The Ants of Africa
Genus Camponotus subgenus Myrmotrema
Genus Camponotus

Subgenus definition - Section 11 Myrmotrema Forel (1912i: 91) - simply had - "group foraminosus and relatives; characterised by the foraminous or carious head of both major and minor".

{link to the Hymenoptera Name Server}Head as in Orthonotomyrmex, major very broad posteriorly, minor trapezoidal, broadened posteriorly; thorax with or without dorsal notch; in major and queen anterior of head covered with deep round pits; apparently termitophages, 32 species from sub-Saharan Africa.

Primarily based on my translation of the work of Santschi (1915c), the Key surely is out of date, especially for eastern/southern Africa, but it still has obvious relevance. I have used modern nomenclature (as in Bolton, 1995), added the species argus and made comments.

Bernard (1952) gave the definition "Section 11 Myrmotrema Forel - small to medium sized, gaster matt, with or without dense coloured hairs, antenna more or less deformed, apparently termitophages, 32 species from sub-Saharan Africa". Bolton (1995) also has 32 names of species in the subgenus.

Of his Key, Santschi noted - there is insufficient material to establish purely phylogenetic characters so I have used practical features.

Provisionally, he recognized five species within the foraminosus group, with more or less cylindrical tibiae and without a row of "piquants" = spike-like hairs?:

Species post-dating the Santschi key are -
avius from Zimbabwe & Angola
monardi from Angola - close to grandidieri
and tilhoi from Chad - seemingly close to olivieri.

Key to members of the subgenus Myrmotrema

1 Tibiae cylindrical or not strongly compressed, without a line of spurs; scapes cylindrical or slightly flattened 2
-- Tibiae prismatic or generally channelled; scapes always flattened; all are black 42
2 Head and alitrunk always black 3
-- Head and alitrunk otherwise coloured 36
3 Camponotus aurofasciatusTL 5-8 mm; gaster segments largely bordered with yellow; long golden pubescence and abundant, slender, very long, yellow silky hairs Saõ Thomé - aurofasciatus
-- Gaster black or brown black or very narrowly bordered with yellow; silky hairs shorter 4
4 Propodeum with dorsum very compressed so comprising little more than the declivity 4A
-- Propodeum dorsum not compressed 5
4A Worker only known TL 4.5 mm Zaïre - argus
-- {Camponotus postoculatus major}TL 9.6-11.6 mm; pilosity whitish, thick and pointed; distinctive pattern on the gaster .
. {Camponotus postoculatus media}Media/minor South Africa - postoculatus
5 Propodeum dorsum rectangular, slightly convex and weakly bordered 6
-- Propodeum dorsum narrower especially posteriorly 7
- Propodeum dorsum rectangular, slightly convex and weakly bordered -
6 {Camponotus galla major}Stocky, black, antennae red; propodeum dorsum flat; TL 5.3-6.3 mm; major not before found is larger; the sharply angled propodeum profile is distinctive

. {Camponotus galla minor}Minor East Africa - galla
-- Camponotus orthodoxus minorTL 3.5-6.6 mm; more slender; matt and entirely punctate; tarsi and antennae red, posterior borders of gaster yellow gold Guinea & Ivory Coast - orthodoxus
-- {Camponotus lamborni major}Description inadequate on structure but - erect pilosity long yellowish but scattered, gaster with greyish moderate pubescence; overall black; base of scape, apices of anterior and mid tarsi, spicules and spurs reddish; TL 6.9-9.2 mm Malawi - lamborni
- Propodeum dorsum narrow especially posteriorly -
7 Genae of majors with confluent hair pits, which are larger than spaces between; the arising hairs long and abundant, similar to those on the gaster 8 - auropubens and ssps
-- Genae of majors with shallow hair pits that are smaller than the spaces, and with only very short or no hairs 12
8 Gaster with a clear median glabrous line 9
-- Gaster with no more than a very fine glabrous line [the attribution to foraminosus seems dubious]; TL 5.0-8.7 mm Aldabra I. - foraminosus ssp aldabrensis
9 Genae with partially raised pubescence, as long as width of scape extremity 10
-- Genae pubescence short and decumbent 11
10 Camponotus auropubens majorTibiae blackish brown; propodeal dorsum slightly convex; TL to 9.0 mm Mozambique- auropubens
-- Camponotus auropubens absalom queenTibiae rust; propodeal dorsum flat; mesonotum of female matt; TL 5.5-9.5 mm
Queen shown
South Africa - auropubens ssp absalon
11 Camponotus auropubens jacob majorMajor, pilosity golden; tibiae rust .
. Camponotus auropubens jacob minorMinor south eastern Africa - auropubens ssp jacob
-- Pilosity silver; female with shiny pronotum Angola - auropubens ssp argentopubens
11A Camponotus monardi gynandromorphGynandromorph major south eastern Africa - monardi
return to key Genae of majors with shallow hair pits that are smaller than the spaces, and with only very short or no hairs -
12 Gaster with fine, long pubescence, generally cloaking the sculpture; without median glabrous line 13
-- Pubescence more translucent/sparser 18
13 Clypeus of major without a carina; erect silky hairs fine generally same colour as pubescence 14 - foraminosus and ssps
-- Camponotus rhamses majorClypeus of major with a carina; erect silky hairs slender, abundant clear yellow; TL 6-8.2 mm .
. Camponotus rhamses minorMinor north-east Africa west to Chad - rhamses
14 Very matt appearance; head and alitrunk glabrous Ethiopia - foraminosus ssp honorus

Head and alitrunk quite pubescent 15
15 Gaster with greyish yellow pubescence 16
-- Gaster with yellow or brassy red pubescence 17
16 {Camponotus foraminosus}Dorsum of gaster with dense pubescence; TL major 7-8 mm .
. {Camponotus foraminosus major} West Africa & Congo Basin - foraminosus
-- Pubescence less dense Nigeria, Calabar - foraminosus ssp deductus
-- {Camponotus foraminosus flavus} Congo - foraminosus ssp flavus
17 Gaster with golden yellow pubescence East Africa - foraminosus ssp chrysogaster
-- Gaster with brassy red pubescence [in the accompanying text, Santschi had this as foraminosus var. annobonensis; if he was right it seems more likely it is a foraminosus ssp] Annobon I. - perrisii ssp insularis
return to key Pubescence more translucent/sparser --
18 Gaster matt, densely puncturate; pubescence generally quite long 19
-- Gaster shiny, or shiny matt; largely finely reticulate or shagreened; pubescence generally quite short and spaced out 26
19 Gaster dorsum with a median glabrous line; sometimes less obvious on smaller morphs 20
-- Gaster dorsum without median glabrous line 23
20 Major with scapes not surpassing occiput by more than the length of funiculus segment 1. 21
-- Scapes longer 22
21 {Camponotus grandidieri ruspoli}Tibiae and tarsi rust coloured; pubescence distinct on clypeus and genae; TL 5.0-8.2 mm Madagascar - grandidieri
-- Tibiae and tarsi black or black brown; gaster more elongated; glabrous line less obvious Grand Comoro I. - grandidieri ssp comorensis
22 Tibiae and tarsi more or less rust coloured; glabrous line clear Madagascar; Diego Suarez, Mozambique - grandidieri ssp atrabilis
-- Tibiae and tarsi black; head of minors more elongated; glabrous line less obvious South Africa - grandidieri ssp mendax
23 Propodeum dorsum triangular, very narrow posteriorly; antennae and lower legs red 24
-- Propodeum dorsum insignificantly narrowed posteriorly 25
24 Propodeum dorsum slightly convex in profile; pubescence slight, as with the erect hairs Somalia - grandidieri ssp ruspolii
-- Propodeum dorsum straight-sided; pilosity and pubescence more abundant South Africa - grandidieri ssp rollei
25 Camponotus benguelensis majorMajor TL 7.5 mm; propodeal dorsum as long as declivity; alitrunk less convex; golden pubescence quite abundant; silky hairs slim white and blunt; very matt .
. Camponotus benguelensis minorMinor TL 5.5 mm Angola - benguelensis
-- Camponotus confluensMajor; TL 4.5-7 mm; clypeus without a carina; tibiae without setae; propodeum narrow, rectilinear in profile, dorsum slightly shorter than declivity; erect hairs sparse whitish; pubescence on the body bright whitish-yellow; overall matt black, mandibles, tibia & tarsi reddish, femora brown
. Camponotus confluensMinor Zaire, Katanga - confluens
-- {Camponotus haereticus}Propodeal dorsum shorter than declivity; pubescence white, short and translucent; silky hairs fine and quite short; semi-matt, genae shiny; TL 4.4-7.35 mm .
. {Camponotus haereticus minor}Type Major .
. {Camponotus haereticus minor} Nigeria - haereticus
return to key Gaster shiny, or shiny matt; largely finely reticulate or shagreened; pubescence generally quite short and spaced out --
26 {Camponotus olivieri ss}Distinct angle at junction of dorsum and declivity of propodeum, sometimes with rounded edge; no glabrous line on gaster 27 - olivieri and ssps.
-- Junction of propodeum dorsum and declivity a rounded curve; gaster with distinct medial glabrous line 35
27 Scapes entirely black; TL 6.0-8.5 mm 27A
-- Erect hairs white; base of scapes and funiculus segment 1 rust coloured 28
27A Erect hairs and pubescence golden; TL 6.0-8.5 mm Angola - olivieri ssp concordia
27B Camponotus atriscapusPilosity whitish, fine and sharp, moderately abundant; worker TL 7.5 -8.0 mm; cf olivieri alitrunk more robust, mesonotum more raised, propodeal angle more rounded, propodeal dorsum straight but transversely rounded, declivity concave; overall black, scape entirely black except condyle, funiculus, condyle, mandibles anterior of head, posterior tarsi brown; densely matt except feebly shiny dorsal pronotum
Note apparently identical to tilhoi (below)
Zaïre - atriscapus
27C Camponotus tilhoiMajor: Pilosity whitish, fine and sharp, moderately abundant; worker TL 7.5 -8.0 mm .
. Camponotus tilhoiMinor Chad - tilhoi
28 Gaster uniformly shiny 29
-- Gaster punctate and matt posteriorly, reticulate and quite shiny anteriorly; alitrunk with golden translucent pubescence Zaïre - olivieri ssp osiris
28B Camponotus aviusMajor .
. Camponotus avius minorMinor southern Africa - avius
Alitrunk covered with dense pubescence, more so than gaster
-- Pubescence no more dense on alitrunk than gaster 31
30 {Camponotus olivieri type form}Gaster and lower legs brown or black brown; major TL 7.5-8.0 mm Angola & Gabon - olivieri
-- Part of alitrunk and base of gaster brown East Africa - olivieri ssp moshianus
-- {Camponotus olivieri sorptus}Gaster black, size larger - Congo olivieri ssp sorptus
31 Erect pilosity on gaster as fine as the pubescence olivieri ssp tenuipilis
-- Erect pilosity on gaster more slender than pubescence 32
32 {Camponotus olivieri lemma}Overall shinier, with sparse pilosity, gaster with very sparse pubescence; translucent and short; propodeal angle very marked Angola & Gabon - olivieri ssp lemma
-- Pubescence on gaster denser 33
33 More robust, scale blunter, lower legs black, pubescence yellowish Mozambique, Delagoa - olivieri ssp delagoensis
-- More narrow, scale sharper; lower legs brown, pubescence white 34
34 Camponotus tauricollisErect pilosity blunt and slender; TL 4.3-6.0 mm .
. Camponotus tauricollisMinor Mozambique, Delagoa - tauricollis
-- Erect pilosity fine and sharp Cameroun - olivieri ssp pax
35return to key Alitrunk short, vaulted, propodeum rounded; gaster very shiny; pubescence short, translucent, lower legs black South Africa - olivieri ssp infelix
-- {Camponotus olivieri freyeri}Alitrunk elongated, slightly convex; propodeum rounded; gaster shiny; lower leg rust coloured Aldabra - olivieri ssp freyeri
return to key Head and alitrunk other than black --
36 Promesonotum strongly convex and raised higher than propodeum; latter with a flat dorsum 37
-- Promesonotum no more than slightly higher than propodeum 38
37 Camponotus ilgiiTL 4.2-4.7 mm; generally brown-red, with darker areas Ethiopia, Senegal - ilgii
-- {Camponotus diplopunctatus}TL ca 6 mm; ferruginous-yellow, upper head and propodeum brownish .
. {Camponotus diplopunctatus} Ethiopia & Sudan - diplopunctatus
38 Camponotus bottegoi majorHead as narrow as the alitrunk; notably longer than wide; alitrunk and gaster elongated, yellow; TL 4.5-7.5 mm Somalia - bottegoi
-- Head wider than alitrunk, more robust 39 - robecchii and ssps.
39 Propodeum "tectiforme", slightly lower than pronotum 40
-- Alitrunk profile feebly convex, no break at metanotal groove 41
40 {short description of image}Propodeum angular; colour dark brown red; posterior third of gaster and sides of alitrunk blackish; femora and antennae yellow red; TL 4-5.8 mm .
. {Camponotus robecchii major} Somalia & Tanzania - robecchii
-- Propodeum rounded, colour red yellow, gaster black Zimbabwe - robecchii ssp rhodesiana
41 {Camponotus troglodytes}Colour reddish, base of gaster yellow, posterior of gaster black brown; major TL 7-9 mm East Africa & Indian Ocean Is - troglodytes
-- Colour reddish, each gastral segment with brown border [note: this seems to be wrongly given as ssp of foraminosus in Bolton (1995)] Angola - troglodytes ssp cuitensis
-- Gaster entirely yellow red in female Ethiopia - troglodytes ssp abyssinica
return to key Tibiae prismatic or generally channelled; scapes always flattened --
42 Propodeum without tubercles 43
-- Camponotus bituberculatusPropodeum bituberculate; TL 9.0 mm; matt black, extremities reddish West Africa - bituberculatus
43 Scape dilated, but the apex less than four times as wide as the base 44
-- Camponotus compressiscapusScape foliate, apex expanded to four times the basal width; TL 8 mm; colour as bituberculatus but whole of mandibles and base of scape reddish West Africa - compressiscapus
44 Clypeus of major and minors near trapezoidal [NOTE the image in Wheeler (1922) of perrisii jucundus shows the clypeus as trapezoidal - may be the original key has the numbers transposed!] 44
-- Clypeus of major near rectangular 46
45 Camponotus puberulus minorMajor with distinct pits on genae; pubescence sparse but distinctly yellowish, erect hairs numerous, quite long and yellowish (type minor shown here)
East Africa - puberulus
-- {Camponotus bayeri}Major with only indistinct pits on genae; TL 6.0 mm; matt, black, with extremities of tarsi and mandibles reddish .
. {Camponotus bayeri}Minor western Africa - bayeri
46 Erect hairs translucent brown or blackish 47
-- Erect hairs clear, white or yellowish 48
47 {Camponotus carbo alitrunk profile}Pubescence very sparse, and extremely short; TL 6.3-7.0 mm; black, opaque and densely punctate eastern Africa - carbo
-- Camponotus carbo majorPubescence short but distinct; TL 7.4-10 mm western Africa - carbo ssp occidentalis
48 Camponotus cruchetiMajor, tibiae only feebly prismatic, with slight channeling; TL 8.0 mm; matt black .
. Camponotus crucheti minorMinor Angola, Benguela, Cameroun - crucheti
-- Tibiae with distinct channeled and prismatic tibiae; all generally black amd matt; base of scape and apex of mandibles reddish 49 - perrisii and ssps
49 Propodeum with rounded angle 50
-- Propodeum with well marked but slightly diffuse angle 51
50 Campoonotus perrisiiScape surpassing occipitum by more than its width in major; tibial channeling less pronounced; TL 10-11 mm; with whitish erect hairs Angola - perrisii
-- Scape longer; tibiae strongly channelled; longer, TL 12 mm western Africa - perrisii ssp. nigeriensis
51 {Camponotus perrisii jucundus}Gaster covered with quite dense yellow pubescence; TL 10-11 mm Congo - perrisii ssp. jucundus
-- Gaster with shorter, more spaced out, whitish pubescence; shorter Congo - perrisii ssp. grandior
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