IMPORTANTE: Colaboración con Birgit Schlick-Steiner, Florian Steiner & Jasmin Klarica

Birgit Schlick-Steiner, Florian Steiner & Jasmin Klarica están realizando un estudio sobre el complejo de las tetramorium caespitum/impurum. Ahora se están centrando en la Península Ibérica y necesitarían que les enviásemos muestras.

Se trataría de recoger unas 20 obreras por nido y sexuados si los hubiera en unos viales que ellos os enviarían. Tres nidos por localidad de muestreo. El estudio es de lo más interesante y es una oportunidad única para colaborar en un estudio científico de primer nivel.

El contacto en:

Os adjunto su petición

Dear Myrmecologist,

The Iberian Peninsula is, as you are aware, of course, a key region for biogeography, ecology and evolution of ants. This is, among others, because of its role as a refugium in the Ice Ages, because the Pyrenees represent an insurmountable barrier for some species, and because of the rich diversity of natural habitats.

Unfortunately, our request on last year seems to not have reached broadly Spanish and Portuguese myrmecologists; we’d therefore like to post it here now.

Would you be willing to sample nests of the Tetramorium caespitum/impurum species complex and send the ants to us for analysis, please? / ¿Por favor, podrían muestrear nidos de las especies del grupo Tetramorium caespitum/impurum y mandarnos las hormigas para analizarlas?

If you have a bit of time to help us, we would ask you to collect about 20 workers per nest / 20 obreras por nido of ants that look like Tetramorium caespitum or T. impurum from the Iberian Peninsula; we would send you seal-screw cap vials with 99% EtOH – how many vials would you consider as appropriate? / les enviaríamos probetas de rosca sellables rellenas de 99%EtOH para su recolección – ¿Cuantas probetas considerarian necesarias?

We are fully aware that it is not little we ask you for but a final clarification of the difficult taxonomic situation in the species complex will not be possible without help from others. What we would be very happy to offer in return is to help you with any project of yours by sampling for you.

If you want to help us, please contact us: birgit.florian[at] or jasmin.klarica[at]
(English is easier for us, but we should be able to manage translations if necessary)

Thank you for reading these lines!

Best wishes, / Attentamente,


Background of request for Tetramorium caespitum/impurum material
In an earlier project, we investigated the systematics of the Western Palearctic
Tetramorium caespitum/impurum complex, resulting in the recognition of there being at least seven cryptic species instead of the earlier recognised two species, T. caespitum and T. impurum. Further information can be found in the papers listed at the end of this page (and please let us know if you would like to receive pdf files of any of them).
There have remained some loose ends, though, and we have started a new project for in-depth clarification of several aspects. Aims of the new project include:
(a) more rigorous integrative-taxonomic species delimitations by analysing a larger, geographically more representative sample and by additionally using nuclear DNA markers (which then will also allow to test whether any hybridisation occurs);
(b) reduced error rates in routine species identification based on the increased sample;
(c) nomenclatural consequences (up to now we have been able to resolve nomenclature for only one of the newly discovered species,
T. sp. A; ms with the taxonomic description to be submitted one of these weeks);
(d) in-depth evaluation of potential evolutionary processes as drivers of diversification in this instance of surprisingly high cryptic diversity.

For further information, please see:
Schlick-Steiner, B.C., F.M. Steiner, K. Moder, B. Seifert, M. Sanetra, E. Dyreson, C. Stauffer & E. Christian (2006): A multidisciplinary approach reveals cryptic diversity in western Palearctic
Tetramorium ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). – Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40: 259-273.
Schlick-Steiner, B.C., B. Seifert, C. Stauffer, E. Christian, R.H. Crozier & F.M. Steiner (2007): Without morphology cryptic species stay in taxonomic crypsis following discovery. – Trends in Ecology and Evolution 22: 391-392.
Steiner, F.M., B.C. Schlick-Steiner & K. Moder (2006): Morphology-based cyber identification engine to identify ants of the
Tetramorium caespitum/impurum complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). – Myrmecologische Nachrichten 8: 175-180.
Steiner, F.M., B.C. Schlick-Steiner & A. Buschinger (2003): First record of unicolonial polygyny in
Tetramorium cf. caespitum (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). – Insectes Sociaux 50: 98-99.
Steiner, F.M., B.C. Schlick-Steiner, A. Nikiforov, R. Kalb & R. Mistrik (2002): Cuticular hydrocarbons of
Tetramorium ants from Central Europe: Analysis of GC-MS data with Self-Organizing Maps (SOM) and implications for systematics. – Journal of Chemical Ecology 28: 2569-2584.