Key to Australian Camponotus majors of the southwestern Botanical Province

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This key to major workers is based on: Heterick, B. E. 2009a. A guide to the ants of South-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 76: 1-206. Part 1 PDF

Since the publication of this key the genus Colobopsis has been removed from its synonymy with Camponotus. Colobopsis species are therefore included in this key.

Heterick notes: Major workers This key provides couplets to known major workers: major workers for a number of species are as yet unknown, as this subcaste tends to leave the nest less frequently than the minor and media worker castes.

There is also a key to minors.

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1

  • Inner surfaces of middle and hind tibiae lacking elongate setae (Figure 186a); anterior two thirds of clypeus and surrounding genae abruptly truncate (used by the ant to plug the nest entry hole in wood) (Figure 186b) . . . . . (C. macrocephalus species-group) . . . . . Colobopsis gasseri
Figure 186a.
Figure 186b.
Camponotus gasseri casent0246635 p 1 high.jpg


  • Inner surfaces of middle and hind tibiae with double row of stout spines (Figure 187); clypeus and adjoining sectors of head capsule not as above . . . . . 2
Figure 187.

2

return to couplet #1

  • Mentum with elongate, J-shaped setae near its posterior margin (C. wiederkehri species-group) (Figure 188) . . . . . 3
Figure 188.
  • Without elongate J-shaped setae on posterior margin of mentum (Figure 189) . . . . . 9
Figure 189.

3

return to couplet #2

  • Antennal scape and tibiae with many erect, bristly setae . . . . . 4
  • Antennal scape and tibiae lacking erect, bristly setae . . . . . 5

4

return to couplet #3

  • Dorsum of petiolar node bluntly rounded, node thick (Figure 190a); pubescence on gaster abundant, individual setae overlapping (Figure 190b . . . . . Camponotus gouldianus
Figure 190a.
Figure 190b.
Camponotus gouldianus casent0280203 p 1 high.jpg
  • Dorsum of petiolar node acuminate in profile, node thin, scale-like (Figure 191a); pubescence on gaster less abundant, individual setae usually not overlapping (Figure 191b) . . . . . Camponotus terebrans
Figure 191a.
Figure 191b.
Camponotus terebrans casent0280205 p 1 high.jpg

5

return to couplet #3

  • In profile, posterior angle of vertex acute, relatively sharp; outline of mesosoma almost circular in outline (Figure 192) . . . . . Camponotus postcornutus
Figure 192.


  • In profile, posterior angle of vertex obtuse, smoothly rounded; outline of mesosoma not as above (pronotum is convex, mesonotum and dorsal surface of propodeum form a straight line, except for impression of metanotal groove) (Figure 193) . . . . . 6
Figure 193.

6

return to couplet #5

  • In profile, vertex of petiolar node broadly rounded; metanotal groove distinctly impressed (Figure 194) . . . . . Camponotus versicolor
Figure 194.
Camponotus versicolor casent0903549 p 1 high.jpg
  • In profile, vertex of petiolar node tapering to a sharp or blunt point; metanotal groove feebly impressed (Figure 195) . . . . . 7
Figure 195.

7

return to couplet #6

Figure 196.
Camponotus wiederkehri casent0280207 p 1 high.jpg
  • Anterior clypeal margin broadly convex across its width (Figure 197) . . . . . 8
Figure 197.

8

return to couplet #7

  • Profile of mesosoma weakly predominantly convex; dorsum of propodeum weakly convex, anterior face of petiolar node only slightly shorter than its posterior face (Figure 198) . . . . . Camponotus prosseri
Figure 198.
Camponotus prosseri casent0172147 profile 1.jpg
  • Profile of mesosoma strongly sinuate; dorsum of propodeum almost straight, anterior face of petiolar node much shorter than posterior face, node inclined forward (Figure 199) . . . . . Camponotus johnclarki
Figure 199.

9

return to couplet #2

  • Clypeus with anteromedial notch; clypeus projecting beyond genae, clypeal angles acute (C. nigriceps species-group) (Figure 200) . . . . . 10
Figure 200.

10

return to couplet #9

Figure 201.
  • Setae on venter of head capsule present (Figure 202) . . . . . 11
Figure 202.

11

return to couplet #10

  • Dorsum of propodeum with 10 > erect setae, setae distributed over propodeum (Figure 203). . . . . . 12
Figure 203.
  • Dorsum of propodeum with 10 < erect setae at or near propodeal angle (Figure 204) . . . . . 13
Figure 204.

12

return to couplet #11

  • Head, mesosoma, node and most of gaster uniformly honey coloured . . . . . Camponotus clarior
Camponotus clarior casent0910305 h 1 high.jpg
Camponotus clarior casent0910305 p 1 high.jpg
Camponotus nigriceps casent0280197 h 1 high.jpg
Camponotus nigriceps casent0280197 p 1 high.jpg

13

return to couplet #11

  • Erect setae on venter of head capsule 20 >, or setae covering more than 1/2 venter area; typically, head dark brown or black, mesosoma yellowish to dark red and gaster brown or black, with or without yellowish colouration anteriad (Figure 205) . . . . . Camponotus dryandrae
Figure 205.
  • Erect setae on venter of head capsule 20 <, or setae covering less than 1/2 venter area; typically, head, mesosoma and gaster concolorous dark brown or black (Figure 206) . . . . . Camponotus prostans
Figure 206.
Camponotus prostans casent0280199 p 1 high.jpg

14

return to couplet #9

  • Body and appendages covered with dense, whitish, erect setae; head deeply concave; anterior margin of clypeus simple, not bilobate or bidentate (C. intrepidus species-complex) (Figure 207) . . . . . Camponotus molossus
Figure 207.
Camponotus molossus casent0906938 p 1 high.jpg


  • Body and appendages not covered with dense, whitish, erect setae (C. whitei has dense, yellow, bristly setae) or anterior margin of clypeus emarginate . . . . . 15

15

return to couplet #14

  • Sculpture densely punctate; in profile, mesosoma with mesonotum abruptly descending to propodeum, the latter compact and rounded in outline (dorsal surfaces of body with many yellow, bristly setae) (Figure 208) . . . . . Camponotus whitei
Figure 208.
Camponotus whitei casent0172132 profile 1.jpg


  • Sculpture not densely punctate; mesonotum not abruptly descending to propodeum (e.g. Figure 209) . . . . . 16
Figure 209.

16

return to couplet #15

  • In full-face view, head with posterior angles of vertex rounded in shape of small lobes, the outline of the head between them straight; antennal scape not reaching vertex; sides of head usually parallel; anteromedial margin of clypeus protruding, bidentate; mandible strongly sculptured, with six teeth and denticles; outline of mandible strongly rounded (C. ephippium species-complex) (Figure 210) . . . . . 17
Figure 210.
  • In full-face view, head capsule differing in one or more of the above characters; mandible may have more or fewer teeth (e.g. Figure 211) . . . . . 25
Figure 211.

17

return to couplet #16

Figure 212.
  • Scape without erect setae except for one or two at the end (Figure 213) . . . . . 18
Figure 213.

18

return to couplet #17

  • At least anterior half of frons and sides of head capsule with short, erect and sub-erect setae (Figure 214) . . . . . 19
Figure 214.
  • Frons and sides of head capsule totally lacking erect and sub-erect setae (Figure 215) . . . . . 21
Figure 215.

19

return to couplet #18

  • Head less massive; in dorsal view, posterior angles of vertex weakly lobate, lobes not reaching humeral angles of pronotum (Figure 216) . . . . . Camponotus cinereus notterae
Figure 216.
  • Head more massive; in dorsal view, posterior angles of vertex strongly lobate, lobes reaching humeral angles of pronotum (Figure 217) . . . . . 20
Figure 217.

20

return to couplet #19

  • Punctation on upper half of frons much fainter than that of lower half; head capsule uniformly red . . . . . Camponotus sp. near ephippium sp. JDM 431
  • Punctation on upper half of frons almost as strong as that on lower half; head capsule predominantly black with a few dark red patches . . . . . Camponotus ephippium

21

return to couplet #18

22

return to couplet #21

  • Median sector of clypeus narrow, its outline weakly convex, and from about the midpoint carinate and raised above the lateral sectors of the clypeus (Figure 218) . . . . . Camponotus longifacies
Figure 218.
  • Median sector of clypeus broad, its outline strongly convex, not raised but confluent with the lateral sectors of the clypeus (Figure 219) . . . . . Camponotus sponsorum
Figure 219.
Camponotus sponsorum casent0910401 p 1 high.jpg

23

return to couplet #21

  • Relatively more hirsute, erect setae on mesosoma 30>; setae on venter of head capsule 20>. . . . . . 24

24

return to couplet #23

  • Pubescence present and conspicuous on lower mesopleuron and propodeum; legs orange . . . . . Camponotus dromas
Camponotus dromas casent0911754 h 1 high.jpg
Camponotus dromas casent0911754 p 1 high.jpg

25

return to couplet #16

  • In profile, propodeum dorsally concave, forming a “saddle” (Figure 220); pronotum and mesonotum black, propodeum and posterior metapleuron bright crimson . . . . . Camponotus chalceus
Figure 220.
  • In profile, propodeum not dorsally concave (e.g. Figure 221); colour of mesosoma not as above. . . . . . 26
Figure 221.

26

return to couplet #25

  • Mandibles very large in proportion to head capsule, outer surface of mandible almost circular; number of developed mandibular teeth 7 ≥; in full-face view vertex of head capsule usually straight (Figure 222) . . . . . 27
Figure 222.
  • Mandibles of normal proportions, usually triangular, number of developed mandibular teeth 5 or 6; in full-face view vertex of head capsule weakly to moderately concave (Figure 223) . . . . . 29
Figure 223.

27

return to couplet #26

  • Propodeum with transverse notch about midpoint of its dorsal face (Figure 224) . . . . . Camponotus sp. JDM 26
Figure 224.
  • Propodeum without transverse notch (C. subnitidus species-group) (Figure 225) . . . . . 28
Figure 225.

28

return to couplet #27

  • One pair of setae present on venter of head capsule, or setae absent . . . . . Camponotus rufus

29

return to couplet #26

  • In profile, node thicker, not scale-like, its dorsum flat or only weakly descending towards its anterior face; (Figures 226, 227); ratio of length of propodeum to its declivitous face 1:1–2:1 (Figure 228) . . . . . 30
Figure 226.
Figure 227.
Figure 228.


  • In profile, node thin, scale-like, its dorsum culminating in a sharp point, its anterior face descending vertically or at least at a very acute angle to the vertex (Figures 229, 230); ratio of length of propodeum to its declivitous face usually much less than 1:1 (often 1:2 or 1:3) (Figure 231) . . . . . 31
Figure 229.
Figure 230.
Figure 231.

30

return to couplet #29

  • Decumbent and appressed setae on propodeum fine, forming pubescence on at least posterior sector, same setae on gaster minute, mostly separated from one another by more than twice their length; foreparts red, gaster black or ant concolorous black . . . . . Camponotus cinereus amperei . . . Camponotus pitjantjatarae
  • Decumbent and appressed setae on propodeum coarser and obviously curled, not forming pubescence, same setae on gaster of similar appearance, mostly separated from one another by less than their length; typically, head dark reddish-brown to black, mesosoma and legs orange to light brown, gaster dark brown . . . . . Camponotus scotti

31

return to couplet #29

  • With combination of strongly concave head capsule, many erect setae on sides and front of head capsule and propodeum steeply declivitous . . . . . Camponotus discors complex. sp. JDM 1104
Camponotus discors casent0905226 p 1 high.jpg

32

return to couplet #31

  • In full-face view, sides of head with erect setae along much of their length; sides of head more-or-less straight (C. claripes species-complex) (Figure 232) . . . . . 33
Figure 232.
  • In full-face view, sides of head without erect setae or with erect setae restricted to lower frons and genae; sides of head often convex (e.g. Figure 233) . . . . . 37
Figure 233.

33

return to couplet #32

  • In profile, dorsum of propodeum straight, ratio of length of dorsum of propodeum to its declivitous face slightly more than 1:1 (Figure 234); mesosoma reddish contrasting with black head and gaster . . . . . Camponotus claripes complex sp. JDM 430
Figure 234.
  • In profile, dorsum of propodeum convex, ratio of length of dorsum of propodeum to its declivitous face less than 1:1 (Figure 235); mesosoma not coloured as above . . . . . 34
Figure 235.

34

return to couplet #33

  • In dorsal view, gaster bicoloured, first tergite orange, remaining tergites dark brown to black . . . . . Camponotus marcens
Camponotus marcens casent0910373 p 1 high.jpg
  • In dorsal view, gaster concolorous dark brown to black . . . . . 35

35

return to couplet #34

  • Tibiae and much of femora same colour as mesosoma . . . . . Camponotus claripes complex sp. JDM 779

36

return to couplet #35

  • Propodeum with few (10 ≤) erect setae clustered around propodeal angle; genae often with lighter-coloured regions (two or more species may well be represented here) . . . . . Camponotus claripes
Camponotus claripes casent0910368 p 1 high.jpg
  • Propodeum with many (10>) erect setae descending up its dorsal face; genae without lighter-coloured regions . . . . . Camponotus claripes complex sp. JDM 767

37

return to couplet #32

Camponotus oetkeri casent0910395 h 1 high.jpg
Camponotus oetkeri casent0910395 p 1 high.jpg
  • Dorsum of mesosoma with a few to many pairs of erect setae . . . . . 38

38

return to couplet #37

Camponotus tristis casent0903539 h 1 high.jpg
Camponotus tristis casent0903539 p 1 high.jpg
  • Ant not completely black, appendages, at least, coloured; cuticle usually shining in appearance . . . . . 39

39

return to couplet #38

  • Bright, glossy orange; five mandibular teeth; sculpture a fine microreticulation . . . . . Camponotus sp. JDM 1038
  • Colour not bright, glossy orange; other features vary with species . . . . . 40

40

return to couplet #39

Camponotus armstrongi casent0172150 head 1.jpg
Camponotus armstrongi casent0172150 profile 1.jpg
  • Not distinctly bicoloured as above (head and mesosoma yellow to black, with or without mottling, legs rarely red) . . . . . 41

41

return to couplet #40

  • Sides of head below eyes and lower genae with sparse to moderately abundant erect setae (Figure 236) . . . . . 42
Figure 236.
  • Sides of head below eyes and lower genae lacking erect setae (Figure 237) . . . . . 46
Figure 237.

42

return to couplet #41

Camponotus scratius casent0910399 h 1 high.jpg
Camponotus scratius casent0910399 p 1 high.jpg

43

return to couplet #42

  • Clypeus with distinct anteromedial notch (glossy, black ants) (Figure 238) . . . . . 44
Figure 238.
  • Clypeus without distinct anteromedial notch (either ants not black, or appearance matt) (Figure 239). . . . Camponotus oetkeri voltai
Figure 239.

44

return to couplet #43

Figure 240.
Camponotus lownei casent0280215 p 1 high.jpg

|}

Figure 241.

46

return to couplet #41

  • Clypeus rugose, matt, with strong pitting on its surface and on surrounding genae, clypeus flattened in profile (Figure 242) . . . . . Camponotus claripes group sp. JDM 288
Figure 242.
  • Clypeus smooth, shining, at most with only minor pitting on its surface and on surrounding genae, clypeus usually slightly protuberant in profile (Figure 243) . . . . . 47
Figure 243.

47

return to couplet #46

  • Bicoloured or pale species with ochre highlights on mesosoma, at least . . . . . 48
  • More-or-less uniformly black or blackish-brown species with pale legs . . . . . 51

48

return to couplet #47

  • Head much darker than mesosoma; anteromedial clypeal margin with a weak notch; vertex of head capsule weakly concave . . . . . Camponotus claripes nudimalis
  • Either head the same colour as mesosoma, or only slightly darker, or anteromedial clypeal margin straight or crenulate, without notch, or vertex of head capsule markedly concave . . . . . 49

49

return to couplet #48

  • Anteromedial margin of clypeus with notch; head ochre, contrasting with dark brown mesosoma and gaster . . . . . Camponotus minimus (in part - also #53)
MCZ-ENT00023355 Camponotus claripes minimus hef.jpg
MCZ-ENT00023355 Camponotus claripes minimus hal.jpg
  • Anteromedial margin of clypeus without notch, though may be crenulate; head not lighter than mesosoma . . . . . 50

50

return to couplet #49

  • In full-face view, lateral sectors of clypeus strongly indented with central clypeal sector prominent, standing out in relief; external margin of mandible more-or-less uniformly rounded (minor workers with 8 ≥ mandibular teeth) (Figure 244) . . . . . Camponotus claripes group sp. JDM 63
Figure 244.
  • In full-face view, lateral sectors of clypeus only weakly indented, the central clypeal sector not prominent or standing out in relief; mandible triangular, its external margin oblique, only rounded in its apical quarter (minor workers with 6 mandibular teeth) (Figure 245) . . . . . Camponotus discors . . . Camponotus gibbinotus
Figure 245.
Camponotus discors casent0905226 p 1 high.jpg
Camponotus gibbinotus casent0106239 p 1 high.jpg

51

return to couplet #47

Figure 246.
Camponotus tumidus casent0906934 p 1 high.jpg
  • Smaller species (HW ≤ 3 mm); in profile metanotal groove indistinct or a small dimple (Figure 247) . . . . . 52
Figure 247.

52

return to couplet #51

53

return to couplet #52

  • In full-face view, anteromedial clypeal margin with a weak notch, head triangular, expanded towards angles of vertex . . . . . Camponotus minimus (in part - also #49)
MCZ-ENT00023355 Camponotus claripes minimus hef.jpg
MCZ-ENT00023355 Camponotus claripes minimus hal.jpg
  • In full-face view, anteromedial clypeal margin either without notch, or head not triangular . . . . . 54

54

return to couplet #53

  • In full-face view, mandibles short, compact, with five teeth (Figure 248) . . . . . Camponotus simpsoni
Figure 248.
  • In full-face view, mandibles of normal appearance, with six teeth or five strong teeth and additional denticle (Figure 249) . . . . . Camponotus darlingtoni
Figure 249.