Camponotus xerxes

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Camponotus xerxes
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. xerxes
Binomial name
Camponotus xerxes
Forel, 1904



Specimen Labels


Foragers are common from March to October with a peak in September. Workers were commonly found foraging on Calotropis procera (Aiton) W. T. Aiton (Apocynaceae) (Sharaf et al., 2013). Pashaei Rad et al. (2018) found this species in Iran on the ground and consider it to be widespread.


Sharaf et al. (2013) - The high degree of polymorphism and the large intra- and interspecific variation among the species of Camponotus make determinations often difficult. Camponotus xerxes is closely related to Camponotus fellah but can be distinguished by the absence of erect setae on the ventral head surface, whereas in C. fellah there are 1–10 setae (Ionescu-Hirsch, 2009).

Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - This species has affinities with the Camponotus thoracicus species complex and is closely related to Camponotus fellah, according to Radchenko (1997b). According to Collingwood and Agosti (1996) and Radchenko (1997b), C. xerxes can be distinguished from C. fellah only by the absence of erect setae on the ventral surface of the head.

Keys including this Species


This species was reported from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman (Collingwood 1985; Collingwood and Agosti 1996, Collingwood et al. 2011) (Sharaf et al., 2013).

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 40.76667° to 18.173056°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.
Palaearctic Region: Egypt, Iran (type locality), Iraq, Israel, Oman, Qatar, Türkiye, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.

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.


Collingwood and Agosti (1996) - This is the commonest of the larger Camponotus species in Saudi Arabia. This species has a wide range from Central Asia to the Middle East and Arabia but does not seem to occur in the south west of Saudi Arabia or in Yemen where it is probably replaced by the similar C. fellah. The delimitation of these two large nocturnal foraging species however is not too clear and both species occur in similar habitats in the United Arab Emirates.



Images from AntWeb

Camponotus xerxes casent0249901 h 1 high.jpgCamponotus xerxes casent0249901 p 1 high.jpgCamponotus xerxes casent0249901 d 1 high.jpgCamponotus xerxes casent0249901 l 1 high.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0249901. Photographer Shannon Hartman, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MHNG, Geneva, Switzerland.


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

  • xerxes. Camponotus maculatus r. xerxes Forel, 1904f: 424 (w.q.m.) IRAN.
    • Type-material: 3 syntype major and minor workers, 1 syntype queen, 2 syntype males.
    • Type-localities: Iran (“Persia”): S Meschched, Torok – Bjardzu, 28.iii.1898 (Zarudny), Iran: Neibandun, Runi Valley, 16.v.1896 (Zarudny), Iran: Khorasan, Lake Namaksir, Mudzuabad, 17.iv.1898 (Zarudny), Iran: St Tedzen, 25.viii.1896 (Ahnger).
    • Type-depositories: MHNG, ZISP.
    • Karavaiev, 1910b: 9 (s.); Forel, 1913d: 434 (m.).
    • Combination in C. (Tanaemyrmex): Emery, 1925b: 99.
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Emery, 1905d: 40; Forel, 1906c: 189; Forel, 1907e: 19; Emery, 1908a: 194; Santschi, 1908: 518; Karavaiev, 1910b: 9; Karavaiev, 1911: 11; Forel, 1913d: 434; Wheeler, W.M. & Mann, 1916: 174; Donisthorpe, 1918b: 167; Crawley, 1920b: 178; Emery, 1920c: 6; Emery, 1925b: 99; Karavaiev, 1926e: 189; Menozzi, 1927e: 117; Finzi, 1936: 189.
    • Subspecies of maculatus: Ruzsky, 1923: 2.
    • Subspecies of compressus: Finzi, 1930c: 24.
    • Subspecies of thoracicus: Weber, 1952c: 26.
    • Status as species: Pisarski, 1967: 414; Pisarski, 1970: 322; Pisarski, 1971b: 728; Dlussky, 1981a: 17; Collingwood, 1985: 283; Dlussky, Soyunov & Zabelin, 1990: 133; Collingwood & Agosti, 1996: 374; Radchenko, 1996b: 1201 (in key); Radchenko, 1997d: 811; Paknia, et al. 2008: 153; Vonshak, et al. 2009: 39; Ionescu-Hirsch, 2010: 93; Collingwood, et al. 2011: 451; Kiran & Karaman, 2012: 8; Sharaf, Abdel-Dayem, et al. 2013: 570; Karaman, C. & Aktaç, 2013: 53 (in key); Borowiec, L. 2014: 45; Khalili-Moghadam, et al. 2019: 168; Sharaf, Abdel-Dayem, et al. 2020: 539.
    • Senior synonym of irakensis: Radchenko, 1996b: 1201 (in key); Radchenko, 1997d: 811.
    • Distribution: Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan.
  • irakensis. Camponotus (Tanaemyrmex) compressus subsp. irakensis Menozzi, 1927e: 117, fig. 1 (s.q.m.) IRAQ.
    • Type-material: 3 syntype major workers, 6 syntype queens, 1 syntype male.
    • Type-locality: Iraq: Basra (H. Schmidt).
    • Type-depository: IEUB.
    • Subspecies of compressus: Pisarski, 1971b: 728; Bolton, 1995b: 105.
    • Junior synonym of xerxes: Radchenko, 1996b: 1201 (in key) ; Radchenko, 1997d: 811.

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


Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - TL = 13.3–17.0, HL = 3.16–4.49, HW = 2.50–4.38, EL = 0.86–1.05, SL = 3.48–3.67, ML = 4.53–5.94, PW = 1.84–2.58, mTbL = 3.36–3.79, hTbL = 4.61–5.23 (n = 10).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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  • El-Hawagry M. S., M. W. Khalil, M. R. Sharaf, H. H. Fadl, and A. S. Aldawood. 2013. A preliminary study on the insect fauna of Al-Baha Province, Saudi Arabia, with descriptions of two new species. ZooKeys 274: 1–88. doi:10.3897/zookeys.274.4529
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