Camponotus floridanus

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Camponotus floridanus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. floridanus
Binomial name
Camponotus floridanus
(Buckley, 1866)

Camponotus floridanus casent0103672 profile 1.jpg

Camponotus floridanus casent0103672 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Common in Florida nesting in old stumps and logs. Very pugnacious.

Photo Gallery

  • Camponotus floridanus major worker. Photo by Alex Wild.
  • Camponotus floridanus attached to Spanish moss moments after the final manipulated biting behavior induced by Ophiocordyceps camponoti-floridani. Photo by Charissa de Bekker.


Keys including this Species


This very abundant species lives in almost all disturbed and natural habitats in Florida. It readily colonizes containers left outside, and could easily be transported to new areas. Related species or forms of the subgenus Myrmothrix (a group in serious taxonomic disarray) are among the ants that Donisthorpe (1915) reported arriving in England, usually in bunches of bananas, but also in orchids. It occurs through the Florida panhandle, and as Creighton (1950) pointed out, it appears closely related to the Texas form that used to be called Camponotus abdominalis transvectus (now a synonym of Camponotus atriceps). There is a good chance that this complex once occurred around the Gulf of Mexico, and was later separated into eastern and western populations. Further work on the taxonomy of this section of Camponotus is needed before we will be happy with either the nomenclature or provenance of the Florida species. (Deyrup, Davis & Cover, 2000.)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Workers can recognize the presence of a highly fertile queen via her eggs, which are marked with the queen’s Cuticular Hydrocarbons (Endler et al. 2006). Information on a queen's fertility is thus encoded in the hydrocarbon profile of her eggs.


This species is a host for the fungus Ophiocordyceps camponoti-floridani (a pathogen) (Araujo et al., 2018).


Camponotus floridanus has had their entire genome sequenced.

Palomeque et al. (2015) found class II mariner elements, a form of transposable elements, in the genome of this ant.






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

  • floridanus. Formica floridana Buckley, 1866: 161 (w.) U.S.A. Mayr, 1886d: 423 (q.m.). Combination in Camponotus: Mayr, 1886d: 423; in C. (Myrmothrix): Emery, 1925b: 108. Subspecies of atriceps: Mayr, 1886d: 423; of abdominalis: Emery, 1893i: 670; Wheeler, W.M. 1902f: 21. Revived status as species: Wheeler, W.M. 1910d: 325. Subspecies of abdominalis: Wheeler, W.M. 1913c: 117. Senior synonym of yankee: Mayr, 1886d: 423. Junior synonym of atriceps: Hashmi, 1973: 82. Revived from synonymy as subspecies of abdominalis: Deyrup & Trager, 1986: 219. Revived status as species: Deyrup, Johnson, et al. 1989: 100.
  • yankee. Camponotus atriceps r. yankee Forel, 1885a: 340 (w.) U.S.A. Junior synonym of floridanus: Mayr, 1886d: 423.

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



Wheeler (1910) - Major Length, 8-10 mm.; head, 3.5 x 3.4 mm.; scape, 2.7 mm.; hind tibia, 3 mm.

Head large, nearly as broad as long, broader behind than in front, with broadly excised posterior and convex lateral margins. Eyes flattened. Mandibles 5- to 6-toothed. Antennae short, scapes flattened at the base but not dilated, enlarged towards their tips, which do not extend beyond the posterior corners of the head. Clypeus carinate, its border produced as a prominent lobe with sharp corners, between which the median edge is angularly excised. Frontal carinae lyrate, rather far apart; frontal area small, triangular; frontal groove distinct. Thorax robust, narrower than the head in front, compressed and more narrowed in the pleural region; in profile rather unevenly arched, with deep pro-meoonotal suture, highest in the mesonotal region; epinotum depressed, sloping, with indistinct and subequal base and declivity. Petiole in profile cuneate, with similar, feebly convex anterior and posterior surfaces; seen from behind, evenly rounded above, with rather blunt border. Legs moderately long and robust; middle and hind tibiae neither compressed nor sulcate, elliptical in cross section.

Mandibles opaque, very finely striated and sparsely punctate; teeth smooth and shining. Head opaque, very densely and minutely punctate or shagreened. Cheeks with small, scattered foveolae; clypeus and lateral borders of front with a few large piligerous foveolte. Thorax, gaster and legs moderately shining, more superficially shagreened.

Hairs coarse, long, fulvous, erect, rather abundant, shorter on the anterior surface of the antennal scapes and on the legs, absent on the cheeks and sides of the head, very short on the mandibles and clypeal border. Pubescence very short and dilute, distinct only on the gaster.

Head ferruginous red; mandibles, antennal scapes and anterior border of cheeks and clypeus darker. Thorax and legs more yellowish red. Gaster black, with the posterior edges of the segments narrowly yellow.

Minor Length, 5.5-7 mm.

Head, excluding the mandibles, about twice as long as broad, with straight, parallel sides and short evenly rounded postocular portion. Eyes rather large and convex. Clypeus like that of the worker major. Antennae slender, scapes not flattened at the base, reaching about half their length beyond the posterior corners of the head. Thorax low, narrow and evenly arcuate above, epinotum without distinct base and declivity. Petiole like that of the worker major.

Head more shining and sometimes of the same yellowish red color as the thorax and legs. Antennae dark red throughout. Pilosity as in the worker major.


  • Araújo, J.P.M., Evans, H.C., Kepler, R., Hughes, D.P. 2018. Zombie-ant fungi across continents: 15 new species and new combinations within Ophiocordyceps. I. Myrmecophilous hirsutelloid species. Studies in Mycology 90: 119–160 (DOI 10.1016/j.simyco.2017.12.002).
  • Bonasio, B., Zhang, G., et al. (2010) Genomic Comparison of the Ants Camponotus floridanus and Harpegnathos saltator. Science. 329(5995):1068-1071. doi:10.1126/science.1192428
  • Buckley, S. B. 1866. Descriptions of new species of North American Formicidae. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Phila. 6: 152-172 (page 161, worker described)
  • Deyrup, M., Davis, L. & Cover, S. 2000. Exotic ants in Florida. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 126, 293-325.
  • Deyrup, M.; Johnson, C.; Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1989. A preliminary list of the ants of Florida. Fla. Entomol. 72: 91-101 (page 100, revived status as species)
  • Deyrup, M.; Trager, J. 1986. Ants of the Archbold Biological Station, Highlands County, Florida (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Fla. Entomol. 69: 206-228 (page 219, revived from synonymy as subspecies of abdominalis)
  • Emery, C. 1893k. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der nordamerikanischen Ameisenfauna. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 7: 633-682 (page 670, subspecies of abdominalis)
  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 108, Combination in C. (Myrmothrix))
  • Endler A, Liebig J, Schmitt T, Parker J, Jones G, Schreier P, Hölldobler B 2004. Surface hydrocarbons of queen eggs regulate worker reproduction in a social insect. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101: 2945-2950. (Camponotus floridanus)
  • Endler A, Liebig J, Hölldobler B 2006. Queen fertility, egg marking and colony size in the ant Camponotus floridanus. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 59 : 490-499.
  • Hashmi, A. A. 1973b. A revision of the Neotropical ant subgenus Myrmothrix of genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 16: 1-140 (page 82, junior synonym of atriceps)
  • Klotz, J.H., Greenberg, L., Reid, B.L., Davis, L. 1998. Spatial distribution of colonies of three carpenter ants, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, Camponotus floridanus, Camponotus laevigatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 32:51-62.
  • Mayr, G. 1886d. Die Formiciden der Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 36: 419-464 (page 423, queen, male described, Combination in Camponotus, Variety of atriceps, Senior synonym of yankee)
  • Palomeque, T., O. Sanllorente, X. Maside, J. Vela, P. Mora, M. I. Torres, G. Periquet, and P. Lorite. 2015. Evolutionary history of the Azteca-like mariner transposons and their host ants. Science of Nature. 102. doi:10.1007/s00114-015-1294-3
  • Tschinkel, W.R. 2015. The architecture of subterranean ant nests: beauty and mystery underfoot. Journal of Bioeconomics 17:271–291 (DOI 10.1007/s10818-015-9203-6).
  • Wang, Y., Zuber, R., Laudahn, A., Berger, J., Moussian, B. 2016. Cuticular body hairs mediate clumping of small Camponotus floridanus larvae. Arthropod Structure & Development 46: 108-115 (DOI 10.1016/j.asd.2016.12.003).
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1910g. The North American ants of the genus Camponotus Mayr. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 20: 295-354 (page 325, revived status as species)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1913d. Ants collected in Georgia by Dr. J. C. Bradley and Mr. W. T. Davis. Psyche (Camb.) 20: 112-117 (page 117, subspecies of abdominalis)