The Ants of Africa
Genus Camponotus subgenus Orthonotomyrmex
Camponotus (Orthonotomyrmex) sericeus (Fabricius)

Camponotus (Orthonotomyrmex) sericeus (Fabricius)

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Senegal (Formica sericea, in Fabricius, 1798: 279, worker; Mayr, 1866b: 886, queen, Sudan, Khartoum; Forel, 1886f: 192, male, Egypt; Forel, 1891b: 56, all forms) collected by Bosc - no images on Antweb (September 2014)
subspecies sulgeri (Camponotus (Orthonotomyrmex) sericeus Fabr. var. Sulgeri n. var., Santschi, 1913c: 313, worker) Congo, collected at Brazzaville, by A. Weiss - see below
junior synonyms
aurulenta (Formica aurulenta, Latreille, 1802c: 114, illustrated, queen) Senegal - no images on Antweb (September 2014)
All forms known .

Camponotus sericeusFabricius' (1798) description is at {original description}, illustration by Coquebert (1804 pt 3) type in the Paris Museum. Latreille's (1802c) description of the queen, as aurulenta, is at {original description}. Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau (1835: 213) gave a description, this is at {original description}. Mayr (1862: 675) gave a description of the Egypt and eastern form, this is at {original description}. Mayr's (1866b: 886) description of the queen is at {original description}. Forel's (1886f) description of the male from Egypt is at {original description}. Forel (1891b: 56) provided a description and notes which seem to blanket both the sericeus ss and obtusus forms, this is at {original description}. Arnold (1924: 709-710) provided a description and notes, this is at {original description}.

Note - With fresh specimens, I have removed the following Santschi (1926b) forms to Camponotus obtusus - v obtusus Sm. - head red; alitrunk variable black or red; legs brown; pubescence somewhat golden; petiole, scale less thick at summit [from Egypt, Port Said by Karavaiev; from Obok, by Maindron, 1893; and from Jansuame, Sahara, Iferouman Region, by Mission Fourreau-Lamy, 1900)
and, Camponotus euchrous (Camponotus (Orthonotomyrmex) sericeus F. v. euchrous n. var., Santschi, 1926b: 267, queen) from French Sudan [western Sahel; not modern Sudan, as given by Bolton, 1995] - head, alitrunk and appendages red often quite bright; more slender; petiole scale higher; gaster black; pubescence greyish yellow.

{Camponotus (Orthonotomyrmex) sericeus}Emery (1895k) noted peguensis (photomontage below) from the form of the alitrunk as close to C. opaciventris Mayr, longer than the true sericeus; the whole body clothed with ashy pubescence, denser and shiner on the gaster; the erect hairs more numerous than the type form; the scape and legs with numerous short whitish hairs.  Colour black, with the mandible, antennae and legs dull ferruginous brown; otherwise with no important characters. From comparing the sulgeri type minor and the peguensis minor (for that it is what it seems to be) it is obvious that peguensis is a very distinct species. Camponotus peguensis (C. sericeus Fab., subsp. peguensis n. subsp., Emery, 1895k: 479, minor worker) Myanmar (Burma) - see

Santschi (1913c) gave a very brief note on sulgeri as smaller than the type and with sparser pubescence, also a somewhat longer and more concave propodeum.
Santschi (1926b) had - the type is entirely black, the pelt of pubescence is greyish yellow; the pelt is missing in var. sulgeri; from Ivory Coast at Dimbroko by Lemoult, Dahomey, at Kouande by Desanti (Benin) and Casmance by Claveau.

Wheeler (1922) included an illustration of a worker (full profile and full-face head), showing it to be characterised by a concave posterior face to the propodeal declivity and a cuboid petiole (otherwise it resembles Camponotus vividus). He listed findings from Senegal (Dakar, C. Alluaud, F. Silvestri, and Cape Verde), Togo (Misahöhe, by Smend), Nigeria (Moor Plantation nr. Ibadan, W.A. Lamborn); elsewhere from widely across sub-Saharan Africa.

Santschi (1929c) noted that it had been found by de Peyerimhoff at Hoggar, Tamanrasset, Algeria, i.e. in the centre of the Sahara Desert, 6 to 10.iii.1928, 4 minor workers.

Its use of chemical signals in recruitment for tandem-running was studied by Hölldobler and colleagues (see Bradshaw & Howse, 1984).

Listed as a savannah species in Ivory Coast by Lévieux & Louis (1975). Lévieux (1978, 1983a), noted its presence (or a close relative) in savannah, at Ferkéssédougo, where it was preyed on by Myrmicaria opaciventris (as nitidans).

{Camponotus sericeus major}The photomontage of the sulgeri type major is collated from

{Camponotus sericeus minor}The photomontage of the sulgeri type minor is collated from

Oxford University Museum specimens

{Camponotus sericeus major} The photomontage is of a  major worker with a minor worker below, collected in Cameroun - 30 km east of Poli (ca °29' N 13°29' E) at a Sudan-Guinea savannah location (McKey Wolbachia project) - Cameroon 124, 15 June 2001.

{Camponotus sericeus media} Photomontage of a media worker from Burkina Faso, collector David King (King 93).

{Camponotus sericeus minima} Minor worker from Cameroun (details above).

{Camponotus sericeus media & minima} Photomontage of minor workers from Sudan, collected by Awatif Omer.

Supplementary Note

Camponotus (Orthonotomyrmex) sericeus (Fabricius) - status as in Bolton (1995: 123)

{link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Senegal (Formica sericea, in Fabricius, 1798: 279, worker; Mayr, 1866b: 886, queen; Forel, 1886f: 192, male; Forel, 1891b: 56, all forms); subspecies euchrous (Santschi, 1926b: 267, queen) from French Sudan [western Sahel; not modern Sudan, as given by Bolton], opaciventris (Mayr, 1879: 648, worker; junior synonym Bingham, 1903: 376; revived from synonymy as variety, Forel 1908a: 6, cited in Emery, 1925b: 126) from India, peguensis (Emery, 1895k: 479, worker) from Burma (also igniceps, as var of peguensis, Forel, 1913e: 664, worker, from Sri Lanka), and sanguiniceps (Donisthorpe, 1942d: 458, worker) from South India, and sulgeri (Santschi, 1913c: 313, worker) from Congo;
junior synonyms aurulenta (Latreille, 1802c: 114, illustrated, queen) from Senegal, obtusa (Smith, F., 1858b, worker) from Egypt, and pyrrhocephala (Motschoulsky, 1863: 11, worker) from Sri Lanka; all forms known.

{Camponotus sericeus peguensis minor}The photomontage of a type series minor worker of peguensis from Myanmar (Burma) is collated from

© 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
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