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Country:  Tanzania

Alternative Place Names: United Republic of Tanzania

Subfamilies: 9
Genera: 95
Species/Subspecies: 470
  Endemic: 53
  Introduced: 11
Imaged Specimens: 835

Thomas Pape & Cecilie Svenningsen


Tanzania is located in East Africa just below the equator, bordering Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south, and the Indian Ocean to the east. The northeastern part of the country is mountainous and home to Africa's highest point, Mount Kilimanjaro. Lake Victoria, largest of the African Great Lakes, stretches into the northwestern part of the country, and Lake Tanganyika runs along most of the western border. The central region consists of a large, dry plateau featuring savannah vegetation. Serengeti National Park, famous for its migrations of wildebeest and zebra as well as for other megafauna, is situated in the north, and the vast Selous Game Reserve is found in the south. The western and southern parts of Tanzania contain extensive miombo woodlands, while the warmer and more humid eastern coastal area supports a mixture of forest types.

The Eastern Arc Mountains consist of 13 separate mountains, 12 of which are found in Tanzania. They stretch from the northeast to the southwest of the country. A tropical climate moderated by the moist winds from the Indian Ocean has provided stable conditions for some of the oldest forests on the continent. The Eastern Arc Mountains contain some of the most prominent montane biotas in East Africa.

The species list presented here is based on a compilation of literature records, an extract from AntWeb, and material from the collections of the Natural History Museum of Denmark.

At present around 1,000 species and 80 genera from 9 subfamilies are known from Tanzania. The largest subfamily is Myrmicinae (ca. 450 species and 30 genera), followed by Formicinae (ca. 200 species and 10 genera) and Ponerinae (ca. 100 species and 15 genera). The most species-rich genera are Camponotus (ca. 100 species), Tetramorium (ca. 90 species), Pheidole (ca. 70 species), Crematogaster (ca. 60 species) and Carebara (ca. 50 species). Two-thirds of the species on the list are morpho-species, and we suspect a number of these are new species and endemics for Tanzania. The Natural History Museum of Denmark will continue to collect in the region and this will in the future add to the number of ant species known for Tanzania.


Thomas Pape & Cecilie Svenningsen

Author Bio:

Tanzania Ant Curators