Camponotus chalceus

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Camponotus chalceus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. chalceus
Binomial name
Camponotus chalceus
Crawley, 1915

Camponotus chalceus casent0217623 p 1 high.jpg

Camponotus chalceus casent0217623 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Camponotus chalceus is quite common in southern South Australia and Western Australia, and its Western Australia range includes the more wooded Perth suburbs. They are noctidiurnal, omnivorous and found in open forests and woodland where they construct monodomous nests in the ground layer as well as in trees, including Banksia. (Heterick 2009)

Photo Gallery

  • A major Camponotus chalceus worker defends her nest entrance near Karrakatta, Perth, Western Australia. Photo by Farhan Bokhari, 12 November 2008.
  • A female Euryopis spider hangs and feeds on her Camponotus chalceus victim. Photo by Farhan Bokhari.


These ants are easily separated from other Camponotus by the red patch between the propodeum and the petiole, on an otherwise mostly black ant (minus the golden gaster).

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -29.88333333° to -29.88333333°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.


Wheeler (1934) reported the following: Many workers and females taken by Mr. Glauert at Bathurst Point (III. 28.'32) and other localities on the island (Rottnest, W.A.) and numerous workers by myself in a Pittosporum log at Longreach Bay (X.24.'31). I have found this beautiful and inoffensive ant also at Kalamunda and Roleystone, in the Darling Range, in King's Park, Perth, and at Margaret River, always nesting in logs, or in the stumps of Xanthorhoea. Mr. John Clark collected it at Ludlow. The types were taken by Rowland Turner at Yallingup. In life the head and thorax of the worker have a more or less greenish tint, the gaster varying from bronze to metallic green or purple. The wings of the female (not mentioned by Crawley) are heavily infuscated, especially along their anterior borders, and have the veins and pterostigma dark brown.



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • chalceus. Camponotus (Myrmosaga) chalceus Crawley, 1915b: 236 (s.w.q.) AUSTRALIA (Western Australia).
    • Combination in C. (Myrmophyma): Emery, 1920b: 257; Santschi, 1928e: 482.
    • Status as species: Emery, 1925b: 110; Wheeler, W.M. 1934d: 159; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 111; Taylor, 1987a: 11; Bolton, 1995b: 91; McArthur, 2007a: 322; Heterick, 2009: 65; McArthur, 2010: 94; McArthur, 2014: 164.

Type Material

  • Camponotus (Myrmosaga) chalceus Crawley, 1915: Syntype, 5 workers, 1 queen, Yallingup, Western Australia, Australia, Museum of Comparative Zoology.
  • Camponotus (Myrmosaga) chalceus Crawley, 1915: Syntype, Yallingup, Western Australia, Australia, museum unknown (probably UMO (Oxford)).

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



major Length 9-9.5 mm.

Mandibles 5-dentate, coarsely striated, with a few punctures. Clypeus shield-shaped, not carinate, with a small deep emargination at the anterior border. Frontal area in the form of a right-angled triangle. Head slightly longer than broad, the sides almost parallel for two-thirds of their length, then narrowing rapidly, posterior border feebly concave. Eyes placed at the commencement of the hinder third of sides of head. Pro-mesonotum forms a regular curve in profile, the pronotum broad, with slight shoulders. Basal surface of epinotum deeply concave longitudinally, in the form of a saddle, declivous surface abrupt, almost perpendicular, slightly shorter than the basal surface. Scale high, fairly thin, somewhat wider at the top, which is nearly straight.

Head, pro- and mesonota finely reticulate-punctate; head in addition, particularly on the clypeus and checks, with large irregular punctures. Epinotum and scale finely striated transversely. Gaster very finely reticulated. Body with fairly plentiful, erect, yellowish-white hairs,more sparse on the thorax, occasionally two or three on the scapes, and a row underneath the tibiae; both scapes and tibiae slightly pubescent, also thorax and gaster. Black; legs, declivous surface and sides of basal surface of epinotum, and a patch on the metasternum (and sometimes on the mesosternum) dull red. Gaster bronzed.

minor Length 7 mm.

Emargination of clypeus wider and not so deep. The concave basal surface of epinotum longer in proportion. The epinotum is often entirely dull red, and their is a small red patch on the mesosternum. Head sometimes with a faint bronze reflection. Scale proportionately much ticker, and more rounded on the top. Gaster bronzed.


Length 11.5 mm. Emargination of clypeus as in worker major. Head rather wider than thorax. Pronotum very slightly shouldered. Basal surface of epinotum straight, and only one-third as long as the declivous surface. Sculpture as in worker major, except that the basal surface of epinotum is more reticulate than striate. Color as in worker major, except that the red extends from the sides across the top of the basal surface of epinotum, and there is a red patch on the mesosternum. The top of the scale also is red.

Type Material

Yallingup, S.W.Australia (Rowland Turner).