Camponotus ocreatus

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Camponotus ocreatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. ocreatus
Binomial name
Camponotus ocreatus
Emery, 1893

Camponotus ocreatus casent0005348 profile 1.jpg

Camponotus ocreatus casent0005348 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


This species nests under stones in rocky loam soils, often on north-facing slopes and often in partial shade at the edges of 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.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 40.28° to 18.466667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.


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.

Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec




MCZ-ENT00021450 Camponotus maculatus ocreatus hef.jpgMCZ-ENT00021450 Camponotus maculatus ocreatus hal.jpgMCZ-ENT00021450 Camponotus maculatus ocreatus had.jpgMCZ-ENT00021450 Camponotus maculatus ocreatus lbs.jpg
Paralectotype of Camponotus maculatus ocreatusWorker (major). . Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.
MCZ-ENT00021451 Camponotus acutirostris subsp primipilaris hef.jpgMCZ-ENT00021451 Camponotus acutirostris subsp primipilaris hal.jpgMCZ-ENT00021451 Camponotus acutirostris subsp primipilaris had.jpgMCZ-ENT00021451 Camponotus acutirostris subsp primipilaris lbs.jpg
Lectotype of Camponotus acutirostris primipilarisWorker (major). . Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.
Mcz-ent00669120 Camponotus ocreatus hef.jpgMcz-ent00669120 Camponotus ocreatus hal.jpgMcz-ent00669120 Camponotus ocreatus had.jpgMcz-ent00669120 Camponotus ocreatus lbs.JPG
Worker (major). . Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Images from AntWeb

Camponotus ocreatus casent0102778 head 1.jpgCamponotus ocreatus casent0102778 profile 1.jpgCamponotus ocreatus casent0102778 dorsal 1.jpgCamponotus ocreatus casent0102778 label 1.jpg
Worker (minor). Specimen code casent0102778. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Camponotus ocreatus casent0102777 head 1.jpgCamponotus ocreatus casent0102777 profile 1.jpgCamponotus ocreatus casent0102777 dorsal 1.jpgCamponotus ocreatus casent0102777 label 1.jpg
Worker (major/soldier). Specimen code casent0102777. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


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

  • ocreatus. Camponotus maculatus subsp. ocreatus Emery, 1893i: 673 (s.w.) U.S.A. (California).
    • [Misspelled as ochreatus by Wheeler, W.M. 1910g: 571.]
    • Wheeler, W.M. 1910d: 310 (q.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1970: 651 (l.).
    • Combination in C. (Myrmoturba): Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 561;
    • combination in C. (Camponotus): Emery, 1920b: 255;
    • combination in C. (Tanaemyrmex): Creighton, 1950a: 378.
    • Subspecies of maculatus: Pergande, 1893: 26; Emery, 1895c: 336; Emery, 1896d: 371 (in list); Wheeler, W.M. 1910d: 309 (redescription); Wheeler, W.M. 1910g: 571.
    • Status as species: Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 561; Emery, 1920b: 232 (footnote); Emery, 1925b: 75; Creighton, 1950a: 378; Smith, M.R. 1951a: 841; Cole, 1954f: 272; Smith, M.R. 1958c: 144; Cole, 1966: 19 (in key); Hunt & Snelling, 1975: 22; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1429; Snelling, R.R. & George, 1979: 186; Allred, 1982: 456; Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1986g: 62; Bolton, 1995b: 115; Mackay & Mackay, 2002: 298; Ward, 2005: 63.
    • Senior synonym of primipilaris: Creighton, 1950a: 378; Smith, M.R. 1958c: 144; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1429; Snelling, R.R. & George, 1979: 186; Bolton, 1995b: 115.
  • primipilaris. Camponotus acutirostris subsp. primipilaris Wheeler, W.M. 1910d: 319 (s.w.q.) U.S.A. (Arizona).
    • Combination in C. (Myrmoturba): Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 562.
    • Subspecies of ocreatus: Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 562; Emery, 1925b: 75; Cole, 1937b: 140; Smith, M.R. 1951a: 841.
    • Junior synonym of ocreatus: Creighton, 1950a: 378; Smith, M.R. 1958c: 144; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1429; Snelling, R.R. & George, 1979: 186; Bolton, 1995b: 118.

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.

Type Material

Wheeler (1910) - Panamint Mts., California, from Mr. Pergande." (Emery.)


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Allred D. M. 1982. Ants of Utah. The Great Basin Naturalist 42: 415-511.
  • Allred, D.M. 1982. The ants of Utah. Great Basin Naturalist 42:415-511.
  • Buren W. F. 1983. Artificial faunal replacement for imported fire ant control. Florida Entomologist 66: 93-100.
  • Cokendolpher J. C., and O. F. Francke. 1990. The ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of western Texas. Part II. Subfamilies Ecitoninae, Ponerinae, Pseudomyrmecinae, Dolichoderinae, and Formicinae. Special Publications, the Museum. Texas Tech University 30:1-76.
  • Cover S. P., and R. A. Johnson. 20011. Checklist of Arizona Ants. Downloaded on January 7th at
  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology
  • Degnan, P.H., A.B. Lazarus, C.D. Brock and J.J. Wernegreen. 2004. Host-Symbiont Stability and Fast Evolutionary Rates in an Ant-Bacterium Association:Cospeciation of Camponotus Species and Their Endosymbionts, Candidatus Blochmannia. Systematic Biology 53(1):95-110
  • Eastlake Chew A. and Chew R. M. 1980. Body size as a determinant of small-scale distributions of ants in evergreen woodland southeastern Arizona. Insectes Sociaux 27: 189-202
  • Higgins J. W., N. S. Cobb, S. Sommer, R. J. Delph, and S. L. Brantley. 2014. Ground-dwelling arthropod responses to succession in a pinyon-juniper woodland. Ecosphere 5(1):5.
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at
  • Johnson, R.A. and P.S. Ward. 2002. Biogeography and endemism of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Baja California, Mexico: a first overview. Journal of Biogeography 29:1009–1026/
  • La Rivers I. 1968. A first listing of the ants of Nevada. Biological Society of Nevada, Occasional Papers 17: 1-12.
  • Longino, J.T. 2010. Personal Communication. Longino Collection Database
  • Mackay W. P., and E. E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 400 pp.
  • O'Keefe S. T., J. L. Cook, T. Dudek, D. F. Wunneburger, M. D. Guzman, R. N. Coulson, and S. B. Vinson. 2000. The Distribution of Texas Ants. The Southwestern Entomologist 22: 1-92.
  • Sanders N. J., J. Moss, and D. Wagner. 2003. Patterns of ant species richness along elevational gradients in an arid ecosystem. Global Ecology & Biogeography 12: 93–102.
  • Van Pelt, A. 1983. Ants of the Chisos Mountains, Texas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) . Southwestern Naturalist 28:137-142.
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133
  • Wheeler G. C., and J. Wheeler. 1986. The ants of Nevada. Los Angeles: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, vii + 138 pp.