Crematogaster sabatra

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Crematogaster sabatra
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Crematogaster
Species: C. sabatra
Binomial name
Crematogaster sabatra
Blaimer, 2010

Crematogaster sabatra casent0193162 p 1 high.jpg

Crematogaster sabatra casent0193162 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Queens or males of this species have never been collected, and little information exists on its ecology.


Crematogaster sabatra is very closely related to the Crematogaster hova-complex, from which it can be distinguished by size, the angular postero-lateral character of the mesonotum and the reduced sculpture. The species is further morphologically similar to Crematogaster mahery; characters to separate these two species are given above (see description of C. mahery). Both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data support populations of C. sabatra from all localities as being conspecific. However, in phylogenetic analysis specimens from the sampled populations (P.N. Andringitra, P.C. Ankazomivady and P.N. Befotaka–Midongy) form a cluster within the C. hova-complex, rendering the latter a paraphyletic grouping. The speciation event between C. sabatra and the hova-complex thus may have been very recent and reciprocal monophyly is not yet reached, at least in the markers implemented in this study. Considering the sympatry of C. sabatra with the C. hova-complex across its entire distribution, strong reproductive isolating mechanisms must already be in place. This, together with the morphological distinctness, is here regarded as sufficient evidence to describe C. sabatra as a species. (Blaimer 2010)

Keys including this Species


Madagascar: Crematogaster sabatra is known only from a few localities in Madagascar: the P.N. Andringitra, P.C. Ankazomivady, P.N. Befotaka–Midongy and R.S. Kalambatritra (Fig. 58). All of these localities are mountainous regions in the Central Region and harbour mid-elevation to montane rainforest, very much reminiscent of the distributions of Crematogaster mahery and Crematogaster malala. Crematogaster sabatra has been collected only from elevations of 1250 m and above (up to 1700m). (Blaimer 2010)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Fisher et al. have collected C. sabatra mostly while beating vegetation and during other ground sampling methods. On a few occasions colonies were found in dead branches or twigs and carton nests. It seems likely that it shares a very similar arboreal lifestyle as the rest of the Malagasy Decacrema. (Blaimer 2010)


Populations from P.N. Andringitra and P.C. Ankazomivady show a mostly reticulate sculpturing on the head and on parts of the promesonotum, in contrast to the aciculate sculpture of workers collected from the southern localities R.S. Kalambatritra and P.N. Befotaka–Midongy. (Blaimer 2010)



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

  • sabatra. Crematogaster sabatra Blaimer, 2010: 28, figs. 34, 40 (w.) MADAGASCAR.

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



Measurements (n=10). HW 1.15–1.31; HL 1.03–1.15; EL 0.26–0.30; SL 0.86–0.98; WL 1.20–1.34; SPL 0.27–0.42; PTH 0.22–0.25; PTL 0.29–0.38; PTW 0.32–0.37; PPL 0.20–0.23; PPW 0.28–0.31; LHT 0.96–1.10; CI 1.09–1.15; OI 0.23–0.28; SI 0.84–0.88; SPI 0.22–0.33; PTHI 0.60–0.84; PTWI 0.89–1.26; PPI 1.31–1.52; LBI 1.16–1.24.

Large to very large species (HW 1.15–1.31,WL 1.20–1.34).

Masticatory margin of mandibles with 5 teeth; posterior margin of head straight, laterally forming subangular corners; antennal scapes surpassing posterior margin of head easily; midline of eyes situated well above midline of head in full face view.

Pronotum laterally angular; promesonotal suture usually incomplete, impressed only laterally; dorsum of promesonotum more or less flat in lateral view; antero-medial portion of mesonotum from slightly raised to prominently raised with respect to pronotum, but not tuberculate; dorsal face of mesonotum flat, lateral portion from broadly to sharply angular; mesonotum postero-laterally angular or tuberculate, and with a distinct posterior face; propodeal spines massive, medium to large size (SPI 0.22–0.33), at least longer than width between their bases, evenly tapering, in lateral profile fairly straight, in dorsal view moderately diverging (<30°); petiole in dorsal view hexagonal, not lobed, lacking carinae or tubercule; dorsum of petiole flat; subpetiolar process variable, articulated as broadly rounded or angular antero-ventral tooth, or close to absent.

Head sculpture aciculate to reticulate; mesosoma with mesopleuron partly aciculate, partly reticulate, and metapleuron carinulate to costulate; dorsal face of propodeum costulate; posterior face largely smooth and shiny; otherwise mesosoma largely aciculate, or aciculate-reticulate; dorsal face of petiole mostly shiny; lateral and ventral face coarsely reticulate; postpetiole dorsally feebly, ventrally more strongly rugulose; helcium carinulate; face with 4-6 erect setae; promesonotum with 2 erect humeral setae and sometimes 2 erect setae laterally on mesonotum; petiole and postpetiole devoid of erect pilosity.

Colour mostly black, rarely brown.

Type Material

Holotype worker. Madagascar: P.N. Befotaka–Midongy, -23.84080, 46.95750, 1250m, 17.–19.xi.2006, beating low vegetation, montane rainforest, B.L.Fisher et al. #15075 (CASENT0193162) (deposited in California Academy of Sciences).

Paratypes. 4w, same locality as holotype, ex dead branch above ground (B.L.Fisher #15066, CASENT0193541, CASENT0193554, CASENT0193553 and CASENT0193552) (deposited in Museum of Comparative Zoology, South African Museum, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, University of California, Davis).


“Sabatra” is the Malagasy word for “sword”, naming the species after its workers’ long and sword-like propodeal spines. In this combination “sabatra” is used as a noun in apposition.