Camponotus vicinus

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Camponotus vicinus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. vicinus
Binomial name
Camponotus vicinus
Mayr, 1870

Camponotus vicinus casent0005353 profile 1.jpg

Camponotus vicinus casent0005353 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Nest chambers are often under a stone or, less frequently, under downed wood.

Photo Gallery

  • Minor worker rescuing a pupa when her nest was disturbed by the photographer. Photo by Tom Murray.


The majors, minors, and females of this species have the area at the base of the scape flattened, which is rarely enlarged into a poorly formed lobe. The frontal carinae are widely separated. The cheek, malar area, and sides of head are nearly always without erect hairs, but up to 3 for 4 hairs may be present on the cheeks (usually located near the base of mandibles), and an erect hair on the ventral surface of the head may be visible in full face view, appearing as an erect hair on the side of the head. The mesosoma has numerous erect hairs, as does the petiole and the gaster, the hairs on the gaster are positioned along the posterior edge of each tergum, as well as nearly always scattered across the surface. The middle and hind tibiae have 2 rows of erect, coarse hairs that extend nearly the entire length of the tibiae, but there are usually fewer than 10 present, and most are on the distal half. The head and mesosoma have a few appressed hairs. The appressed hairs on the gaster are variable, ranging from a few tiny (0.01 mm) hairs, to coarse, long (up to 0.2 mm) hairs. The head is densely and evenly punctate, the mesosoma is coriaceous, and the gaster ranges from smooth and glossy to dull with coarse transverse striae. The color ranges from yellow brown to black, the most common color includes a black head and gaster with a red mesosoma and legs. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)


Southwestern Canada, western United States, south to northwestern Mexico.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 61.218056° to 18.883891°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: Canada, 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.


In New Mexico (Mackay and Mackay 2002): Chihuahuan Desert, areas of mesquite, sagebrush, meadows, deciduous forests, oak forests, riparian cottonwood forests, ponderosa pine-riparian, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, aspen forest, usually at higher elevations in relatively mesic sites (1930 - 2960 meters).


Wheeler (1910) - C. vicinus live in the soil under stones in rather dry, sunny places. The eggs and young larvae are of a peculiar salmon-yellow color. The sexual phases seem to occur in the nests at all times of the year.

For New Mexico (Mackay and Mackay 2002) - This is a very common species in New Mexico, which nests under stones and logs (rare) in open areas of fine sand to rocky soils. Brood and reproductives were found in nests from March to October, dealate females were captured from March to mid September. A flight occurred on 19-vii-1986 at 7:00 p.m. Nests are occasionally started by pleometrosis (multiple females start nests together). Much of the foraging occurs at night, although workers are also diurnal; workers tend Homoptera. Workers forage into vegetation, especially cholla (Opuntia sp.), and Yucca sp. Workers are attracted to baits, including liver, especially rotten liver. Monomorium minimum, Myrmica striolagaster, Liometopum apiculatum, Leptothorax crassipilis, and Solenopsis live in nests. One nest inhabited an abandoned nest of Pogonomyrmex occidentalis. Gynes are prey of Formica and Solenopsis.

In the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana these ants can be common in open meadows. A single colony can have nest chambers under numerous rocks.

Nevada, Wheeler and Wheeler (1986) - This is one of the commonest and most widely distributed of all Nevada ants. There are two main color phases: one is pale and in the field cannot be distinguished from Camponotus semitestaceus; it occurs in arid and semiarid habitats. We have 197 records in Nevada from 141 localities; 3,900-9,700 ft. Twenty-eight records are from the Cool Desert (including 1 from a Sarcobatus Subclimax, 1 from a cottonwood grove, and 2 riparian), 74 are from the Pinyon-Juniper Biome, and 37 from the Coniferous Forest. The majority (65) of nests were under stones; 9 were under rotten logs lying on the ground; 12 were exposed with excavated soil around the entrance (which sometimes could be called a crater). Entrances ranged from 5 to 30 mm in diameter. Xenodusa angusta Fall (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae; det. RR Snelling) was a guest in a nest. C. vicinus workers were tending waxy scales, Orthezia nigrocincta Cockerell (Homoptera: Ortheziidae; det. D.R Miller), on the roots of Sarcobatus vermiculatus.

Flight Period

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


Association with Other Organisms

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  • This species is a host for the phorid fly Apocephalus horridus (a parasite) ( (attacked).
  • This species is a host for the phorid fly Apocephalus similis (a parasite) ( (attacked).
  • This species is a prey for the Microdon fly Microdon cothurnatus (a predator) (Quevillon, 2018).
  • This species is a prey for the Microdon fly Microdon piperi (a predator) (Quevillon, 2018).
  • This species is a host for the nematode Formicitylenchus oregonensis (a parasite) in Oregon, USA (Poinar, 2003).
  • This species is a host for the cricket Myrmecophilus manni (a myrmecophile) in Mexico, United States.

This species is known to tend the aphids Aphis asclepiadis, Aphis valerianae, Bipersona torticauda, Chaitophorus populifolii, Chaitophorus viminalis, Cinara edulis, Cinara oregonensis, Cinara ponderosae, Cinara pseudotsugae, Cinara schwarzii, Cinara sibiricae, Lachnus solitarius, Macrosiphum chrysothamni, Macrosiphum valerianae, Protaphis middletonii, Thecabius populimonilis and Aphis clerodendri (Saddiqui et al., 2019 and included references).


Minor Worker

Mcz-ent00668228 Camponotus vicinus worker hef.jpgMcz-ent00668228 Camponotus vicinus worker hal.jpgMcz-ent00668228 Camponotus vicinus worker had.jpgMcz-ent00668228 Camponotus vicinus worker lbs.JPG
Worker (minor). . Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.
Camponotus vicinus casent0102789 head 1.jpgCamponotus vicinus casent0102789 profile 1.jpgCamponotus vicinus casent0102789 dorsal 1.jpgCamponotus vicinus casent0102789 label 1.jpg
Worker (minor/media). . Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Major Worker

Mcz-ent00668543 Camponotus vicinus soldier hef.jpgMcz-ent00668543 Camponotus vicinus soldier hal.jpgMcz-ent00668543 Camponotus vicinus soldier had.jpgMcz-ent00668543 Camponotus vicinus soldier lbs.JPG
Worker (major). . Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.
Camponotus vicinus casent0102788 head 1.jpgCamponotus vicinus casent0102788 profile 1.jpgCamponotus vicinus casent0102788 dorsal 1.jpgCamponotus vicinus casent0102788 label 1.jpg
Worker (major). . Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.


Mcz-ent00668227 Camponotus vicinus hef.jpgMcz-ent00668227 Camponotus vicinus hal.jpgMcz-ent00668227 Camponotus vicinus had.jpgMcz-ent00668227 Camponotus vicinus lbs.JPG
Queen. . Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.


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

  • vicinus. Camponotus vicinus Mayr, 1870b: 940 (s.w.) U.S.A. (Connecticut, Virginia, New Mexico, California).
    • Type-material: syntype major and minor workers (numbers not stated).
    • Type-localities: U.S.A.: California (E. Norton), California (L.W. Schaufuss) (invalid restriction of type-locality by Creighton, 1950a: 381; no lectotype designated), U.S.A.: Connecticut (E. Norton), U.S.A.: Virginia (E. Norton), U.S.A.: New Mexico (E. Norton).
    • Type-depository: NHMW.
    • Emery, 1893i: 671 (s.q.); Wheeler, W.M. 1910d: 302 (m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1968: 220 (l.).
    • Combination in C. (Myrmoturba): Forel, 1914a: 268;
    • combination in C. (Camponotus): Emery, 1925b: 75;
    • combination in C. (Tanaemyrmex): Creighton, 1950a: 381.
    • Subspecies of sylvaticus: Mayr, 1886d: 422; Cresson, 1887: 255.
    • Subspecies of maculatus: Emery, 1893i: 671; Emery, 1896d: 371 (in list); Wheeler, W.M. 1904d: 271; Wheeler, W.M. 1906d: 345; Wheeler, W.M. 1910d: 301 (redescription); Wheeler, W.M. 1910g: 571; Forel, 1914c: 620; Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 558; Essig, 1926: 868; Cole, 1936a: 39; Cole, 1937b: 139.
    • Subspecies of sansabeanus: Emery, 1920b: 232 (footnote); Emery, 1925b: 75; Menozzi, 1932b: 311; Cole, 1942: 387; Smith, M.R. 1951a: 841.
    • Status as species: Forel, 1879a: 60; Dalla Torre, 1893: 257; Forel, 1899c: 131; Creighton, 1950a: 381; Cole, 1954f: 272; Smith, M.R. 1958c: 145; Cole, 1966: 19 (in key); Beck, et al. 1967: 68; Smith, M.R. 1967: 366; Snelling, R.R. 1970: 396; Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1978: 393; Hunt & Snelling, 1975: 22; Yensen, et al. 1977: 184; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1430; Snelling, R.R. & George, 1979: 193; Allred, 1982: 457; Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1986g: 63; Mackay, Lowrie, et al. 1988: 106; Blacker, 1992: 9; Bolton, 1995b: 129; Mackay & Mackay, 2002: 309; Hansen & Klotz, 2005: 99; Ward, 2005: 63.
    • Senior synonym of nitidiventris: Creighton, 1950a: 381; Smith, M.R. 1958c: 145; Snelling, R.R. 1970: 396; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1430; Snelling, R.R. & George, 1979: 193; Bolton, 1995b: 114.
    • Material of the unavailable names infernalis, luteangulus, plorabilis referred here by Creighton, 1950a: 381; Smith, M.R. 1958c: 145; Snelling, R.R. 1970: 396; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1430; Snelling, R.R. & George, 1979: 193; Bolton, 1995b: 129.
    • Material of the unavailable name subrostrata referred here by Creighton, 1950a: 381; Snelling, R.R. 1970: 396; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1430; Snelling, R.R. & George, 1979: 193; Bolton, 1995b: 129.
    • Material of the unavailable name berkeleyensis referred here by Snelling, R.R. 1970: 396; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1430; Snelling, R.R. & George, 1979: 193; Bolton, 1995b: 129.
    • Distribution: Canada, U.S.A.
  • nitidiventris. Camponotus (Tanaemyrmex) vicinus var. nitidiventris Wheeler, W.M. 1935g: 40.
    • [First available use of Camponotus maculatus subsp. vicinus var. nitidiventris Emery, 1893i: 672 (s.w.) U.S.A (Louisiana, Colorado); unavailable (infrasubspecific) name.]
    • Type-material: syntype major and minor workers (numbers not stated).
    • Type-localities: U.S.A.: Louisiana, and Colorado (no further data) (no collectors’ names).
    • Type-depository: MSNG.
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Emery, 1896d: 371 (in list); Wheeler, W.M. 1904d: 271; Wheeler, W.M. 1906d: 345; Wheeler, W.M. 1910d: 304; Wheeler, W.M. 1910g: 571; Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 559; Emery, 1925b: 75; Essig, 1926: 868; Cole, 1936a: 39; Cole, 1937b: 139; Cole, 1942: 387; Smith, M.R. 1951a: 842.
    • Junior synonym of vicinus: Creighton, 1950a: 381; Smith, M.R. 1958c: 145; Snelling, R.R. 1970: 396; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1430; Bolton, 1995b: 114.
  • tejonia. Formica tejonia Buckley, 1866: 161 (m.) U.S.A. (California).
    • Type-material: holotype (?) male.
    • [Note: no indication of number of specimens is given.]
    • Type-locality: U.S.A.: California, Fort Tejon (E. Norton).
    • Type-depository: unknown (no material known to exist).
    • Combination in Camponotus: Emery, 1895c: 338; Wheeler, W.M. 1902f: 21.
    • Status as species: Cresson, 1887: 257; Dalla Torre, 1893: 213.
    • Junior synonym of nitidiventris: Emery, 1925b: 75.
    • Junior synonym of vicinus: Smith, D.R. 1979: 1430.
    • Unidentifiable taxon; incertae sedis in Camponotus: Bolton, 1995b: 126.
    • Distribution: U.S.A.

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, 3.7 x 3.5 mm.; scape, 3.2 mm.; hind tibia, 3.3 mm.

Head, excluding the mandibles, nearly as broad as long, broader behind than in front, with feebly concave posterior and feebly convex lateral borders, convex dorsal and flattened gular surfaces. Mandibles strong, convex, 6-7-toothed. Clypeus carinate, its anterior border moderately produced in the form of a broad flap like lobe with rounded corners and crenate edge. Frontal carinae lyrate. Eyes moderately large, flattened. Antennal scapes distinctly flattened at the base and but slightly widened at their tips, which reach a short distance beyond the posterior corners of the head. Thorax robust in front though narrower than the head; pro- and mesonotum slightly flattened; meso- and metapleural regions compressed; in profile, the dorsum is evenly arched, the epinotum with subequal base and declivity, forming at their juncture a rounded, obtuse angle. Petiole with convex anterior and flattened posterior surface and rather blunt border. Gaster of the usual shape. Legs long; middle and hind tibiae elliptical in cross-section, neither compressed nor grooved.

Mandibles and anterior borders of cheeks shining, the former very coarsely striato-punctate; head, thorax and gaster subopaque; head densely shagreened behind, in front very densely and finely punctate or granular, sides also with numerous smail rounded foveolae; sides of clypeus and inner borders of frontal carinre with a few large piligerous foveolae. Thorax, petiole and legs more finely, gaster more coarsely and transversely shagreened, also with small transverse foveolae bearing the pubescence and large piligerous foveolae across the middle and along the posterior border of each segment.

Hairs and pubescence yellow, the former long, sparse and erect, confined to the mandibles, clypeus, dorsal surface of head, thorax, border of petiole, gula and both dorsal and ventral surfaces of the gaster. Pubescence sparse, especially on the gaster, but very distinct on the posterior portions of the head, thoracic dorsum, scapes, and legs. Middle and hind tibiae with rows of stiff, graduated bristles on their flexor surfaces. There are a few short hairs at the tips of the antennal scapes and at the femoro-tibial articulations.

Head and antennal scapes black; mandibles, clypeus, cheeks and antennal funiculi often tinged with red. Thorax and legs brownish red or chestnut; gaster black, with dull brown posterior segmental margins; base of first segment or the whole of the first and second segments red like the thorax.

Minor Length, 7-8.5 mm.

Head longer than broad, not contracted but rounded behind the eyes, with rather straight, subparallel sides. Clypeus and antennal scapes much like those of the worker major, the scapes reaching nearly half their length beyond the posterior corners of the head. Thorax about as broad as the head, base of the epinotum somewhat longer than the declivity. Petiole subcuneate, with more convex posterior surface and blunter border than in the worker major.

Sculpture, pilosity and color much as in the worker major, but gaster not red at the base.


Wheeler (1910) - Length, 14-16 mm.

Head similar to that of the worker major but proportionally longer and narrower behind, with more nearly parallel sides. Thorax about as broad as the head. Epinotum with short, convex base and much longer, steep and slightly concave declivity. Petiole rather high, thick below, compressed anteroposteriorly above, with sharp border. Wings long (16-17 mm.).

Differs from the worker major in sculpture to the extent of having the thorax, gaster, legs and lower lateral borders of the head shining.

Pilosity, pubescence and color much as in the worker major, but the mesonotum, scutellum and metanotum black and .the pronotum, pleurae, tibiae and femora sometimes infuscated. Gaster frequently red at the base. In some specimens, the whole of the thorax and the legs are very dark brown or black. Wings suffused with brown; veins and stigma light brown.


Wheeler (1910) - Length, 8-11 mm.

Head somewhat longer than broad, with large, convex eyes, broader and rounded postocular region and concave cheeks. Clypeus carinate, with broadly rounded anterior border. Mandibles edentate. Antennal scapes slender, terete, not flattened at the base. Thorax robust; epinotum like that of the female, Petiole very low and thick, its upper border transverse, blunt, sometimes with a broad but shallow excision.

Head, thorax and gaster very finely shagreened, shining.

Pilosity much as in the worker; pubescence shorter and much less conspicuous.

Black; mouthparts, funiculi, genitalia, tarsi and articulations of the legs and wings brownish or reddish. Wings colored like those of the female.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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