Tetramorium snellingi

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Tetramorium snellingi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species: T. snellingi
Binomial name
Tetramorium snellingi
Hita Garcia, Fischer & Peters, 2010

Tetramorium snellingi P casent0217052.jpg

Tetramorium snellingi D casent0217052.jpg

Specimen Label

Collected from leaf litter in rainforest.


The triangular propodeal spines of medium size (PSLI 17 - 22), the presence of standing hairs on the first gastral tergite, and the characteristic bicoloration (with petiole, postpetiole, and gaster very dark brown to black contrasting with the orange or reddish brown head and mesosoma) make Tetramorium snellingi readily identifiable within the species complex.

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

Keys including this Species


Ranges from Kakamega in Western Kenya through the Ruwenzori Mountains in Western Uganda to the Central African Republic.

Known from Central African Republic, Kenya and Uganda.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 3° to 0.128°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Central African Republic, Kenya (type locality), Uganda.

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.

  • snellingi. Tetramorium snellingi Hita Garcia, Fischer & Peters, 2010a: 142, figs. 1-6 (w.q.) KENYA. See also: Hita Garcia, Fischer & Peters, 2010b: 80.

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. (2010b) - Tetramorium snellingi is morphologically very much linked to Tetramorium boltoni, Tetramorium renae, and Tetramorium weitzeckeri while its presence of standing hairs on the first gastral tergite separates it clearly from Tetramorium bendai, Tetramorium humbloti, Tetramorium sepultum, and Tetramorium tanaense, and the absence of conspicuous cephalic ground sculpturation from Tetramorium guineense. The typical coloration of T. snellingi makes it easily separable from T. boltoni and T. weitzeckeri but apart from this they also differ in the length of antennal scapes and propodeal spines. Yet, T. renae is also generally bicoloured but both are difficult to confuse since in T. renae it is the pale yellowish brown gaster, and to a lesser degree the head, too, that are of much lighter colour than the reddish brown mesosoma.



Hita Garcia et al. (2010b) - HL 0.622 - 0.667 (0.646); HW 0.578 - 0.619 (0.604); SL 0.422 - 0.444 (0.436); EL 0.122 - 0.150 (0.137); PW 0.433 - 0.467 (0.448); WL 0.667 - 0.733 (0.711); PSL 0.111 - 0.139 (0.129); PTL 0.089 - 0.111 (0.100); PTH 0.256 - 0.278 (0.265); PTW 0.233 - 0.256 (0.242); PPL 0.156 - 0.183 (0.168); PPH 0.250 - 0.278 (0.265); PPW 0.267 - 0.300 (0.287); CI 91 - 96 (94); SI 70 - 75 (72); OI 21 - 24 (23); PSLI 17 - 22 (20); PeNI 51 - 58 (54); LPeI 34 - 43 (38); DPeI 220 - 265 (243); PpNI 58 - 68 (64); LPpI 56 - 70 (64); DPpI 161 - 179 (170); PPI 109 - 124 (118) (32 measured).

Head slightly longer than wide (CI 90 - 96). Anterior clypeal margin with shallow, but distinct median concave impression. Frontal carinae strongly developed, becoming weaker behind eye level and ending shortly before posterior margin of head. Antennal scrobe narrow, shallow, and without defined ventral margin, ending before posterior margin of head. Antennal scape not reaching posterior margin of head, short to medium-sized (SI 70 - 75). Eyes relatively small to medium sized (OI 21 - 24), with 7 ommatidia in longest row. In profile metanotal groove weakly impressed. Propodeal spines of medium size (PSLI 17 - 22), elongate-triangular with broad base and acute apex. Propodeal lobes small, triangular and acute. Petiolar node strongly squamiform, in dorsal view more than 2 times wider than long (DPeI 220 - 264) and in profile between 2.3 to 3 times higher than long (LPeI 34 - 43). Postpetiole in dorsal view between 1.5 to 2 times wider than long (DPpI 161 - 179) and much more voluminous than petiole; in lateral view weakly to moderately squamiform and thicker compared to petiole, only slightly antero-posteriorly compressed, between 1.4 to 1.8 times higher than long (LPpI 56 - 69). Mandibles distinctly longitudinally striate. Clypeus usually with 3 to 5 longitudinal rugae, median ruga always strongly developed and unbroken, while lateral rugae variable. Clypeus usually with 3, sometimes 5, longitudinal rugae; median ruga always strongly developed and unbroken, while lateral rugae variable. Cephalic dorsum and lateral part of head ventral to scrobe longitudinally rugose with widely spaced rugae, usually with 8 to 10 longitudinal rugae between frontal carinae, almost all running unbroken to posterior margin of head. Spaces between rugae with very weak, nearly effaced ground sculpture or completely unsculptured, generally smooth and shiny. Scrobal area with reduced punctate ground sculpture or completely unsculptured. Mesosoma dorsally and laterally with distinct, mostly longitudinal, widely spaced rugae. Spaces between them and propodeal declivity unsculptured, smooth and shiny. Petiole, postpetiole and gaster completely unsculptured, smooth and shiny. All dorsal surfaces of head, mesosoma, both waist segments and gaster with abundant, long, fine, and simple suberect to erect hairs. Fine pubescence on tibiae appressed, on antennal scapes appressed to decumbent. Head and mesosoma orange to reddish brown with paler, more yellowish legs, contrasting with dark brown to blackish petiole, postpetiole and gaster.

Paratype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Hita Garcia et al. (2010b) - Holotype worker, KENYA: Western Province, Kakamega Forest, Salazar, 00° 19' 36 N, 34° 52' 14.6 E, 1650 m , Transect 6, Kakamega survey 2007, primary rain forest, leaf litter, pitfall trap, 17.VIII.2007, leg. M. Peters (National Museum of Kenya: ZFMK_HYM_2009_3105) [examined]. Paratypes, 35 workers and 2 queens from several sub-localities of the Kakamega forest (California Academy of Sciences: 4 workers CASENT0217052, CASENT0217055, CASENT0217056, CASENT0217057; The Natural History Museum: 4 workers ZFMK_HYM_2009_6186, ZFMK_HYM_2009_6187, ZFMK_HYM_2009_6188, ZFMK_HYM_2009_6189; Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History: 4 workers; MHNG: 4 workers; NMK: 4 workers; ZFMK: 15 workers and 2 queens ZFMK_HYM_2009_3003, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3089, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3090, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3091, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3092, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3093, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3094, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3095, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3096, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3097, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3098, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3099, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3100, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3101, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3103, ZFMK_HYM_2009_3104, ZFMK_HYM_2009_6174) [examined].


  • Hita Garcia, F., Fischer, G. & Peters, M.K. 2010a. Tetramorium snellingi sp. n. – a new leaf-litter ant species from a western Kenyan rainforest. Myrmecological News 13: 141-146.
  • Hita Garcia, F., Fischer, G. & Peters, M.K. 2010b. Taxonomy of the Tetramorium weitzeckeri species group in the Afrotropical zoogeographical region. Zootaxa 2704: 1-90.

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • 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.
  • Hita Garcia F., and G. Fischer. 2014. Additions to the taxonomy of the Afrotropical Tetramorium weitzeckeri species complex (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae), with the description of a new species from Kenya. European Journal of Taxonomy 90: 1–16.
  • Hita, F., G. Fischer, and M. K. Peters. "Tetramorium snellingi sp.n. - a new leaf-litter ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from a Western Kenyan rainforest." Myrmecological News 13 (2010): 141-146.
  • 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.