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Anergates Forel, 1874 is a single-species genus of tetramorine Myrmicine ants. It is a worker-less obligate parasite to Tetramorium caespitum, the "lawn ant" or "pavement ant", and is thought to have evolved as an aberrant form of the genus Tetramorium.

Its distribution is local over Eurosiberia and eastern parts of North America, broadly following that of its hosts. It is present but local in southern parts of Great Britain, having first been discovered in this country by H. St. J. K. Donisthorpe and W. C. Crawley on July 23rd, 1912 in the New Forest.

Since, unlike many other obligate social parasites, Anergates is never known to coexist with the host colony's fertile queen, every Anergates-Tetramorium colony is doomed to survive only the lifespan of the youngest Tetramorium workers. Thus, the parasitic queen has very limited scope for producing alates to secure the next generation, as this time span is often only 2-3 years or fewer. As a result, even within its well-established range, Anergates is very scarce, with only a tiny proportion of Tetramorium colonies playing host to this parasite.

Type species: Myrmica atratula Schenck, 1852.

The genus name combines the Greek of "to work" έργατης with the negative prefix α , on account of its parasitic nature.


Anergates atratulus (Schenck, 1852)

Also see: List of parasitic ant species, Tetramorium caespitum, Strongylodus testaceus (another parasite of Tetramorium found in the UK), Horace Donisthorpe (myrmecologist who first recorded this species in Britain, and the first to make a detailed study of its habits),List_of_ant_genera_(alphabetical)