 (0.778); HW 0.678 - 0.800 (0.735); SL 0.522 - 0.644 (0.571); EL 0.144 - 0.183 (0.166); PW 0.500 - 0.600 (0.544); WL 0.878 - 1.100 (0.950); PSL 0.189 - 0.267 (0.224); PTL 0.150 - 0.200 (0.181); PTH 0.294 - 0.367 (0.319); PTW 0.222 - 0.289 (0.257); PPL 0.178 - 0.256 (0.218); PPH 0.278 - 0.333 (0.307); PPW 0.267 - 0.356 (0.316); CI 89 - 97 (94); SI 73 - 83 (78); OI 21 - 23 (23); PSLI 25 - 32 (29); PeNI 44 - 51 (47); LPeI 50 - 61 (57); DPeI 135 - 150 (142); PpNI 53 - 62 (58); LPpI 62 - 78 (71); DPpI 131 - 159 (146); PPI 115 - 129 (123) (24 measured).

Head longer than wide (CI 89 - 97). Anterior clypeal margin with distinct median notch. Frontal carinae well developed, weakening behind eye level, nearly reaching posterior margin of head. Antennal scrobe shallow, narrow, and without defined posterior and ventral margins, ending before posterior margin of head. Antennal scape of moderate length, not reaching posterior margin of head (SI 73 - 83). Eyes relatively small (OI 21 - 23), with 7 to 9 ommatidia in longest row. In profile metanotal groove weakly impressed. Propodeal spines long, spinose, and acute (PSLI 25 - 32). Propodeal lobes small, triangular and acute. Petiolar node high nodiform, in dorsal view between 1.3 and 1.5 times wider than long (DPeI 135 - 150) and in profile between 1.6 to 2 times higher than long (LPeI 50 - 61). Postpetiole in dorsal view around 1.5 times wider than long (DPpI 131 - 159); in lateral view antero-posteriorly compressed, around 1.3 to 1.6 times higher than long (LPpI 62 - 78). Mandibular sculpturation longitudinally rugose. Clypeus longitudinally rugose, usually with 3 to 5 rugae, often irregularly arranged, median rugae rarely unbroken and strong. Head with longitudinal rugulation, 9 to 12 widely spaced rugae between frontal carinae, most reaching posterior margin of head unbroken. Spaces between rugae and scrobal area with weak punctate ground sculpturation, appearing shiny. Mesosoma mostly longitudinally rugose, often irregularly, with strong widely spaced rugae; spaces between them and propodeal declivity unsculptured and shiny. Petiole, postpetiole, and gaster unsculptured, smooth and shiny. All dorsal surfaces of head, mesosoma, both waist segments and gaster with abundant, long, suberect to erect hairs, most of them conspicuously pinnate, pectinate, or plumose apically. Fine pubescence on tibiae and antennal scapes decumbent to subdecumbent. Head, mesosoma, petiole, and postpetiole orange-brown contrasting with very dark brown to black gaster.

Type Material

Hita Garcia et al. (2010) - Tetramorium pinnipilum Bolton, 1980:230. Holotype worker, ANGOLA, Salazar I.I.A.A., 9.-15.III.1972, leg. P.M. Hammond (The Natural History Museum) [examined]. Paratypes, 10 workers with same data as holotype (BMNH, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève) [examined].


  • Bolton, B. 1980. The ant tribe Tetramoriini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The genus Tetramorium Mayr in the Ethiopian zoogeographical region. Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Entomol. 40: 193-384 (page 230, figs. 3, 6 worker described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bolton B. 1980. The ant tribe Tetramoriini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The genus Tetramorium Mayr in the Ethiopian zoogeographical region. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 40: 193-384.
  • Hita Garcia F., G. Fischer, and M. K. Peters. 2010. Taxonomy of the Tetramorium weitzeckeri species group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Afrotropical zoogeographical region. Zootaxa 2704: 1-90.
  • IZIKO South Africa Museum Collection
  • Ross S. R. P. J., F. Hita Garcia, G. Fischer, and M. K. Peters. 2018. Selective logging intensity in an East African rain forest predicts reductions in ant diversity. Biotropica 1-11.