The Ants of Africa
Genus Tapinoma
Tapinoma melanocephalum (Fabricius)

Tapinoma melanocephalum (Fabricius)

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location French Guyana (Formica melanocephala, Fabricius, 1793: 353, worker; illustrated by Coquebert, 1799, Pl. VI; Emery, 1887a: 249, male; Forel, 1891b: 102, queen)
junior synonyms
australis (Tapinoma (Micromyrma) melanocephalum Fabr., v. australis var. n., Santschi, 1928a: 53, worker) from Samoa, Tutuila, Leone Road, 18.ii.1924, Bryan - see http://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?code=casent0903063
australe (Tapinoma (Micromyrma) melanocephalum Mayr, v. australe var. n., Santschi, 1928e: 475, worker) from Vanuatu, Santos Is., 8.viii. 1925, P A Buxton - see http://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?code=casent0911572
familiaris (Formica familiaris, F Smith, 1860b: 96, worker) from Indonesia, Bachian, Mr Wallace
nana (Formica nana, Jerdon, 1851: 125, worker) from India
pellucida (Myrmica pellucida, F Smith, 1857a: 71, worker) from Singapore, Mr Wallace - see http://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?code=casent0901925
subspecies
coronatum (Tapinoma melanocephalum F. var. coronatum n. var., Forel, 1908b: 62, worker) from Costa Rica, Punta Arenas - see http://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?code=casent0909775
malesianum (Tapinoma melanocephalum F. var. malesiana n. var., Forel, 1913k: 93, worker & queen) from Sumatra - see http://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?code=casent0909776
(see Bolton, 1995) .


Tapinoma melanocephalum coquebert vs modernFabricius's (1793) description is at {original description}. Emery's (1887a) description of the male is at {original description}. Jerdon (1851) for nana gave a brief description that matches the type form, "found in all parts of India and is very abundant in Mysore". F Smith for familiaris (1860b) and gave a brief descriptions that match the type form. Forel's (1908b) description of coronatum is at {original description}. Forel's (1913k) description of malesiana does not appear to differ significantly from the type form. Santschi (1928a) gave v. australis as differing from the type in having longer palps and from var. malesiana in the darker colour of the head and a paler gaster. Santschi (1928e) gave australe as, TL 1.5 mm, pale yellow or a little darker, head brownish; palps slightly more dilated.

Illustration collated from Coquebert (1799), much enlarged, plus modern Gabon specimen.
Coquebert, De Montbret, Antoine Jean. 1799. Illustratio Iconographica Insectorum Quae in Musaeis Parisinis Obseravit et in Lucem Edidit J.C. Fabricus præmiseis ejusdem descriptionibus ... . Decas I-III.     Paris: (1798)-1825


{Tapinoma melanocephalum} Nigeria specimens (Taylor, 1978: 49). WORKER. TL 1.49-1.71 mm, HL 0.45, HW 0.37, SL 0.42, PW 0.23
Colour of head and alitrunk dark yellow-brown, gaster yellow, extremities pale yellow. Dense fine pubescence all over, erect setae on clypeus and gastral apex only. Alitrunk in profile near smoothly convex, with slight metanotal depression in the convexity and the propodeal declivity straight. A domestic species which is common in houses.

Found in Ghana at the Mampong Cemetery Farm on cocoa mistletoe by Room (1971, 1975) and on cocoa at Kade by Majer (1975, 1976b), using pkd, with 20-27 workers per sample.

Also from Conakry, Guinea (by Silvestri, in Wheeler, 1922).

Hölldobler & Wilson (1990, page 213-5) describe it as an 'opportunistic nester', utilising almost any crack or crevice.


Oxford University Museum specimens

Tapinoma melanocephalum
B Taylor det.

Senegal
David King
King 01-06

19.ix.2006
Dakar
14°44'48" N
17°31'35"
elev 9 m asl
1

Tapinoma melanocephalum
B Taylor det.
Senegal
Lamine Diamé
20
07.iv.2012
Thiés
14°45'N
17°03'W
Doyene-KS
damaged
tube 04

1
{album}
Tapinoma melanocephalum
B Taylor det.
Ivory Coast
Erena Dupont
iii.2014
Taï National Park
5˚45'00" N
7˚07'00" W

3
{album}
Tapinoma melanocephalum
B Taylor det.
Ivory Coast
Erena Dupont
iv.2014
Taï National Park
5˚45'00" N
7˚07'00" W
08
1
{album}
Tapinoma melanocephalum
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 2956
11.xi.2012
Calavi
06°42'14'' N
02°32'31'' E
IITA Station?
2
{album}
Tapinoma melanocephalum
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 3103
21.iv.2013
Calavi
06°25'17'' N
02°19'42'' E
In house
feeding on Bostrichidae corpse

2
{album}
Tapinoma melanocephalum
B Taylor det.
Cameroun
A Fotso Kuate
Sample 6
31.viii.2008
Balangue
03°54'30" N
11°25'58" E
aphid survey
2
{album}
Tapinoma melanocephalum
B Taylor det.
Gabon
A Fotso Kuate
Sample 44a
15.ix.2008
Mbilazambo
03°54'30" N
11°25'58" E
aphid survey 1
{album}
Tapinoma melanocephalum
B Taylor det.
Gabon
Y Braet
Gabon 58
17.vii.2006
Pongara
00°34' N
09°19' E
Pointe Wingombe; edge of lagoon, sweep net
1
{album}
Tapinoma melanocephalum
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
DA
12.i.2005
Dzanga-Sangha
04°22'19.4" N
18°35'49.7" E
360 m
damaged
1

Tapinoma melanocephalum
B Taylor det.
Kenya
David King
King 02-14-1

26.v.2000
Mombasa
03°58'38" S
39°44'52" E
elev 18 m asl
2
{album}
Tapinoma melanocephalum
B Taylor det.
Maldives
M Aita

2008
Ihuru Island
4°18'36" N
73°25'26" E
North Malé Atoll; foraging on the ground
1
{album}

{Tapinoma melanocephalum}The photomontage is of workers collected in Gabon, Pongara NP; collector Yves Braet (Gabon 58).


{Tapinoma melanocephalum}The photomontage is of a worker from Gabon, Mbilazambo; collector A Fotso Kuate (fk unmounted 44)



{Tapinoma melanocephalum}The photomontage is of workers from The Maldives, North Malé Atoll, Ihuru Island, 4°18'36"N 73°25'26"E, 2008, collected by Marco Aita. Collected foraging on the ground. 

Contents
© 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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