Tetramorium staerckei

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Tetramorium staerckei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species: T. staerckei
Binomial name
Tetramorium staerckei
Kratochvíl, 1944

Tetramorium staerckei F18b-c.jpg

Soil nests often under stones, sometimes covered with grass; small soil mounds exist.

This is a widely distributed species, but its status was clarified only recently (Wagner et al. 2017) thus it remains to be recorded from many countries. Verified records are from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, SW Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Turkey. The only Greek record is from Lesbos of the Aegean Islands (Borowiec et al., 2022).


A member of the Tetramorium caespitum species complex. See Wagner et al. (2017) and https://webapp.uibk.ac.at/ecology/tetramorium/ for keys.


Wagner et al. (2017) - Pannonian zone, Balkans, southern Russia, Central Asia.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 49.5297° to 39.21687°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary (type locality), Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Türkiye.

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.


Wagner et al. (2017) - Thermophilic, different from all species except Tetramorium breviscapus. Avoids editerranean areas, but occurs on Black Sea coast. Typical European habitats are semi-dry and dry grasslands, semi-arid pastures, road embankments, fallow vineyard, rock heaps, sand dunes; exceptionally urban areas. Might be more salt-tolerant than other species, as it was mentioned under "Tetramorium cf. caespitum" as most frequent ant species in saline field in Ocna Sibiului (Romania) (Tausan & Marko 2011; material determined by us). In Kyrgyzstan in meadows, steppes, semideserts, groves.

Adult sexuals in nests on 13 June ± 10 d [1 June, 27 June] (n = 6).

Association with Other Organisms

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This species is a host for the fungus Myrmicinosporidium durum (a pathogen) in Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia (Csősz et al., 2012).



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

  • staerckei. Tetramorium staerckei Kratochvíl, in Kratochvíl, et al. 1944: 65.
    • [First available use of Tetramorium caespitum subsp. hungarica var. staerckei Röszler, 1936b: 60 (w.q.m.) HUNGARY; unavailable (infrasubspecific) name.]
    • Junior synonym of impurum: Kutter, 1977c: 159; Radchenko, 2016: 246.
    • Status as species: Wagner, et al. 2017: 119 (redescription).

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



Wagner et al. (2017) - lectotype in μm: CL = 871, CW = 849, dAN = 266, EL = 181, EW = 133, FL = 350, HFL = 739, ML = 1072, MPPL = 322, MPSP = 396, MPST = 238, MW = 581, PEH = 321, PEL = 203, PEW = 303, PLSP = 201, PLST = 239, PnHL = 241, PoOc = 329, POTCos = 10, PPH = 359, PPL = 126, PPW = 378, PreOc = 212, RTI = 347, SLd = 692, SPST = 186, SPWI = 277.

Rather large compared with other species of complex, CS = 746 ± 57 [655, 878] μm. Dark brown to blackish.

Most elongate head of complex, CL / CW = 1.032 ± 0.014 [1.003, 1.062]. Eye rather large, EYE / CS = 0.178 ± 0.005 [0.168, 0.189]. Longest scape of complex, SLd / CS = 0.787 ± 0.016 [0.750, 0.817]. Mesosoma longest within complex and wide, ML / CS = 1.188 ± 0.025 [1.141, 1.247], MW / CS = 0.645 ± 0.014 [0.614, 0.681].

Promesonotal dorsum convex, metanotal groove shallow. – Head dorsum and occiput with longitudinal costae and costulae. Postoculo-temporal area of head with many costae and costulae, POTCos = 10.53 ± 1.75 [7.38, 13.75]. Mesosoma dorsum longitudinally rugulose, lateral side of propodeum with strongest sculpture of complex, Ppss = 16.9 ± 5.3 [11.3, 33.1]. – Dorsum of petiolar with sculpture or smooth. General surface appearance on average dull compared with other species. – Connected stickman-like or reticulate microsculpture: moderate-sized units scattered over 1st gastral tergite, MC1TG = 15.93 ± 2.35 [11.00, 22.00]. – Some workers with long c-shaped, crinkly, or sinuous hairs on ventral head posterior to buccal cavity.


Wagner et al. (2017) - Paramere structure belongs to impurum-like form: rounded ventral paramere lobe without any sharp corner in dorsal or ventral view but with clear division of ventral and dorsal paramere lobes, visible by deep emargination between lobes in posterior view. No sharp corner at end of ventral lobe visible in posterior view. Relatively short dorsal paramere lobe, visible in posterior and dorsal view. Paramere structure length in lateral view > 1014 μm. In dorsal and posterior view, distinct corner on ventral paramere lobe between lobe top and emargination with dorsal lobe.

Type Material

Wagner et al. (2017) - Nagytétény (Hungary), 47.391° N, 18.987° E, 102 m a.s.l., leg. P. Röszler, 17.VI.1935.

Worker closer to needle (of two syntype workers of one card), labeled "Hongrie Nagytétény Coll: Röszler [/] "17. VI. 1935" [–] "500" [–] Typus [–] "Tetramorium caespitum v. hungaricum v. Staerckei worker Rößl. Typus! No. 500" [/] "PAUL RÖSZLER Baross Gabor-telep HONGRIE – EUROPE", designated as lectotype (Fig. 18). Lectotype worker, one paralectotype worker, one paralectotype gyne, and one paralectotype male in Museum of Natural History, Sibiu / Hermannstadt (Romania).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Salata S., and L. Borowiec. 2018. Taxonomic and faunistic notes on Greek ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Annals of the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom Entomology 27: 1-51.
  • Salata S., and L. Borowiec. 2019. Comments to distribution of several Greek Tetramorium Mayr, 1855 species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Annals of the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom Entomology 28(2): 1-9.
  • Schar S., G Talavera, X. Espadaler, J. D. Rana, A. A. Andersen, S. P. Cover, and R. Vila. 2018. Do Holarctic ant species exist? Trans-Beringian dispersal and homoplasy in the Formicidae. Journal of Biogeography 00: 1-12.
  • Wagner H. C., W. Arthofer, B. Seifert, C. Muster, F. M. Steiner, and B. C. Schlick-Steiner. 2017. Light at the end of the tunnel: Integrative taxonomy delimits cryptic species in the Tetramorium caespitum complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 25: 95-129.