The Ants of Africa
Genus Crematogaster
Crematogaster (Crematogaster) castanea F. Smith

Crematogaster (Crematogaster) castanea F. Smith

return to key (museisapentiae) return to key Previously in subgenus Sphaerocrema.

{link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location South Africa (Crematogaster castaneus, Smith, 1858b: 136, illustrated, worker & queen; type location wrongly given as "Albania") - see below

All forms known (see Bolton, 1995) - for subspecies, varieties and synonyms see below .

Type form
Smith's (1858b) description is at {original description}. Arnold (1920a: 488) has a transcription, this is at {original description} - note Arnold obviously took Smith's type location of "Albania" as correct - Smith's simultaneous description of Cr. arborea (see below) matches the photographed specimen and was given as from Port Natal, South Africa, collected by Herr Gueinzius.

As can be found under Crematogaster (Cr.) tricolor, I have separated off tricolor, or rather reverted the situation, as it was when first described. The listing below, therefore is limited to the unicolorous forms reported mainly from southern Africa.

{Crematogaster castanea type} The photomontage of a syntype is collated from

Oxford University Museum specimens

Crematogaster (Crematogaster) castanea
B Taylor det.
J Mathews
JM 174
Abu Gmein, Blue Nile
11°21' N
34°27' E
pyrethrum fogging of Acacia senegal

Crematogaster (Crematogaster) castanea
B Taylor det.
J Mathews
JM 370
11°51' N
34°15' E
Damazine Plantation, Blue Nile
pyrethrum fogging of Acacia senegal

Crematogaster (Crematogaster) castanea
B Taylor det.
B Ndiaye
13°09'40" N
12°06'46" W
Niakafiri 8-V-09 St 6 collet d'un arbre
213 m; Soudanian savannah, hand collection, on tree


Crematogaster castaneaThe photomontage is of a worker from Sudan, collected by J Mathews (JM 174), by pyrethrum fogging of Acacia senegal; Abu Gmein, Blue Nile.

Crematogaster castaneaThe photomontage is of a worker from Sudan, collected by J Mathews (JM 370), by pyrethrum fogging of Acacia senegal; Abu Gmein, Blue Nile.

Crematogaster castaneaThe photomontage is of a worker from Senegal, collector B Ndiaye.

adusta (Cremastogaster tricolor Gerst. r. ferruginea For. var. adusta n. var., Stitz, 1923: 155, worker; Santschi, 1935a: 257) from Usakos, April-June 1911 - no images on Antweb (December 2014)
Stitz's description is on {original description}.
Santschi (1935a, as adusta v emacerata) noted adusta and its variety have short propodeal spines, setting them apart from the other races of castanea
arborea (Crematogaster arboreus, Smith, 1858b: 138, plate of nest, worker; Mayr, 1866b: 900, description, illustrated petiole of worker; junior synonym decolorata, Santschi, 1926b: 213, worker) - this status is confused as Emery 1922e: 147), accepted by Wheeler (1922: 840), had the Mayr specimen as being the same as, or a subspecies of, Cr. melanogaster Emery {Crematogaster arborea pedicel}Smith's (1858b) description of arborea is at {original description} Mayr's (1866b) illustrated (petiole) description is at {original description}. Mayr's further description (1896) is at {original description}. It was transcribed and Mayr's (1896) description translated by Arnold (1920a: 506-7) these are at {original description} It seems, however, that Arnold had not seen Mayr (1866b); see below for Santschi (1926b) South Africa
bruta (Santschi, 1913a: 413, worker; Santschi, 1926b: 213)
named in key only in Santschi (1913a); see below for Santschi (1926b) South Africa
durbanensis (Crematogaster ferruginea For. v. durbanensis n. v., Forel, 1914d: 234, worker; Arnold, 1920a: 491, queen) - see
Forel's (1914d) description is at {original description}; see below for Arnold's (1920a) translation South Africa
insidiosa (Cremastogaster Sm., stirps insidiosa, nov., Santschi, 1920d: 378, worker)
Santschi's (1920d) of insidiosa is at {original description}. Namibia
mediorufa (Cremastogaster tricolor Gerst var. mediorufa n. var., Forel, 1907g: 81, footnote, worker & male; Forel, 1913a: 124, queen; Arnold, 1920a: 493, all forms) - see
{Cr. castanea mediorufa}Forel's (1907g) description is on {original description}. South Africa
museisapientiae (Crematogaster ferruginea Forel, subsp. museisapientiae, n. subsp., Forel, 1911e: 272, worker, queen & male) -
Forel's description (1895h) of museisapientiae is at {original description} Tropical East Africa
rufonigra (C. tricolor Gerst., sous-esp. rufonigra, n. sp., Emery, 1895h: 27, worker; Arnold, 1920a: 492, queen & male)
Emery's description (1895h) of rufonigra is at {original description}; "may be it is C. castanea" South Africa
simia (Cremastogaster tricolor Gerst var. simia n. var., Forel, 1910f: 6, all forms) - this appears to be a tricolor variety; see -
Forel's (1910f) description is on {original description}, see below for Arnold (1920a) translation Botswana
ulugurensis (Cremastogaster ferruginea Forel, var. Ulugurensis n. var., Forel, 1911d: 369, worker; Santschi, 1914b: 86, queen & male) -
Forel (1911d) noted ulugurensis as similar to but darker than harrarica; TL 3.5-5.2 mm; reddish brown, with the gaster more yellow red, legs and antennae brown; head subopaque and very densely longitudinally striate; pronotum finely reticulo-punctate and coarsely reticulate or rugose with several irregular fossae Tanzania, Uluguru Mountains and Morogoro, collected by Zimmer
yambatensis (Cremastogaster ferruginea For., v. yambatensis n. var., Forel, 1913h: 353, worker) Forel (1913h) noted yambatensis as like ulugurensis but with the body and appendages wholly black but the gaster yellow; also with the alitrunk finely and very densely sculptured, holotype worker only Zaïre (from Yambata, by R. Mayné)
junior synonym
decolor (Cremastogaster tricolor Gerstacker, var. decolor nov. var., Forel, 1891b; 188, worker) - no images on Antweb (December 2014)
with a smaller worker, a narrower pedicel, and darker colour Madagascar
unavailable names
mossamedana (Crematogaster (Acrocoelia) castanea Sm. st. inversa v. mossamedana n. var., Santschi, 1930b: 69, worker & queen)
Santschi's description is at {original description}. Angola
quisquilia (Cremastogaster castanea Sm. stirps rufonigra E., var. quisquilia n. var., Santschi, 1916b: 502, worker) - see
Santschi (1916b) briefly noted - worker of a brighter red than rufonigra Em., the base of the gaster is rust and the appendages more obscure; the sculpture is much more defined with the longitudinal rugae more or less distinct whereas they are missing in rufonigra Zimbabwe

{Crematogaster castane durbanensis}Other descriptions translated by Arnold (1920a: 506-7) are of simia (Forel: 1910f) and (illustrated) durbanensis (Forel, 1914d) at {original description} and quisquilia (Santschi, 1916b), bruta (Santschi, 1913a) and ferruginea (Forel, 1892e) {original description}. Santschi (1926b) deals with several varieties, these are at {original description}.

Forel (1911f) reported inversa and castanea, both as varieties of inversa, from Zaïre, Kasai, Kondué by Luja.

A drawing of the C. castanea arborea nest was given by F Smith (1858b) on {original description}. A description and drawing of C. castanea hararica and a nest was given by Mayr (1907b) on {original description}.

Collected by Room (1971) from all parts of the Mampong Cemetery cocoa farm in Ghana, his report includes reference to it ("very close to Cr. striatula") as nesting in cocoa canopy. It also occurred in 34 of his 168 canopy samples at other farms; 30 of those samples were from trees selected for the presence of Oecophylla longinoda as a dominant, and Room described its very close association with O. longinoda. Room also reported its occurrence on cocoa mistletoe - being fifth most abundant insect, with 3,228 workers, from less than 30 of 630 samples of the mistletoe/cocoa junction (unranked) (Room, 1972a, b, 1975). Leston (1973) also regarded it as sometimes a dominant but mutually tolerant of O. longinoda. Found on cocoa at Kade by Majer, who found it in 61.1% of his 144 pkd samples at Kade, with 200-400 workers per sample (1975, 1976a, b, c). It is probably among the list of Strickland (1951a). Bigger (1981a) recorded its distribution and abundance on a single area of Amelonado cocoa at CRIG, where small numbers were collected by pkd from areas dominated by Oecophylla longinoda.
I suspect that the species from Ghana was not true castanea but resolution will have to await examination of actual specimens.

© 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
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