Camponotus piceus

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Camponotus piceus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. piceus
Binomial name
Camponotus piceus
(Leach, 1825)

Camponotus piceus casent0173136 profile 1.jpg

Camponotus piceus casent0173136 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


This species is mainly distributed in southern and central Europe and in the southern part of eastern Europe, but it is also present in north-west Africa, Asia Minor, Lebanon, Iran, the Caucasus, and northern Kazakshtan (Czechowski et al. 2002). It is a xerothermophilous species living mostly in open, dry grasslands, and is ground-nesting. Workers are highly polymorphic (Marko et al., 2009; Rigato & Toni, 2011).


Keys including this Species


Marko et al. (2009) - It is present throughout Romania. The occurrence of C. piceus sp. 2 (Seifert 2007) can also be expected, based on preliminary distribution data.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, France (type locality), Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Iran, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation (type locality), Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Associations with other Organisms

Other Insects

This ant has been associated with the butterfly Glaucopsyche alexis (Obregon et al. 2015).


This species is a host for the fungus Ophiocordyceps myrmecophila (Shrestha et al., 2017).



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

  • piceus. Formica picea Leach, 1825: 292 (w.q.m.) FRANCE. Combination in Camponotus: Roger, 1863b: 1; in C. (Myrmentoma): Menozzi, 1921: 32. Subspecies of lateralis: Emery, 1891b: 21; Dalla Torre, 1893: 238; Finzi, 1924a: 14. Status as species: Emery, 1925a: 67; Karavaiev, 1927c: 277; Finzi, 1930d: 318; Kutter, 1977c: 207. Senior synonym of foveolata (and its junior synonym ebeninus): Dalla Torre, 1893: 238; Ruzsky, 1905b: 255; Kutter, 1977c: 207; of atricolor (and its junior synonym rectus), foveolata, merula: Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 222; Radchenko, 2007: 37; of ebneri, nitidescens: Radchenko, 1997b: 706.
  • merula. Formica merula Losana, 1834: 313, pl.36, fig. 2 (w.) ITALY. Bondroit, 1918: 77 (s.q.m.). Combination in Camponotus: Dalla Torre, 1893: 238; in C. (Orthonotomyrmex): Müller, 1923: 162; in C. (Myrmentoma): Emery, 1925b: 120. Junior synonym of piceus: Dalla Torre, 1893: 238; Ruzsky, 1905b: 255; Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 194; Kutter, 1977c: 207. Subspecies of lateralis: Emery, 1896d: 373; Emery, 1898c: 125; Ruzsky, 1902d: 7; Emery, 1916b: 226; Ruzsky, 1925b: 42. Status as species: Bondroit, 1918: 77; Müller, 1923: 162; Novak & Sadil, 1941: 109; Bernard, 1967: 344; Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 552. Junior synonym of piceus: Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 222.
  • foveolata. Formica foveolata Mayr, 1853c: 277 (w.q.m.) HUNGARY. Combination in Camponotus: Roger, 1863b: 1; in C. (Orthonotomyrmex): Forel, 1915d: 72. Junior synonym of lateralis: Mayr, 1855: 322; Nylander, 1856b: 58. Revived from synonymy as subspecies of lateralis: Forel, 1874: 40; Forel, 1892i: 306. Senior synonym of ebeninus: Forel, 1874: 40; Forel, 1879a: 94. Junior synonym of merulus: Emery, 1896d: 373; Emery, 1916b: 226. Junior synonym of piceus: Dalla Torre, 1893: 238; Ruzsky, 1905b: 255; Kutter, 1977c: 207; Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 222.
  • nitidescens. Camponotus kiesenwetteri r. nitidescens Forel, 1889: 260 (w.) GREECE. Combination in C. (Myrmentoma): Emery, 1925b: 121. Junior synonym of piceus: Radchenko, 1997b: 707.
  • rectus. Camponotus lateralis var. rectus Forel, 1892i: 306 (w.) BULGARIA. [Unresolved junior primary homonym of rectus Forel, above.] Subspecies of piceus: Dalla Torre, 1893: 238. Junior synonym of atricolor: Emery, 1896d: 373; Karavaiev, 1936: 191.
  • ebneri. Camponotus (Myrmentoma) lateralis var. ebneri Finzi, 1930c: 24 (w.) LEBANON. Junior synonym of piceus: Radchenko, 1997b: 706.
  • atricolor. Formica atricolor Nylander, 1849: 36 (w.) RUSSIA.
    • Combination in Camponotus: Roger, 1863b: 1.
    • Combination in C. (Myrmentoma): Emery, 1925a: 67; Emery, 1925b: 120.
    • Junior synonym of lateralis: Mayr, 1855: 322; Nylander, 1856b: 58; Smith, F. 1858b: 12 (first entry, see below); Mayr, 1863: 399; Roger, 1863b: 1; André, 1874: 201 (in list); Forel, 1874: 97 (in list); Emery & Forel, 1879: 448.
    • Subspecies of lateralis: Forel, 1874: 40; Forel, 1892i: 306; Forel, 1894d: 41; Emery, 1896d: 373 (in list); Ruzsky, 1902d: 7; Ruzsky, 1903b: 302; Forel, 1904b: 380; Ruzsky, 1905b: 254; Forel, 1906c: 189; Forel, 1911d: 355; Emery, 1914d: 159; Wheeler, W.M. & Mann, 1916: 174; Karavaiev, 1926e: 193; Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1929b: 36.
    • Subspecies of piceus: Emery, 1925a: 67; Karavaiev, 1927a: 295; Karavaiev, 1927c: 277 (in key).
    • Subspecies of merula: Novák & Sadil, 1941: 109 (in key).
    • Junior synonym of merulus: Bernard, 1967: 344.
    • Status as species: Smith, F. 1858b: 12 (second entry, see above); Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 552; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 283 (in key); Seifert, 2007: 155 (in key); Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2012: 472; Borowiec, L. 2014: 27.
    • Senior synonym of rectus: Emery, 1896d: 373; Emery, 1925a: 70; Karavaiev, 1936: 191.
    • Junior synonym of piceus: Dalla Torre, 1893: 238; Karavaiev, 1936: 190 (redescription); Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 222; Bolton, 1995b: 87; Radchenko, 1997b: 706; Radchenko, 2007: 37; Legakis, 2011: 28; Radchenko, 2016: 334.



  • Atanassov, N.; Dlussky, G. M. 1992. Fauna of Bulgaria. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Fauna Bûlg. 22: 1-310 (page 222, Senior synonym of atricolor (and its junior synonym rectus), foveolata, and merula)
  • Baugnée, J.-Y. 2004 [2003]. Camponotus piceus (Leach, 1825), fourmi nouvelle pour la faune belge decouverte dans le parc naturel Viroin-Hermeton (Hymenoptera Formicidae). Bulletin de la Societe Royale Belge d'Entomologie 139(7-12): 219-225 (page 224, record in Belgium)
  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 238, Race/subspecies of lateralis, Senior synonym of foveolata (and its junior synonym ebeninus))
  • Emery, C. 1891c. Exploration scientifique de la Tunisie. Zoologie. - Hyménoptères. Révision critique des fourmis de la Tunisie. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, iii + 21 pp. (page 21, Race/subspecies of lateralis)
  • Emery, C. 1925e. I Camponotus (Myrmentoma) paleartici del gruppo lateralis. Rend. Sess. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna Cl. Sci. Fis. (n.s.) 29: 62-72 (page 67, Status as species)
  • Finzi, B. 1924a. Formiche dell'isola d'Elba e Monte Argentario. Boll. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 56: 12-15 (page 14, Race/subspecies of lateralis)
  • Finzi, B. 1930d. Zoologische Forschungsreise nach den Jonischen Inseln und dem Peloponnes. XII. Teil. Die Ameisen der Jonischen Inseln. Sitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wien Math.-Naturwiss. Kl. Abt. I 139: 309-319 (page 318, Status as species)
  • Karavaiev, V. 1927d. The ant fauna of Ukraine. Zb. Prats Zool. Muz. 2:1-52 [= Tr. Ukr. Akad. Nauk Fiz.-Mat. Vidd. 4:247-296] (page 277, Status as species)
  • Kutter, H. 1977c. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Insecta Helv. Fauna 6: 1-298 (page 207, Status as species, Senior synonym of foveolata (and its junior synonym ebeninus))
  • Leach, W. E. 1825. Descriptions of thirteen species of Formica and three species of Culex found in the environs of Nice. Zool. J. Lond. 2: 289-293 (page 292, worker, queen, male described)
  • Marko, B., Ionescu-Hirsch, A., Szasz-Len, A. 2009. Genus Camponotus Mayr, 1861 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Romania: distribution and identification key to the worker caste. Entomologica romanica 14: 29-41.
  • Menozzi, C. 1921. Formiche dei dintorni di Sambiase di Calabria. Boll. Lab. Zool. Gen. Agrar. R. Sc. Super. Agric. 15: 24-32 (page 32, Combination in C. (Myrmentoma))
  • Obregon, R., M. R. Shaw, J. Fernandez-Haeger, and D. Jordano. 2015. Parasitoid and ant interactions of some Iberian butterflies (Insecta: Lepidoptera). Shilap-Revista De Lepidopterologia. 43:439-454.
  • Radchenko, A. G. 1997c. Review of ants of the subgenus Myrmentoma genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the Asian Palearctic. Zool. Zh. 76: 703-711 (page 706, Senior synonym of ebneri and nitidescens)
  • Rigato, F.; Toni, I. 2011. Short notes 21. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Pp. 873-882 in: Nardi, G.; Whitmore, D.; Bardiani, M.; Birtele, D.; Mason, F.; Spada, L.; Cerretti, P. (eds.) 2011. Biodiversity of Marganai and Montimannu (Sardinia). Research in the framework of the ICP Forests network. Conservazione Habitat Invertebrati, 5. Sommacampagna, Verona: Cierre Edizioni, 896 pp.
  • Roger, J. 1863b. Verzeichniss der Formiciden-Gattungen und Arten. Berl. Entomol. Z. 7(B Beilage: 1-65 (page 1, Combination in Camponotus)
  • Ruzsky, M. 1905b. The ants of Russia. (Formicariae Imperii Rossici). Systematics, geography and data on the biology of Russian ants. Part I. Tr. Obshch. Estestvoispyt. Imp. Kazan. Univ. 38(4-6 6: 1-800 (page 255, Senior synonym of foveolata (and its junior synonym ebeninus))
  • Shrestha B, Tanaka E, Hyun MW, Han JG, Kim CS, Jo JW, Han SK, Oh J, Sung JM, Sung GH. 2017. Mycosphere Essay 19. Cordyceps species parasitizing hymenopteran and hemipteran insects. Mycosphere 8(9): 1424–1442 (DOI 10.5943/mycosphere/8/9/8).