Camponotus inflatus

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Camponotus inflatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. inflatus
Binomial name
Camponotus inflatus
Lubbock, 1880

Camponotus inflatus casent0172171 profile 1.jpg

Camponotus inflatus casent0172171 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Synonyms

Identification

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

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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.

  • inflatus. Camponotus inflatus Lubbock, 1880: 186, pl. 8 (s.) AUSTRALIA. Froggatt, 1896: 389 (q.m.); Forel, 1910b: 73 (w.m.). Combination in C. (Myrmophyma): Forel, 1914a: 269. Senior synonym of aurofasciatus: Wheeler, W.M. 1916e: 40; Wheeler, W.M. 1916i: 37.
  • aurofasciatus. Camponotus (Myrmamblys) aurofasciatus Wheeler, W.M. 1915g: 817, pl. 66, fig. 7 (w.) AUSTRALIA. [Unresolved junior primary homonym of aurofasciatus Santschi, above.] Junior synonym of inflatus: Wheeler, W.M. 1916e: 40.

Type Material

  • Camponotus inflatus: Syntype, queen(s), male(s), Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, The Natural History Museum.
  • Camponotus (Myrmamblys) aurofasciatus Wheeler, 1915: Syntype, 2 workers, Musgrave Ranges, South Australia, Australia, South Australian Museum.
  • Camponotus (Myrmamblys) aurofasciatus Wheeler, 1915: Syntype, workers, Musgrave Ranges and Moorilyanna, South Australia, Australia.

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

Description

Lubbock, J. (1880):

The color is black, the feet being somewhat paler. The body is sparsely covered with stiff cinereo-testaceous hairs, especially on the lower and anterior part of the head, the mandibles, and the posterior edge of the thorax. The head and thorax are finely coriaceous. The antennae are of moderate length, twelve-jointed; the scape about one third as long as the terminal portion and somewhat bent. At the apex of the scape are a few short spines, bifurcated at the point. At the apex of each of the succeeding segments are a few much less conspicuous spines, which decrease in size from the basal segments outwards. The antenna is also thickly clothed with short hairs, and especially towards the apex with leaf-shaped sense-hairs. The clypeus is rounded, with a slightly developed median lobe and a row of stiff hairs round the anterior border; it is not carinated. The mandibles have six teeth, those on one side (fig. 3) being rather more developed and more pointed than those on the other. They decreased pretty regularly from the outside inwards. The maxillae (fig. 5) are formed on the usual type. The maxillary palpi are six-joined, the third segment being but slightly longer than the second, fourth and fifth; which in Myrmecocystus the third and fourth are greatly elongated. The segments of the palpi have on the inner side a number of curious curved blunt hairs besides the usual shorter ones. The labial palpi are four-jointed (fig. 4) the eyes are elliptical and of moderate size. The ocelli are not developed. The thorax (figs. 7 and 8) is arched, broadest in front, without any marked incision between the meso- and metanotum (= propodeum); the mesonotum itself is, which seen from above, very broadly oval, almost circular, rather boarder in front and somewhat flattened behind. Figs. 7 and 8 give outlines of the thorax, seen laterally and from above. The legs are of moderate length, the hinder ones somewhat the longest. The scale or knot (fig. 6) is heart-shaped, flat behind, slightly arched in front, and with a few stiff, slightly diverging hairs at the upper angles. The length is about two thirds of an inch (16.5 mm).

Wheeler (1908):

Lubbock described the worker of this ant in 1880 from specimens taken at Adelaide, Australia. His diagnosis was, however, so imperfect that the insect had to be redescribed by Forel (1886). McCook (1882) has also studied and figured this species (1882, Figs. 71 and 74). According to Forel, it "had nothing to distinguish it particularly from other Camponoti, except the purely physiological distension of its gaster, evidently due to the enormous plenitude of the crop, as in Myrmecocystus melliger. This dilation, however, is smaller than that of melliger." More recently (1896) Froggatt has described the male and female of C. inflatus from specimens collected as Ayers Rock, Illamurta in the James Ranges of Central Australia. All three phases of this ant are black with paler legs and antennae. The repletes measure 17 mm. Froggatt records the following notes sent him by Baldwin Spencer: "The black honey ant (Camponotus inflatus Lub.) is called `Yarumpa' by the natives, by whom it is esteemed a great luxury; it is, par excellence, the honey ant of the central country, and ranges across the Murchison in Western Australia. We found them plentiful in certain districts on the hard sandy plains, and also very abundant in patches among the Mulga scrub. The ground all round Ayers Rock, to the south of Lake Amadeus, was strewn with heaps of sand where the natives had been digging them out. They construct no mounds over their nests; the entrance, which is an inch in length by a quarter of an inch in width, leads down into a vertical shaft or burrow from five or six feet in depth. About a foot below the surface horizontal passages about a foot in length lead off from the main shaft, at the end of which were three or four of the honey ants, while the bottom of the main shaft, which is excavated into a larger cavity, contains a considerable number. The `honey ants' are quite incapable of movement and must be fed by the workers. Unlike all the other ants noticed in this country, these did not appear to collect twigs, leaves or grass to carry into their burrows."

Camponotus aurofasciatus

Worker (medio[?]).-Length 5-5.5 mm. Head strongly trapezoidal, very slightly longer than broad, broader behind than in front, with straight posterior border and sides and rather sharp posterior corners, convex in the middle above, feebly depressed behind. Eyes moderately large, convex, nearly circular, well behind the median transverse diameter of the head. Mandibles with rather straight external borders, 6-toothed. Clypeus distinctly but bluntly carinate, with feebly rounded, entire anterior border. Frontal area obsolete, frontal groove distinct, frontal carinae approximated anteriorly, curved and diverging behind. Antennae long, scapes extending nearly half their length beyond the posterior border of the head. Thorax through the pronotum nearly as broad as the head, rapidly narrowed and laterally compressed behind, so that the mesonotum and epinotum are reduced above to a rounded ridge. Pronotum broader than long, flat above, anteriorly and laterally distinctly submarginate. In profile the thorax is highest in the mesonotal region and the dorsal outline is an even curve continued over the epinotal base, which is fully three times as long as the declivity. The angle separating the base front the declivity is rounded and obtuse. Promesonotal suture distinct, that between the mesonotum and epinotum obsolete. Petiole thick and rather narrow, very convex in front, flat behind, with blunt, evenly-rounded, and entire apical border. Gaster broadly elliptical, rather flattened. Hind tibiae slightly compressed. Opaque and very densely and finely punctate; mandibles slightly shining, with numerous large, elongate punctures. Clypeus and cheeks with a few sparse, shallow foveolae. The dense punctuation of the gaster is distinctly finer than that of other portions of the body. Hairs golden-yellow, erect, moderately long, not abundant, rather obtuse, most conspicuous on the upper-surface of the head, epinotum, and gaster. Pubescence yellow, very sparse, and rather long, distinct on the head, especially on the clypeus, gaster, and appendages. Tips and flexor surfaces of femora with a few long, erect hairs. Black; apical portions of mandibles deep-red; each gastric segment with a conspicuous dull-golden band on its posterior border.

Described from six workers, five from the Musgrave Ranges and one from Moorilyanna. This beautiful species is readily distinguished by its peculiar head, very opaque surface, and the unusual banding of the gaster.

References