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Species: Tapinoma melanocephalum   (Fabricius, 1793) 

Classification:
Download Data

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2020)

Formica melanocephala Fabricius, 1793 PDF: 353 (w.) [Note: neotype w. designated by: Guerrero, 2018 10.11646/zootaxaa.4410.3.4 PDF: 499. Colombia: Magdalena. Guerrero, 2018 10.11646/zootaxaa.4410.3.4 PDF: 499, also nominates “paraneotypes”. Under ICZN rules no such category exists.] FRENCH GUIANA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

[Misspelled as melanorephalum by Santschi, 1924c PDF: 112.].
Combination in Lasius: Fabricius, 1804 PDF: 417.
Combination in Micromyrma: Roger, 1862b PDF: 258.
Combination in Tapinoma: Mayr, 1862 PDF: 651; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 165.
Status as species: Latreille, 1802a PDF: 269; Fabricius, 1804 PDF: 417; Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau, 1835 PDF: 185; Smith, 1858a PDF: 46; Roger, 1862b PDF: 258; Roger, 1863b PDF: 14; Mayr, 1863a PDF: 455; Mayr, 1876 PDF: 83; Forel, 1881 PDF: 3; Mayr, 1884 PDF: 31; Mayr, 1886c PDF: 359; Emery, 1887a PDF: 249; Forel, 1891c PDF: 101 (redescription); André, 1892c PDF: 51; Forel, 1893j PDF: 352; André, 1893b PDF: 152; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 164; Emery, 1893f PDF: 89; Emery, 1893g PDF: 194; Emery, 1893h PDF: 249; Emery, 1893i PDF: 267; Forel, 1895a PDF: 49; Forel, 1895b PDF: 109; Forel, 1895f PDF: 472; Emery, 1895g PDF: 337; Pergande, 1896 PDF: 870; Mayr, 1897 PDF: 432; Emery, 1897: 573; Forel, 1899a PDF: 120; Forel, 1899b PDF: 101; Emery, 1900: 696; Emery, 1901h PDF: 121; Forel, 1902j PDF: 476; Rothney, 1903: 98; Bingham, 1903 PDF: 304; Wheeler, 1905c PDF: 131; Emery, 1906c PDF: 177; Wheeler, 1907b PDF: 275; Forel, 1907h PDF: 9; Wheeler, 1908a PDF: 150; Forel, 1908a PDF: 64; Wheeler, 1909c PDF: 272; Wheeler, 1909d PDF: 336, 342; Yano, 1910a PDF: 421; Wheeler, 1911a PDF: 29; Wheeler, 1912a PDF: 46; Forel, 1912l PDF: 164; Emery, 1913a PDF: 41; Forel, 1913g PDF: 197; Forel, 1913l PDF: 93; Wheeler, 1913b PDF: 498; Wheeler, 1913e PDF: 242; Wheeler, 1913f PDF: 237; Santschi, 1914d PDF: 377; Emery, 1914f PDF: 420; Donisthorpe, 1915f: 342; Viehmeyer, 1916a PDF: 142; Mann, 1916 PDF: 473; Wheeler, 1916f PDF: 330; Crawley, 1916b PDF: 375; Donisthorpe, 1918c PDF: 167; Wheeler, 1919d: 275; Wheeler, 1919f PDF: 100; Santschi, 1920h PDF: 172; Mann, 1921 PDF: 473; Wheeler, 1922: 924, 1034; Wheeler, 1922e PDF: 15; Borgmeier, 1923: 101; Wheeler, 1923c PDF: 4; Wheeler, 1924b PDF: 110; Crawley, 1924a PDF: 403; Santschi, 1924c PDF: 112; Mann, 1925b PDF: 6; Mukerjee & Ribeiro, 1925 PDF: 207; Karavaiev, 1926d PDF: 441; Stärcke, 1926a PDF: 118 (in key); Donisthorpe, 1927c: 395; Wheeler, 1927d PDF: 7; Wheeler, 1927h PDF: 99; Wheeler, 1928c PDF: 30; Cheesman & Crawley, 1928 PDF: 522; Santschi, 1928c PDF: 70; Wheeler, 1929g PDF: 8; Wheeler, 1929h PDF: 57; Karavaiev, 1930a PDF: 213; Menozzi, 1930b PDF: 114; Menozzi, 1930h PDF: 328; Menozzi & Russo, 1930 PDF: 165; Smith, 1930a PDF: 5; Wheeler, 1930k PDF: 73; Donisthorpe, 1932c PDF: 449; Wheeler, 1932a PDF: 13; Wheeler, 1932g PDF: 17; Wheeler, 1934a PDF: 178; Wheeler, 1934i: 16; Donisthorpe, 1935 PDF: 634; Menozzi, 1935b PDF: 200; Wheeler, 1935g: 36; Wheeler, 1936c PDF: 204; Wheeler, 1937a PDF: 23; Smith, 1937 PDF: 861; Teranishi, 1940: 59; Yasumatsu, 1940c PDF: 68; Donisthorpe, 1941h PDF: 60; Santschi, 1941 PDF: 277; Wheeler, 1942 PDF: 252; Menozzi, 1942a PDF: 178; Eidmann, 1944 PDF: 459, 469; Stärcke, 1944d PDF: xviii; Donisthorpe, 1948g PDF: 139; Weber, 1948b PDF: 85; Creighton, 1950a PDF: 352; Smith, 1951c PDF: 838; Azuma, 1951 PDF: 88; Chapman & Capco, 1951 PDF: 192; Smith, 1954c PDF: 10; Smith, 1958c PDF: 141; Kempf, 1961b PDF: 520; Wilson, 1962c PDF: 18; Linsley & Usinger, 1966 PDF: 175; Baltazar, 1966 PDF: 263; Smith, 1967a PDF: 365; Wilson & Taylor, 1967b PDF: 80; Taylor, 1967b PDF: 1094; Kempf, 1972b PDF: 247; Alayo, 1974 PDF: 24 (in key); Bolton & Collingwood, 1975: 8 (in key); Taylor, 1976a: 87; Taylor, 1976b: 197; Francoeur, 1977b PDF: 207; Smith, 1979: 1421; Collingwood, 1979 PDF: 36; Onoyama, 1980a PDF: 199; Collingwood, 1985 PDF: 243; Taylor, 1987a PDF: 77; Deyrup et al., 1989 PDF: 99; Morisita et al., 1991: 7; Wu & Wang, 1992c: 1311; Perrault, 1993 PDF: 333; Dlussky, 1994a: 55; Shattuck, 1994 PDF: 147; Douwes, 1995: 91; Bolton, 1995b: 400; Wu & Wang, 1995a: 116; Dorow, 1996a PDF: 82; Collingwood et al., 1997 PDF: 509; Tiwari, 1999 PDF: 83; Deyrup et al., 2000: 300; Mathew & Tiwari, 2000 PDF: 342; Zhou, 2001a PDF: 150; Wetterer, 2002 PDF: 129; Zhang & Zheng, 2002 PDF: 218; Blard et al., 2003 PDF: 133; Deyrup, 2003 PDF: 47; Imai et al., 2003 PDF: 84; Lin & Wu, 2003: 60; Wetterer & Vargo, 2003 PDF: 417; Collingwood et al., 2004 PDF: 486; Ghosh et al., 2005 PDF: 10; Jaitrong & Nabhitabhata, 2005 PDF: 42; Ward, 2005 PDF: 27; Wetterer, 2006 PDF: 415; Wetterer et al., 2007 PDF: 31; Wild, 2007b PDF: 25; Clouse, 2007b PDF: 206; Don, 2007: 191; Framenau & Thomas, 2008 PDF: 59; Heterick, 2009 PDF: 58; Terayama, 2009 PDF: 199; Wetterer, 2009b PDF: 23; Boer, 2010: 16; Mohanraj et al., 2010 PDF: 7; Collingwood et al., 2011 PDF: 415; Csosz et al., 2011 PDF: 58; Pfeiffer et al., 2011 PDF: 34; Branstetter et al., 2012 PDF: 254; Ellison et al., 2012: 105; Guénard & Dunn, 2012 PDF: 26; Sarnat & Economo, 2012 PDF: 37; Sharaf et al., 2012a 10.3897/zookeys.212.3325 PDF: 40 (in key); Hita Garcia et al., 2013 PDF: 202; Sarnat et al., 2013 PDF: 69; Borowiec, 2014 PDF: 168 (see note in bibliography); Ramage, 2014 PDF: 154; Bezděčková et al., 2015 PDF: 109; Bharti et al., 2016 PDF: 19; Jaitrong et al., 2016 PDF: 22; Wetterer et al., 2016 PDF: 20; Radchenko, 2016: 92; Sharaf et al., 2017 10.1080/00222933.2016.1271157 PDF: 5; Deyrup, 2017: 176; Sharaf et al., 2018 10.20362/am.010004 PDF: 3; Guerrero, 2018 10.11646/zootaxaa.4410.3.4 PDF: 499 (redescription); García-Avendaño & Guerrero, 2018 10.25100/socolen.v44i2.7324 PDF: 226 (redescription) ; Dekoninck et al., 2019 PDF: 1158; Guerrero, 2019 PDF: 717; Lubertazzi, 2019 10.3099/MCZ-43.1 PDF: 184.
// Distribution

Distribution:

  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Comoros, Europa Island, Ghana, Grande Glorieuse, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Juan de Nova Island, Macaronesia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Reunion, Seychelles
    Americas: Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, French Guiana, Galapagos Islands, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United States
    Asia: China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Oman, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
    Europe: Belgium, Czech Republic
    Oceania: Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Afrotropical, Australasia, Indomalaya, Malagasy, Nearctic, Neotropical, Oceania, Palearctic
  Native to (according to species list records):
    Indomalaya bioregion

Distribution Notes:

One record from Wallonia, only indoors

Biology:

Natural History:

This is a widespread tropical tramp species, introduced throughout the world. Its native range is unknown. It is ubiquitous in non-airconditioned dwellings anywhere in the lowland tropics. Regardless of whether you are in Guinea, New Guinea, or Guyana, if you are sitting at a table with a sugar dispenser you are likely to see workers of T. melanocephalum running about on the surface. They always seem to be able to find their way into the sugar container, and sugar on tropical tables always contains some non-negligible fraction of T. melanocephalum workers. When you put a spoonful of sugar in your drink, you can judge the level of contamination by how many workers are left floating on the surface.

In quantitative biodiversity surveys, this species often has to be excluded from data analysis because the laboratory where samples are processed contains T. melanocephalum as a pest, and contamination of samples occurs.

Although most often found in houses, they can also move out into surrounding vegetation in highly disturbed and highly insolated habitats, opportunistically nesting in small plant cavities. Nests readily relocate, and overnight they can move into a shoe or an umbrella left on a porch.

Comments:

Introduced species

Notes:

(Dutch vernacular name: spookdraaigatje)

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Tapinoma melanocephalum   Ward, P. S., 2005, A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 936, pp. 1-68: -1, (download) -1 21008
Tapinoma melanocephalum   Forel, A., 1891, Histoire naturelle des Hymenopteres. Deuxieme partie: Les Formicides., Histoire Physique, Naturelle et Politique de Madagascar., Paris: L'Imprimerie Nationale, pp. 1-231: 101-103, (download) 101-103 6734
Tapinoma melanocephalum   Forel, A., 1893, Formicides de l'Antille St. Vincent. Récoltées par Mons. H. H. Smith., Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1893, pp. 333-418: 352-353, (download) 352-353 3948
Tapinoma melanocephalum   Collingwood, C. A., 1979, The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark., Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 8, pp. 1-174: 36, (download) 36 6175
Tapinoma melanocephalum   Forel, A., 1912, The Percy Sladen Trust Expedition to the Indian Ocean in 1905, under the leadership of Mr. J. Stanley Gardiner, M. A. Volume 4, No. 11. Fourmis des Seychelles et des Aldabras, reà § ues de M. , Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology 15, pp. 159-167: 164, (download) 164 4046
Tapinoma melanocephalum   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 25, (download) 25 21367
Tapinoma melanocephalum   Emery, C., 1893, Voyage de M. E. Simon à l'île de Ceylan (janvier - février 1892). 3 e Mémoire. Formicides., Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 62, pp. 239-258: 11, (download) 11 3767
Tapinoma melanocephalum   Forel, A., 1895, Nouvelles fourmis de diverses provenances, surtout d'Australie., Annales de la Societe Entomologique de Belgique 39, pp. 41-49: -1, (download) -1 3954
Tapinoma melanocephalum   Espadaler, X., 2007, The ants of El Hierro (Canary Islands)., Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Homage to E. O. Wilson - 50 years of contributions., Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute, 80, pp. 113-127: 117, (download) 117 21278

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 35 times found in urban/garden, 52 times found in mature wet forest, 35 times found in coastal scrub, 34 times found in rainforest, 24 times found in plant nursery, 13 times found in urban garden, 10 times found in secondary thicket and diverse vegetation, 8 times found in tropical dry forest, 10 times found in littoral rainforest, 0 times found in USDA ARS Fire Ant Lab in culture, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 90 times on low vegetation, 78 times ex sifted leaf litter, 61 times malaise trap, 20 times ex dead twig above ground, 11 times ex rotten log, 15 times ground forager(s), 12 times under tree bark, live tree, 12 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 8 times under stone, 1 times foraging on ground, 5 times dead wood, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 71 times MiniWinkler, 62 times M, 7 times H, 15 times Berlese, 13 times search, 13 times beatting, 8 times Winkler, 8 times MW 50 sample transect, 5m, 8 times hand collecting, 5 times hand collection, 6 times Hand, ...

Elevations: collected from 1 - 2000 meters, 166 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1914-12-31 and 2019-11-10

Type specimens: syntype of Myrmica pellucida: casent0901925; syntype of Myrmica pellucida: casent0903062; syntype of Tapinoma melanocephalum australis: casent0911572; syntype of Tapinoma melanocephalum coronatum: casent0909775; syntype of Tapinoma melanocephalum malesianum: casent0909776; syntype of Tapinoma melanocephalum australe: casent0903063



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