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|Emery, 1887a PDF: 249 (m.); Forel, 1891c PDF: 102 (q.); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1951 PDF: 197 (l.); Crozier, 1970a PDF: 119 (k.).|
|Combination in Micromyrma: Roger, 1862b PDF: 258; in Tapinoma: Mayr, 1862 PDF: 651; in Tapinoma (Micromyrma): Santschi, 1928e PDF: 475.|
|Senior synonym of Tapinoma pellucida: Mayr, 1886c PDF: 359; of Tapinoma nana: Emery, 1892c PDF: 166; of Tapinoma familiaris: Forel, 1899b: 101; of Tapinoma australis: Wilson & Taylor, 1967b PDF: 80; of Tapinoma australe: Bolton, 1995b: 401.|
|Current subspecies: nominal plus Tapinoma melanocephalum coronatum, Tapinoma melanocephalum malesianum.|
This is a widespread tropical tramp species, introduced throughout the world. Its native range is unknown. It is ubiquitous in non-airconditioned dwellings anywhere in the lowland tropics. Regardless of whether you are in Guinea, New Guinea, or Guyana, if you are sitting at a table with a sugar dispenser you are likely to see workers of T. melanocephalum running about on the surface. They always seem to be able to find their way into the sugar container, and sugar on tropical tables always contains some non-negligible fraction of T. melanocephalum workers. When you put a spoonful of sugar in your drink, you can judge the level of contamination by how many workers are left floating on the surface.
In quantitative biodiversity surveys, this species often has to be excluded from data analysis because the laboratory where samples are processed contains T. melanocephalum as a pest, and contamination of samples occurs.
Although most often found in houses, they can also move out into surrounding vegetation in highly disturbed and highly insolated habitats, opportunistically nesting in small plant cavities. Nests readily relocate, and overnight they can move into a shoe or an umbrella left on a porch.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 35 times found in urban/garden, 52 times found in mature wet forest, 35 times found in coastal scrub, 13 times found in urban garden, 10 times found in secondary thicket and diverse vegetation, 19 times found in dry forest, 18 times found in disturbed forest, 8 times found in tropical dry forest, 11 times found in secondary forest, 10 times found in montane wet forest, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 53 times MiniWinkler, 14 times Berlese, 5 times hand collection, 8 times search, 6 times beating low vegetation, 2 times davis-sifting; incidental aspirated, 3 times 9 MaxiWinks, mixed samples, 3 times Winkler, 1 times at baited pitfall, 2 times beating, 3 times MW 50 sample transect, 5m, ...
Elevations: collected from 1 - 2000 meters, 148 meters average