Camponotus fellah

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Camponotus fellah
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. fellah
Binomial name
Camponotus fellah
Dalla Torre, 1893

Camponotus fellah casent0905293 p 1 high.jpg

Camponotus fellah casent0905293 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Pashaei Rad et al. (2018) found this species in Iran mostly on ground with one collection in desert and other collections in moderate rainfall, montane areas.

Identification

Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - C. fellah is a large species of Tanaemyrmex, with accentuated ground sculpture (major worker is mostly matte) and prismatic hindtibia that is provided ventrally with a row of bristles. C. fellah is similar to Camponotus xerxes, Camponotus thoracicus sensu lato, and Camponotus oasium from which it differs by the presence of erect setae on the ventral head surface, as opposed to a lack of such setae (see also Santschi, 1938, 1939; Cagniant, 1996; Collingwood and Agosti, 1996; Radchenko, 1997b).

Also see the nomenclature section (below) for further discussion of the variability found in specimens of this species.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - C. fellah is distributed in Syria and Lebanon (Emery, 1891; 1925b; Finzi, 1936; Tohmé and Tohmé, 2000), Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Iran (Paknia et al., 2008), Egypt (Taylor, 2007), and the Arabian Peninsula (Collingwood and Agosti, 1996).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.
Palaearctic Region: Egypt (type locality), Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey.


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • fellah. Camponotus oasium var. fellah Dalla Torre, 1893: 245 (w.) EGYPT. [First available use of Camponotus maculatus r. oasium var. fellah Emery, 1891b: 18; unavailable name.] Emery, 1908a: 194 (s.q.m.). Combination in C. (Tanaemyrmex): Emery, 1925b: 99. Subspecies of maculatus: Forel, 1910a: 14; Forel, 1910c: 267; of compressus: Santschi, 1939d: 80. Raised to species: Pisarski, 1971b: 728. See also: Tohmé & Tohmé, 2000: 389.

Taxonomic Notes

Pashaei Rad et al. (2018): Type location Egypt, CASENT0905293 (minor worker). The catalogue of Dalla Torre (1893) listed the species as Camponotus oasium var. fellah Emery, 1891. Whilst the catalogue as a whole was edited by Dalla Torre, Volume VII is attributed to Carl Emery. Crawley (1920b: 178) noted a single worker from “Mesopotamia” or “North-West Persia” that was “probably var. oasium or possibly var. fellah but impossible to determine without a major worker”. Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - Examination of a sample of 160 specimens of C. fellah from 70 localities from Israel and Egypt revealed that all have erect setae on the ventral head surface (minor workers have 1–2, majors have up to seven), whereas ten specimens of C. xerxes from Sinai, Saudi Arabia, and Iran and ten syntypes of C. thoracicus sensu lato and C. oasium from northern Africa have no such setae, except one in one major worker of C. oasium, in agreement with Santschi’s (1939) assessment.

Major workers of C. fellah from different nest series show marked differences with regard to body measures, e.g., eye length, scape length, pronotum width, and hindtibia length, especially between specimens from the central coastal plain and the ‘Arava Valley.

Measurements of HL, HW, EL, SL, PW, and hTbL of C. fellah (n = 129), C. xerxes (n = 10), and of syntypes of C. thoracicus sensu lato and C. oasium (n = 10) are similar, except for the antennal scape which is slightly shorter in C. fellah, and the eye and hindtibia which are slightly longer in C. xerxes.

The color is variable among nest series. In major workers, the head and mesosoma range from red or ochraceous, dorsally infuscate, to completely black. In paler specimens the coxae, petiolar scale, and at least a small area on the anterior gaster surface are light ferruginous to dark red, but this area does not extend to second gaster tergite; in darkest specimens, petiole and gaster are black. This color pattern distinguishes major workers of C. fellah from C. xerxes, which has the petiole paler than the unicolorous dark gaster, and from C. thoracicus sensu lato and C. oasium, which have the gaster with large yellow areas on the first and second tergite laterally.

Specimens from Syria, identified as C. fellah by Tohmé and Tohmé (2000), differ from those from Israel and Egypt by the lack of erect setae on the ventral head surface, a stouter body, and shorter appendages.

Differences between specimens from Israel and Egypt, on the one hand, and from Syria and Lebanon, on the other hand, and the fact that Israeli specimens show color and size variability in major workers that surpasses those reported in earlier descriptions, e.g., Emery (1908) and Tohmé and Tohmé (2000), suggest the occurrence of some cryptic species under the name C. fellah.

Description

Worker

Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - TL = 7.8–17.2, HL = 1.91–4.69, HW = 1.29–4.61, EL = 0.55–0.98, SL = 2.38–3.59, ML = 3.09–6.02, PW = 1.13–2.66, mTbL = 2.27–3.83, hTbL = 3.05–5.08 (n = 129).

References