Camponotus japonicus

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

Camponotus japonicus casent0249983 p 1 high.jpg

Camponotus japonicus casent0249983 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Mizuno et al. (2018) studied interactions between this ant and the myrmecophytic butterfly Lampides argyrognomon.


Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Philippines.
Palaearctic Region: China, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Japan (type locality), Mongolia, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Mizuno et al (2018) - Myrmecophilous lycaenid caterpillars have close relationships with their ant hosts by means of various myrmecophilous organs, most of which are usually lost after pupation. However, some lycaenid species, including Lycaeides argyrognomon, maintain such relationships at the pupal stage and go so far as to pupate in ant nests. This invokes the hypothesis that these myrmecophilous lycaenid pupae might have alternative tactics to retain myrmecophilous interactions without ant attacks. Camponotus japonicus, Formica japonica, and Lasius japonicus exhibited distinctive aggressive behaviors against ant cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) from different colonies of the same species but few attacks against the crude extract of L. argyrognomon pupae. GC-MS analysis revealed that the pupal cuticular lipids contain not only CHCs but also several long-chained aliphatic aldehydes, including 1-octacosanal and 1-triacontanal, which are absent from larval cuticular lipids. With the addition of synthesized 1-octacosanal and 1-triacontanal to ant CHCs from different colonies of the same species, the aggressive behavior decreased in C. japonicus, and the duration of physical contact shortened in C. japonicus and F. japonica. However, the behavior of L. japonicus remained unaffected after the addition of those aldehydes. These results suggest that the pupae-specific cuticular aldehydes of L. argyrognomon suppress ant aggression even after the loss of certain myrmecophilous organs, though the effects varied depending on the attending ant species. Since L. argyrognomon occasionally pupate in the nests of C. japonicus in the field, the lycaenids might be better adapted to associations with C. japonicus than with the other two ant species studied.

Association with Other Organisms

Other Ants

This species is a host for the ant Polyrhachis lamellidens (a temporary parasite) (Kohriba, 1963).


This species is a host for the fungus Ophiocordyceps formicarum (a pathogen) (Shrestha et al., 2017).




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

  • japonicus. Camponotus japonicus Mayr, 1866b: 885 (w.) JAPAN. Forel, 1904b: 380 (m.); Wheeler, W.M. 1906c: 324 (s.q.); Imai & Kubota, 1972: 195 (k.). Combination in C. (Camponotus): Forel, 1914a: 266. Subspecies of pennsylvanicus: Forel, 1879a: 56; Forel, 1904b: 380; Ruzsky, 1905b: 239; of herculeanus: Emery, 1908a: 186; Wheeler, W.M. 1909d: 343; Wheeler, W.M. 1921c: 544; Ruzsky, 1925b: 42; Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1929a: 17; Yasumatsu & Brown, 1951: 36. Status as species: Bingham, 1903: 390; Santschi, 1920h: 255; Emery, 1925b: 73; Santschi, 1925f: 88; Ruzsky, 1926: 108; Wheeler, W.M. 1927e: 3; Wheeler, W.M. 1928d: 116; Karavaiev, 1929b: 212; Stitz, 1934: 4; Yasumatsu & Brown, 1957: 49; Arnol'di, 1967: 1826; Kupyanskaya, 1990: 169. Senior synonym of miltotus, sanguinea, wui: Yasumatsu & Brown, 1951: 36; of aterrimus (and its junior synonym manczshuricus): Radchenko, 1997a: 556.
  • aterrimus. Camponotus pennsylvanicus var. aterrimus Emery, 1895k: 478 (footnote) (w.q.) RUSSIA. Ruzsky, 1905b: 238 (m.); Karavaiev, 1912b: 594 (s.). Combination in C. (Camponotus): Emery, 1925b: 73. Subspecies of herculeanus: Ruzsky, 1915a: 419. Raised to species: Ruzsky, 1926: 108. Subspecies of japonicus: Santschi, 1925f: 88; Wheeler, W.M. 1929f: 9; Arnol'di, 1967: 1827; Kupyanskaya, 1990: 170. Senior synonym of manczshuricus: Arnol'di, 1967: 1827. Junior synonym of japonicus: Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1929a: 17; Yasumatsu & Brown, 1951: 36; Radchenko, 1997a: 556.
  • manczshuricus. Camponotus (Camponotus) japonicus var. manczshuricus Emery, 1925b: 73 (w.) RUSSIA. [First available use of Camponotus herculeanus subsp. japonicus var. manczshuricus Ruzsky, 1915a: 420; unavailable name.] Subspecies of japonicus: Ruzsky, 1926: 109. Junior synonym of herculeanus: Yasumatsu & Brown, 1957: 47; of aterrimus: Arnol'di, 1967: 1827.
  • miltotus. Camponotus japonicus var. miltotus Wheeler, W.M. 1929f: 9 (s.) CHINA. Junior synonym of japonicus: Yasumatsu & Brown, 1951: 36.
  • sanguinea. Camponotus (Camponotus) japonicus var. sanguinea Karavaiev, 1929b: 212 (w.q.) RUSSIA. Junior synonym of japonicus: Yasumatsu & Brown, 1951: 36.
  • wui. Camponotus japonicus subsp. wui Wheeler, W.M. 1929f: 9 (w.) CHINA. Junior synonym of japonicus: Yasumatsu & Brown, 1951: 36.

The following notes on V.A. Karavaiev type specimens have been provided by Martynov & Radchenko (2016) based on material held in the Institute of Zoology, Ukrainian Academy of Science:

Camponotus japonicus Mayr. var. sanguinea Karawajew, 1929b: 212, w, q.

Type locality(-ies): “Borovnitschi, Sutshan-Rayon im Ussurigebiet, 27.VIII.1926 (Nr. 3109, 3110), P. Verestshak, zahlreiche Soldaten und ww aus der Kolonie.—Strand der Bucht Kosmina in der grösseren Buht Amerika bei Vladivostok, 12.V.1900 (Nr. 3789), P. Schmidt, Soldaten, ww und geflügelte und flügellose qq.—Sivakovka am See Chanka, Ussurigebiet, V.1927 (Nr. 3549), A. Kistjakovskij, 2 Soldaten.—Chailar, Mandshurei (Nr. 3639), Coll. Karavajevi, 1 Soldat.—Zwischen Tshyktenj und Tshaansa, Nordkorea, 3.VIII.1900 (Nr. 3589), P. Schmidt, 1 Soldat”.

Original Karawajew label(-s): “Camponotus (Camponotus) / japonicus Mayr / Бровничи Сучан. р. Примор. об. / П. Верещак. 3109 и др. [Brovnichi Suchan Distr. Primorsky Prov. / P. Vereschak. Nr. 3109 et al.]”.

Material: SYNTYPES, 13 w (newly mounted, IN 314/6/1), 232 w, 10 pupae (in alcohol, IN 314/BAMS1/Karaw47–49).

Notes. Despite the original Karawajew label identifying this taxon as Camponotus japonicus, the locality and collection numbers correspond to the data for the type specimens of var. sanguinea (Karawajew 1929b). Moreover, in the Karawajew collection at SIZK there is abundant material with the same labels and an additional original Karawajew label “Camponotus (Camponotus) japonicus Mayr v. sanguinea Karawajew typus”.



  • n = 13; 14, 2n = 26 (Japan) (Imai, 1966; Imai, 1969; Imai & Kubota, 1972; Imai & Yosida, 1964) (In Imai et al. 1966 as Camponotus sp.; Lorite and Palomeque 2010 states that this karyotype could be a mistake).


  • Aibek, U., Yamane, S. 2009. Taxonomic review of the genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Formicinae) from Mongolia. Biogeography 11, 97-108.
  • Arnol'di, K. V. 1967. New data on the ant genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from the USSR fauna. 1. Camponotus (s. str.). Zool. Zh. 4 46: 1815-1830 (page 1826, Status as species)
  • Bingham, C. T. 1903. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Hymenoptera, Vol. II. Ants and Cuckoo-wasps. London: Taylor and Francis, 506 pp. (page 390, Status as species)
  • Emery, C. 1908a. Beiträge zur Monographie der Formiciden des paläarktischen Faunengebietes. Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 1908: 165-205 (page 186, Subspecies of herculeanus)
  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 73, Status as species)
  • Forel, A. 1879a. Études myrmécologiques en 1879 (deuxième partie [1re partie en 1878]). Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 16: 53-128 (page 56, Variety of pennsylvanicus)
  • Forel, A. 1904c [1903]. Note sur les fourmis du Musée Zoologique de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences à St. Pétersbourg. Ezheg. Zool. Muz. 8: 368-388 (page 380, male described, Variety of pennsylvanicus)
  • Forel, A. 1914a. Le genre Camponotus Mayr et les genres voisins. Rev. Suisse Zool. 22: 257-276 (page 266, Combination in C. (Camponotus))
  • Imai, H. T.; Kubota, M. 1972. Karyological studies of Japanese ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) III. Karyotypes of nine species in Ponerinae, Formicinae and Myrmicinae. Chromosoma (Berl.) 37: 193-200 (page 195, karyotype described)
  • Karavaiev, V. 1929d. Myrmekologische Fragmente. II. Zb. Prats Zool. Muz. 7:205-220 [= Tr. Vseukr. Akad. Nauk Fiz.-Mat. Vidd. 13:203-218]. (page 212, Status as species)
  • Kupyanskaya, A. N. 1990a. Ants of the Far Eastern USSR. Vladivostok: Akademiya Nauk SSSR, 258 pp. (page 169, Status as species)
  • Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, N. N. 1929a. Die Ameisen des Süd-Ussuri-Gebietes. Zool. Anz. 83: 16-34 (page 17, Subspecies of herculeanus)
  • Martynov, A.V., Radchenko, A.G. 2016. Karawajew's ant type specimens (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the National Museum of Natural History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Zootaxa 4097 (2): 244–254.
  • Mayr, G. 1866b. Diagnosen neuer und wenig gekannter Formiciden. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 16: 885-908 (page 885, worker described)
  • Mizuno, T., Y. Hagiwara, and T. Akino. 2018. Chemical tactic of facultative myrmecophilous lycaenid pupa to suppress ant aggression. Chemoecology. 28:173-182. doi:10.1007/s00049-018-0270-8
  • Radchenko, A. G. 1997b. Review of ants of the genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the Palearctic. The subgenus Camponotus s. str. Zool. Zh. 76: 554-564 (page 556, Senior synonym of aterrimus (and its junior synonym manczshuricus))
  • Ruzsky, M. 1905b. The ants of Russia. (Formicariae Imperii Rossici). Systematics, geography and data on the biology of Russian ants. Part I. Tr. Obshch. Estestvoispyt. Imp. Kazan. Univ. 38(4-6 6: 1-800 (page 239, Variety of pennsylvanicus)
  • Ruzsky, M. 1925b. New data on the ant fauna of Siberia. Rus. Entomol. Obozr. 19: 41-46 (page 42, Subspecies of herculeanus)
  • Ruzsky, M. 1926. A systematic list of the ants found in Siberia. I. Review of the species of the genera Camponotus (s. ext.) and Formica (s. str.). Izv. Tomsk. Gos. Univ. 77: 107-111 (page 108, Status as species)
  • Santschi, F. 1920i. Études sur les maladies et les parasites du cacaoyer et d'autres plantes cultivées à S. Thomé. X. Fourmis de S. Thomé. Extrait des Mémoires publiés par la Société Portugaise des Sciences Naturelles. Lisbonne: Imprimerie de la Librairi (page 255, Status as species)
  • Santschi, F. 1925f. Contribution à la faune myrmécologique de la Chine. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 56: 81-96 (page 88, Status as species)
  • Shrestha B, Tanaka E, Hyun MW, Han JG, Kim CS, Jo JW, Han SK, Oh J, Sung JM, Sung GH. 2017. Mycosphere Essay 19. Cordyceps species parasitizing hymenopteran and hemipteran insects. Mycosphere 8(9): 1424–1442 (DOI 10.5943/mycosphere/8/9/8).
  • Stitz, H. 1934. Schwedisch-chinesische wissenschaftliche Expedition nach den nordwestlichen Provinzen Chinas, unter Leitung von Dr. Sven Hedin und Prof. Sü Ping-chang. Insekten gesammelt vom schwedischen Arzt der Expedition Dr. David Hummel 1927-1930. 25 (page 4, Status as species)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1906h. The ants of Japan. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 22: 301-328 (page 324, soldier, queen described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1909d. Ants of Formosa and the Philippines. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 26: 333-345 (page 343, Subspecies of herculeanus)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1921c. Chinese ants. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 64: 529-547 (page 544, Subspecies of herculeanus)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1927e. A few ants from China and Formosa. Am. Mus. Novit. 259: 1-4 (page 3, Status as species)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1928d. Ants collected by Professor F. Silvestri in Japan and Korea. Boll. Lab. Zool. Gen. Agrar. R. Sc. Super. Agric. 22: 96-125 (page 116, Status as species)
  • Yasumatsu, K.; Brown, W. L., Jr. 1951b. Revisional notes on Camponotus herculeanus Linné and close relatives in Palearctic regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Fac. Agric. Kyushu Univ. 10: 29-44 (page 36, Subspecies of herculeanus, Senior synonym of miltotus, sanguinea and wui)
  • Yasumatsu, K.; Brown, W. L., Jr. 1957. A second look at the ants of the Camponotus herculeanus group in eastern Asia. J. Fac. Agric. Kyushu Univ. 11: 45-51 (page 49, Status as species)