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Tapinoma erraticum

Tapinoma erraticum Latreille, 1789 is a species of dolicherdorine ant first described in 1789 by Latreille.

This species ranges throughout Central Europe from the mountains of south Italy to north Germany. It is present in coastal areas of Southern England and on the islands of Gotland and Öland in Sweden.

A very thermophilic species, T. erraticum is found principally on dry heathland, exposed to the sun. The workers are very agile, and are usually only seen when the sun is shining. Horace Donisthorpe commented: "When the sun is obscured these ants immediately disappear, and on cold and cloudy days very few specimens are to be found away from the nest."

Colonies are usually small, although larger colonies occasionally occur. Donisthorpe records having found a particularly large colony in Weybridge on July 29th, 1913 in which "the deälated females and workers in this nest being the largest I have ever seen".

Colonies are polygynous and have been recorded to contain up to 40 deälated females. Nests are shallow and small solaria often feature in nest structure to concentrate solar heat onto the ants' brood.

Nuptial flights take place in June, although they may be postponed during colder years to July.

Also see British ants, Rare ants of the British Isles, List of locales in Britain where ant species have become locally extinct and List of the common names of British ant species.

See list of ant genera (alphabetical) for an alphabetical compendium of wordwide ant genera.