Tetramorium semilaeve

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Tetramorium semilaeve
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species group: semilaeve
Species: T. semilaeve
Binomial name
Tetramorium semilaeve
André, 1883

Tetramorium semilaeve casent0008637 p 1 high.jpg

Tetramorium semilaeve casent0008637 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Tetramorium semilaeve prefers very warm and dry places. Most observed nests were located in the littoral zone on the flat, sandy areas covered with sparse vegetation or on stony pastures. The locality with the highest altitude in the examined material here is from Andalucia, Igualeja placed 720 m a.s.l. Sanetra et al. (1999) noted that in Italy most samples were collected below 1000 m a.s.l. and only occasionally above this altitude. All nests were located under stones, from small to very large size, and consisted of from several to several hundred workers. (Borowiec et al., 2015.)

At a Glance • Limited invasive  


Borowiec et al. (2015) - Tetramorium semilaeve belongs to the group of Mediterranean species with workers pale-coloured, from yellow to yellowish-brown but never dark brown or black, head sculpture partly reduced, at least with postocular area and sides of frons without distinct striation but with at least half of the surface of the anterior part of head striate, striae on top of head not diverging laterally, pronotum mostly striate, sides of mesosoma only microreticulate and microgranulate without carinae, short propodeal spines, petiole and postpetiole dorsally with polished area, and first abdominal tergite smooth and shiny, without microreticulation or striation; gyne with flat mesonotal plate, without a distinct striation or the striation is indistinct, short not extending behind half length of the plate, scutellum without striation or only on sides with short, indistinct striae, postpetiole not enlarged; male genitalia stout, in lateral view only slightly constricted before apex, ventral and dorsal margins of parameres shallowly incised, top of inner margin of paramere before apical denticle straight with dentiform plate distinctly clearly extending beyond the sharp edge of paramere (arrow indices this plate). The presence of dentiform plate on top of the inner margin of paramere is the best character distinguishing T. semilaeve from all other species related to this taxon.

Keys including this Species


The concept of this taxon has change recently (Borowiec et al., 2015) and its distribution clarified. Previous occurrence records should be verified before being considered valid.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 45.399257° to 27.826667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Azerbaijan, France (type locality), Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain.

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.


Association with Other Organisms

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  • This species is a host for the ant Strongylognathus destefanii (a slave maker) (de la Mora et al., 2021; Menozzi, 1921; Sanetra et al., 1999; Sanetra & Buschinger, 2000).
  • This species is a host for the ant Strongylognathus huberi (a slave maker) (Seifert, 2018; de la Mora et al., 2021).
  • This species is a host for the ant Strongylognathus silvestrii (a slave maker) (Sanetra & Buschinger, 2000; de la Mora et al., 2021).
  • This species is a mutualist for the aphid Paracletus cimiciformis (a trophobiont) (Salazar et al., 2015; Saddiqui et al., 2019).
  • This species is a host for the cestode Raillietina echinobothrida (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode secondary; indirect transmission; transmission outside nest).
  • This species is a host for the fungus Myrmicinosporidium durum (a pathogen) in Portugal, Spain (García & Espadaler, 2010; Gonçalves et al., 2012; Espadaler & Santamaria, 2012).


Pekár et al. (2018) - This ant is preyed upon by numerous spider species in the genus Zodarion (Araneae: Zodariidae). All members of this genus are specialized ant predators that exclusively prey on ants.

Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Source: antkeeping.info.



Images from AntWeb

Tetramorium semilaeve casent0179597 h 1 high.jpgTetramorium semilaeve casent0179597 p 1 high.jpgTetramorium semilaeve casent0179597 d 1 high.jpgTetramorium semilaeve casent0179597 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0179597. Photographer Erin Prado, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Tetramorium semilaeve casent0904819 h 1 high.jpgTetramorium semilaeve casent0904819 p 1 high.jpgTetramorium semilaeve casent0904819 d 1 high.jpgTetramorium semilaeve casent0904819 l 1 high.jpg
Type of unavailable quadrinomial: Tetramorium caespitum semilaeve jugurthaWorker. Specimen code casent0904819. Photographer Will Ericson, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MSNG, Genoa, Italy.
Tetramorium semilaeve casent0904820 h 1 high.jpgTetramorium semilaeve casent0904820 p 1 high.jpgTetramorium semilaeve casent0904820 d 1 high.jpgTetramorium semilaeve casent0904820 l 1 high.jpg
Type of unavailable quadrinomial: Tetramorium caespitum biskrense galaticumWorker. Specimen code casent0904820. Photographer Will Ericson, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MSNG, Genoa, Italy.


Images from AntWeb

Tetramorium semilaeve casent0904813 h 1 high.jpgTetramorium semilaeve casent0904813 p 1 high.jpgTetramorium semilaeve casent0904813 p 2 high.jpgTetramorium semilaeve casent0904813 p 3 high.jpgTetramorium semilaeve casent0904813 d 1 high.jpgTetramorium semilaeve casent0904813 l 1 high.jpg
Syntype of Tetramorium caespitum tenuicornisMale (alate). Specimen code casent0904813. Photographer Will Ericson, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MSNG, Genoa, Italy.


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

  • semilaeve. Tetramorium caespitum var. semilaeve André, 1883a: 286 (w.) Mediterranean region. Emery, 1891b: 2 (q.); Forel, 1902a: 148 (m.). Subspecies of caespitum: Forel, 1902a: 148; Forel, 1904b: 371; Emery, 1909d: 703; Emery, 1916b: 194; Santschi, 1921a: 111; Santschi, 1923a: 135; Menozzi, 1926b: 182; Emery, 1924a: 8. Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 134; Bondroit, 1918: 109; Müller, 1923: 104; Santschi, 1927a: 54; Santschi, 1929e: 150; Finzi, 1930d: 315; Santschi, 1931a: 10; Bernard, 1967: 234; Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 545. Senior synonym of tenuicornis: Radchenko, 1992b: 51; of siciliense: Sanetra, Güsten & Schulz, 1999: 327; of banyulense: Casevitz-Weulersse & Galkowski, 2009: 497. Current subspecies: atlante, galaticum, hoggarense, italicum, judas, jugurtha, kutteri. See also: Emery, 1925c: 179; López, 1991a: 36; López, 1991b: 76; López, et al. 1992: 169; Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 153; Radchenko, 1992b: 51.
  • tenuicornis. Tetramorium caespitum subsp. tenuicornis Emery, 1925c: 188, figs. B, D (w.m.) TRANSCASPIA. Junior synonym of semilaeve: Radchenko, 1992b: 51.
  • siciliense. Tetramorium semilaeve var. siciliense Santschi, 1927a: 56 (w.q.) ITALY (Sicily). Junior synonym of semilaeve: Sanetra, Güsten & Schulz, 1999: 327.
  • banyulense. Tetramorium banyulense Bernard, 1983: 98 (diagnosis in key) (w.m.) FRANCE. Junior synonym of semilaeve: Casevitz-Weulersse & Galkowski, 2009: 497.

Type Material

  • Lectotype (designated by Borowiec et al., 2015: 42), worker, Eastern Pyrenees, France, 1914, Félicien Henry Caignart de Saulcy, ANTWEB1008880, Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle.
  • Paralectotype (designated by Borowiec et al., 2015: 42), 5 workers, Eastern Pyrenees, France, 1914, Félicien Henry Caignart de Saulcy, Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle.

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



Borowiec et al (2015) - (n=15): CL: 0.723 ± 0.034 (0.637-0.771); POC: 0.293 ± 0.021 (0.246-.324); CW: 0.693 ± 0.037 (0.606-0.749); FR: 0.253 ± 0.015 (0.234-0.279); FL: 0.262 ± 0.017 (0.235-0.291); SL: 0.534 ± 0.03 (0.503-0.626); OMD: 0.18 ± 0.021 (0.145-0.223); EL: 0.13 ± 0.01 (0.106-0.145); EH: 0.091 ± 0.006 (0.078-0.101); ML: 0.781 ± 0.043 (0.737-0.894); SPSP: 0.133 ± 0.015 (0.112-0.179); SPL: 0.099 ± 0.007 (0.089-0.112); PEL: 0.184 ± 0.01 (0.167-0.201); NOL: 0.144 ± 0.013 (0.128-0.168); PPL: 0.176 ± 0.009 (0.156- 0.19); PEH: 0.239 ± 0.018 (0.212-0.291); NOH: 0.158 ± 0.017 (0.14-0.218); PPH: 0.228 ± 0.02 (0.201-0.291); MW: 0.45 ± 0.027 (0.413-0.508); PEW: 0.22 ± 0.014 (0.201-0.246); PPW: 0.256 ± 0.018 (0.223-0.307); CS: 0.707 ± 0.036 (0.622-0.76); EYE: 0.155 ± 0.007 (0.143-0.166); CL/CW: 1.042 ± 0.013 (1.015-1.075); FR/CS: 0.358 ± 0.01 (0.345-0.378); FL/FR: 1.025 ± 0.02 (0.996-1.066); SL/CS: 0.756 ± 0.03 (0.732-0.841); MW/CS: 0.636 ± 0.018 (0.612-0.682); PEW/PPW: 0.861 ± 0.033 (0.801-0.918); NOH/NOL: 1.1 ± 0.113 (0.929-1.298); NOH/PEL: 0.86 ± 0.085 (0.819-1.085); NOL/PEL: 0.784 ± 0.045 (0.705-0.871); PEH/NOL: 1.66 ± 0.152 (1.399-1.922); PEW/PEH: 0.926 ± 0.049 (0.805-1.0); CS/PEW: 3.215 ± 0.089 (3.026-3.336); CS/PPW: 2.769 ± 0.154 (2.425-3.024); CW/MW: 1.541 ± 0.046 (1.435-1.602);

Small to medium size, CS: 0.707 [0.622-0.76]. In most specimens whole body pale yellowish-brown and appendages yellow, the palest specimens completely yellow, the darkest specimens yellowish-brown but never dark brown or black. Head nearly square CL/CW: 1.042 [1.015-1.075], with almost parallel sides, straight or slightly concave occipital margin and narrowly rounded occipital corners. Eyes small, EYE 0.155 [0.143-0.166]. Frons moderately wide, FR/CS 0.358 [0.345-0.378], frontal lobes as wide as frons, FL/FR: 1.025 [0.996-1.066]. Scape short, SL/CS 0.756 [0.732-0.841], without dorsal carina basally, surface smooth and shiny. Promesonotal dorsum slightly convex, metanotal groove shallow, but distinct. Propodeal teeth short, spiniform, apex of spine located approximately at 2/3 height of mesosoma. Dorsal surface of petiole flat to slightly convex, NOH/NOL 1.1 [0.929-1.298], petiole relatively high, PEH/ NOL 1.66 [1.399-1.922], postpetiole distinctly transverse. General appearance finely rugose, ground surface shiny. Head dorsum partly longitudinally rugose and shiny between rugae, rugae extend occipital margin of head, occiput mostly smooth and shiny, sides in anterior half longitudinally rugose and shiny between rugae. In most specimens between frontal rugose area and rugosities along ocular area on each side runs longitudinal band without rugosities but smooth area never exceeds 1/5 of the anterior surface of head; in extremely sculptured specimens almost whole frontal surface of head with long rugae with very small smooth patch between interrupted rugae and occiput with fine rugosities, dark coloured specimens usually have more distinct sculpture than pale coloured specimens but strongly sculptured and completely yellow specimens were also observed. Alitrunk dorsum rugose and microreticulate but never reticulate, only occasionally rugae on pronotum partly interrupted with indistinct microreticulation but pronotum never with smooth and shiny areas. Sides of pronotum and meso- and metapleuron usually coarsely microreticulate, sometimes reticulation tends to form transverse lines but surface never appears striate or rugose. Dorsum of petiolar node smooth and shiny with sides carinate, lateral surface microreticulate. Dorsum of postpetiole smooth and shiny, sides microreticulate. First gastral tergite smooth and shiny. Whole dorsum, including head, covered with sparse setae, the longest on pronotum and the shortest on frons. Ventral surface of head with sparse short and 2-3 moderately long setae not forming a psammophore.


Borowiec et al (2015) - (n=11): CL: 0.999 ± 0.015 (0.983- 1.027); POC: 0.378 ± 0.019 (0.34-.413); CW: 1.09 ± 0.05 (0.978-1.161); FR: 0.397 ± 0.009 (0.38-0.412); FL: 0.385 ± 0.018 (0.357-0.413); SL: 0.715 ± 0.015 (0.693- 0.737); OMD: 0.223 ± 0.016 (0.212-0.257); EL: 0.274 ± 0.01 (0.257-0.291); EH: 0.218 ± 0.012 (0.193-0.235); ML: 1.699 ± 0.217 (1.053-1.813); SPSP: 0.267 ± 0.015 (0.24-0.291); SPL: 0.193 ± 0.01 (0.173-0.201); PEL: 0.298 ± 0.014 (0.279-0.324); NOL: 0.225 ± 0.022 (0.179-0.256); PPL: 0.301 ± 0.01 (0.285-0.313); PEH: 0.424 ± 0.011 (0.408-0.447); NOH: 0.283 ± 0.019 (0.257-0.313); PPH: 0.423 ± 0.017 (0.391-0.447); MW: 1.069 ± 0.04 (1.0-1.141); PEW: 0.393 ± 0.022 (0.348-0.419); PPW: 0.509 ± 0.019 (0.48-0.547); CS: 1.046 ± 0.032 (0.986-1.094); EYE: 0.235 ± 0.012 (0.219-0.251); CL/CW: 0.917 ± 0.038 (0.882-0.985); FR/CS: 0.377 ± 0.011(0.36-0.393); FL/FR: 0.978 ± 0.035 (0.913-1.027); SL/CS: 0.686 ± 0.019 (0.654- 0.717); MW/CS: 1.024 ± 0.043 (0.94-1.088); PEW/PPW: 0.773 ± 0.035 (0.692- 0.821); NOH/NOL: 1.266 ± 0.136 (1.094-1.587); NOH/PEL: 0.949 ± 0.053 (0.883-1.036); NOL/PEL: 0.755 ± 0.059 (0.63-0.847); PEH/NOL: 1.9 ± 0.175 (1.746-2.374); PEW/PEH: 0.931 ± 0.048 (0.818-0.971); CS/PEW: 2.62 ± 0.123 (2.475-2.879); CS/PPW: 2.052 ± 0.085 (1.947-2.185); CW/MW: 1.02 ± 0.057 (0.911-1.129); WAIST: 0.871 ± 0.035 (0.817-0.918).

Moderate size, CS 1.046 [0.986-1.094]. Whole body brown, appendages yellowish. Head wider than long, CL/CW 0.917 [0.882-0.985], with straight subparallel sides, shallowly emarginate occipital margin and narrowly rounded occipital corners. Frons moderately wide, FR/CS 0.377 [0.36-0.393], frontal lobes as wide as frons, FL/ FR 0.978 [0.913-1.027]. Scape short, SL/CS 0.686 [0.654-0.717], without dorsal carina basally, smooth and shiny. Head as wide as scutum, MW/CS 1.024 [0.94-1.088]. Propodeal teeth very short. Dorsal crest of petiolar node in frontal view straight. Petiolar node dorsum steeply rounded backward. Petiole and postpetiole relatively narrow, WAIST 0.871 [0.817-0.918]. General appearance smooth and shiny. Head dorsum, occiput and sides rugulose, ground surface shiny or indistinctly microreticulate. Frons longitudinally rugulose. Mesosoma flat, pronotum visible from above. Scutum and scutellum punctate along sides, in most specimens smooth and shiny, only occasionally scutellum in corners with very short rugae and scutum in basal part with thin longitudinal rugae never extending to half length of scutum. Sides of pronotum ruguloso-reticulate and feebly microreticulate, anepisternum mostly smooth and shiny only in dorsal part with fine longitudinal rugae, katepisternum smooth and shiny. Dorsum of petiolar node distinctly reticulate and smooth, posterior surface granulate and more or less transversely rugose. Postpetiole distinctly transverse, sides narrowly rounded to subangulate, dorsum of postpetiole smooth, sides granulate. First gastral tergite smooth and shiny. Whole dorsum, including head, covered with short, sparse setae. Ventral surface of head with several short setae, as long as to 1.5 times longer than frontal setae, arising posteriorly to buccal cavity.


Borowiec et al (2015) - (n=10): CL: 0.667 ± 0.018 (0.637- 0.693); POC: 0.279 ± 0.019 (0.263-.313); CW: 0.807 ± 0.024 (0.771-0.827); FR: 0.238 ± 0.012 (0.221-0.257); FL: 0.292 ± 0.013 (0.277-0.307); SL: 0.333 ± 0.016 (0.307- 0.358); OMD: 0.068 ± 0.016 (0.056-0.089); EL: 0.312 ± 0.01 (0.302-0.324); EH: 0.251 ± 0.011 (0.235-0.263); ML: 1.716 ± 0.069 (1.626-1.785); SPSP: 0.226 ± 0.014 (0.212-0.246); SPL: 0.205 ± 0.013 (0.184-0.223); PEL: 0.275 ± 0.017 (0.257-0.302); NOL: 0.176 ± 0.018 (0.156-0.201); PPL: 0.287 ± 0.017 (0.263-0.302); PEH: 0.286 ± 0.022 (0.257-0.313); NOH: 0.163 ± 0.01 (0.156-0.179); PPH: 0.418 ± 0.015 (0.391- 0.425); MW: 1.125 ± 0.056 (1.056-1.223); PEW: 0.337 ± 0.023 (0.307-0.368); PPW: 0.478 ± 0.022 (0.453-0.503); CS: 0.737 ± 0.019 (0.704-0.755); EYE: 0.382 ± 0.009 (0.37-0.395); CL/CW: 0.826 ± 0.023 (0.797-0.857); FR/CS: 0.323 ± 0.012 (0.314- 0.345); FL/FR: 1.228 ± 0.06 (1.132-1.306); SL/CS: 0.452 ± 0.015 (0.436-0.478); MW/CS: 1.528 ± 0.093 (1.411-1.684); PEW/PPW: 0.705 ± 0.04 (0.668-0.767); NOH/NOL: 0.928 ± 0.076 (0.812-1.0); NOH/PEL: 0.595 ± 0.059 (0.517-0.668); NOL/PEL: 0.643 ± 0.069 (0.559-0.75); PEH/NOL: 1.625 ± 0.114 (1.502-1.788); PEW/PEH: 1.182 ± 0.061 (1.1-1.284); CS/PEW: 2.216 ± 0.165 (2.019-2.438); CS/ PPW: 1.558 ± 0.085 (1.443-1.652); CW/MW: 0.719 ± 0.045 (0.639-0.783)

Whole body dark brown, appendages yellowish. Head with feebly convex sides, slightly rounded occipital margin and widely rounded occipital corners. Scutum distinctly wider than head. Propodeum rounded in profile or with only indistinct angulation in position of propodeal teeth. Dorsal crest of petiolar node with obtuse transversal edge, slightly emarginated in frontal view. Head distinctly granulate, dull, scutum in anterior part and laterally smooth and shiny, rest microreticulate. Scutellum ostly smooth and shiny, at corners microreticulate and in anterior part with thin transverse rugosities. Sides of alitrunk smooth and shiny. Dorsum of petiolar node microgranulate and microreticulate, dull, postpetiole mostly microreticulate only top partly smooth and shiny. First gastral tergite smooth and shiny. Male genitalia stout, in lateral view only slightly constricted before apex with obtuse inner angle, top shortly and sparsely pubescent, ventral and dorsal margins of parameres shallowly incised, top of inner margin of paramere before apical denticle straight with dentiform plate distinctly clearly extending beyond the sharp edge of paramere (arrow indices this plate).


  • n = 14, karyotype = 4SM+3ST+7A (Spain) (Palomeque et al., 1987; Palomeque et al., 1990b; Lorite et al., 2000).


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