Camponotus chartifex

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Camponotus chartifex
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. chartifex
Binomial name
Camponotus chartifex
(Smith, F., 1860)

Camponotus chartifex casent0280325 p 1 high.jpg

Camponotus chartifex casent0280325 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Photo Gallery

  • Camponotus chartifex from Costa Rica. Photo by Andres Nuñez.


Scapes and legs with abundant erect setae; eyes strongly protruding from sides of head; propodeum, meso and metathorax highly fused, sutures very weak, forming a single unit that articulates with the prothorax; dorsal profile with dorsal and posterior faces of propodeum not differentiated; propodeum strongly laterally compressed, tectiform; back of head with small vertex collar or neck; appressed pubescence on first gastral tergite sparse.

Major worker absent.

Color variation: specimens from the Pacific side of Costa Rica have a dark head with yellow on the malar spaces and a red brown mesosoma and metasoma (upper figures above); specimens from the Atlantic side are more uniformly red brown (lower figure above). (Jack Longino)


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 10.43919° to -14.79861111°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (type locality), Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Suriname.

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.


Jack Longino: Camponotus chartifex inhabits mature lowland rainforest. Workers are most often encountered as isolated foragers, day or night. Like Camponotus in general, they appear to be generalized scavengers with a predilection for sweets.

This species and its relative, Camponotus nitidior, build nests of sewn-together leaves (Wilson 1981, Fernández 2002). They use larval silk to attach leaves together and to make silk sheets and baffles. The nest walls are a combination of leaves and silk sheets. The silk sheets and baffles are a combination of silk and masticated plant fibers.

I have only found one nest of C. chartifex. At Tortuguero I found a nest between two leaves. The leaves were sewn flat together, with the nest sandwiched between them. The nest was roughly circular, about 4cm diameter.

Association with Other Organisms

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  • This species is a host for the fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).
  • This species is a host for the fungus Ophiocordyceps camponoti-chartificis (a pathogen) (Araujo et al., 2018).
  • This species is a host for the fungus Ophiocordyceps camponoti-chartificis (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).



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

  • chartifex. Formica chartifex Smith, F. 1860c: 68 (w.m.) BRAZIL (Amazonas).
    • Type-material: syntype workers, syntype males (numbers not stated).
    • Type-locality: Brazil: Amazonas, Ega (= Tefé) (H.W. Bates).
    • Type-depository: BMNH.
    • Forel, 1899c: 158 (q.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1986d: 337 (l.).
    • Combination in Camponotus: Mayr, 1862: 673;
    • combination in Dendromyrmex: Emery, 1895j: 772;
    • combination in C. (Dendromyrmex): Forel, 1899c: 158; Fernández, 2002: 60.
    • Status as species: Mayr, 1862: 673 (redescription); Roger, 1863b: 5; Mayr, 1863: 398; Mayr, 1878: 869 (in key); Emery, 1890a: 70; Dalla Torre, 1893: 224; Forel, 1895b: 102; Emery, 1896d: 378 (in list); Forel, 1899c: 158; Forel, 1902b: 173; Forel, 1908c: 417; Wheeler, W.M. 1916c: 13; Mann, 1916: 484; Emery, 1925b: 173; Borgmeier, 1927c: 162; Santschi, 1936b: 218; Weber, 1943b: 75; Kempf, 1960e: 399; Kempf, 1961b: 523; Kempf, 1972a: 95; Brandão, 1991: 339; Bolton, 1995b: 169; Fernández, 2002: 60 (redescription); Bezděčková, et al. 2015: 112; Mackay & Mackay, 2019: 755.
    • Senior synonym of melinoni: Fernández, 2002: 60.
    • Distribution: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela.
  • melinoni. Dendromyrmex madeirensis var. melinoni Santschi, 1921g: 102 (w.) FRENCH GUIANA.
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated, “several, in poor condition”).
    • Type-locality: French Guiana: La Mana, 1864 (Melinon).
    • Type-depositories: MNHN, NHMB.
    • Subspecies of madeirensis: Emery, 1925b: 174; Kempf, 1972a: 96; Bolton, 1995b: 169.
    • Junior synonym of chartifex: Fernández, 2002: 60.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bezdeckova K., P. Bedecka, and I. Machar. 2015. A checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Peru. Zootaxa 4020 (1): 101–133.
  • Brandao, C.R.F. 1991. Adendos ao catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao neotropical (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 35: 319-412.
  • Dejean A., B. Corbara, J. Orivel, R. R. Snelling, J. H. C. Delabie, and M. Belin-Depoux. 2000. The importance of ant gardens in the pioneer vegetal formations of French Guiana (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 35(3): 425-439.
  • Emery C. 1890. Voyage de M. E. Simon au Venezuela (Décembre 1887 - Avril 1888). Formicides. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (6)10: 55-76.
  • Fernández F. 2002. Revisión de las hormigas Camponotus subgénero Dendromyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia (São Paulo). 42: 47-101.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Field Museum Collection, Chicago, Illinois (C. Moreau)
  • Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
  • INBio Collection (via Gbif)
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Pires de Prado L., R. M. Feitosa, S. Pinzon Triana, J. A. Munoz Gutierrez, G. X. Rousseau, R. Alves Silva, G. M. Siqueira, C. L. Caldas dos Santos, F. Veras Silva, T. Sanches Ranzani da Silva, A. Casadei-Ferreira, R. Rosa da Silva, and J. Andrade-Silva. 2019. An overview of the ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the state of Maranhao, Brazil. Pap. Avulsos Zool. 59: e20195938.
  • Weber N. A. 1943. New ants from Venezuela and neighboring countries. Bol. Entomol. Venez. 2: 67-78.
  • Weber N. A. 1944. The tree ants (Dendromyrmex) of South and Central America. Ecology 25: 117-120.
  • Wilson, E.O. 1987. The Arboreal Ant Fauna of Peruvian Amazon Forests: A First Assessment. Biotropica 19(3):245-251.