The Ants of Africa
Camponotus maculatus (Fabricius) type form
Camponotus maculatus introduction

{Camponotus (Tanaemyrmex) maculatus} Camponotus (Tanaemyrmex) maculatus sensu stricto

Nigeria specimens (Taylor, 1978: 9).
MAJOR. TL 14.0 mm, HL 3.99, HW 3.86, SL 3.29, PW 2.22
MINOR. TL 9.50 mm, HL 2.24, HW 1.31, SL 3.11, PW 1.37
Colour orange to dark red-brown, darkest on gaster but characteristically lateral light patches on tergites 1 to 3, shiny. Erect coarse hairs long but sparse, and very sparse pilosity. Declivity of propodeum smoothly rounded. Petiole a rounded node in the minor but sharper in the major.
Common form at the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Idi Ayunre.

Shown below are a major and minor from Cameroun, plus a queen from South Africa.

{Camponotus maculatus major} The specimens sent to me from Cameroon and shown in the photomontages match the Nigeria specimens exactly. Wheeler (1922) referred to the description by Donisthorpe of the "Fabrician type in the Banks Collection" and noted that specimens collected by Lang & Chapin at several Congo locations "agree perfectly" but "have a few short erect hairs on the gular surface of the head". I do not recall seeing any gular hairs on the CRIN specimens and there are none on the Cameroon examples. I have to conclude that what I drew and the Cameroon specimens represent the C. maculatus sensu stricto and that specimens with gular hairs are of a related species.

I have transcribed Donisthorpe's description or rather re-description of the type specimen on the linked page - Camponotus maculatus and the Cameroun specimens are a perfect match in all aspects.

The photomontages here are of specimens collected in Cameroun, Kribi; McKey Wolbachia project (Cameroon 99), see  on OUMNH list.

I have (January 2010) prepared separate pages to show the range of workers sent to me Majors and Minors.

{Camponotus maculatus minor}Distribution Notes

Wheeler (1922) lists findings from Senegal (Dakar, by C. Allauaud), Guinea (schereri from Kakoulima, F. Silvestri), Nigeria (Oni Camp near Lagos, W.A. Lamborn; schereri from Olokemeji, F. Silvestri), Cameroun (Duala, by von Rothkirch) and many others from across all of Africa and the Old World tropics. He had brief notes on some of the subspecies and varieties found in the Ants of Congo expedition - viz-
subspecies guttatus - a pale subspecies found at Zambi
subspecies melanocnemis from Yakuluka, several colonies
subspecies congolensis numerous specimens from Yakuluku, Faradje and Medje
subspecies miserabilis, new variety pessimus - major TL only 6-6.5 mm, minor TL 5-5.5 mm, as miserabilis but much smaller.

Bernard (1952) noted how most of the African Tanaemyrmex had at some time been wrongly assigned to maculatus, a very common species, with 52 forms descibed from tropical Africa. Following Emery, the species seemed to originate in western Africa but had spread to all humid areas of the continent, also Madagascar and the Sahara.

From Guinea, Bernard (1952) related how the variety melanocnemis Santschi, common to Gabon, appeared the most frequent in the Nimba collections, especially at low altitude (Nion, N'Zo, Kéoulenta, Yalanzou), rarer in forest (sites B8-10, Zouépo and T199), again common at the Mount Tô crest at 1600 m; numerous workers and several males and queens having been found. Subspecies atramentarius Forel, was rare, one worker at Yalanzou, one queen at Pierré-Richard (900 m); entirely black form. Variety semispicata Santschi, Mount Tô, one worker.

A common ground ant in Nigeria, at CRIN on 2.5% of cocoa, which often ascends cocoa trees to tend aphids, but does not build tents (Booker, 1968; Taylor, 1977). It was not among the commoner species in our 76-farm survey, however, but Eguagie (1971) also reported it from Ilugun and Olokomeji in the Ibadan area.

From Ghana, as Camponotus melanocnemis in a cocoa canopy sample, by Room (1971). Found in cocoa at Kade, as sp. (maculatus group) by Majer (1975). Four workers were collected on the ground under Amelonado cocoa at CRIG by Bigger (1981a). Belshaw & Bolton (1994b) collected only two workers at Bunso and Nankasi, as 'tourists' in leaf litter under cocoa.

Listed as a savannah species in Ivory Coast by Lévieux & Louis (1975). They also described it as typically nocturnal with peak activity around five hours after sunset (at 2100 hours). Lévieux (as Camponotus lohieri, 1978, 1983a), noted its presence in savannah, at Ferkéssédougo, where it was preyed on by Myrmicaria opaciventris (as nitidans).

Baroni Urbani (1976) described the occurrence, in Tunisia, of intermediates between major and minor workers, separable by the antennal length.

In addition to maculatus as described above there were two, if not more, very similar species in the CRIN collection, notably Camponotus species A which is quite large, but the few specimens were in poor condition.

{Camponotus maculatus queen} The photomontage is of a minor worker from South Africa, listed as of the type form by Emery (1895h) , See the images at


{Camponotus maculatus queen} The photomontage is of a queen from South Africa, Kruger National Park; collector Sam Danflous, on OUMNH list

{Camponotus maculatus type form queen}The photomontage is a dealate queen from Tanzania, Kigamboni Dist; collector G C McGavin (OUMNH 2005-007) - on OUMNH list.

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©2002, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
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