Camponotus foersteri

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Camponotus foersteri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Subgenus: Mayria
Species: C. foersteri
Binomial name
Camponotus foersteri
Forel, 1886

Camponotus cambouei casent0101529 profile 1.jpg

Camponotus cambouei casent0101529 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Camponotus foersteri is an endemic species to Madagascar where it is broadly distributed across ecosystems ranging from tropical dry forests to transitional humid forests, coastal scrub and littoral rainforests through montane rainforests, and the grasslands of the central high plateau and the eastern region of the island. Its members forage through leaf litter, on forest floor, and on low vegetation. Colony nests are found in root mats in the ground, rotten logs, rotting tree stumps, under root mats and on rock litter, under root mats on dead trees, and in dead twigs or branches above the ground.


A member of the subgenus Mayria (see diagnosis). Rakotonirina and Fisher (2018) - Median portion of clypeus without longitudinal carina; mandible with six teeth; anteromedian margin of clypeus not bordered by a lamella; in lateral view, mesosoma long and low, its dorsal outline not a dome-like structure; propodeal declivity inclined anteriorly; in lateral view, length of posterior portion of propodeal dorsum measured from the end of line connecting anteriormost point of pronotal shield and metathoracic spiracle roughly twice as long as height of declivity; hind tibia as long as hind femur; petiolar node not flattened anteroposteriorly, its dorsal margin distinctly broadly convex; trochanters and distal portions of coxae yellowish to white.

Camponotus foersteri may be confused with Camponotus maculiventris in that both species have legs that are characterized by at least the trochanters and the distal portions of coxae yellowish to white. However, in C. maculiventris the length of the propodeal dorsum is twice as the height of the declivity surface and the hind tibia is shorter than the hind femur. Also see discussion under Camponotus christi and Camponotus mainty.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 42.0583° to -24.95694°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Association with Other Organisms

  • This species is a host for the phorid fly Apocephalus coquilletti (a parasite) ( (attacked).

Life History Traits

  • Queen number: monogynous (Rissing and Pollock, 1988; Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)
  • Queen type: winged (Rissing and Pollock, 1988; Frumhoff & Ward, 1992) (queenless worker reproduction)







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

  • foersteri. Camponotus christi r. foersteri Forel, 1886f: 185 (w.) MADAGASCAR.
    • [Also described as new by Forel, 1891b: 64.]
    • Forel, 1891b: 64 (s.).
    • Combination in C. (Mayria): Emery, 1925b: 122.
    • Subspecies of christi: Forel, 1891b: 64 (redescription); Emery, in Dalla Torre, 1893: 224 (footnote); Emery, 1896d: 373 (in list); Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 1045; Emery, 1925b: 122; Bolton, 1995b: 100.
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 231; Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2018: 27 (redescription).
    • Senior synonym of ambustus: Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2018: 27.
    • Senior synonym of cambouei: Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2018: 27.
    • Senior synonym of ferruginea: Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2018: 27.
    • Senior synonym of pictipes: Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2018: 27.
  • ambustus. Camponotus christi var. ambustus Forel, 1892l: 233 (s.w.q.) MADAGASCAR.
    • Combination in C. (Mayria): Emery, 1925b: 122.
    • Subspecies of christi: Dalla Torre, 1893: 224; Emery, 1896d: 373 (in list); Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 1045; Emery, 1925b: 122; Bolton, 1995b: 85.
    • Junior synonym of foersteri: Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2018: 27.
  • cambouei. Camponotus cambouei Forel, 1891b: 68, pl. 1, fig. 13; pl. 2, fig. 1 (s.w.) MADAGASCAR.
    • [Misspelled as cambonei by Dalla Torre, 1893: 223.]
    • Combination in C. (Camponotus): Forel, 1914a: 266;
    • combination in C. (Myrmosaga): Emery, 1920b: 257;
    • combination in C. (Mayria): Emery, 1925b: 122.
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 223; Emery, 1895f: 337; Emery, 1896d: 373 (in list); Forel, 1914a: 266; Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 1044; Emery, 1925b: 122; Bolton, 1995b: 90.
    • Junior synonym of foersteri: Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2018: 27.
  • pictipes. Camponotus pictipes Forel, 1891b: 217 (w.) MADAGASCAR.
    • Combination in C. (Myrmocamelus): Forel, 1914a: 270;
    • combination in C. (Myrmosaga): Emery, 1920b: 257;
    • combination in C. (Mayria): Emery, 1925b: 123.
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 247; Emery, 1896d: 374 (in list); Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 1046; Emery, 1925b: 123; Bolton, 1995b: 117.
    • Junior synonym of foersteri: Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2018: 27.

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



Rakotonirina and Fisher (2018) - Minor. In full-face view, head longer than high, lateral margin straight, weakly diverging posteriorly and rounding to the more or less straight posterior margin. Anteromedian clypeal margin straight, with broadly angulate junction to lateral margin; median longitudinal carina absent. Eyes not breaking lateral outlines of head; their posterior margins located well behind the mid-length of the head (PoOc/CL: 0.33±0.01; 0.31–0.35). Mandible triangular, apical margin with six sharp teeth. Antennal scape long, generally its distal half extending beyond posterior cephalic border. In lateral view, pronotum and mesonotum weakly convex, separated by a shallow suture, posterior half of mesonotum and propodeal dorsum straight and long, junction between propodeal dorsum and declivity surface broadly angulate; propodeal dorsum about three times as long as height of declivity; height of mesosoma taken from posteroventral corner of pronotum to highest point of mesonotum more than twice the height to level of metathoracic spiracle; propodeal spiracle circular. Hind tibia roughly as long as hind femur. Petiolar node as high as long, anterior face rounding to dorsal margin; posterodorsal portion angulate.

Dorsum of head covered with numerous yellowish, elongate, erect hairs; pronotum, mesonotum, and posterodorsal angle of propodeum with a pair of erect hairs; petiolar node with two pairs of erect hairs; pubescence short and sparse. Head and gastral segments darker in color relative to mesosoma and appendages: head and gaster either black to dark brown or dark brown to orange brown with yellow spots on tergites and mesosoma dark brown to yellow-orange with dark spot on metanotal groove and propodeal declivity. Appendages: coxa dark brown basally and whitish-yellow apically; trochanter whitish-yellow; femur and tibia whitish-yelllow with dark brown spots on proximal and apical portion; tarsus dark brown basally and lighter in color apically.

Major. Differing from minor worker in the following characters: enlarged head, with markedly concave posterior margin; apical fourth of antennal scape surpassing posterior cephalic margin; robust mesosoma, metanotum distinctly visible, propodeal dorsum rounding to declivity and twice as long as height of declivity; dorsal margin of petiolar node inclined posteriorly from shorter anterior face towards much longer posterior face. More pairs of erect hairs on junction of propodeal dorsum and declivity and on posterodorsal margin of petiolar node.

Type Material


  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 231, raised to species)
  • Emery, C. 1896j. Saggio di un catalogo sistematico dei generi Camponotus, Polyrhachis e affini. Mem. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna (5)5:363-382 (page 771, variety/subspecies of christi)
  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 122, combination in C. (Mayria))
  • Forel, A. 1886h. Études myrmécologiques en 1886. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 30: 131-215 (page 185, worker described)
  • Forel, A. 1891c. Les Formicides. [part]. In: Grandidier, A. Histoire physique, naturelle, et politique de Madagascar. Volume XX. Histoire naturelle des Hyménoptères. Deuxième partie (28e fascicule). Paris: Hachette et Cie, v + 237 pp. (page 64, soldier described)
  • Rakotonirina, J.C., Fisher, B.L. 2018. Taxonomic revision of the Malagasy Camponotus subgenus Mayria (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) using qualitative and quantitative morphology. Zootaxa 4438: 1–58 (DOI 10.11646/zootaxa.4438.1.1).
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1922k. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. IX. A synonymic list of the ants of the Malagasy region. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 4 45: 1005-1055 (page 1045, variety/subspecies of christi)