The Ants of Africa
Genus Camponotus subgenus Myrmosericus
Genus Camponotus

Subgenus definition Forel (1912i: 91) - with silky appearance, most with a pubescent fleece.
{link to the Hymenoptera Name Server}Also clypeus carinate, with a pronounced anterior, usually rectangular, lobe (as Tanaemyrmex); petiole a narrowly nodiform; integument entirely opaque; very finely sculptured, silky and more or less covered with rather abundant pilosity, especially the gaster; nest in earth or sand.
Minors with elongated heads, in some cases highly elongated.


Mike Lush and I had a convoluted correspondence about what is a quite poorly defined set of species. This we hope has led to a sound key. [See AntBlog: http://sifolinia.blogspot.com/ for more]


Emery (1895h) provided a key to what he regarded as subspecies and varieties of rufoglaucus. This is at {original description}. Arnold (1924) gave a general description of the Genus characters - this is at {original description} and provided a key to - {original description}.

Provisional Key to species

1 Entirely black; gaster with weak pubescence 2
-- Pubescence on gaster very dense hiding colour and sculpture; if not then head partly red 3
. Entirely black; gaster with weak pubescence -
2 Erect hairs black; minor head bizarrely elongated 2A
-- Erect hairs pale; minor head not elongated 2B
2A {Camponotus angusticeps major}Major TL 9.5 mm; fundamental sculpture reticulo-punctate but finer than petersii; almost all black
Minor with highly elongated head
.
. Camponotus angusticeps minor South Africa - angusticeps
-- {Camponotus petersii}Major TL 13.2-15 mm; scapes and tibiae flattened; fundamental sculpture reticulo-punctate; black with appendages ferruginous
Minor TL 9.5-10 mm; with highly elongated head

. {Camponotus petersii janus major}janus major .
. {Camponotus petersii minor}Minor Southern Africa - petersii
2B Camponotus eugeniae majorMajor TL 11.0-12 mm; scapes and tibiae flattened but less than petersii; erect hairs black
.
. Camponotus eugeniae minorMinor Southern Africa - eugeniae
-- {Camponotus amplior minor}Erect hairs pale - minor only known Zaire - amplior
- Pubescence on gaster very dense hiding colour and sculpture; if not then head partly red -
3 Propodeum with dorsum concave 4
-- Propodeum with dorsum not concave 5
- Propodeum with dorsum concave -
4 Camponotus valdeziae majorMajor TL 7.0-8.7 mm; propodeum deeply concave; dorsal edge of petiole scale subacuminate; overall brownish-red, gaster blackish-brown; pubescence on gaster greyish-white with slight yellow tint .
.
Camponotus valdeziae minorMinor TL 5.3-6.5 South Africa - valdeziae
-- {C vestitus gastral pubescence}Major TL 7.7-10 mm; propodeum shallowly concave; petiole scale with straight dorsal edge; mostly yellowish brick-red to dark brick-red, gaster dark brown; pubescence on gaster pale greyish-golden arranged laterally to give appearance of dark and light bands. Minor TL ca 7 mm. .
. {Camponotus vestitus major} .
. {Camponotus vestitus minor} Pan-African - vestitus
- Propodeum with dorsum not concave -
5 {Camponotus cinctellus major}Major TL 8-9 mm; propodeum distinctly angular specially in the major; tibiae weakly compressed, petiole scale high and narrow, apex medianly flattened; tibiae strongly compressed; essentially black, with anterior of head and appendages dark red. Media TL 7 mm. Minor TL 5.5-6 mm Mozambique, Zaire, Rwanda, Ethiopia - cinctellus
-- Propodeum with a rounded transition from dorsum to declivity 6
- Propodeum with a smoothly rounded transition from dorsum to declivity -
6 {C. flavomarginatus gastral pubescence}Pubescence on gaster greyish-golden, sometimes weakly convergent towards midline; pubescence . Minor with anterior margin of clypeus with a quite sharply angled midpoint flavomarginatus-group 7

{rufoglaucus gastral pubescence}Pubescence golden or golden yellow, converging towards distinct mid-line on gaster dorsum. Minor with anterior margin of clypeus shallowly arcuate. Seemingly all with distinct subcephalic hairs, perhaps forming a weak psammophore rufoglaucus-group 8
- flavomarginatus-group -
7 {Camponotus flavomarginatus}Base colour almost entirely black; the mandibles are generally reddish-brown; the scapes and funiculi tend to have variable lighter areas
Major TL 9.00 mm, HL 2.49, HW 2.49, SL 1.93, PW 1.52
Minor TL 5.76 mm, HL 1.43, HW 1.12, SL 1.87, PW 1.03
.
. {Camponotus flavomarginatus major head}{Camponotus flavomarginatus minor} Pan-African - flavomarginatus
-- {Camponotus contraria minor}Minor TL ca 8 mm; pronotum and forecoxae without erect hairs; gaster with uniform covering of pubescence; tibiae distinctly compressed Zimbabwe & Rwanda - contraria
-- Minor only described; TL 6.0 mm; extremely finely sculptured and moderately shiny; with all over very fine yellowish pubescence; generally rust-yellow with extremiities and most of appendages brownish - perhaps the senior synonym of contraria Zanzibar - Tanzania - druryi
- rufoglaucus-group -
8 Tibiae strongly compressed 9
-- Tibiae not strongly compressed; head black or brown 10
9 {Camponotus rufoglaucus}Tibiae strongly compressed; head and part of the alitrunk red (African type form, inc syphax ?); Major TL 9-10 mm; .
. {Camponotus rufoglaucus major Congo} Congo major
. {Camponotus rufoglaucus minor}Minor TL 7 mm Zaire and eastern Africa - rufoglaucus.
-- {Camponotus controversus}TL 7.5-11 mm; most of body and petiole red Tanzania west across Congo Basin & Gambia - controversus
10 Major large, TL 9.0-9.5 mm; elongated, black; Minor TL 7 mm zulu ? ssp of rufoglaucus
-- Camponotus cosmicus majorMajor worker, TL 4.5-7.0 mm; gaster with golden fleece, very bright; mainly black (fresh specimen) .
. Camponotus cosmicus minorMinor worker (old type specimen)
South Africa - cosmicus
-- {Camponotus zimmermanni pansus}ssp pansus major; TL 6.5 mm
.
. {short description of image}Minor TL 4.0-6.0 mm; alitrunk dorsum vaulted; alitrunk and legs red; gaster black; anterior of head with abundant short erect hairs East Africa - zimmermanni
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2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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