Camponotus varatra

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Camponotus varatra
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species group: edmondi
Species: C. varatra
Binomial name
Camponotus varatra
Rakotonirina, Csősz & Fisher, 2016

Camponotus varatra casent0178920 p 1 high.jpg

Camponotus varatra casent0178920 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The species is endemic to Madagascar, where it is mostly found in montane forest habitats and rarely in lowland rainforests and littoral forest areas. Its colonies frequently have been collected from dead twigs above ground and occasionally from rotten logs and dead tree stumps. (Rakotonirina et al. 2016)

Identification

Rakotonirina et al. (2016) - A member of the Camponotus edmondi species group. In profile, anterior and posterior margins of petiolar node convex; in profile, propodeal dorsum and declivitous surface separated by blunt angle; in dorsal view, mesonotum less than twice as broad as long; mesopleuron with propodeal surface together distinctly wider than lateral portion of pronotum; in profile, propodeal dorsum roughly as long as declivitous margin; dorsum of head and mesosoma smooth and shiny or imbricate; in profile, mesonotum slightly sloping down to the level of propodeum, maximum length distinctly shorter than distance between metanotal groove and propodeal spiracle; in dorsal view, lateral margin of mesonotum well defined and evenly convex, converging abruptly towards metanotal groove; junction between dorsum and lateral surface of pronotum with sharp margination; no distinct angle between dorsal margin of propodeum and declivity; antennal scape and gastral segment with scattered appressed pubescence.

Camponotus varatra is separable from the similar species like Camponotus zavo because the latter species has the following combination of characters: the junction of the dorsum to the lateral portion of the pronotum is rounded, the junction between the dorsal margin of the propodeum and the declivity is either rounded or with a blunt angle, and the antennal scape and gastral segment are covered with abundant appressed pubescence.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Worker

Queen

Nomenclature

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

  • varatra. Camponotus varatra Rakotonirina, Csősz & Fisher, 2016: 143, figs. 18C, 18D, 32, 47 (w.q.) MADAGASCAR.

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

Description

Worker

Minor. In full-face view head slightly longer than broad (CWb/CL: 0.83–0.96), sides slightly convex and noticeably diverging posteriorly; posterior cephalic margin generally convex. Level of posterior ocular margins located around or less than posterior fourth portion of head (PoOc/CL: 0.2–0.24). Anterior clypeal margin broadly convex. Mandible triangular, armed with six teeth. Antennal scape relatively short (SL/CS: 0.93–1.07), apical third extending beyond posterior cephalic border. Promesonotal dorsum flattened, dorsal face joining lateral portion with margination; anterodorsal angle of pronotum extending anteriorly into narrow edge. In dorsal view, mesonotum less than twice as broad as long; lateral margin evenly convex and abruptly converging posteriorly. In lateral view, propodeal dorsum extending into very short edge and then sloping strongly posteriorly to join the declivitous surface without an angle. In lateral view, dorsolateral carina of propodeum roughly as long as declivitous margin; meso-metapleuron and lateral propodeal surface together distinctly broader than side of pronotum. In side view, mesonotal length shorter than distance between metanotal groove and propodeal spiracle. Width of procoxa greater than width of meso-metapleuron combined. In profile, anterior petiolar margin convex, posterior margin sloping posteriorly to mid-height and descending almost vertically to posteroventral angle. Junction between abdominal segments III and IV without constriction.

Dorsum of head, mesosoma, petiole, and gastral tergites smooth and shiny or with imbricating sculpture. Sparse shallow punctures present on lateral portion of head near base of mandible. Mandible with sparse piligerous punctures. Numerous pairs of whitish erect hairs on dorsum of head arranged near lateral margin of clypeus and frontal carina to posteromedian portion of head. One pair of hairs on mesonotum and one to two pairs on propodeum at junction of its dorsum and declivity; pronotum and declivitous surface just above propodeal spiracle without erect hair. A row of four whitish hairs erected along near lateral margin and posterodorsal angle of posterior face of petiolar node. Anterior and posterior portions of each gastral tergite with transversely arranged, slender, erect hairs. Body with appressed, filiform, short pubescence; antennal scape covered with subdecumbent spatulate hairs. Body color generally black; gaster and appendages dark brown; basal portion of antenna, trochanter, and tarsus sometimes much lighter than remaining parts of appendages.

Major. Similar to minor worker, but differing in the following characters: head larger (CS: 1.35–1.62) and as long as broad (CWb/CL: 0.95–1), sides parallel to each other and suddenly converging to base of mandibles; posterior margin straight; small apical portion of antennal scape surpassing posterior margin of head (SL/CS: 0.66–0.78); level of posterior ocular margins at about posterior third of head (PoOc/ CL: 0.24–0.29); mandible more robust; metanotum present between metanotal groove and propodeum; propodeal dorsum rounding to declivitous surface; one to two pairs of whitish erect hairs on pronotum, mesonotum, and propodeum.

Type Material

Holotype worker. Madagascar, Province Fianarantsoa, Parc National de Ranomafana, Sahamalaotra River, 6.6 km 310° NW Ranomafana, –21.23667, 47.39667, 1150 m, montane rainforest, ex dead twig above ground, 31 Mar 2003 (Fisher, Griswold et al.) collection code: BLF08630, specimen code: CASENT0492888 (California Academy of Sciences). Paratype. 1 dealate queen and 8 workers with same data as holotype: CASENT0492886 (queen), CASENT0492887, CASENT0492889, CASENT0217289, CASENT0746977, CASENT0746978, CASENT0746979, CASENT0746980, CASENT0763748 (The Natural History Museum, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa, CASC).

References

  • Rakotonirina J.C., Csosz S., and B.L. Fisher. 2016. Revision of the Malagasy Camponotus edmondi species group (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Formicinae): integrating qualitative morphology and multivariate morphometric analysis. ZooKeys. 572:81-154. doi:10.3897/zookeys.572.7177