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

Crematogaster (Crematogaster) castanea F. Smith

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

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.

Smith wrote of this as head and alitrunk rufo-ferrunginous, gaster brownish-black, with the base obscure rufo-fuscous.

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

{Crematogaster castanea type} The photomontage of a syntype (as above) is colour adjusted to (hopefully) be nearer the Smith description.

junior synonyms (here) - click images to see full version

inversa (Crematogaster tricolor var inversa n var, Forel, 1907g: 81, worker; Emery, 1912c: 2, queen & male; Santschi, 1930b: 69, queen & male). Forel's (1907g) description is on {original description}. Emery's description (1912c) of inversa queen & male is at {original description}. See Crematogaster inversa
{Crematogaster arborea pedicel}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
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)
Crematogaster arborea
South Africa
bruta (Crematogaster tricolor stirps ferruginea v. bruta n. var., Santschi, 1913a: 413, worker; as Crematogaster castanea Sm. stirps bruta Santschi, in Santschi, 1926b: 213; named in key only in Santschi (1913a); see below for Santschi, 1926b)
Crematogaster bruta South Africa
Crematogaster durbanensisdurbanensis (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
Crematogaster durbanensis
South 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"
Crematogaster rufonigra
South Africa
decolor (Cremastogaster tricolor Gerstacker, var. decolor nov. var., Forel, 1891b; 188, worker) - see
Forel (1891b) had only a brief note at the end of a re-description of Crematogaster tricolor - variety decolor nov. var. Workers of a variety smaller than the (tricolor) type worker, with a narrower petiole, the colours duller, less contrasting, was collected in the forests by M. Humblodt.
Crematogaster decolor Madagascar
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. Apart from the dark gaster this is an eact match for the type worker (above)
Crematogaster quisquilia

{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. Possibly Crematogaster (Cr.) rufimembrum (August 2016)

© 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.