Tetraponera attenuata

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Tetraponera attenuata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Pseudomyrmecinae
Genus: Tetraponera
Species: T. attenuata
Binomial name
Tetraponera attenuata
Smith, F., 1877

Tetraponera attenuata casent0246299 p 1 high.jpg

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Specimen Labels


Specimens of T attenuata whose labels include habitat information indicate occurrences in “lowland rainforest”, “primary rainforest”, “primary dipterocarp forest”, “lower montane mixed dipterocarp forest”, “hilltop dipterocarp forest”, “second-growth forest” and (male only) “mangrove”. There are a few colony series from dead twigs or dead branches, indicating that this species has generalist nesting habits. (Ward 2001)


Ward (2001) - This species can be recognised by the broad head, elongate petiole, and dense covering of suberect pubescence and standing pilosity on most of the body. Workers from northern populations of T. attenuata tend to have more widely separated frontal carinae, smaller eyes, a shorter petiole and a longer metabasitarsal sulcus. But the relevant indices (FCI, REL, REL2, PLI and PWI) overlap substantially, and the variation appears to be clinal in nature. Queens of T. attenuata show comparable geographical variation in the same features. In addition, the queens vary in the shape of the clypeus (anterolateral teeth variably developed, occasionally absent) and the size of the malar pit (varying from well developed to absent), but variation in these latter traits does not show a clear-cut geographical pattern.

Keys including this Species


Ward (2001) - Tetraponera attenuata ranges from northeast India to southern China, south to Sumatra, Java, and Borneo. The only Philippines records come from Palawan. A single dealate queen has also been taken on Okinawa in Japan.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo (type locality), Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines.
Oriental Region: Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam.
Palaearctic Region: China, Japan.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb






The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • attenuata. Tetraponera attenuata Smith, F. 1877b: 71 (w.) BORNEO. Wheeler, W.M. 1919e: 144 (q.m.). Combination in Sima: André, 1892b: 53; in Tetraponera: Wheeler, W.M. 1919e: 65. Senior synonym of tenuissima: Forel, 1912n: 55; of birmana, thagatensis: Ward, 2001: 622.
  • tenuissima. Sima attenuata var. tenuissima Emery, 1900d: 675, fig. 5 (w.q.) INDONESIA (Sumatra). Junior synonym of attenuata: Forel, 1912n: 55.
  • birmana. Sima birmana Forel, 1902c: 245 (q.) MYANMAR. Bingham, 1903: 112 (w.). Combination in S. (Tetraponera): Emery, 1921f: 25; in Tetraponera: Chapman & Capco, 1951: 79. Junior synonym of attenuata: Ward, 2001: 622.
  • thagatensis. Sima attenuata var. thagatensis Forel, 1902c: 249 (w.) INDIA. Combination in S. (Tetraponera): Emery, 1921f: 27; in Tetraponera: Wheeler, W.M. 1924b: 5; Chapman & Capco, 1951: 82. Junior synonym of attenuata: Bingham, 1903: 112; revived from synonymy as subspecies of nigra: Forel, 1909d: 226; raised to species: Forel, 1912n: 55; returned to junior synonymy of attenuata: Ward, 2001: 622.

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



Ward (2001) - HW 0.97-1.48, HL 1.07-1.67, LHT 0.97-1.47, CI 0.84-0.94, FCI 0.11-0.15, REL 0.29-0.34, REL2 0.32-0.38, SI 0.61-0.76, SI3 1.84-2.11, FI 0.33-0.40, PLI 0.38-0.47, PWI 0.29-0.44, PDI 0.97-1.06, LHT/HW 0.93-1.08, CSC 10-26, MSC 6-44.

Relatively large and slender species, with broad head (CI >0.82); clypeus short, its anteromedial margin varying from broadly convex to straight; anteromedial margin of clypeus joining anterolateral margin in a smooth curve or (less commonly) at a slight angle; frontal carinae moderately well separated, the distance between them exceeding basal scape width; eyes relatively small (see REL and REL2 values), scape length about twice eye length; lateral margins of head rounding broadly into posterior margin; profemur slender; pronotum usually lacking prominent lateral margins; mesopropodeal impression wellmarked, long and open, flanked by low metanotal tubercles that are usually not prominent in profile; propodeum about as high as wide, dorsal face rounding gradually and continously into the declivitous face; legs long relative to head size, LHT/HL 0.84-0.96; petiole somewhat variable in shape but always rather long and slender (PLI <0.48), often markedly so, and with a well differentiated anterior peduncle and node; petiole more than twice as long as broad; postpetiole 1.1-1.4x longer than broad; metabasitarsal sulcus lying in a darkened patch of cuticle subtended by a raised ridge, occupying about 0.15-0.30 the length of the basitarsus. Integument with numerous fine punctures, the interspaces (sub)lucid and smooth or weakly reticulate; punctures on dorsum of head and mesosoma mostly 0.005-0.015 mm in diameter (pronotal punctures sometimes larger) and separated by one to several diameters; punctures on side of mesosoma finer, less conspicuous; lower malar area with coarse punctures intermixed with irregular longitudinal rugulae. Standing pilosity common (see CSC and MSC values), the hairs up to 0.30-0.35 mm long, and tending to grade into shorter suberect and decumbent pubescence which forms a dense cover on most of the body, including the mesosoma dorsum and petiole. Black to dark brownish-black, scape and first several funicular segments often lighter (medium to yellowish-brown).

Type Material

Ward (2001) - Syntype (unique?), worker, Sarawak (labeled 'Sar.'), Malaysia (The Natural History Museum).