This species nests under stones in rocky loam soils, often on north-facing slopes and often in partial shade at the edges of a forests.
Majors, minors and females can be recognized by having no erect hairs on the cheeks or sides of the head, the bases of the scapes are not flattened, or even weakly flattened, the sides of the head are punctate, but moderately shining, the gaster is strongly shining, with the sculpture of the gaster consisting of punctures, appressed pubescence on the gaster is sparse and tiny (> 0.04 mm). The scape extends well past the posterior lateral corner of the head. Color varies, but usually these ants have a black head with the remainder brown. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)
California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Northern Mexico.
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
Mackay and Mackay (2002), for New Mexico: Foothills of surrounding desert areas, including semidesert shrub communities, oak-juniper woodland (Quercus turbinella, Rhus trilobata, Juniperus sp.), with trees up to 4 meters tall, pinyon pine forests, riparian desert canyons with sycamore, cottonwoods and grass.
Mackay and Mackay (2002), for New Mexico: Brood was found in nests from March to July. A dealate female was found in July. Foraging activity is nocturnal. One colony was nesting with Trachymyrmex arizonensis.
Nevada, Wheeler and Wheeler (1986) - We have 6 records from 6 localities in the southern part of the state; 4,200-7,000 ft. One record was from the Hot Desert and 3 from the Pinyon-Juniper Biome. One nest was under a stone; 4 were exposed with the entrance surrounded by excavated earth, which in some cases formed a crater.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- ocreatus. Camponotus maculatus subsp. ocreatus Emery, 1893i: 673 (s.w.) U.S.A. Wheeler, W.M. 1910d: 310 (q.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1970: 651 (l.). Combination in C. (Myrmoturba): Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 561; in C. (Camponotus): Emery, 1920b: 255; in C. (Tanaemyrmex): Creighton, 1950a: 378. Raised to species: Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 561. Senior synonym of primipilaris: Creighton, 1950a: 378.
- primipilaris. Camponotus acutirostris subsp. primipilaris Wheeler, W.M. 1910d: 319 (s.w.q.) U.S.A. Combination in C. (Myrmoturba): Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 562. Subspecies of ocreatus: Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 562. Junior synonym of ocreatus: Creighton, 1950a: 378.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Wheeler (1910) - Major and media. "Both in habitus and structure of the head and clypeus this subspecies bears the greatest resemblance to macoooki Forel, but differs from this form in its feebler sculpture; the whole head is therefore• more shining in the worker major (hardly less shining than in the typical castaneus). The scattered punctures on the sides of the head are smaller and less numerous. The antennal scape is more slender, longer and neither flattened nor dilated at the base. The color of the three specimens before me (one major and two media workers) is clay-yellow; head, antennal scape, first funicular joint, knees, tibiae and first tarsal joint black, remainder of tarsi and funiculus brown; in the large worker the thorax is darker, pro- and mesonotum piceous brown; tip of gaster blackish. Epinotum, even in the large workers, with its basal surface nearly twice as long as the declivity; in this respect differing from the subsp. maccooki and vicinus, which have a much higher epinotum.
Length of worker major, 12 mm.; head, 3.5 x 3.2 mm.; scape, 3.4 mm.; hind tibia, 4 mm.
Wheeler (1910) - Panamint Mts., California, from Mr. Pergande." (Emery.)
- Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 378, Combination in C. (Tanaemyrmex), Senior synonym of primipilaris)
- Emery, C. 1893k. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der nordamerikanischen Ameisenfauna. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 7: 633-682 (page 673, soldier, worker described)
- Emery, C. 1920b. Le genre Camponotus Mayr. Nouvel essai de la subdivision en sous-genres. Rev. Zool. Afr. (Bruss.) 8: 229-260 (page 255, Combination in C. (Camponotus))
- Mackay, W. P. and E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY.
- Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1970b. Ant larvae of the subfamily Formicinae: second supplement. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 63: 648-656 (page 651, larva described)
- Wheeler, G. C. and J. Wheeler. 1986. The ants of Nevada. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles.
- Wheeler, W. M. 1910g. The North American ants of the genus Camponotus Mayr. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 20: 295-354 (page 310, queen described)
- Wheeler, W. M. 1917a. The mountain ants of western North America. Proc. Am. Acad. Arts Sci. 52: 457-569 (page 561, Combination in C. (Myrmoturba), raised to species)