Camponotus nearcticus

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

Camponotus nearcticus casent0103685 profile 1.jpg

Camponotus nearcticus casent0103685 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


A widespread North American species that is found in a wide range of habitats.

Photo Gallery

  • Camponotus nearcticus worker carrying pupa.
  • Worker. Photo by Tom Murray.
  • Worker. Photo by Tom Murray.
  • Worker. Photo by Tom Murray.
  • Male. Photo by Tom Murray.


This is a small, bicolored carpenter ant. The majors of this species can be recognized by the shiny gaster, by the dull surface of the mandible, lack of erect hairs in the sides of the heads and cheeks, and by the convex propodeum (and mesosoma). There are few erect hairs, specifically 1 - 2 pair on the basal margin of the clypeus, none on the cheeks or malar area, few on the dorsum of the mesosoma, petiole and gaster. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)


Some areas of southern Canada and widespread across the United States.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: Canada, United States (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Prairies and woodlands, especially riparian habitats, ranging from deciduous forests, oaks, pinyon-juniper forests up to ponderosa pine forests (1490 - 1700 m). (Mackay and Mackay 2002)


Mackay and Mackay (2002) - This is an arboreal species, especially of oaks (Quercus arizonica in New Mexico), cottonwoods and even pines. In central and southern Texas, this species nests in galls of the cynipid Disholcaspis cinerosa in live oaks (Quercus virginiana). Specimens from the Everglades were collected in a dead branch hanging in the understory of a mature hammock forest. Brood and reproductives were found in nests in March. An typical nest contained 198 minors and 36 majors. The largest complete nest we collected contained 531 minors, 188 majors, 5 alate females, 1 dealate nest gyne, and 144 males. All nests contained a single gyne. The brood was not counted. Reproductives were found in nests in March to October. This is a timid species that hesitates to rescue brood when the nest is disturbed. Workers tend coccids and aphids and carry pieces of dead insects to the nest. This is a house-infesting ant.






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

  • minutus. Camponotus marginatus var. minutus Emery, 1893i: 676 (w.q.m.) U.S.A. Wheeler, W.M. 1910f: 224 (s.w.q.m.). Combination in C. (Myrmentoma): Emery, 1925b: 117. Subspecies of fallax: Wheeler, W.M. 1910f: 224; Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 558; of caryae: Wheeler, W.M. 1917c: 28. Junior synonym of nearcticus: Creighton, 1950a: 388.
  • nearcticus. Camponotus marginatus var. nearcticus Emery, 1893i: 675 (w.q.) U.S.A. Wheeler, W.M. 1910f: 223 (s.m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1953e: 193 (l.). Combination in C. (Myrmentoma): Emery, 1925b: 117. Subspecies of fallax: Wheeler, W.M. 1908g: 406; Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 558. Junior synonym of caryae: Wheeler, W.M. 1917c: 27. Revived from synonymy as subspecies of caryae: Buren, 1944a: 294. Raised to species: Creighton, 1950a: 388; Smith, M.R. 1951a: 845. Senior synonym of minutus, pardus, tanquaryi: Creighton, 1950a: 388. See also: Snelling, R.R. 1988: 70.
  • pardus. Camponotus caryae var. pardus Wheeler, W.M. 1917c: 28 (s.w.q.m.) U.S.A. [First available use of Camponotus fallax subsp. fallax var. pardus Wheeler, W.M. 1910f: 225; unavailable name.] Junior synonym of nearcticus: Creighton, 1950a: 388.
  • tanquaryi. Camponotus caryae var. tanquaryi Wheeler, W.M. 1917c: 28 (s.w.q.m.) U.S.A. [First available use of Camponotus fallax subsp. fallax var. tanquaryi Wheeler, W.M. 1910f: 226; unavailable name.] Combination in C. (Myrmentoma): Emery, 1925b: 117. Junior synonym of nearcticus: Creighton, 1950a: 388.



  • Buren, W. F. 1944a. A list of Iowa ants. Iowa State Coll. J. Sci. 18: 277-312 (page 294, Revived from synonymy as subspecies of caryae)
  • Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 388, Raised to species, Senior synonym of minutus, pardus and tanquaryi)
  • Emery, C. 1893k. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der nordamerikanischen Ameisenfauna. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 7: 633-682 (page 675, worker, queen described)
  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 117, Combination in C. (Myrmentoma))
  • Mackay, W. P. and E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY.
  • Smith, M. R. 1951c. Family Formicidae. Pp. 778-875 in: Muesebeck, C. F., Krombein, K. V., Townes, H. K. (eds.) Hymenoptera of America north of Mexico. Synoptic catalogue. U. S. Dep. Agric. Agric. Monogr. 2:1-1420. (page 845, Raised to species)
  • Snelling, R. R. 1988. Taxonomic notes on Nearctic species of Camponotus, subgenus Myrmentoma (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pp. 55-78 in: Trager, J. C. (ed.) Advances in myrmecology. Leiden: E. J. Brill, xxvii + 551 pp. (page 70, see also)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1953e. The ant larvae of the subfamily Formicinae. Part II. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 46: 175-217 (page 193, larva described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1908h. The ants of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. (Part I.). Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 24: 399-485 (page 406, Variety of fallax)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1910i. The North American forms of Camponotus fallax Nylander. J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 18: 216-232 (page 223, soldier, male described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1917a. The mountain ants of western North America. Proc. Am. Acad. Arts Sci. 52: 457-569 (page 558, Variety of fallax)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1917c. The North American ants described by Asa Fitch. Psyche (Camb.) 24: 26-29 (page 27, Junior synonym of caryae)