Camponotus fallax

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Camponotus fallax
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. fallax
Binomial name
Camponotus fallax
(Nylander, 1856)

Camponotus fallax casent0103341 profile 1.jpg

Camponotus fallax casent0103341 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


This species is widely distributed in Europe, and can be found as far north as southern Sweden, while also present in north-west Africa, the Caucasus, north-west Kazakhstan, and in the southern part of western Siberia (Czechowski et al. 2002). It lives mainly in light, warm forests, or even orchards and city parks. Nests are built in dead trees, or dead twigs of living trees, but also in wooden parts of buildings (Marko et al., 2009). In Russia it was found in oak forests nesting in dead, dry branches and sometimes in wooden buildings (Zryanin & Zryanina, 2007).

Photo Gallery

  • Worker with larva. Photo by Michal Kukla.
  • Camponotus fallax worker with aphids. Photo by Michal Kukla.
  • Camponotus fallax queen. Photo by Michal Kukla.
  • Camponotus fallax queen and worker. Photo by Michal Kukla.
  • Foraging worker. Photo by Michal Kukla.


Dark brownish red to black with legs and antennae paler; body hairs sparse; microsculpture on head and alitrunk dense, giving somewhat opaque appearance; gaster shining. Clypeus not projecting forward beyond mandibular insertions, middle of front border incised; in the larger examples the cleft is deep, giving a bidentate appearance. Mandibles broad with five distinct teeth. In profile dorsum of alitrunk rather flat, propodeum with steep descending basal face; petiole broadly oval in front view. Length: variable 4-9 mm (Collingwood 1979).

Keys including this Species


Central and South Europe, Portugal to Ukraine and Morocco to Poland (Collingwood 1979).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Balearic Islands, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France (type locality), Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Iran, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Collingwood (1979) - This species lives in small colonies of 30-50 individuals under bark or in dead wood of old trees up to 2m or more above ground in open deciduous woodland or parkland. Workers forage singly and are fugitive. Alatae have been recorded in early summer, May and June.

Associations with other Organisms

Other Insects

This ant has been observed tending butterfly larvae of Polyommatus celina that were feeding on the plant Medicago sativa (Obregon et al. 2015).



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

  • fallax. Formica fallax Nylander, 1856b: 57 (s.w.) FRANCE. Roger, 1859: 230 (q.m.). Combination in Camponotus: Mayr, 1861: 36; in C. (Camponotus): Forel, 1914a: 266; in C. (Myrmentoma): Emery, 1920b: 257. Junior synonym of marginatus: Roger, 1863b: 1; Mayr, 1886d: 423; Nasonov, 1889: 10. Revived from synonymy: Wheeler, W.M. 1913c: 117; Forel, 1915d: 67; Emery, 1916b: 226. Subspecies of caryae: Wheeler, W.M. 1917c: 27. Revived status as species: Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 558; Bondroit, 1918: 71; Finzi, 1924a: 14; Karavaiev, 1927c: 277. See also: Kutter, 1977c: 206; Collingwood, 1979: 88; Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 220. Senior synonym of kamensis, pageti, ruzskyi: Radchenko, 1997b: 703.
  • ruzskyi. Camponotus marginatus var. ruzskyi Emery, 1898c: 150 (w.) RUSSIA. Combination in C. (Myrmentoma): Emery, 1925b: 118. Subspecies of caryae: Wheeler, W.M. 1917d: 29; of marginatus: Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1929b: 36. Raised to species: Arakelian, 1994: 88. Junior synonym of fallax: Radchenko, 1997b: 703.
  • kamensis. Camponotus marginatus var. kamensis Ruzsky, 1903b: 302 (w.) RUSSIA. Combination in C. (Myrmentoma): Emery, 1925b: 118. Subspecies of caryae: Wheeler, W.M. 1917c: 29. Junior synonym of fallax: Radchenko, 1997b: 703.
  • pageti. Camponotus (Myrmentoma) fallax subsp. pageti Hamann & Klemm, 1976: 674, fig. 1 (q.) GREECE. Junior synonym of fallax: Radchenko, 1997b: 703.



  • Atanassov, N.; Dlussky, G. M. 1992. Fauna of Bulgaria. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Fauna Bûlg. 22: 1-310 (page 220, see also)
  • Bondroit, J. 1918. Les fourmis de France et de Belgique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 87: 1-174 (page 71, revived status as species)
  • Borowiec, L. & Salata, S. 2013. Ants of Greece – additions and corrections (Hymenoptera Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 24, 335-401.
  • Collingwood, C. A. 1979. The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. Fauna Entomol. Scand. 8: 1-174 (page 88, see also)
  • Emery, C. 1916a [1915]. Fauna entomologica italiana. I. Hymenoptera.-Formicidae. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 47: 79-275 (page 226, revived from synonymy)
  • Emery, C. 1920b. Le genre Camponotus Mayr. Nouvel essai de la subdivision en sous-genres. Rev. Zool. Afr. (Bruss.) 8: 229-260 (page 257, combination in C. (Myrmentoma))
  • Finzi, B. 1924a. Formiche dell'isola d'Elba e Monte Argentario. Boll. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 56: 12-15 (page 14, revived status as species)
  • Forel, A. 1914a. Le genre Camponotus Mayr et les genres voisins. Rev. Suisse Zool. 22: 257-276 (page 266, combination in C. (Camponotus))
  • Forel, A. 1915d. Fauna insectorum helvetiae. Hymenoptera. Formicidae. Die Ameisen der Schweiz. Mitt. Schweiz. Entomol. Ges. 12(B Beilage: 1-77 (page 67, revived from synonymy)
  • Karavaiev, V. 1927d. The ant fauna of Ukraine. Zb. Prats Zool. Muz. 2:1-52 [= Tr. Ukr. Akad. Nauk Fiz.-Mat. Vidd. 4:247-296] (page 277, revived status as species)
  • Kutter, H. 1977c. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Insecta Helv. Fauna 6: 1-298 (page 206, see also)
  • Marko, B., Ionescu-Hirsch, A., Szasz-Len, A. 2009. Genus Camponotus Mayr, 1861 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Romania: distribution and identification key to the worker caste. Entomologica romanica 14: 29-41.
  • Mayr, G. 1861. Die europäischen Formiciden. Nach der analytischen Methode bearbeitet. Wien: C. Gerolds Sohn, 80 pp. (page 36, combination in Camponotus)
  • Mayr, G. 1886d. Die Formiciden der Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 36: 419-464 (page 423, junior synonym of marginatus)
  • Nasonov, N. V. 1889. Contribution to the natural history of the ants primarily of Russia. 1. Contribution to the ant fauna of Russia. Izv. Imp. Obshch. Lyubit. Estestvozn. Antropol. Etnogr. Imp. Mosk. Univ. 58: 1-78 (page 10, junior synonym of marginatus)
  • Nylander, W. 1856b. Synopsis des Formicides de France et d'Algérie. Ann. Sci. Nat. Zool. (4) 5: 51-109 (page 57, soldier, worker described)
  • Obregon, R., M. R. Shaw, J. Fernandez-Haeger, and D. Jordano. 2015. Parasitoid and ant interactions of some Iberian butterflies (Insecta: Lepidoptera). Shilap-Revista De Lepidopterologia. 43:439-454.
  • Radchenko, A.G. 1997. A review of ants of the subgenus Myrmentoma, genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), from Asian Palaearctic. Entomological Review 77: 1050-1059 (translated from Zoologicheskii Zhurnal 76: 703-711).
  • Roger, J. 1859. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Ameisenfauna der Mittelmeerländer. I. Berl. Entomol. Z. 3: 225-259 (page 230, queen, male described)
  • Roger, J. 1863b. Verzeichniss der Formiciden-Gattungen und Arten. Berl. Entomol. Z. 7(B Beilage: 1-65 (page 1, junior synonym of marginatus)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1913d. Ants collected in Georgia by Dr. J. C. Bradley and Mr. W. T. Davis. Psyche (Camb.) 20: 112-117 (page 117, revived from synonymy)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1917a. The mountain ants of western North America. Proc. Am. Acad. Arts Sci. 52: 457-569 (page 558, revived status as species)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1917c. The North American ants described by Asa Fitch. Psyche (Camb.) 24: 26-29 (page 27, variety of caryae)
  • Zryanin, V.A. and Zryanina, T.A. 2007. Novye dannye o faune murav’ev Srednego Povolzh’ya. Uspekhi Sovremennoj Biologii. 127:226-240. [in Russian]