Tetramorium vexator

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Tetramorium vexator
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species: T. vexator
Binomial name
Tetramorium vexator
Arnold, 1926

Tetramorium vexator casent0100754 p 1 high.jpg

Tetramorium vexator casent0100754 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

An open habitat species, it has been collected from grasslands, fynbos and scrub. Specimens have been taken in pitfall traps and by hand. The only nest collection was discovered in grass roots.


Bolton (1980) - A fairly distinctive species in the group, characterized by its smooth mandibles, notched clypeus, dense cephalic sculpture and uniquely shaped petiole.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: South Africa (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • vexator. Tetramorium vexator Arnold, 1926: 269, fig. 76 (w.) SOUTH AFRICA. See also: Bolton, 1980: 265.

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



Bolton (1980) - TL 3.7-4.3, HL 0.92-1.02, HW 0.90-0.98, CI 93-98, SL 0.62-0.72, SI 66-73, PW 0.58-0.66, AL 1.02-1.12 (11 measured).

Mandibles smooth and shining with scattered pits. Anterior clypeal margin notched or impressed medially. Frontal carinae extending back almost to occiput, more strongly developed anteriorly, surmounted by a narrow raised rim or flange which is highest at the level of the eyes and becomes lower posteriorly. Antennal scrobes present but shallow. Eyes relatively small for a member of this group, maximum diameter 0.19-0.22, about 0.21-0.23 x HW. With the alitrunk in profile the metanotal groove impressed, usually only shallowly so but very distinctly so in some individuals. Propodeal spines stout, triangular and acute but quite short, their length about 0.14-0.16, distinctly shorter than the maximum diameter of the eye. Metapleural lobes low and broadly triangular. Petiole in profile high and narrow, roughly cuneate, much narrower above than below. Anterior face rising to a high anterodorsal angle which is the highest point of the node. Behind this the dorsal and posterior faces are united in an evenly convex shallowly curved surface which slopes away from the anterior face. In dorsal view both nodes are broader than long. Seen from behind the petiole node is high and narrow, its sides feebly convergent dorsally. Dorsum of head finely and densely longitudinally rugulose, the rugulae running from clypeus to occiput without cross-meshes or reticulation. Most individuals with 14-17 rugulae between the frontal carinae at the level of the eyes but one or two specimens with slightly more (holotype with 15). Spaces between the rugulae narrow, with superficial ground-sculpture. Dorsal alitrunk with fine, feeble longitudinal rugulae which are wider-spaced than those on the head; cross-meshes absent. Petiole, postpetiole and gaster unsculptured. Pilosity on dorsal surfaces of head and body long, fine, dense and acute apically; the first gastral tergite most densely hairy. Colour in samples examined uniform dark brown to blackish brown, but the holotype paler, yellowish brown, which leads me to suspect that the holotype is a teneral worker.

Type Material

Bolton (1980) - Holotype, SOUTH AFRICA: Pietermaritzburg, 1.vii.1917 (C. Akerman) (Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe) [examined].


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Arnold G. 1926. A monograph of the Formicidae of South Africa. Appendix. Annals of the South African Museum. 23: 191-295.
  • 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.
  • Schoeman C. S., and S. H. Foord. 2012. A checklist of epigaeic ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the Marakele National Park, Limpopo, South Africa, Koedoe 54(1), Art. #1030, 7 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v54i1.1030
  • van Hamburg H., A. N. Andersen, W. J. Meyer, and H. G. Robertson. 2004. Ant community development on rehabilitated ash dams in the South African highveld. Restoration Ecology 12(4): 552-558.