Introducing Tetramorium immigrans: a better name for the long-established pavement ant

No longer fighting over a name.

Meet Tetramorium immigrans. 

I have never been more pleased to report a taxonomic name change than this one. Long called “Tetramorium caespitum”, then “Tetramorium species E” once it became clear the Eurasian T. caespitum was a complex of cryptic forms, the pavement ant has spread across the world and is now among most common urban ants in North America. After decades of confusion, Herbert Wagner has published a fine monograph on the taxonomy of the species complex. Among Wagner’s many discoveries was that Santschi’s 1927 “immigrans” was valid for this world-traveller. An apt change, and a fine resolution of a long-standing problem.


13 thoughts on “Introducing Tetramorium immigrans: a better name for the long-established pavement ant”

  1. So.. I’m not sure if I understand it right – there is now no T. caespitum at all or the name was given to T. species E from North America?

  2. Thanks JasonC! I honestly have no idea how active the blog will be, the last two posts were kind of on a whim, and I still don’t have much time for blogging.

  3. Van der Stappen Marc

    At last… finally we hear you back here again. The next article in Myrmecological News is also very good, about Teleutomyrmex. Those parasites live in Tetramorium nests. Sadly, the names of the hosts in the T. caespitum complex aren’t updated….

  4. Van der Stappen Marc

    My health and my job are not so well but the love for my wife and the love for ants are bigger than before…

  5. So good to see your blog again – always enjoyable and informative. Whilst the “integrative taxonomy” is impressive and I have to assume correct, it is outwith the capabilities of all but a minute number of taxonomists and possibly falls foul of the vague what is a “species” definition (indeed what is a species). However I postulated from behaviour changes that a malaria vector “Anopheles farauti” might separate into cryptic species. That was in 1973. Now DNA studies, etc., seem to have shown my postulation was correct. Time marches on! 🙂

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