Camponotus rufipes

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Camponotus rufipes
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. rufipes
Binomial name
Camponotus rufipes
(Fabricius, 1775)

Camponotus rufipes casent0173444 profile 1.jpg

Camponotus rufipes casent0173444 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


De Oliveira et al. (2015), studying ant occupancy of Cecropia trees in southwest Bahia, Brazil, found two colonies of Camponotus rufipes opportunistically nesting in Cecropia pachystachya trees while Fagundes et al. (2010) found it nesting in bamboo.



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil (type locality), Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Sanz-Veiga et al. (2017) - This species was observed visiting the extrafloral nectaries of Tocoyena formosa plants occurring in a southeastern Brazilian cerrado study-site.

Chemical Ecology

LeBrun et al. (2015) found a behaviour, first noted and resulting from interactions between Solenopsis invicta and Nylanderia fulva, that detoxifies fire ant venom is expressed widely across ants in the subfamily Formicinae. This behavior was also studied and shown in experiments with C. rufipes. See the biology section of the N. fulva page for a description of acidopore grooming and the use of formic acid for detoxification of a specific class of venoms that are produced by ants that may interact with formicines in the context of predation and food competition.


This species is a host for the fungus Ophiocordyceps camponoti-rufipedis (a pathogen) (Andersen et al., 2012; Araujo et al., 2018; Evans et al., 2011; Loreto et al., 2014; Shrestha et al., 2017).



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

  • rufipes. Formica rufipes Fabricius, 1775: 391 (s.) BRAZIL. Smith, F. 1858b: 44 (w.); Mayr, 1862: 663 (q.m.); Goni et al. 1983: 366 (k.); Mariano et al. 2001: 268 (k.). Combination in Camponotus: Mayr, 1862: 663; in C. (Myrmothrix): Forel, 1912i: 91. Senior synonym of herrichi: Roger, 1861b: 164; of merdicola: Dalla Torre, 1893: 250; Forel, 1895b: 104; of alpina, cajurensis, magnifica, subrufescens: Hashmi, 1973: 52.
  • merdicola. Formica merdicola Lund, 1831a: 129 (w.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of rufipes: Dalla Torre, 1893: 250; Forel, 1895b: 104.
  • herrichi. Formica herrichi Mayr, 1853b: 113 (w.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of rufipes: Roger, 1861b: 164.
  • alpina. Camponotus rufipes var. alpina Emery, 1906c: 187 (w.) ARGENTINA. Combination in C. (Myrmothrix): Bruch, 1914: 230. Junior synonym of rufipes: Hashmi, 1973: 52.
  • magnifica. Camponotus (Myrmothrix) rufipes var. magnifica Forel, 1913l: 249 (s.w.) ARGENTINA. Santschi, 1916e: 397 (q.). Junior synonym of rufipes: Hashmi, 1973: 52.
  • cajurensis. Camponotus (Myrmothrix) rufipes forma cajurensis Luederwaldt, 1918: 53 (w.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of rufipes: Hashmi, 1973: 52.
  • subrufescens. Camponotus (Myrmothrix) rufipes var. subrufescens Santschi, 1929d: 314 (w.m.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of rufipes: Hashmi, 1973: 52.



  • n = 20, 2n = 39; 40, karyotype = 2SM+2ST+36A; 3M+36A; 4M+36A (Brazil; Uruguay) (Aguiar et al., 2016; Goni et al., 1983; Mariano et al., 2001) (Lorite and Palomeque 2010 states the presence of heteromorphic chromosome in 2n=39).


  • Aguiar HJACd, Barros LAC, Alves DR, Mariano CdSF, Delabie JHC, Pompolo SdG (2017) Cytogenetic studies on populations of Camponotus rufipes (Fabricius, 1775) and Camponotus renggeri Emery, 1894 (Formicidae: Formicinae). PLoS ONE 12(5): e0177702 (DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0177702).
  • Andersen, S.B., Ferrari, M., Evans, H.C., Elliot, S.L., Boomsma, J.J., Hughes, D.P. 2012. Disease dynamics in a specialized parasite of ant societies. PLoS ONE 7(5): e36352 (DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0036352).
  • Andersen, S.B., Hughes, D. 2012. Host specificity of parasite manipulation - Zombie ant death location in Thailand vs. Brazil. Communicative & Integrative Biology 5: 163–165 (DOI 10.4161/cib.18712).
  • Araújo, J.P.M., Evans, H.C., Kepler, R., Hughes, D.P. 2018. Zombie-ant fungi across continents: 15 new species and new combinations within Ophiocordyceps. I. Myrmecophilous hirsutelloid species. Studies in Mycology 90: 119–160 (DOI 10.1016/j.simyco.2017.12.002).
  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 250, Senior synonym of merdicola)
  • Evans, H.C., Elliot, S.L., Hughes, D.P. 2011. Hidden diversity behind the zombie-ant fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: Four new species described from carpenter ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil. PLoS ONE 6(3): e17024 (DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0017024).
  • Fabricius, J. C. 1775. Systema entomologiae, sistens insectorum classes, ordines, genera, species adiectis synonymis, locis, descriptionibus, observationibus. Flensburgi et Lipsiae [= Flensburg and Leipzig]: Korte, 832 pp. (page 391, soldier described)
  • Fagundes, R., Terra, G., Ribeiro, S.R., Majer, J.D. 2010. O bambu Merostachys fischeriana (Bambusoideae: Bambuseae) como habitat para formigas de floresta tropical montana. Neotropical Entomology 39(6):906-911.
  • Forel, A. 1895b. A fauna das formigas do Brazil. Bol. Mus. Para. Hist. Nat. Ethnogr. 1: 89-139 (page 104, Senior synonym of merdicola)
  • Forel, A. 1912j. Formicides néotropiques. Part VI. 5me sous-famille Camponotinae Forel. Mém. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 20: 59-92 (page 91, Combination in C. (Myrmothrix))
  • Goñi, B.; Zolessi, L. C. de; Imai, H. T. 1984 [1983]. Karyotypes of thirteen ant species from Uruguay (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Caryologia 36: 363-371 (page 366, karyotype described)
  • Hashmi, A. A. 1973b. A revision of the Neotropical ant subgenus Myrmothrix of genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 16: 1-140 (page 52, Senior synonym of alpina, cajurensis, magnifica, subrufescens)
  • LeBrun, E. G., P. J. Diebold, M. R. Orr, and L. E. Gilbert. 2015. Widespread Chemical Detoxification of Alkaloid Venom by Formicine Ants. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 41:884-895. doi:10.1007/s10886-015-0625-3
  • Loreto, R.G., Elliot, S.L., Freitas, M.L.R., Pereira, T.M., Hughes, D.P. 2014. Long-term disease dynamics for a specialized parasite of ant societies: A field study. PLoS ONE 9(8): e103516 (DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0103516).
  • Mariano, C. S. F., Pompolo, S.G., Delabie, J.H.C.; Campos, L.A.O. 2001. Estudos cariotípicos de algumas espécies neotropicais de Camponotus Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 45: 267-274 (page 268, karyotype described)
  • Mayr, G. 1862. Myrmecologische Studien. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 12: 649-776 (page 663, queen, male described, Combination in Camponotus)
  • de Oliveira, G. V., M. M. Correa, I. M. A. Goes, A. F. P. Machado, R. J. de Sa-Neto, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2015. Interactions between Cecropia (Urticaceae) and ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) along a longitudinal east-west transect in the Brazilian Northeast. Annales De La Societe Entomologique De France. 51:153-160. doi:10.1080/00379271.2015.1061231
  • Roger, J. 1861b. Myrmicologische Nachlese. Berl. Entomol. Z. 5: 163-174 (page 164, Senior synonym of herrichi)
  • Ronque, M.U.V., Azevedo-Silva, M., Mori, G.M., Souza, A.P., Oliveira, P.S. 2016. Three ways to distinguish species: using behavioural, ecological, and molecular data to tell apart two closely related ants, Camponotus renggeri and Camponotus rufipes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 176, 170–181.
  • Sanz-Veiga, P. A., L. R. Jorge, S. Benitez-Vieyra, and F. W. Amorim. 2017. Pericarpial nectary-visiting ants do not provide fruit protection against pre-dispersal seed predators regardless of ant species composition and resource availability. PLoS ONE. 12. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0188445
  • 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).
  • Smith, F. 1858a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp. (page 44, worker described)