The Ants of Africa
Genus Camponotus subgenus Myrmespera
Genus Camponotus

Subgenus definition - Santschi (1926b: 247; Santschi, 1926c: 604). Santschi's (1926b) subgenus description is at {original description}. He separated the members as intermediate between Camponotus s.s and Myrmopsamma on the basis of there being no anterior fringe of hairs on the clypeus; the only clypeal hairs being laterally, as with Camponotus s.s. In common with Myrmopsamma, however, the apex of the mandibles is quite oblique and with five distinct teeth, the apical being notably the longest. In contrast Myrmoturba (now junior synonym of Tanaemyrmex) have a lobed clypeus.

{link to the Hymenoptera Name Server}All from southern and eastern Africa. My feeling is that this is a collection of two distinct groups - one with a fairly typical (major) Camponotus head in full face view, i.e narrower anteriorly and a slightly concave posterior margin; the other with a quadrate, parallel-sided head, with straight posterior margin and rounded postero-lateral margins, also large eyes set well back.

Tentative key to workers

Queen only - image on species page
South Africa - trifasciatus
1 Propodeum highly convex both across and along, so near hemispherical 2
-- Propodeum shallowly convex both across and along, arcuate transition from dorsum to declivity 4
2 {Camponotus reevei}TL major 6.0-6.2 mm, minor 3.5-4.0 mm; clypeus not carinate with feebly arcuate anterior margin; sparse yellowish erect hairs; slightly shining, anterior 0.8 of head dull due to microscopic transverse rugulae; black, tarsi and mandibles more brown
I have (2013) transferred this to the subgenus Myrmonesites
South Africa - reevei
-- Colour variably ochreous 3
3 {Camponotus crepusculi major}TL major 7.2-8.5; like emarginatus but larger & darker, mostly dark ochreous; head narrower anteriorly and sides more convex; scapes falling short of occiput; mandibles shiny, very strongly punctured; propodeum dorsum convex across and lengthwise, joining equally long declivity in very wide obtuse angle; petiole scale convex anteriorly, posterior flat, dorsal edge convex transversely and trenchant .
. {Camponotus crepusculi minor} Zimbabwe - crepusculi
-- Camponotus havilandi majorTL major 8.0 mm; cf crepusculi; head subtruncate posteriorly, eyes placed behind mid-point of head fairly large but hardly convex; scapes failing to reach occiput; vertex and occipitum reticulate-punctose, rest of head densely and rather sharply reticulate-punctate; head piceous, alitrunk reddish-ochreous; gaster ochreous South Africa - havilandi
4 Bicoloured with at least gaster black 5
-- Unicoloured variable shades of ochreous 6
5 {Camponotus transvaalensis}TL major 9.0 mm, minor 5.0 mm; cf havilandi but darker, wider head, more convex propodeum; head massive, anterior margin of clypeus widely and angularly excised; few erect hairs, notably on dorsum of gaster with two rows, one mid-length and one apical, on each segment; mandibles shiny strongly striato-punctate, head dull and strongly reticulo-punctate to middle of eyes, posteriorly microscopically reticulate and glossy; head black, alitrunk pale brown, gaster black (anterior of first tergite paler), appendages ferruginous .
. {Camponotus transvaalensis} South Africa - transvaalensis
-- {Camponotus belligerus}TL major 13 mm, media 11 mm, minor 7.5 mm; scape surpasses occiput by 0.25 of own length; mandibles finely striate; clypeus with alitrunk, occiput and tibiae yellow rust, rest ferruginous, gaster black posterior of segments bordered with yellow .
. {Camponotus belligerus}Major .
. {Camponotus belligerus}Minor Namibia - belligerus
6 {Camponotus cuneiscapus scape}TL major/media 7.5-8.2 mm; with unique obtuse angular lobe at base of scape; scape surpassing occiput by one-third it own length; head subrectangular, eyes placed behind midpoint of head; propodeal dorsum very oblique, twice as long as declivity and merging gradually into latter; generally brownish or reddish-ochreous, only moderately shining; mandibles strongly striato-punctate
. {Camponotus cuneiscapus major}Major .

{Camponotus cuneiscapus minor}Minor Namibia, Botswana & South Africa - cuneiscapus
-- Scape without angular basal lobe 7
7 Camponotus debellator majorTL major 11.5-12.0 mm; cf belligerus; head trapezoidal HL 2.5, posterior HW 2.2, anterior HW 2.0; scape surpassing occiput by about 0.25 own length; alitrunk high and short, propodeum regularly convex; petiole scale higher; clear yellow brown with chestnut areas; very finely shagreened smooth and shiny; fine short hairs mainly on gaster (minor worker)
. Camponotus debellator minorMinor Zimbabwe - debellator
-- {Camponotus nasutus clypeus}TL major 9 mm. media/minor 4.5-5 mm; head elongated HL 2.8 HW 2.3 SL 1.9; truncate posteriorly, parallel sided, clypeus produced anteriorlry into a narrow porrect (beak-like) lobe with tridentate apex; propodeum arcuate; few erect hairs and little pubescence; dull, gaster nitidulous; sordid testaceous, gaster darker .
. {Camponotus nasutus major}Major .
. {Camponotus nasutus minor}Minor Namibia, Zimbabwe & South Africa - nasutus
-- {Camponotus emarginatus}TL major 5.0-6.5 mm; head subquadrate only narrowing being slight at anterior; clypeus with transverse emargination and lateral broad truncate teeth; propodeum dorsum joins declivity in a widely rounded angle; petiole a thin ovate scale; few erect hairs; microscopically rugulose on alitrunk and gaster, head more coarsely rugulose, shining; dark reddish ochreous, lateral alitrunk brownish, gaster brown .
. {Camponotus emarginatus major} South Africa - emarginatus
Contents Genus page
2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2018 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.