Tapinoma Forster,

Wheeler, W. M., 1922, The ants collected by the American Museum Congo Expedition., Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45, pp. 39-269: 207-208

publication ID


persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Tapinoma Forster


Tapinoma Forster  HNS 

Worker small, mouomorphic, with 4-jointed labial and 6-jointed maxillary palpi, multidenticulatc mandibles, 12-jointed antenna- and entire or medially more or less emarginate clypeus. The node is reduced to an anterior thickening of the depressed or flattened petiole which is overlain by the first gastric segment; anus usually inferior. Gizzard short, calyx usually not divided into distinct sepals, feebly convex, covered with fine hairs, with the bulb almost exposed when viewed from the side.

The female is usually considerably larger than the male. The anterior wings have a single cubital cell, rarely two, and the discoidal cell is often lacking.

The male is commonly as small as the worker and has well-developed denticulate mandibles. Antennae filiform, with long scape, usually surpassing the posterior border of the head and as long as the three first funicular joints together. Thorax stout; mesonotum not. overhanging the pronotum. Genital appendages voluminous, the stipes with a large squamula and its free portion of variable shape. Wings as in the female, but the discoidal cell is often lacking in the smaller species.

Colonies of Tapinoma  HNS  are usually populous and live in the ground or in the cavities of plants. The workers are timid and emit from their anal glands a strong odor like that of rancid butter ('Tapinoma-odor"). The genus is cosmopolitan and in the Nearctic Region reaches to rather high latitudes and altitudes (Map 32). One of the species. Tapinoma melanocephalum  HNS  , has been widely distributed by commerce throughout the tropics of both hemispheres. It is often a pest in shops and is known in Cuba as the "hormiga bottegaria."