Temnothorax silvestrii (Santschi)


Temnothorax silvestrii head view  Temnothorax silvestrii, side view
Ants of the genus Temnothorax are small, with a head that is elongate relative to their mesosoma, and have an 11 or 12 segmented antenna that ends in a 3 segmented club. The mesosoma has no, or only minor, depressions along its dorsal surface and the propodeum either bears two small tooth-like projections or two true spines.
Temnothorax silvestrii are small yellow-brown ants with 12 segmented antenna. Sharp, well defined spines on the prododeum and a coarsely punctate head, mesosoma and petiole help differentiate this species from other Navajo Reservation Temnothorax species.

Temnothorax silvestrii worker
Line drawing of worker from Creighton (1953).
Modified from Creighton (1953): An arboreal species that prefers to nest in evergreen oaks, particularly Quercus emoryi. Like most arboreal ants that occur in Arizona it nests in good sized limbs rather than twigs. The colonies are comparatively small. They contain from 50 to 70 workers with a single queen. The type locality is given as Tucson but is more likely one of the near-by canyons in the Santa Catalina Mountains. Colonies have not been found below 3500 feet nor does the insect occur in the open desert, which would rule out this species' occurrence in Tucson.

Temnothorax silvestrii queen
Line drawing of queen from Creighton (1953).

United States. Southern Arizona.
Navajo Reservation Records
Collection records being processed.
Patronym. Named after Professor Filippo Silvestri.

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Original Combination - Tetramorium silvestrii - Santschi (1911).
the original species description for Temnothorax silvestrii (first page)

Creighton (1953) described the queen and male, along with providing some beautiful line drawings:

species description for Temnothorax silvestrii (second page) line drawing Temnothorax silvestrii description (third page) original description for Temnothorax silvestrii (fourth page)

Creighton (1953) states samples sent to the Natural History Museum in Basel were compared to the single remaining type, which was from Santschi's collection.
Type Locality
See the biology section and Creighton's interpretation of the assignment of Tucson, Arizona as the type locality.

Creighton, W. S. 1953. The rediscovery of Leptothorax silvestrii (Santschi) (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). American Museum Novitates. 1635:1-7.
MacKay, W. P. 2000. A review of the New World ants of the subgenus Myrafant, (Genus Leptothorax) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology. 36:265-444.
Santschi, F. 1911. Formicides récoltés par Mr. le Prof. F. Silvestri aux Etats Unis en 1908. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana. 41:3-7.

A note about these publications. The literature cited here is not meant to be an exhaustive list of papers published about this species.

Page authored by David Lubertazzi and Gary Alpert

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