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
Subgenus: Myrmentoma
Species group: fallax
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.


Radchenko (1997) - A study of vast material from different points of the habitat shows that thorax coloration varies from black (northern range) to red (southern range) and individuals with transitional coloration occur even in the same nests.

Collingwood (1979) - 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.

Keys including this Species


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

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 59.861367° to 29.95444°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

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.


Borowiec and Salata (2022), for Greece - Thermophilous species associated with various mediterranean habitats. Collected in luminous oak forests, shrubs in cypress forests, shrubs around pastures, limestones hills after burned forests, old abandoned gardens on leafs of fig trees, on herbs in mountain zones, fryganas, deciduous trees and meadows, mountain plateaus, alpine zone with limestones rocks and pastures, single records come from pine grove, limestones quarry, ruderal grassland in urban area. Nests under stones. Most records are from an altitude below 700 m, the highest location was from Nida Plateau, Crete from an altitude of 1166 m.


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. Alatas have been recorded in early summer, May and June.

Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Association with Other Organisms

Explore-icon.png Explore: Show all Associate data or Search these data. See also a list of all data tables or learn how data is managed.

This species is a xenobiont for the ant Lasius brunneus (a xenobiont) in Poland (Czechowski, 2004; Kanizsai et al., 2013) (Urban park. In decaying wood.).

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 Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • fallax. Formica fallax Nylander, 1856b: 57 (w.) FRANCE.
    • Type-material: syntype workers (numbers not stated).
    • Type-locality: France: Monspelium (= Montpellier) (no collector’s name; perhaps L. Fairmaire).
    • Type-depository: unknown (not in ZMHF (Radchenko, 2007)).]
    • Roger, 1859: 230 (q.m.).
    • Combination in Camponotus: Mayr, 1861: 36 (in key);
    • combination in C. (Camponotus): Forel, 1914a: 266;
    • combination in C. (Myrmentoma): Emery, 1920b: 257.
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Emery, 1925b: 118.
    • Junior synonym of marginata: Roger, 1862c: 292; Roger, 1863b: 1; Mayr, 1863: 400; Dours, 1873: 164; André, 1874: 201 (in list); Forel, 1874: 96 (in list); Mayr, 1877: 20 (in list); Emery & Forel, 1879: 448; Forel, 1879a: 82; Mayr, 1880: 24; Mayr, 1886d: 423; Nasonov, 1889: 10; Pergande, 1893: 28; Dalla Torre, 1893: 242; Emery, 1896d: 373; Ruzsky, 1905b: 244.
    • Subspecies of caryae: Wheeler, W.M. 1917c: 27; Wheeler, W.M. 1917i: 466 (in text); Donisthorpe, 1927b: 403; Karavaiev, 1927a: 295; Karavaiev, 1936: 188 (redescription); Karavaiev, 1937: 175.
    • Status as species: Smith, F. 1858b: 11; Roger, 1859: 230; Mayr, 1861: 36 (in key); Emery, 1869b: 2; Wheeler, W.M. 1910f: 217 (redescription); Wheeler, W.M. 1913c: 117; Forel, 1914a: 266; Forel, 1915d: 67 (in key); Emery, 1916b: 226; Wheeler, W.M. 1916m: 600; Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 558; Escherich, 1917: 330 (in key); Bondroit, 1918: 71; Soudek, 1922: 94; Müller, 1923b: 160; Finzi, 1924a: 14; Soudek, 1925b: 15; Karavaiev, 1927c: 277 (in key); Lomnicki, 1928: 10; Arnol'di, 1933b: 601 (in key); Grandi, 1935: 102; Zimmermann, 1935: 58; Teranishi, 1940: 26; Novák & Sadil, 1941: 109 (in key); Pisarski, 1961a: 167; Bernard, 1967: 342 (redescription); Kutter, 1968a: 60; Collingwood & Yarrow, 1969: 81; Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 190; Collingwood, 1971: 163; Banert & Pisarski, 1972: 353; Pisarski, 1975: 31; Hamann & Klemm, 1976: 674; Kutter, 1977c: 206; Collingwood, 1978: 90 (in key); Collingwood, 1979: 88; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987a: 58; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 283 (in key); Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 220; Bolton, 1995b: 98; Douwes, 1995: 92; Poldi, et al. 1995: 7; Cagniant, 1996b: 92; Radchenko, 1996b: 1200 (in key); Espadaler, 1997b: 27; Radchenko, 1997b: 703; Collingwood & Prince, 1998: 24 (in key); Gallé, et al. 1998: 216; Czechowski, et al. 2002: 98; Csösz, & Markó, 2005: 227; Bračko, 2006: 145; Cagniant, 2006a: 194; Markó, Sipos, et al. 2006: 66; Bračko, 2007: 19; Seifert, 2007: 267; Werner & Wiezik, 2007: 143; Zryanin & Zryanina, 2007: 233; Gratiashvili & Barjadze, 2008: 131; Casevitz-Weulersse & Galkowsky, 2009: 479; Boer, 2010: 19; Lapeva-Gjonova, et al. 2010: 43; Paknia, et al. 2010: 31; Csösz, et al. 2011: 58; Karaman, M.G. 2011b: 69; Legakis, 2011: 30; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2012: 475; Czechowski, et al. 2012: 247; Kiran & Karaman, 2012: 6; Karaman, C. & Aktaç, 2013: 51 (in key); Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2013: 351; Borowiec, L. 2014: 30; Bračko, et al. 2014: 18; Lebas, et al. 2016: 134; Radchenko, 2016: 332; Steiner, et al. 2017: 7; Salata & Borowiec, 2018c: 43; Seifert, 2018: 260; Werner, et al. 2018: 6; Bračko, 2019: 169; Arcos, Chavez, et al. 2022: 10; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2022: 83.
    • Senior synonym of kamensis: Radchenko, 1997b: 703; Radchenko, 2016: 332.
    • Senior synonym of pageti: Radchenko, 1997b: 703; Legakis, 2011: 32; Radchenko, 2016: 332.
    • Senior synonym of ruzskyi: Radchenko, 1997b: 703; Gratiashvili & Barjadze, 2008: 131; Radchenko, 2016: 332.
    • Distribution: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finalnd, France (+ Corsica), Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Israel, Italy (+ Sardinia, Sicily), Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (+ Balearics), Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine.
    • [Note: distribution from Borowiec, L. 2014: 30.]
  • kamensis. Camponotus marginatus var. kamensis Ruzsky, 1903b: 302 (w.) RUSSIA (Tatarstan).
    • Type-material: holotype worker.
    • Type-locality: Russia: Tatarstan, Gouv. Kazan, nr Kama (no collector’s names).
    • Type-depository: unknown (holotype lost (Radchenko, 1997b: 703)).
    • Combination in C. (Myrmentoma): Emery, 1925b: 118.
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Emery, 1925b: 118.
    • Subspecies of marginata: Ruzsky, 1905b: 248.
    • Subspecies of caryae: Wheeler, W.M. 1917c: 29; Bolton, 1995b: 106.
    • Junior synonym of fallax: Radchenko, 1997b: 703; Radchenko, 2016: 332.
  • pageti. Camponotus (Myrmentoma) fallax subsp. pageti Hamann & Klemm, 1976: 674, fig. 1 (q.) GREECE (Rhodes).
    • Type-material: holotype queen.
    • Type-locality: Greece: Rhodes I., Lindos, 7 Quellen, 2.v.1963 (O. Paget).
    • Type-depository: unknown (stated as W. Klemm Coll.; whereabouts unknown)
    • Subspecies of fallax: Bolton, 1995b: 116.
    • Junior synonym of fallax: Radchenko, 1997b: 703; Legakis, 2011: 32; Radchenko, 2016: 332.
  • ruzskyi. Camponotus marginatus var. ruzskyi Emery, 1898c: 150 (w.) RUSSIA.
    • Type-material: syntype minor workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Russia: Sarepta (Christoph).
    • Type-depository: MSNG.
    • [C. marginatus var. ruzskyi Emery, 1898a: 226. Nomen nudum.]
    • Combination in C. (Myrmentoma): Emery, 1925b: 118.
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Emery, 1925b: 118; Karavaiev, 1926e: 192; Karavaiev, 1937: 175.
    • Subspecies of caryae: Wheeler, W.M. 1917d: 29; Arnol'di, 1948: 212 (in list).
    • Subspecies of marginatus: Ruzsky, 1903b: 301; Ruzsky, 1905b: 247; Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1929b: 36; Ruzsky, 1946: 69.
    • Status as species: Arakelian, 1994: 88; Bolton, 1995b: 121.
    • Junior synonym of fallax: Radchenko, 1997b: 703; Gratiashvili & Barjadze, 2008: 131; Radchenko, 2016: 332.

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



Borowiec and Salata (2022) - Large, moderately polymorphic; minor worker: HL: 1.159-2.571 (mean 1.347); HW: 0.943-1.302 (mean 1.137); SL: 1.194-1.413 (mean 1.289); EL: 0.349-0.433 (mean 0.386); ML: 1.74-2.14; MW: 0.810-1.083; major worker: HL: 2.070-2.267 (mean 2.159); HW: 2.050-2.367 (mean 2.171); SL: 1.620-1.706 (mean 1.677); EL: 0.492-0.526 (mean 0.507); ML: 2.71-2.87; MW: 1.37-1.46. Color. In most specimens body black only anterior and posterior transparent margins of pronotum yellowish, sometimes pronotum mostly yellowish to yellowish brown, often with obscure spots dorsally, mesonotum and propodeum on sides brown, clypeus partly yellowish to reddish brown and gena with yellow to reddish brown spots, gaster usually completely black, occasionally brown with anterior slope of first gastral tergite yellowish to yellowish brown, posterior margins of tergites transparent yellow; antennae in the palest specimens yellowish but usually yellowish brown to brown, legs from uniformly yellow with only fore coxa infuscate basally, or femora yellow, tibiae and tarsi yellowish brown to brown. Head. In minor workers elongate, approximately 1.2 times longer than wide, in front of eyes softly rounded, behind eyes regularly rounded, posterior margin straight, in major workers head stout, approximately as long as wide, sides in basal half almost parallel, then softly rounded anteriorly, posterior margin distinctly concave. Clypeus almost rectangular, with anterior margin straight but with shallow to deep median emargination, especially in major workers excavation is almost semicircular, posterior margin in the middle emarginate by frontal triangle, whole surface distinctly microreticulated and sparse punctation but indistinctly shiny, covered with sparse and short, hardly visible appressed hairs, anterior margin with a row of 4-6 very long setae, also sides and basal part of clypeus with a pair long erected setae. Head distinctly microreticulate and with moderately coarse and sparse punctation, distance between punctures larger than the diameter of puncture , interspaces appear indistinctly shiny, frons with well-marked median sulcus or impunctate line, whole surface with short and very sparse appressed hairs. Sides of head and gena lacking erected setae, only frons with or two pairs of long erected setae and central postocular area with one or two pairs of long erected setae, occipital area lacking erected setae, ventral side of head with 8-16 short to long erected setae. Scape moderately long, in minor workers 1.1-1.3 times, in major workers 0.7-0.8 times as long as width of head, at apex twice wider than in base, its surface diffusely to distinctly microreticulate, shiny, with very short and sparse appressed pubescence, without decumbent hairs or erected setae. Funicular segments elongate, thin, first segment 2.6-2.6 times as long as wide and approximately 1.6 times as long as second segment, third segment slightly longer than second, the rest of funicular segments distinctly longer than broad. Eyes moderately big, almost round, in minor workers 0.29 in major workers 0.23 length of head. Mandibles stout, microreticulate and coarsely punctate, surface shiny. Mesosoma. Elongate, in minor workers approximately 1.9-2.1, in major workers 1.9-2.0 times as long as wide, dorsally and laterally distinctly sculptured , dorsum and lateral sides with transverse to partly longitudinal striae, dorsum with additional sparse punctation, surface shiny. In lateral view dorsum form regular arch, without mesonotal groove, propodeum form a continuous angle. Surface of mesosomal dorsum with short and scarce depressed hairs directed forward, pronotum in minor workers lacking erected setae, in major workers with 4-8 setae, mesonotum in minor workers usually with only 2 in major workers 2-4 erected setae, propodeum in minor workers with 4-6 in major workers 4-8 very long erected setae, the longest with length to 0.370. Waist and gaster. Petiolar scale moderately thin to moderately thick with convex anterior and flat posterior face, apex rounded; anterior surface transversely striate, posterior surface smooth, without pubescence, apical crest with 4-10 very long erected setae. Gaster shorter than mesosoma, tergites with transverse microstriation and sparse micropunctation, surface distinctly shiny, covered with very short and scarce appressed hairs; each tergite with numerous, long erected setae arranged in transverse one to two rows in the middle and a row close to posterior margin. Legs. Moderately elongate, hind femora shorter than mesosoma, surface of legs covered with sparse subdecumbent to decumbent hairs, inner margin of hind tibiae lacking row of thorns except three apical spurs. Ventral surface of fore femora without or with a single long erected seta.


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