Tetramorium popell

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Tetramorium popell
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species: T. popell
Binomial name
Tetramorium popell
Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2012

Tetramorium popell casent0016867 p 1 high.jpg

Tetramorium popell casent0016867 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Tetramorium popell is widely distributed in Madagascar. It is especially common in the southeast, the southwest, and the southern part of the Central Plateau, while it is less common in western Madagascar and was found only once in Central Madagascar. Also, it is completely absent from the north and the east, except the southeastern localities around the type locality Andohahela. T. popell is encountered in tropical dry forests, gallery forests, and spiny forests. Moreover, it was sampled from the leaf litter, the ground, and the lower vegetation. The altitudinal range is 20 to 990 m, but most of the material was sampled from lower elevations. (Hita Garcia and Fisher 2012)


A member of the Tetramorium bonibony-species group

The following combination of characters separates T. popell from the other species of the group: mesosoma with well-developed anterior face and distinct anterodorsal protuberance on pronotum; petiolar node in profile triangular cuneiform, distinctly anterodorsally compressed dorsally, and highly transverse in dorsal view (LPeI 18 - 27; DPeI 400 - 590); body of uniformly yellowish to brownish colour. Despite being widely distributed and seemingly very common, T. popell stays remarkably consistent throughout its range.(Hita Garcia and Fisher 2012)

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -16.22806° to -25.778°.

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 popell casent0016870 h 1 high.jpgTetramorium popell casent0016870 d 1 high.jpgTetramorium popell casent0016870 p 1 high.jpgTetramorium popell casent0016870 l 1 high.jpg
Paratype of Tetramorium popellWorker. Specimen code casent0016870. Photographer Ryan Perry, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMUK, London, UK.
Tetramorium popell casent0017505 p 1 high.jpgTetramorium popell casent0017505 d 1 high.jpgTetramorium popell casent0017505 h 1 high.jpgTetramorium popell casent0017505 l 1 high.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0017505. Photographer Estella Ortega, 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.

  • popell. Tetramorium popell Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2012: 44, figs. 34, 57-59 (w.) MADAGASCAR.

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



HL 0.64 - 0.71 (0.67); HW 0.63 - 0.69 (0.65); SL 0.40 - 0.44 (0.41); EL 0.16 - 0.18 (0.16); PH 0.37 - 0.45 (0.41); PW 0.47 - 0.56 (0.50); WL 0.80 - 0.92 (0.85); PSL 0.17 - 0.22 (0.19); PTL 0.05 - 0.09 (0.07); PTH 0.26 - 0.32 (0.29); PTW 0.28 - 0.34 (0.30); PPL 0.18 - 0.22 (0.20); PPH 0.26 - 0.32 (0.29); PPW 0.29 - 0.36 (0.32); CI 95 - 99 (97); SI 62 - 64 (63); OI 25 - 26 (25); DMI 58 - 61 (59); LMI 46 - 51 (48); PSLI 26 - 31 (28); PeNI 57 - 63 (60); LPeI 18 - 27 (24); DPeI 400 - 590 (450); PpNI 60 - 67 (64); LPpI 67 - 75 (71); DPpI 152 - 167 (159); PPI 102 - 110 (107) (15 measured).

Head longer than wide (CI 95 - 99). Anterior clypeal margin with median impression. Frontal carinae weakly to moderately developed, fading out between posterior eye margin and posterior head margin. Antennal scrobes weakly developed, narrow, and shallow. Antennal scapes very short, not reaching posterior head margin (SI 62 - 64). Eyes comparatively large (OI 25 - 26). Mesosoma with well-developed anterior face and anterodorsal median protuberance on pronotum, moderately marginate from lateral to dorsal mesosoma, promesonotal suture and metanotal groove absent, mesosoma comparatively high, compact, and stout (LMI 46 - 51). Propodeal spines medium-sized to long, spinose, and acute (PSLI 26 - 31); propodeal lobes small and triangular. Petiolar node in profile triangular cuneiform and strongly anteroposteriorly compressed dorsally, approximately 3.7 to 5.6 times higher than long (LPeI 18 - 27), anterior and posterior faces not parallel, node in dorsal view highly transverse and very thin, between 4.0 to 5.9 times wider than long (DPeI 400 - 590). Postpetiole in profile approximately rounded to weakly anteroposteriorly compressed, approximately 1.3 to 1.5 times higher than long (LPpI 67 - 75), in dorsal view approximately 1.5 to 1.7 times wider than long (DPpI 152 - 167). Postpetiole in profile more voluminous than petiolar node, in dorsal view as wide as to weakly wider than petiolar node (PPI 102 - 110). Mandibles striate; clypeus longitudinally rugose with one median ruga distinctly developed and one to three often weaker or shorter rugae laterally; cephalic dorsum between frontal carinae anteriorly and centrally longitudinally rugose, posteriorly reticulate-rugose, dorsum with six to ten longitudinal rugae, rugae ending close to posterior head margin but often broken or with cross-meshes, always with one well-developed longitudinal median ruga, median ruga running from posterior head margin to posterior clypeal margin, approximately at eye level diverging into two rugae leading to posterior clypeal margin; lateral and ventral head reticulate-rugose to longitudinally rugose. Ground sculpture on head usually reticulate-punctate. Mesosoma laterally reticulate-rugose to longitudinally rugose, anteriorly more reticulate-rugose; dorsal mesosoma completely reticulate-rugose. Waist segments and gaster unsculptured, smooth, and shiny. All dorsal surfaces of body with very abundant, moderately long, fine, and erect pilosity. Body of uniform yellow to light brown colour.

Type Material

Holotype worker, MADAGASCAR, Toliara, Parc National d'Andohahela, Forêt d'Ambohibory, 1.7 km 61° ENE Tsimelahy, 36.1 km 308° NW Tolagnaro, 24.93 S, 46.6455 E, 300 m, tropical dry forest, sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), collection code BLF4916, 16.-20.I.2002 (B.L. Fisher, C. Griswold et al.) (California Academy of Sciences: CASENT0016867). Paratypes, 12 workers with same data as holotype (The Natural History Museum: CASENT0016870; CASC: CASENT0016841; CASENT0016842; CASENT0016848; CASENT0016850; CASENT0016790; CASENT0017669; CASENT0017671; CASENT0017691; Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève: CASENT0017704; Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel: CASENT0016845).


The new species is named in honour of Andy and Rebecca Popell for their support to discover and identify life on earth.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Blaimer B. B., S. G. Brady, T. R. Schultz, and B. L. Fisher. 2015. Fucntional and phylogenetic approaches reveal the evolution of diversity in a hyper diverse biota. Ecography 38: 001-012.
  • 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