First record of the genus Temnothorax Mayr, 1861 (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) in Hong Kong, with descriptions of two new species

Matthew T. HAMER*, Roger H. LEE, Benoit GUÉNARD

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


The ant genus Temnothorax Mayr, 1861 (Myrmicinae, Crematogastrini) is diverse with 498 species described. Species are distributed predominately within the northern hemisphere with species richness decreasing closer to the tropics; contrary to other ant genera overall. In Southeast Asia, richness is relatively low and knowledge on the genus remains fragmentary, likely due to poor sampling efforts compared to temperate regions. Here, using specimens from recent sampling efforts, Temnothorax is reported for the first time from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Two new species, T. barrettoi Hamer & Guénard sp. nov. and T. haveni Lee, Hamer & Guénard sp. nov., are described based on qualitive morphological characters, with additional morphometric data also gathered. An updated key, as well as a distributional checklist of Temnothorax species from mainland China is provided. We suggest that the two new species are likely arboreal based on our collections, however, further arboreal sampling is necessary to confirm this hypothesis. We hope this study may spurn effort to generate further information on sub-tropical Chinese Temnothorax species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-135
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Taxonomy
Early online date12 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Temnothorax barrettoi sp. nov. We would also like to thank Dave General and Perry Buenavente for high resolution images of Vombidris freyae. MTH would like to thank André Ibáñez and all volunteers who helped to collect specimens between 2021 and 2022; Thiago S.R. Silva for reviewing the initial drafts of the description of T. barrettoi; Shaolin Han and Bartosz Majcher for specimens of T. haveni from their arboreal bait samples. The authors are grateful to Hong Kong Golf Club for permitting sampling at Fanling Golf Course. MTH is grateful to Dr Roger Clive Kendrick for proofreading the manuscript. The authors would also like to thank the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (HK Government) for providing collection permits and the Environment and Conservation Fund for funding (ECF2019-89 & ECF 137/2020). The authors are also thankful for the Early Career Scheme from the Research Grants Council (ECS-27106417) of the Hong Kong Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle. All rights reserved.


  • Ants
  • China
  • Oriental Realm
  • Sino-Japanese Realm
  • new species


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