Camponotus lateralis

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Camponotus lateralis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. lateralis
Binomial name
Camponotus lateralis
(Olivier, 1792)

Camponotus lateralis casent0080857 profile 1.jpg

Camponotus lateralis casent0080857 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


This arboreal species is present in southern and central Europe, as well as in Crimea, the Caucasus, Asia Minor, Kopet Dag (Iran) and NW Africa (Radchenko 1997a). It inhabits warm, xerotherm areas; nests are mostly built in dead wood (Marko et al., 2009; Rigato & Toni, 2011).

Photo Gallery

  • Camponotus lateralis worker. Photo by Michal Kukla.


Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - C. lateralis is characterized by a deep metanotal groove and a flat or concave propodeal dorsum posteriorly. The petiolar scale is strongly convex anterodorsally and flat posteriorly. The body is feebly sculptured and shiny. The pilosity on the dorsum of the propodeum consists of a transversal row of six erect setae at the junction with declivity and short apressed pubescence. C. lateralis has a weak ground sculpture, is mostly shiny, and has yellowish-brown head and mesosoma, occasionally reddish-brown to dark blackish-brown, and black gaster. C. lateralis and Camponotus staryi (its sister species, according to Radchenko, 1997c) are similar, except for the propodeal dorsum being lower than the highest point of the mesonotum in C. lateralis, as opposed to a propodeal dorsum exceeding the highest point of the mesonotum in C. staryi, and a uniformly dark gaster, as opposed to a mostly dark brown gaster with the first segment ochraceous. C. lateralis is similar to Camponotus dalmaticus except for its head being paler than gaster, as opposed to the head equally dark as the gaster. C. lateralis is similar to Camponotus rebeccae in coloration but differs from it by a deep metanotal groove, as opposed to a shallow metanotal groove and by a flat or concave propodeal dorsum, as opposed to a convex propodeal dorsum in C. rebeccae.

Keys including this Species


Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - Southern and central Europe, Crimea, Caucasus, northwestern Morocco, and eastern Mediterranean (Radchenko, 1997c).

Marko et al. (2009) - This species occurs in every region of Romania, although data are scattered and scarce. The occurrence of C. lateralis sp. 2 (Seifert 2007) can also be expected, based on the preliminary distribution data.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Balearic Islands, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, France (type locality), Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Iran, Israel, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine.

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.

  • lateralis. Formica lateralis Olivier, 1792: 497 (q.) FRANCE. Mayr, 1853b: 103 (s.w.m.); Hauschteck, 1962: 219 (k.). Combination in Camponotus: Mayr, 1861: 36; in C. (Orthonotomyrmex): Forel, 1913d: 436; in C. (Myrmentoma): Forel, 1912i: 92; Emery, 1925b: 120. Senior synonym of melanogastes, bicolor: Mayr, 1853b: 102; of axillaris: Mayr, 1855: 322; of pallidinervis: Mayr, 1863: 399; of hemipsila: Forel, 1894d: 5; of armouri (and its junior synonyn balearis): Collingwood, 1978: 73; of kosswigi: Radchenko, 1997b: 706. See also: Bondroit, 1918: 78; Emery, 1924a: 68; Finzi, 1930d: 318; Stitz, 1939: 254; Bernard, 1967: 344; Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 191; Kutter, 1977c: 207; Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 225; Radchenko, 1996b: 1197 (key). Current subspecies: nominal plus cypridis, ebneri, purius, rhodius.
  • bicolor. Formica bicolor Latreille, 1798: 43 (w.) FRANCE. [Unresolved junior primary homonym of Formica bicolor Fabricius, 1793: 351 (now in Cataglyphis).] Junior synonym of lateralis: Mayr, 1853b: 102.
  • melanogastes. Formica melanogastes Latreille, 1802c: 171, pl. 7, fig. 39 (w.) FRANCE. Junior synonym of lateralis: Mayr, 1853b: 102.
  • axillaris. Formica axillaris Spinola, 1808: 243 (w.) ITALY. Junior synonym of lateralis: Mayr, 1855: 322.
  • pallidinervis. Formica pallidinervis Brullé, 1833: 326 (m.) GREECE. Combination in Camponotus, and junior synonym of aethiops: Roger, 1863b: 1. Junior synonym of lateralis: Mayr, 1863: 399.
  • hemipsila. Formica hemipsila Foerster, 1850b: 492 (q.) ALGERIA. Junior synonym of lateralis: Forel, 1894d: 5.
  • armouri. Camponotus (Myrmentoma) lateralis subsp. armouri Wheeler, W.M. 1926: 5 (w.q.m.) BALEARIC IS. Senior synonym of balearis: Santschi, 1936c: 207 (given as junior synonym but armouri has priority over balearis). Junior synonym of lateralis: Collingwood, 1978: 73.
  • balearis. Camponotus (Myrmentoma) lateralis var. balearis Santschi, 1929e: 164 (w.) SPAIN (Balearic Is). [First available use of Camponotus lateralis st. spissinodis var. balearis Santschi, 1925g: 360; unavailable name.] Junior synonym of armouri: Santschi, 1936c: 207 (given as senior synonym but armouri has priority).
  • kosswigi. Camponotus (Orthonotomyrmex) kosswigi Donisthorpe, 1950c: 68 (w.) TURKEY. Junior synonym of lateralis: Radchenko, 1997b: 706.

Taxonomic Notes

Formica bicolor: The full text of the original description states ‘Rouge, luisante, rase. Yeux et abdomen noirs. Écaille épaisse, entière.’ Considering that the terra typica is France, this allows only to conclude on an ant of the subfamily Formicinae (Seifert, 2019).

Formica pallidinervis: This taxon has been described based on a male from Peloponnesus in Greece. The whereabouts of the type are unknown and the original description is insufficient – the more as males are generally poorly studied. The only possible conclusions seems to be that it is an ant of the subfamily Formicinae (Seifert, 2019).

Formica hemipsila: This taxon was described on the basis of a gyne from Alger/Algeria. Types most certainly do not exist. The description ‘Kopf...Mittelleib roth...nur Mittelbrust und Schildchen ganz schwarz’ may suggest a Camponotus related to the C. lateralis group (Seifert, 2019).

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 = 3.9–7.0, HL = 0.98–1.80, HW = 0.84–1.68, EL = 0.26–0.37, SL = 1.02–1.29, ML = 1.46–2.23, PW = 0.64–1.07, mTbL = 0.70–1.04, hTbL = 0.96–1.45 (n = 5).


  • 2n = 28 (Switzerland) (Hauschteck, 1962).


  • Atanassov, N.; Dlussky, G. M. 1992. Fauna of Bulgaria. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Fauna Bûlg. 22: 1-310 (page 225, see also)
  • Baroni Urbani, C. 1971c. Catalogo delle specie di Formicidae d'Italia (Studi sulla mirmecofauna d'Italia X). Mem. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 50: 5-287 (page 191, see also)
  • Bernard, F. 1967a [1968]. Faune de l'Europe et du Bassin Méditerranéen. 3. Les fourmis (Hymenoptera Formicidae) d'Europe occidentale et septentrionale. Paris: Masson, 411 pp. (page 344, see also)
  • Bondroit, J. 1918. Les fourmis de France et de Belgique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 87: 1-174 (page 78, see also)
  • Collingwood, C. A. 1978. A provisional list of Iberian Formicidae with a key to the worker caste (Hym. Aculeata). EOS. Rev. Esp. Entomol. 52: 65-95 (page 73, Senior synonym of armouri (and its junior synonym balearis))
  • Emery, C. 1924a. Formiche della Cirenaica raccolte dal Dott. Enrico Festa e dal Prof. Filippo Silvestri. Boll. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 56: 6-11 (page 68?, see also)
  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 120, Combination in C. (Myrmentoma))
  • Finzi, B. 1930d. Zoologische Forschungsreise nach den Jonischen Inseln und dem Peloponnes. XII. Teil. Die Ameisen der Jonischen Inseln. Sitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wien Math.-Naturwiss. Kl. Abt. I 139: 309-319 (page 318, see also)
  • Forel, A. 1894d. Les Formicides de la Province d'Oran (Algérie). Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 30: 1-45 (page 5, Senior synonym of hemipsila)
  • Forel, A. 1912j. Formicides néotropiques. Part VI. 5me sous-famille Camponotinae Forel. Mém. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 20: 59-92 (page 92, Combination in C. (Myrmentoma))
  • Forel, A. 1913d. Fourmis de la faune méditerranéenne récoltées par MM. U. et J. Sahlberg. Rev. Suisse Zool. 21: 427-438 (page 436, Combination in C. (Orthonotomyrmex))
  • Hauschteck, E. 1962. Die Chromosomen einiger in der Schweiz vorkommender Ameisenarten. Vierteljahrsschr. Naturforsch. Ges. Zür. 107: 213-220 (page 219, karyotype described)
  • Ionescu-Hirsch, A. 2010 (2009). An annotated list of Camponotus of Israel, with a key and descriptions of new species. Israel Journal of Entomology. 39:57-98. PDF
  • Kutter, H. 1977c. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Insecta Helv. Fauna 6: 1-298 (page 207, 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. 1853c. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Ameisen. Verh. Zool.-Bot. Ver. Wien 3: 101-114 (page 103, soldier, worker, male described; page 102, Senior synonym of melanogastes and bicolor)
  • Mayr, G. 1855. Formicina austriaca. Beschreibung der bisher im österreichischen Kaiserstaate aufgefundenen Ameisen, nebst Hinzufügung jener in Deutschland, in der Schweiz und in Italien vorkommenden Arten. Verh. Zool.-Bot. Ver. Wien 5: 273-478 (page 322, Senior synonym of axillaris)
  • Mayr, G. 1861. Die europäischen Formiciden. Nach der analytischen Methode bearbeitet. Wien: C. Gerolds Sohn, 80 pp. (page 36, Combination in Camponotus)
  • Mayr, G. 1863a. Formicidarum index synonymicus. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 13: 385-460 (page 399, Senior synonym of pallidinervis)
  • Olivier, A. G. 1792. Encyclopédie méthodique. Histoire naturelle. Insectes. Tome 6. (pt. 2). Paris: Panckoucke, pp. 369-704. (page 497, queen described)
  • Radchenko, A. G. 1996e. A key to the ant genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in Palearctic Asia. Zool. Zh. 7 75: 1195-1203 (page 1197, see also (key))
  • Radchenko, A. G. 1997c. Review of ants of the subgenus Myrmentoma genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the Asian Palearctic. Zool. Zh. 76: 703-711 (page 706, Senior synonym of kosswigi)
  • Rigato, F.; Toni, I. 2011. Short notes 21. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Pp. 873-882 in: Nardi, G.; Whitmore, D.; Bardiani, M.; Birtele, D.; Mason, F.; Spada, L.; Cerretti, P. (eds.) 2011. Biodiversity of Marganai and Montimannu (Sardinia). Research in the framework of the ICP Forests network. Conservazione Habitat Invertebrati, 5. Sommacampagna, Verona: Cierre Edizioni, 896 pp.
  • Seifert, B. 2019. A taxonomic revision of the members of the Camponotus lateralis species group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Europe, Asia Minor and Caucasia. Soil Organisms 91: 7-32 (DOI 10.25674/so-91-1-02).
  • Stitz, H. 1939. Die Tierwelt Deutschlands und der angrenzenden Meersteile nach ihren Merkmalen und nach ihrer Lebensweise. 37. Theil. Hautflüger oder Hymenoptera. I: Ameisen oder Formicidae. Jena: G. Fischer, 428 pp. (page 254, see also)