Tapinoma melanocephalum

Collingwood, C. A., Pohl, F., Güsten, R., Wranik, W., van Harten, A., 2004, The ants (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Socotra Archipelago, Fauna of Arabia 20, pp. 473-495: 486

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Tapinoma melanocephalum


Tapinoma melanocephalum  (Fabricius, 1793) Fig. 13

Formica melanocephala Fabricius  , 1793. - Entomologia systematica emendata, T. 2: 353. (French Guiana).

Specimens examined: Yemen, Socotra Island: spms from Dirhashas , 28.IX.1998, W. Wranik, CWWR  ; ~ 20 ☿☿, Hoq, coast plain near cave , 12°36'N 54°21'E, 50-320 m, 05-06.II.1999, H. Pohl, HLMD-Hym-2088, NHCYGoogleMaps  ; spms from Farmihin , 23.II.1999, W. Wranik, CWWR  ; spms from Wadi Daneghan , 19.II.2000, W. Wranik, CWWR  ; 3 ☿☿, Goeeh , 12°32'N 54°10'E, 240 m, 23.X.2000, A. van Harten, HLMD-Hym-2089, NHCYGoogleMaps  ; 2 ☿☿, Homhil, source with Ficus stand , 12°34'N 54°19'E, 29-30.X.2000, H. Pohl, HLMD-Hym-2090, NHCYGoogleMaps  .

Remarks: The very small size and its broken dark and pale colour pattern characterise this species. It is a frequent domestic pest in Africa and Arabia, where nests may contain thousands of workers and many queens. Records from natural habitats are rare. The origin of this ant, found in all zoogeographic regions, is unknown. It attends Sternorrhyncha for sugary exudates, and workers are usually seen in long trails to and from a food source.