Tetramorium Mayr

Csösz S., Radchenko, A. & Schulz, A., 2007, Taxonomic revision of the Palaearctic Tetramorium chefketi species complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1405, pp. 1-38: 2

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Tetramorium Mayr


[[ Genus Tetramorium Mayr  HNS  ]]

Tetramorium Mayr  HNS  , 1855 is one of the most diverse ant genera comprising more than 400 species worldwide (Bolton, 1995a). Modern taxonomic revisions of this genus were carried out by Bolton (1976, 1977, 1979, 1980) for all zoogeographical regions except for the Palaearctic Region.

Although tropical Tetramorium  HNS  species have very diverse biologies (habitat requirements, food preferences, nesting habits, etc.) the bionomics of the Palaearctic species is more or less uniform. They build nests mainly in the ground, often with soil mounds, frequently under stones and, rarely, in rotten wood. Biology, distribution and the life cycle of Tetramorium caespitum  HNS  ( López et al. 1990; López et al. 1992; Sanetra et al. 1999; Attygalle & Morgan 1984; Brian et al. 1967; Cammaerts & Cammaerts 2000, 2001; Gallé 1986; Sanetra & Buschinger 2000; Steiner et al. 2003) and related T. impurum  HNS  ( Stäger 1929; Poldi 1963; Cammaerts et al. 1984; Steiner et al. 2003; Csösz & Markó 2004)have been very well studied but other Palaearctic Tetramorium  HNS  species have been little represented other than faunistic surveys. Colonies of Palaearctic Tetramorium  HNS  are sometimes inhabited by several tens of thousands of workers and generally they live in dry and warm or even hot habitats including steppes and steppe-like grasslands, semi-deserts or deserts.

The first taxonomic revision (Emery 1909) of the Palaearctic Tetramorium  HNS  includes five species and about 20 infraspecific forms. Later several reviews of the genus from different parts of the Western Palaearctic were provided by Santschi (1927), Stitz (1939) and Kratochvíl (1944); many infraspecific taxa were described by other authors. More recently, data on Palaearctic Tetramorium  HNS  were published in regional monographs or special taxonomic papers, including descriptions of several new species from Morocco (Cagniant 1997), Iberian Peninsula ( López 1991a, 1991b; López et al. 1992), South Europe (Bernard 1967), Balkans, Europe (Agosti & Collingwood 1987a, 1987b), Switzerland (Kutter 1977), North Europe (Collingwood 1979), Italy (Mei 1995; Sanetra et al. 1999), Germany (Schulz 1996; Seifert 1996), Poland (Radchenko et al. 1998), European part of the former Soviet Union and Caucasus (Arnoldi 1968; Radchenko & Arakelyan 1990), former Soviet Union (Radchenko 1992a, 1992b), Kazakhstan (Bursakov 1984), Turkmenistan (Dlussky & Zabelin 1985; Dlussky et al. 1990), Afghanistan (Pisarski 1967a, 1967b, 1969), Turkey (Poldi 1979), Saudi Arabia (Collingwood1985; Collingwood & Agosti 1996), China (Wang et al. 1988; Xu & Zheng 1994; Zhou & Jiang 1998), Japan (Imai et al. 2003). As a result, about 60 species and infraspecific forms of Tetramorium  HNS  were recorded from the Palaearctic up to now, mostly from the southern part of the region.