Crematogaster chiarinii

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Crematogaster chiarinii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Crematogaster
Species: C. chiarinii
Binomial name
Crematogaster chiarinii
Emery, 1881

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Specimen Labels


This arboreal, long spined, black ant is common in southern Arabia wherever there are trees (Collingwood and Agosti 1996).



Sharaf et al. (2019): This species was originally described from Ethiopia and is widely distributed in the Afrotropical region. It seems to be a predominantly eastern African species but is also known from Central and South Africa (Guénard et al. 2017; Janicki et al. 2017). From the Arabian Peninsula, the species has been recorded from the southwestern mountains of the KSA and Oman (Wheeler 1922; Borowiec 2014; Collingwood 1985, Collingwood and Agosti 1996).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Eritrea, Ethiopia (type locality), Gambia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Somalia (type locality), Yemen.
Palaearctic Region: Oman.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb







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

  • chiarinii. Crematogaster chiarinii Emery, 1881a: 271, fig. (w.) ETHIOPIA. Forel, 1892e: 353 (q.m.). Combination in C. (Crematogaster): Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 835; in C. (Acrocoelia): Emery, 1922e: 146; in C. (Crematogaster): Bolton, 1995b: 166. Current subspecies: nominal plus aethiops, bayeri, cincta, nigra, sellula, subsulcata, taediosa, v-nigra.
  • affabilis. Crematogaster chiarinii var. affabilis Forel, 1907c: 142 (w.) SOMALIA.
    • Combination in C. (Acrocoelia): Emery, 1922e: 146.
    • Combination in C. (Crematogaster): Bolton, 1995b: 166.
    • Raised to species: Collingwood, 1985: 260.
    • Junior synonym of chiarinii: Sharaf et al., 2019: 47.

Taxonomic Notes

Sharaf et al. (2019): Crematogaster affabilis was originally described as a variety of C. chiarinii but subsequently elevated to species rank by Collingwood (1985) based on head width, length of the propodeal spines, and absence of the mesonotal tubercle. During the present study the type material of C. chiarinii and C. affabilis (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève) were examined and detailed morphological examinations of the type material shows that both are uniformly brown with the anterior half of the cephalic surface longitudinally striated; the frontal triangle is well-defined with a distinct posterior carina running back to the posterior level of the eyes; the propodeal spines long and acute, about 1.5 × longer than their base, making an angle of about 45 with the longitudinal axis of the body in profile view; and, the mesonotum in profile descending abruptly to a deep metanotal groove. The type of C. affabilis is somewhat larger but not more than major workers in both species are from minor workers. Consequently, even though both taxa are outside the focal region of Arabia, on the basis of any lack of significant phenotypical differences, we propose C. chiarinii as a senior synonym of C. affabilis.

Nevertheless, despite our synonymizing of both taxa, the taxonomic condition of C. chiarinii is still in need of a thorough revision. The taxonomic history above with all status changes, synonymic history, and numerous still valid infraspecific taxa shows clearly the complexity of this task. Based on superficial examination of material from the Afrotropical region, we are doubtful that the material from East Africa might remain conspecific with the one from Central and South Africa. Hopefully, a future revision of the Afrotropical fauna will resolve this situation.