The Ants of Africa
Genus Camponotus subgenus Myrmopelta
Camponotus (Myrmopelta) barbarossa Emery

Camponotus (Myrmopelta) barbarossa Emery

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Cameroun (Camponotus (Orthonotomyrmex) arminius subsp. barbarossa, Emery, 1920c: 26, major & minor workers, and queen; named as species by Santschi, 1926a) Conradt - see below
micipsa (Wheeler, 1922: 252, illustrated major & minor workers) from Zaïre, Leopold-Yumbi, Lang & Chapin - see below; no images on Antweb (January 2019)
sulcatinasis (Camponotus (Myrmopelta) babarossa Em. v. sulcatinasis, nov., Santschi, 1926a: 21, worker) from Zaïre, Haut Uele, Burgeon - see
(see Bolton, 1995).
Note the name was first used as Camponotus barbarossa by Forel (1910e: 457 - "Camponotus Barbarossa Emery subsp Arminius" - & 1912i: 92 - listed as one of the species in his new subgenus Myrmotarsus) which Bolton (1995: 88) has as nomina nuda but gave the odd situation of Camponotus arminius first being described as a ssp of barbarossa which later appears, as above, as a ssp of arminius .

Emery's (1920c) description is at {original description}. Santschi (1926a) summarised the species and subspecies description, these are at {original description}.

{Camponotus (Myrmopelta) barbarossa} Nigeria specimens (as Camponotus micispa correct spelling micipsa, Wheeler, 1922, in Taylor, 1978: 9).
MAJOR WORKER. TL 9.38 mm, HL 2.91, HW 2.79, SL 1.65, PW 1.71
Minor worker - none seen.
Colour black, shiny. Coarse erect hairs golden and long, abundant except on head. Pilosity sparse on head, moderately dense on dorsum of alitrunk, dense on gaster where it gives a golden pubescence. Declivity of propodeum obtusely angled, metanotal groove incised. Petiole a thick scale with the dorsal edge feebly notched in the middle.
A single specimen which corresponded very closely to Wheeler's (1922) description of the species was collected foraging on cocoa at Gbodo, near Ilesha.

I have to presume this may be the species spelt as barbarus in the reports by Adjei and Firempong, see below. An alternative is the species Camponotus barbaricus (Emery) of Spain and North Africa, which Bolton (1995) noted as misspelt barbarus by Santschi in a report of North African ants. Wheeler (1922) mentioned barbarossa only as a species of which the definitive (1922) species Camponotus (Orthonotomyrmex) arminius had earlier been given as a subspecies; viz. - Camponotus barbarossa ssp arminius and Camponotus barbarossa ssp arminius var bicontractus, both, however, were from southern Africa. See Camponotus chrysurus

Santschi (1926a) gave several Zaïre locations including Haut Uele, Moto; Ituri, La Moto (workers, by Burgeon); Vieux Cassongo, Kimpako (Vanderijst); and Lesse (Lt. Bonnevie).

In Ghana, reported from CRIG by Adjei (1975) and described as having a facultative association with the black citrus aphid, Toxoptera aurantii, by Firempong (1975).

{Camponotus barbarossa} The photomontage of a major worker from the type collection is collated from

Emery gave the major head dimensions as HL 3.5 HW 3.1 mm; this has HL 2.3 HW 2.2

Oxford University Museum specimens

{Camponotus barbarossa major} The photomontages are of a major worker collected in Cameroun - south-western tropical coastal forest area between Edéa and Campo (McKey Wolbachia project) - Cameroon 34 from location Nko'élon (3°31' N 11°19' E, altitude 452 m), 5 April 2001; on the standing trunk of a dead tree.

{Camponotus barbarossa minor} I surmise that the specimens described as "Camponotus sp. (large societies, medium sized worker with gaster covered by yellow hairs" by Dejean, Belin and McKey (1992) may be of this species. They found it on the canopy and midtrunk of 23 of 167 primary forest trees; a non-dominant tolerated by Crematogaster depressa and nesting in hollow branches or under bark (see also, Dejean et al., 2000a).

{Camponotus barbarossa}The ssp micipsa (Wheeler, 1922) was described from 3 majors (TL 9-10 mm) and one media (TL 7.5) found on firewood aboard a river boat. The description is as follows -

{Camponotus barbarossa micipsa}WORKER MAJOR - length 9 to 10 mm. Head large, longer than broad (without the mandibles, 3,8 X 3 mm.), broader behind than in front, with excised posterior border and evenly and very feebly convex sides. Mandibles very convex, with 6 short, subequal teeth. Clypeus rather flat, longer than broad, ecarinate and feebly longitudinally grooved in the middle, subhexagonal, narrower in front than behind, its anterior border somewhat truncated, straight. Frontal area impressed, lozenge-shaped; frontal carinae widely separated, as far apart as their distance from the sides of the head. Antennal scapes distinctly flattened but not dilated, somewhat narrower at their tips than in perrisii, extending a little beyond the posterior corners of the head. Eyes rather small and flat. Promesonotal and metanotal sutures more impressed than in perrisii; the propodeum somewhat cuboidal, as long as broad, the base and declivity subequal, nearly rectangular in profile, the former flattened, the latter very feebly concave, both slightly submarginate on the sides. Petiole similar to that of perrisii but broader above, the upper margin feebly notched in the middle. Hind tibiae somewhat flattened but neither prismatic nor channelled, their flexor borders without a row of bristles. Mandibles, clypeus, upper surface of head, thorax, and gaster opaque; mandibular teeth, frontal area, antennal scapes, gula, sides of thorax, posterior surface of petiole, legs, and venter shining. Mandibles finely punctate on a very finely and evenly shagreened ground. Head very finely, densely and evenly punctate; the clypeus and cheeks with coarse, shallow, rather sparse, piligerous foveolate, which are elongate and oblique, with their posterior edges more pronounced. Front and sides of head with similar but more scattered and less pronounced foveolae. Antennal scapes covered with round punctures of very unequal size. Thorax and gaster very finely and densely punctate like the head, with small, rather sparse, piligerous punctures.
Hairs pale, yellow, coarse, erect, rather long and abundant on the upper surface of the head, thorax, and raster and on the venter, absent on sides of thorax, petiole and gaster. On the cheeks and clypeus each foveola bears a short, stiff, blunt, suberect hair. Pubescence dull yellow, very short, dilute and inconspicuous on the head and thorax, but very long and dense on the dorsal surface of the gaster, where it forms a shining golden pelage nearly concealing the surface.
Coal black throughout, only the apical portions of the funiculi and the ends of the tarsi dark brown.
WORKER MEDIA - length 7.5 mm. Differing from the worker major only in the smaller and shorter head, which is not longer than wide behind. The foveolae of the cheeks and clypeus are less distinct, but the stubby, erect golden hairs arising from them are as striking as in the major.
Described from three major workers and a single media "collected on the firewood taken aboard the boat between Leopoldville and Yumbi" (Lang and Chapin). This species is evidently allied to perrisii, olivieri, bayeri, and maynei Forel, but distinct from all of them in the structure of the head, sculpture, pilosity, etc., though apparently most closely related to maynei.

The photomontage is of a cotype of Camponotus micipsa. The original photographs (mislabelled Camponotus foraminosus delagoensis Forel 1894), together with enlarged images, are from the MCZ, Harvard University, website at - MCZ link.

{Camponotus barbarossa major} The photomontage is of a major worker from the Central African Republic, Dzanga-Sangha National Park, 02°48’20.5" N 16°06’14.0" E 350m; collector Philippe Annoyer, Camp 1; 25.i.2005, U.V : 18h30-8h sur bute en forêt.

{Camponotus barbarossa majori}The photomontage is of a micispa form major worker from Congo, Réserve de Lésio-Louna; collected by Eric Zassi (n sp 08).

{Camponotus barbarossa major} The photomontage is of a major worker from Kenya, Subukia; 0°0'42.9"N 36°14'52.3"E; collectors Dupont & Braet, 24.iii-11.iv.2010.

{Camponotus barbarossa minor} The photomontage is of a minor worker from Kenya, Nakuru Lake NP, collector P Hlavac, 25.iv.2005.

{Camponotus barbarossa queen}The photomontage is of a queen from the Central African Republic, Dzanga-Sangha Nature Reserve, 21.x.2008; 18h30-24h; collector Philippe Annoyer (Camp 2).

© 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.