Camponotus socius

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Camponotus socius
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. socius
Binomial name
Camponotus socius
Roger, 1863

Camponotus socius casent0103711 profile 1.jpg

Camponotus socius casent0103711 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

At a Glance • Tandem running  



This species was described long ago from specimens that supposedly came from Brazil (Roger 1863). As Creighton (1950) remarks, it is most unlikely that this species is native to Brazil, where the types were collected, and also native to the southeastern U.S., without any occurrences in between. Even Creighton, whose greatest strength was not in field ecology, noted that in the Southeast C. socius shows all the characteristics of a native species. It appears to us as a classic coastal plain ant, adapted to the sand soils of frequently burned, open pine woodlands. It is hard to imagine that it is equally at home in the province of Amazonas in Brazil, from which it is reported (Kempf 1972). Moreover, of all Florida Camponotus species, socius is the least likely to have been transported to or from Brazil, as the nests are deep in sandy soil in undisturbed habitats. Before admitting that this species had been introduced either in Florida or Brazil, we would want to be sure that there are not two species lumped under that name (if this turns out to be the case, there is already a name available for the Florida species). It is also possible that the specimens that Roger used for his 1863 description of the species were mislabeled, and came from southern North America rather than northern South America. (Deyrup, Davis & Cover, 2000.)

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 39.03472° to 25.787°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

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.


Atchison & Lucky (2022) found that this species does not remove seeds.

Flight Period

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




Images from AntWeb

Camponotus socius casent0103712 head 1.jpgCamponotus socius casent0103712 profile 1.jpgCamponotus socius casent0103712 dorsal 1.jpgCamponotus socius casent0103712 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0103712. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by ABS, Lake Placid, FL, USA.


Images from AntWeb

Camponotus socius casent0103714 head 1.jpgCamponotus socius casent0103714 profile 1.jpgCamponotus socius casent0103714 dorsal 1.jpgCamponotus socius casent0103714 label 1.jpg
Male (alate). Specimen code casent0103714. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by ABS, Lake Placid, FL, USA.


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

  • socius. Camponotus socius Roger, 1863a: 140 (w.) BRAZIL (no state data).
    • [Misspelled as sosius by Wheeler, W.M. 1932a: 14.]
    • Forel, 1879a: 74 (s.); Mayr, 1886d: 422 (q.); Wheeler, W.M. 1910d: 321 (m.).
    • Combination in C. (Myrmothrix): Forel, 1914a: 269;
    • combination in C. (Tanaemyrmex): Emery, 1925b: 82.
    • Status as species: Roger, 1863b: 4; Mayr, 1863: 459; Emery, 1878a: ix (in list); Forel, 1879a: 74; Mayr, 1886d: 422; Cresson, 1887: 255; Dalla Torre, 1893: 253; Emery, 1893i: 670; Forel, 1895b: 104; Emery, 1896d: 371 (in list); Wheeler, W.M. 1910d: 319 (redescription); Wheeler, W.M. 1910g: 571; Wheeler, W.M. 1913c: 117; Wheeler, W.M. 1923a: 5; Emery, 1925b: 82; Borgmeier, 1927c: 146; Smith, M.R. 1930a: 6; Wheeler, W.M. 1932a: 14; Creighton, 1950a: 379; Smith, M.R. 1951a: 843; Smith, M.R. 1958c: 144; Kempf, 1972a: 72; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1430; Deyrup, et al. 1989: 100; Bolton, 1995b: 124; Deyrup, 2003: 44; MacGown & Forster, 2005: 66; MacGown, et al. 2007: 19; Deyrup, 2017: 200.
    • Senior synonym of osceola: Creighton, 1950a: 379; Smith, M.R. 1958c: 144; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1430; Bolton, 1995b: 124.
  • osceola. Camponotus (Tanaemyrmex) socius var. osceola Wheeler, W.M. 1932a: 15 (w.) U.S.A. (Florida).
    • Subspecies of socius: Smith, M.R. 1951a: 843.
    • Junior synonym of socius: Creighton, 1950a: 379; Smith, M.R. 1958c: 144; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1430; Bolton, 1995b: 115.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Wheeler (1910) – Major Length, 11-13 mm.; head, 3.3 x 3.2 mm.; scape, 3.5 mm.; hind tibia, 3.5 mm.

Head but little longer than broad, broader behind than in front, with slightly excised posterior border and slightly convex cheeks, convex dorsal and flattened gular surface. Eyes moderately large, feebly convex. Mandibles 6-toothed. Clypeus rather indistinctly carinate, its anterior border produced as a broad lobe, rounded on the sides and sinuately excised in the middle. Frontal carinae lyrate. Antennal scapes flattened but not dilated at the base, thickened towards the tips, which reach well beyond the posterior corners of the head. Thorax rather robust. in front narrower than the hend, laterally compressed behind; in profile with evenly arched dorsum. Epinotum rounded, its base fully twice as long as the sloping declivity. Petiole rather high and narrow, with strongly convex anterior, more feebly convex posterior surface and blunt, rounded margin. Gaster of the usual shape. Legs long, middle and hind tibiae distinctly flattened.

Mandibles shining, striato-punctate near the teeth, but elsewhere with scattered punctures. Body, femora and antenna~ opaque, very minutely and densely punctate, tibiae somewhat shining. Clypeus and sides of head with small, scattered punctures.

Hairs and pubescence yellow, the former moderately abundant but short, present on the postero-lateral portions of the head but not on the cheeks; on the legs short, scattered and oblique, except on the flexor surfaces of the femora, where there is a row of long erect hairs. Middle and hind tibiae with a row of rather short, graduated bristles extending nearly their entire length. Scapes without erect hairs. Pubescence short and sparse, distinct only on the dorsum of the gaster.

Ferruginous red; mandibles and scapes darker; anterior border of clypeus and cheeks black. Gaster black, with golden yellow posterior border to each segment, a broad transverse golden band on the first, and another at the base of the second segment.

Minor Length, 7.5-10.5 mm.

Head longer than broad, Slightly broader in front than behind with rounded postocular portion and feebly convex sides. Clypeus more distinctly carinate than in the worker major, broadly rounded in front, with a very faint median notch. Antennal scapes very slightly flattened at their bases. Thorax similar to• that of the worker major, but base of epinotum fully three times as long as the declivity. Petiole longer than broad, but higher than long, thick and subconical, with blunt border.

Sculpture, pilosity and color as in the worker major, but mandibles not darker than the remainder of the head, clypeus somewhat yellowish and antennal scapes red like the funiculi.


Wheeler (1910) - Length, 15-16 mm.

Pale ferruginous, antennal funiculi, gaster and legs more or less yellowish red, mandibles reddish brown, scutellum, especially near its edges, and the tarsi brown, posterior border of gastric segment and anterior portion of same, excepting the first segment, dark brown. Pilosity as in the worker, but sparser. Head as in the major worker very finely and densely punctate, partly finely shagreened, and in addition, especially on the clypeus and cheeks, with scattered punctures. Mandibles nearly smooth, with scattered punctures, 6-toothed. Clypeus not carinate, its anterior border produced as in the worker major and with rounded corners mesial to the excisions. Thorax finely reticulate-rugulose, above moderately shining. Petiole moderately thick, with rounded upper border. Gaster very finely transversely rugulose.


Wheeler (1910) - Length, 9 mm.

Head longer than broad; rounded behind; cheeks subparallel, concave, as long as the eyes. Clypeus convex, scarcely carinate, with rounded anterior border. Mandibles edentate. Eyes rather small. Antenna) slender, scapes not flattened at the base, first funicular joint very feebly incrassated, as long as the second. Thorax robust, epinotum rounded, sloping, with subequal base and declivity. Petiole low and thick, upper border sharp, distinctly excised in the middle. Gaster small; legs and antennal long and slender. Surface of body shining; head and thorax more coarsely, gaster much more finely and superficially shagreened. Mandibles subopaque, finely punctate.

Pilosity similar to that of the worker, but erect hairs absent on thorax, on legs much shorter and appressed.

Chestnut brown; anterior portion of head, antenna), legs, articulations of thorax and edges of gastric segments yellowish brown. Wings faintly suffused with yellow; veins and stigma pale yellow.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Annotated Ant Species List Ordway-Swisher Biological Station. Downloaded at on 5th Oct 2010.
  • Deyrup M. 2016. Ants of Florida: identification and natural history. CRC Press, 423 pages.
  • Deyrup M., C. Johnson, G. C. Wheeler, J. Wheeler. 1989. A preliminary list of the ants of Florida. Florida Entomologist 72: 91-101
  • Deyrup, M. 2003. An updated list of Florida ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Florida Entomologist 86(1):43-48.
  • Deyrup, M. and J. Trager. 1986. Ants of the Archbold Biological Station, Highlands County, Florida (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Florida Entomologist 69(1):206-228
  • Forster J.A. 2005. The Ants (hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Alabama. Master of Science, Auburn University. 242 pages.
  • Graham, J.H., A.J. Krzysik, D.A. Kovacic, J.J. Duda, D.C. Freeman, J.M. Emlen, J.C. Zak, W.R. Long, M.P. Wallace, C. Chamberlin-Graham, J.P. Nutter and H.E. Balbach. 2008. Ant Community Composition across a Gradient of Disturbed Military Landscapes at Fort Benning, Georgia. Southeastern Naturalist 7(3):429-448
  • Johnson C. 1986. A north Florida ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insecta Mundi 1: 243-246
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Klotz, J.H., J.R. Mangold, K.M. Vail, L.R. Davis Jr., R.S. Patterson. 1995. A survey of the urban pest ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Peninsular Florida. Florida Entomologist 78(1):109-118
  • Lubertazi, D. Personal Communication. Specimen Data from Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard
  • MacGown J. A., J. G. Hill, and M. Deyrup. 2009. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Little Ohoopee River Dunes, Emanuel County, Georgia. J. Entomol. Sci. 44(3): 193-197.
  • MacGown J. A., R. L. Brown, J. G. Hill, and B. Layton. 2007. Carpenter ants of Mississippi. Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Bulletin 1158: 1-35.
  • MacGown, J.A and J.A. Forster. 2005. A preliminary list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Alabama, U.S.A. Entomological News 116(2):61-74
  • Michigan State University, The Albert J. Cook Arthropod Research Collection. Accessed on January 7th 2014 at
  • Smith M. R. 1930. A list of Florida ants. Florida Entomologist 14: 1-6.
  • Trager, J. and C.Johnson. 1985. A slave-making ant in Florida: Polyergus lucidus with observations on the natural history of its host Formica archboldi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The Florida Entomologist 68(2):261-266.
  • Van Pelt A. F. 1948. A Preliminary Key to the Worker Ants of Alachua County, Florida. The Florida Entomologist 30(4): 57-67
  • Van Pelt A. F. 1966. Activity and density of old-field ants of the Savannah River Plant, South Carolina. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 82: 35-43.
  • Van Pelt A., and J. B. Gentry. 1985. The ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Savannah River Plant, South Carolina. Dept. Energy, Savannah River Ecology Lab., Aiken, SC., Report SRO-NERP-14, 56 p.
  • Whitcomb W. H., H. A. Denmark, A. P. Bhatkar, and G. L. Greene. 1972. Preliminary studies on the ants of Florida soybean fields. Florida Entomologist 55: 129-142.