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This is arguably the most ecologically dominant ponerine ant in Africa, based on the extent of its geographical range and local abundance. It is widely distributed throughout Africa south of the Sahara. The large workers (17-20 mm) are epigeic hunters and scavengers. Although workers forage individually, they can recruit nestmates with chemical signals when retrieving bigger or more abundant prey items. The nests of P. tarsatus have multiple entrances, revealing an extensive system of shallow tunnels that lead to the foraging grounds.
Field behavior has been studied in Kenya, Ivory Coast and South Africa.
Peeters, C., U. Braun & B. Hölldobler (2013) Large colonies and striking sexual investment in the African stink ant, Paltothyreus tarsatus (subfamily Ponerinae). African Entomology 21(1): 9-14.
Elevations: collected from 419 - 1158 meters, 665 meters average