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SUBFAMILY MYRMICINAE - Genus Camponotus - Camponotus (Orthonotomyrmex) sericeus (Fabricius) - revised status

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.

Fabricius' (1798) description is at {original description}. 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 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

{Camponotus sericeus major}Egypt Records - Donisthorpe (1947e) recorded many workers & soldiers from Siwa, Siwa depression, Tutuata, and Ultaba Tarmarbas, J Omer-Cooper, iv-v.1935.
Specimens photographed were collected at Nagh Ghalalbab, Aswan, E 32°53' N 24°05'; 7.iii.2003, by Mostafa Sharaf.
Sharaf list (combined with ? obtusus) - Material examined: Nagh El-Ghalalab (Aswan), 7.iii.2003 (14); Masmas (Tushka), 16.ix.1997 (2); Tekzarti (Siwa) (1), Agormi (Siwa) (1) Leg.Dr.Ahmed Saad (SHC). Dakhla, 6.ii.1953 (10); Gebel Elba (Eastern desert), 6.ii.1953 (1) (ASUC); Gebel Elba, i.1930, Efflatoun (4 ?); Gebel Elba, i.1929, Efflatoun (1 worker) (CUC). Local distribution: Marsa Matrouh, Dakhla oasis (Finzi, 1936); Baharyia oasis, Faiyum, Kharga oasis, Siwa oasis, Kom Osheim, Gebel Elba

{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)

  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

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