The Ants of Africa
Genus Tetramorium
Tetramorium anxium Santschi

Tetramorium anxium Santschi

return to group key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Guinea (Tetramorium pusillum Em. var. anxia nov. var., Santschi, 1914d: 365, illustrated, worker; see Bolton, 1980) collected at Camayenne, near Conakry, by F. Silvestri; sole reported collection, 3 workers measured, also 1 queen .

{Tetramorium anxium}Santschi's (1914d) description is at {original description}. Bolton's modern description (1980: 305, not illustrated) is at {original description}.

WORKER - TL 2.0-2.2 mm; colour uniform blackish-brown, appendages yellowish-brown (Bolton, 1980).

Bernard (1952) reported findings from Mt. Nimba, Guinea, of the variety anxia of Tetramorium pusillum. Writing of the nominal species, he noted it was a small ant, very widely distributed in Africa, with 3 races and 7 varieties. The workers from Nimba were fairly different one from another and he believed it was pointless to add to number of varieties. Most specimens came from 3 stations at the Ravin I of Mount Tô, area E at 1600 m. Three queens were among the specimens, which as the majority of workers corresponded "to the variety anxia Santschi from Guinea".

Bolton (1980) who had anxium as stat. n., raising Santschi's specimens from variety to full species, noted sighting only those specimens and made no reference to this particular record by Bernard. Clearly pusillum sensu stricto is of southern Africa. Many of the races and varieties listed from elsewhere in Africa, for instance by Wheeler (1922, a prime source for Bernard), have been reassigned by Bolton (1980) to Tetramorium simillimum (e.g. variety exoletum from Nigeria) and one to Tetramorium caldarium; again neither include Bernard specimens.

{Tetramorium anxium} The photomontage is of the holotype collated from

Oxford University Museum specimens

Tetramorium anxium
B Taylor det.
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 2923.2
09°22'13'' N
02°40'16'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
Quadrat  mixte 1-3, tube 1, Ground nesting
Tetramorium anxium
B Taylor det.
A Fotso Kuate
Tetramorium spI

Awae II
03°54'30" N
11°25'58" E
Pitfall in fallow
Tetramorium anxium
B Taylor det.
Y Braet
Gabon 159
00°34' N
09°19' E
Pongara Base; winkler funnel


{Tetramorium anxium ?}The photomontage is of a worker from Gabon, Pongara National Park, Camp Base;  collector Yves Braet (Gabon 159),

The overall features appear close to the Santschi (1914d) description of anxium. Particularly noteworthy is the dense puncturation (spiculation) of the scrobes, lateral alitrunk and the propodeal declivity - hardly mentioned by Bolton (1980). Santschi noted the propodeal spines were longer than those of the type Tetramorium pusillum.

Bolton (1980) noted how the related species Tetramorium mossamedense type location Angola (as he recognised it) covered a range of variations in colour, etc. The geographical separation of the Gabon specimen from the anxium type location could suggest the specimen may not be anxium but the match to Santschi's description argue otherwise.

Now (January 2013) my thinking has been confirmed by comparing them to the type worker photographed by Antweb.

{Tetramorium anxium}The photomontage is of a worker from Cameroun; Awae II; collector A Fotso Kuate (fk tetramorium sp I).

{Tetramorium anxium}The photomontage is of a worker from Benin; Korobouro; collector J-F Vayssieres (RVA 2923.2).

© 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.