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Camponotus

According to W. Mackay the genus currently has about 420 New World species and as J.T. Longino puts it "Camponotus seems to be one of those explosively radiating genera that give taxonomists headaches.". Overcoming all the headaches W. Mackay has tackled a revision of the New World species which is not yet published but keys for Camponotus can be downloaded from his site. So far, I have not tried these keys but will do so soon.

Many species of Camponotus are living and/or foraging arboreal. Steve Yanoviak and colleagues introduced us to the fascinating world of gliding ants. He recently found that Camponotus contain gliders and non-gliders, and the gliding Camponotus seem to descend head-first unlike Cephalotini and Pseudomyrmicinae.

Due to the sampling techniques involved (mainly litter sifting and soil extraction) the species list of Camponotus is very short and does not give to many headaches. Where available I also included images of major workers because these could be valuable for further identification. The notes on identification are brief but sufficient for the separation for the collected species of Camponotus. I will refine the diagnosis as more species accumulate.

Camponotus JHB01 Bihn ms.

Minor workers: mesosoma outline forms in lateral view an evenly convex line; propodeum box-like, lateral and dorsal faces meet at an appro. right angle; dorsal face of propodeum subrectangular; declivity from dorsal to posterior face of propodeum broadly rounded; head, mesosoma and gaster with long, erect setae; cuticular sculpture on head and mesosoma with fovolate-reticulate microsculpture; color black, mandibles and antennae ferrugineous.

(note to self: subgenus Myrmobrachis)

Camponotus JHB01 (minor) - head view Camponotus JHB01 (minor) - lateral view Camponotus JHB01 (minor) - dorsal view
minor worker: head view
minor worker: lateral view
minor worker: dorsal view
Camponotus JHB01 (major) - head view Camponotus JHB01 (major) - lateral view Camponotus JHB01 (major) - dorsal view

major worker: head view
major worker: lateral view
major worker: dorsal view

Camponotus JHB02 Bihn ms.

Minor workers: mesosoma outline in lateral view with a distinct step: dorsal face of propodeum on a much lower level than promesonotum; scapes and tibia with long, erect setae; color dark brown, legs light brown, 6 paired, white spots on dorsum of gaster.

(note to self: near C. sexguttatus ?)

Camponotus JHB02 (minor) - head view Camponotus JHB02 (minor) - lateral view Camponotus JHB02 (minor) - dorsal view
minor worker: head view
minor worker: lateral view
minor worker: dorsal view

Camponotus JHB03 Bihn ms.

Minor workers: mesosoma outline in lateral view evenly convex; propodeum tectiform; erect hairs on head, mesosoma and gaster sparse; erect hairs on gaster arranged in transverse rows; erect hairs on scape only on the most distal part; color light to dark brown, legs always of lighter color.

Camponotus JHB03 (minor) - head view Camponotus JHB03 (minor) - lateral view Camponotus JHB03 (minor) - dorsal view
minor worker: head view
minor worker: lateral view
minor worker: dorsal view
Camponotus JHB03 (major) - head view Camponotus JHB03 (major) - lateral view Camponotus JHB03 (major) - dorsal view
major worker: head view
major worker: lateral view
major worker. dorsal view

Camponotus JHB04 Bihn ms.

Major workers: dorsal outline of mesosoma in lateral view evenly convex; head, mesosoma and gaster with abundant, erect, red-brown hairs; hairs on head & mesosoma inclined forward, hairs on gaster inclined backward; color brownish.

Somehow I managed to collect a single major worker without minors. Therefore the diagnosis here is given for the majors and not for the minor caste. (note to self: C. atratus ?; sg Myrmothrix)

Camponotus JHB04 (major) - head view Camponotus JHB04 (major) - lateral view Camponotus JHB04 (major) - dorsal view
major worker: head view
major worker: lateral view
major worker: dorsal view

Camponotus JHB05 Bihn ms.

Minor workers: dorsal outline of mesosoma in lateral view evenly convex; propodeum tectiform; light-brown, erect hairs on head, mesosoma and gaster of various length; fine pubescence on mesosoma decumbent; color orange-brown.

Camponotus JHB05 (minor) - head view Camponotus JHB05 (minor) - lateral view Camponotus JHB05 (minor) - dorsal view
minor worker: head view
minor worker: lateral view
minor worker: dorsal view

Camponotus JHB06 Bihn ms.

Minor workers: clypeus with median longitudinal keel; scapes with few erect setae; dorsal outline of mesosoma in lateral view evenly convex; propodeum tectiform; color brown with 3 roughly rectangular light spots on dorsum of gaster; cuticular sculpture with fine micro-reticulation.

Camponotus JHB06 (minor) - head view Camponotus JHB06 (minor) - lateral view Camponotus JHB06 (minor) - dorsal view
minor worker: head view
minor worker: lateral view
minor worker: dorsal view
Camponotus JHB06 (major) - head view Camponotus JHB06 (major) - lateral view Camponotus JHB06 (major) - dorsal view
major worker: head view
major worker: lateral view
major worker: dorsal view

Online References for Camponotus:

Date of this version: 27.03.2007

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
page author: Jochen H. Bihn
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