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Tetramorium simillimum st. delagoense ForelHNS, 1894: 80. Syntype workers, queens, males, Mozambique: Delagoa (Dr Liengme) (MHN, Geneva) [examined]. Tetramorium simillimum var. madecassum ForelHNS, 1895«: 248. Holotype worker, Madagascar: Imerina (Sikora) (MNH, Geneva) [examined]. Syn. n.
Worker. TL 2.3 - 2.8, HL 0.56 - 0.66, HW 0.49 - 0.58, CI 84 - 89, SL 0.42 - 0.52, SI 84 - 92, PW 0.33 - 0.41, AL 0.61 - 0.80 (25 measured).
Mandibles finely sculptured with dense, weak striation or dense shagreening. Anterior clypeal margin entire. Frontal carinae strongly developed, extending back almost to the occiput and distinctly more strongly developed than the remaining cephalic sculpture. Antennal scrobes broad and quite shallow, but distinct. With the head in full-face view the sides immediately behind the eyes with a single short, stout hair projecting anteriorly. Alitrunk in profile usually with a slight indentation at the metanotal groove. Propodeal spines usually short and broadly triangular, sometimes reduced and blunted but never absent, the spines shorter than the metapleural lobes which are themselves broadly triangular in shape. Petiole node in profile somewhat variable in shape but usually the same as in simillimumHNS (Fig. 38). In dorsal view the node broader than long. Dorsum of head longitudinally rugulose, the spaces between rugulae packed with a dense, conspicuous reticulate-punctate ground-sculpture or densely granular. Dorsal alitrunk finely rugulose, with distinct punctulation between the rugulae. Dorsal surfaces of petiole and postpetiole similarly but more faintly sculptured. All dorsal surfaces of head, alitrunk and gaster with scattered short, stout, blunt hairs. Colour yellowish brown to mid-brown.
This small species is a very close sibling of simillimumHNS and was originally described as a variety of it. However, it differs consistently from simillimumHNS by possessing a single projecting stout hair on the side of the head just below the eye, a feature absent from simillimumHNS. Also, the scapes of delagoenseHNS tend to be relatively slightly longer, with SI 84 - 92, as opposed to SI 74 - 80 in simillimumHNS.
Although known from Madagascar, delagoenseHNS does not appear to be very common there. It is an African species which has spread to Madagascar and it is common in eastern and southern Africa, being known from numerous collections from South Africa, Rhodesia, Angola, Tanzania, Kenya and Sudan.
Madagascar: Bekonazy (nr Morondava) (W. L. Brown); Imerintsiatosika (nr. Tananarivo) (W. L. Brown).
Found most commonly in these habitats: 209 times found in tropical dry forest, 85 times found in spiny forest/thicket, 74 times found in gallery forest, 31 times found in tropical dry forest on Tsingy, 20 times found in rainforest, 29 times found in urban/garden, 7 times found in dry forest, 22 times found in Uapaca woodland, 20 times found in Savannah grassland, 13 times found in littoral rainforest, ...
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 96 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 171 times ex rotten log, 61 times under stone, 47 times ground forager(s), 18 times ex soil, 11 times ground nest, 12 times on low vegetation, 10 times ex rotten stick on ground, 8 times ex rotting tree stump, 4 times under coconut, 7 times sifted litter, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods: 45 times MW 50 sample transect, 5m, 36 times pitfall trap, PF 50 traps, 11 cm dbh with water, soap, formalin, nonlinear placement, 11 times MW 25 sample transect, 5m, 23 times Malaise trap, 6 times 9 MaxiWinks, mixed samples, 22 times MW 20 sample transect, 5m, 15 times SD 20 digging sample transect, 10m, 13 times MW 20 sample transect, 10m, 8 times pitfall trap, PF 20 tube sample transect, 10m, 3 times pitfall trap, PF 25 cup sample transect, 10m, 9 times yellow pan trap, YP 25 trap transect, ...
Elevations: collected from 5 - 1800 meters, 349 meters average