Camponotus fellah

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Camponotus fellah
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. fellah
Binomial name
Camponotus fellah
Dalla Torre, 1893

Camponotus fellah casent0905293 p 1 high.jpg

Camponotus fellah casent0905293 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Identification

Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - C. fellah is a large species of Tanaemyrmex, with accentuated ground sculpture (major worker is mostly matte) and prismatic hindtibia that is provided ventrally with a row of bristles. C. fellah is similar to Camponotus xerxes, Camponotus thoracicus sensu lato, and Camponotus oasium from which it differs by the presence of erect setae on the ventral head surface, as opposed to a lack of such setae (see also Santschi, 1938, 1939; Cagniant, 1996; Collingwood and Agosti, 1996; Radchenko, 1997b).

Also see the nomenclature section (below) for further discussion of the variability found in specimens of this species.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - C. fellah is distributed in Syria and Lebanon (Emery, 1891; 1925b; Finzi, 1936; Tohmé and Tohmé, 2000), Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Iran (Paknia et al., 2008), Egypt (Taylor, 2007), and the Arabian Peninsula (Collingwood and Agosti, 1996).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Eritrea, United Arab Emirates.
Palaearctic Region: Egypt (type locality), Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey.

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Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • fellah. Camponotus oasium var. fellah Dalla Torre, 1893: 245 (w.) EGYPT. [First available use of Camponotus maculatus r. oasium var. fellah Emery, 1891b: 18; unavailable name.] Emery, 1908a: 194 (s.q.m.). Combination in C. (Tanaemyrmex): Emery, 1925b: 99. Subspecies of maculatus: Forel, 1910a: 14; Forel, 1910c: 267; of compressus: Santschi, 1939d: 80. Raised to species: Pisarski, 1971b: 728. See also: Tohmé & Tohmé, 2000: 389.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - Examination of a sample of 160 specimens of C. fellah from 70 localities from Israel and Egypt revealed that all have erect setae on the ventral head surface (minor workers have 1–2, majors have up to seven), whereas ten specimens of C. xerxes from Sinai, Saudi Arabia, and Iran and ten syntypes of C. thoracicus sensu lato and C. oasium from northern Africa have no such setae, except one in one major worker of C. oasium, in agreement with Santschi’s (1939) assessment.

Major workers of C. fellah from different nest series show marked differences with regard to body measures, e.g., eye length, scape length, pronotum width, and hindtibia length, especially between specimens from the central coastal plain and the ‘Arava Valley.

Measurements of HL, HW, EL, SL, PW, and hTbL of C. fellah (n = 129), C. xerxes (n = 10), and of syntypes of C. thoracicus sensu lato and C. oasium (n = 10) are similar, except for the antennal scape which is slightly shorter in C. fellah, and the eye and hindtibia which are slightly longer in C. xerxes.

The color is variable among nest series. In major workers, the head and mesosoma range from red or ochraceous, dorsally infuscate, to completely black. In paler specimens the coxae, petiolar scale, and at least a small area on the anterior gaster surface are light ferruginous to dark red, but this area does not extend to second gaster tergite; in darkest specimens, petiole and gaster are black. This color pattern distinguishes major workers of C. fellah from C. xerxes, which has the petiole paler than the unicolorous dark gaster, and from C. thoracicus sensu lato and C. oasium, which have the gaster with large yellow areas on the first and second tergite laterally.

Specimens from Syria, identified as C. fellah by Tohmé and Tohmé (2000), differ from those from Israel and Egypt by the lack of erect setae on the ventral head surface, a stouter body, and shorter appendages.

Differences between specimens from Israel and Egypt, on the one hand, and from Syria and Lebanon, on the other hand, and the fact that Israeli specimens show color and size variability in major workers that surpasses those reported in earlier descriptions, e.g., Emery (1908) and Tohmé and Tohmé (2000), suggest the occurrence of some cryptic species under the name C. fellah.

Description

Worker

Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - TL = 7.8–17.2, HL = 1.91–4.69, HW = 1.29–4.61, EL = 0.55–0.98, SL = 2.38–3.59, ML = 3.09–6.02, PW = 1.13–2.66, mTbL = 2.27–3.83, hTbL = 3.05–5.08 (n = 129).

References

  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 245, worker described)
  • Emery, C. 1891c. Exploration scientifique de la Tunisie. Zoologie. - Hyménoptères. Révision critique des fourmis de la Tunisie. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, iii + 21 pp. (page 18, First available use of Camponotus maculatus r. oasium var. fellah; unavailable name.)
  • Emery, C. 1908a. Beiträge zur Monographie der Formiciden des paläarktischen Faunengebietes. Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 1908: 165-205 (page 194, soldier, queen, male described)
  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 99, combination in C. (Tanaemyrmex))
  • Forel, A. 1910a. Glanures myrmécologiques. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 54: 6-32 (page 14, subspecies of maculatus)
  • Forel, A. 1910c. Ameisen aus der Kolonie Erythräa. Gesammelt von Prof. Dr. K. Escherich (nebst einigen in West-Abessinien von Herrn A. Ilg gesammelten Ameisen). Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 29: 243-274 (page 267, subspecies of maculatus)
  • Ionescu-Hirsch, A. 2010 (2009). An annotated list of Camponotus of Israel, with a key and descriptions of new species. Israel Journal of Entomology. 39:57-98. PDF
  • Pisarski, B. 1971b. Les fourmis du genre Camponotus Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) d'Iraq. Bull. Acad. Pol. Sci. Sér. Biol. 19: 727-731 (page 728, raised to species)
  • Santschi, F. 1939d. Notes sur des Camponotus et autres fourmis de l'Afrique Mineure. Bull. Soc. Sci. Nat. Maroc 19: 66-87 (page 80, subspecies of compressus)
  • Tohmé, G.; Tohmé, H. 2000b. Redescription de Camponotus oasium Forel, 1890, de C. fellah Emery, 1908, de C. sanctus Forel, 1904 et description de C. palmyrensis n. sp., quatre fourmis du Liban et de la Syrie. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 105: 387-394 (page 389, see also)