Camponotus gestroi

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Camponotus gestroi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Subgenus: Myrmentoma
Species: C. gestroi
Binomial name
Camponotus gestroi
Emery, 1878

Camponotus gestroi casent0179873 p 1 high.jpg

Camponotus gestroi casent0179873 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


This is a thermophilous species, associated with warm mediterranean habitats, such like shrubs along roadsides, borders of deciduous and coniferous forests and pastures. Nests were located under stones or inside dry and empty stems of shrubs or large herbs (Borowiec & Salata, 2021). It is known to populate dry open areas, and build nests in soil, often under rocks (Radchenko 1997). In Cyprus, Camponotus gestroi has been collected from pine forests and open habitats (xerothermic meadow, dam lake) on Mediterranean bushes (Salata et al., 2023).


Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - Radchenko (1997c) included this species in the C. gestroi species complex of the Camponotus lateralis species group. Other species in the complex are Camponotus rebeccae, Camponotus kurdistanicus, and Camponotus vogti. Camponotus gestroi differs from these species by having erect setae scattered all over the propodeal dorsum, as opposed to a single transversal row of erect setae restricted to the junction of the propodeal dorsum with declivity, and by a completely black body, whereas the pronotum at least is red in C. kurdistanicus, and the head and mesosoma are always paler than the gaster in C. rebeccae and C. vogti.

Major workers from Israel differ from western Mediterranean specimens by having the dorsum of the mesonotum more convex and distinctly posterior to the level of the propodeum, and by a distinct metanotal groove.

Keys including this Species


Ionescu-Hirsch (2009) - Western Mediterranean and southern Europe to southern Transcaucasus (Radchenko, 1997c), Near East and Iran (Paknia et al., 2008).

This is a thermophilous species, uncommon but noted from all Greek provinces except Epirus (Borowiec et al., 2022).

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 42.9° to 31.766667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Algeria, Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Greece, Iberian Peninsula, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy (type locality), Jordan, Lebanon, Portugal, Spain, Türkiye.

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.


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 mutualist for the aphid Thelaxes suberis (a trophobiont) (Stary, 1969; Saddiqui et al., 2019).



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • gestroi. Camponotus gestroi Emery, 1878b: 44, fig. (s.w.) ITALY (Sardinia).
    • Forel, 1894d: 4 (q.m.); Emery, 1916b: 160 (q.).
    • Combination in C. (Orthonotomyrmex): Forel, 1913d: 435;
    • combination in C. (Myrmentoma): Emery, 1920b: 257.
    • Subspecies of marginata: Emery & Forel, 1879: 448.
    • Status as species: André, 1882a: 148 (in key); Forel, 1886e: clxvii; Forel, 1886f: 181; Dalla Torre, 1893: 232; Forel, 1894d: 4; Emery, 1896d: 373 (in list); Emery, 1898a: 226; Krausse, 1912b: 166; Emery, 1914d: 159; Emery, 1916b: 226; Bondroit, 1918: 76; Müller, 1923b: 154 (in key); Emery, 1924c: 170; Emery, 1925b: 119; Donisthorpe, 1927a: 9; Bernard, 1945: 137; Ceballos, 1956: 312; Baroni Urbani, 1964b: 58; Cagniant, 1964: 92; Bernard, 1967: 343 (redescription); Cagniant, 1968a: 146; Cagniant, 1970c: 37; Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 191; Collingwood, 1978: 91 (in key); Agosti & Collingwood, 1987a: 58; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 283 (in key); Collingwood, 1993b: 195; Arakelian, 1994: 85; Bolton, 1995b: 101; Poldi, et al. 1995: 7; Cagniant, 1996b: 92; Radchenko, 1996b: 1199 (in key); Radchenko, 1997b: 706; Collingwood & Prince, 1998: 24 (in key); Petrov, 2006: 108 (in key); Paknia, et al. 2008: 153; Casevitz-Weulersse & Galkowsky, 2009: 479; Vonshak, et al. 2009: 39; Lapeva-Gjonova, et al. 2010: 43; Ionescu-Hirsch, 2010: 73; Legakis, 2011: 30; Karaman, C. et al. 2011: 188; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2012: 475; Kiran & Karaman, 2012: 6; Karaman, C. & Aktaç, 2013: 50 (in key); Borowiec, L. 2014: 32 (see note in bibliography); Bračko, et al. 2014: 18; Tohmé, G. & Tohmé, 2014: 138; Lebas, et al. 2016: 134; Salata & Borowiec, 2018c: 43.
    • Current subspecies: nominal plus ponariensis.
  • creticus. Camponotus gestroi st. creticus Forel, 1886e: clix, fig. 1 (w.) GREECE (Crete I.).
    • Combination in C. (Orthonotomyrmex): Forel, 1913d: 435;
    • combination in C. (Myrmentoma): Emery, 1925b: 119.
    • Subspecies of gestroi: Forel, 1889: 261; Emery, in Dalla Torre, 1893: 232 (footnote); Emery, 1894j: 10; Emery, 1896d: 373 (in list); Forel, 1910a: 23; Forel, 1911d: 356; Forel, 1913d: 435; Emery, 1914d: 159; Emery, 1915h: 2; Santschi, 1921a: 116; Müller, 1923b: 161; Emery, 1925b: 119; Karavaiev, 1926f: 69; Finzi, 1928c: 791; Finzi, 1930d: 318; Menozzi, 1933b: 82 (in key); Menozzi, 1936d: 303; Finzi, 1939c: 160; Pisarski, 1971b: 730; Hamann & Klemm, 1976: 677; Aktaç, 1977: 126; Legakis, 2011: 29.
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 227; Kugler, J. 1988: 259; Salata & Borowiec, 2018c: 43.
    • Junior synonym of gestroi: Agosti & Collingwood, 1987a: 58; Arakelian, 1994: 85; Bolton, 1995b: 94; Radchenko, 1997b: 706; Kiran & Karaman, 2012: 6; Seifert, 2019: 16.

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 = 4.6–8.3, HL = 1.09–2.01, HW = 0.91–1.91, EL = 0.31–0.39, SL = 1.11–1.52, ML = 1.58–2.58, PW = 0.74–1.41, mTbL = 0.90–1.37, hTbL = 1.19–1.88 (n = 15).

Borowiec and Salata (2022) - Large, moderately polymorphic; minor worker: HL: 1.103-1.302 (mean 1.212); HW: 0.854-1.008 (mean 0.934); SL: 1.100-1.183 (mean 1.178); EL: 0.302-0.333 (mean 0.318); ML: 1.71-1.89; MW: 0.68-1.93; major worker: HL: 1.508-1.960 (mean 1.752); HW: 1.270-1.796 (mean 1.534); SL: 1.317-1.490 (mean 1.396); EL: 0.357-0.436 (mean 0.389); ML: 2.18-2.57; MW: 1.05-1.29. Color. Body black; antennae, coxa and femora usually black, sometimes antennae brown, occasionally scapus in basal 2/3 length yellowish and in apical 1/3 yellowish brown, tibiae usually dark brown to black, sometimes brown with yellow apex, tarsi yellowish to brown, occasionally black. Head. In minor workers elongate, approximately 1.3 times longer than wide, in front of eyes softly converging anterad, behind eyes regularly rounded, posterior margin straight, in major workers head stout, 1.1-1.2 times as long as wide, widest in basal 1/3 length, sides softly convex and softly converging anterad, posterior margin straight. Clypeus hexagonal, with anterior margin straight, in minor workers without in major workers with small crenulation, without median emargination, posterior margin in the middle emarginate by frontal triangle, whole surface distinctly microreticulated, surface slightly opalescent, covered with sparse and short, hardly visible appressed hairs, anterior margin with a row of 4-6 very long setae, each side of clypeus with 4-8 short to long erected setae. Head distinctly microreticulate, frons and gena with few punctures, especially in major workers, frons with well-marked median sulcus or impunctate line, whole surface with short and very sparse appressed hairs, appears unhaired, central part of head appears slightly opalescent, sides indistinctly shiny. In minor workers gena, in major workers gena and whole sides of head with erected setae, frons with 10-14 long erected setae grouping mostly on sides of frons, central postocular area with 4-16 long erected setae, occipital area lacking erected setae or only in major workers with 1-2 long setae, ventral side of head in minor workers with 4-8, in major workers 8-16 short to long erected setae. Scape moderately long, in minor workers 1.3 times, in major workers 0.8-1.0 times as long as width of head, at apex twice wider than in base, its surface distinctly microreticulate but shiny, with very short and sparse appressed pubescence, without decumbent hairs or erected setae. Funicular segments elongate, thin, first segment 2.7 times as long as wide and approximately 1.6 times as long as second segment, third segment as long as or slightly longer than second, the rest of funicular segments distinctly longer than broad. Eyes moderately big, short oval, in minor workers 0.26 in major workers 0.22 length of head. Mandibles stout, microreticulate and coarsely punctate, surface shiny. Mesosoma. Elongate, in minor workers 2.0-2.5, in major workers 1.9-2.1 times as long as wide, dorsally and laterally distinctly sculptured , on sides tending to form transverse or oblique striation, without punctures except slightly marked setose punctation, surface distinctly shiny. In lateral view dorsum form regular arch, without mesonotal groove but with well-marked deep mesonotal suture, propodeum forms obtuse angle. Surface of mesosomal dorsum with short and scarce depressed hairs, appears unhaired, pronotum and mesonotum in minor workers with 2-6, in major workers 6-12 erected setae, propodeum in both minor and major workers with 10-24 in major workers 4-8 very long erected setae, the longest with length to 0.310. 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 8-10 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, moderately long appressed hairs, inner margin of hind tibiae with row of 4-7 thorns. Ventral surface of fore femora with 5-6 erected setae, in largest major workers also external surface of femurs with 1-3 erected setae.

Populations of Camponotus gestroi from Greece were classified into two subspecies: Camponotus gestroi gestroi and Camponotus gestroi creticus. Typical specimens for each subspecies appears to be distinct morphologically. However, Peloponnesian populations of this species have characters intermediate between these described subspecies. Thus, most likely this variability should be treated as a morphocline. However, until confirmation of these assumptions, we provide separate characteristics for each of the subspecies.

Camponotus gestroi creticus: minor worker: HL: 0.960-1.175 (mean 1.111); HW: 0.730- 0.873 (mean 0.828); SL: 0.905-1.159 (mean 1.079); EL: 0.286-0.302 (mean 0.292); ML: 1.43-1.80; MW: 0.70-0.82; major worker: HL: 1.920-2.007 (mean 1.978); HW: 1.764-1.960 (mean 1.884); SL: 1.429-1.532 (mean 1.495); EL: 0.429-0.444 (mean 0.434); ML: 2.53-2.67; MW: 1.31-1.38. In color and structure similar to nominotypical subspecies but head in minor workers more elongate, 1.3-1.4 times longer than wide, in major workers head stout, approximately as long as wide, sides in upper half almost parallel, then softly rounded anteriorly, posterior margin distinctly concave. Structure and setation of head similar to that of nominotypical subspecies but microsculpture slightly stronger thus head appears more opalescent. Scape moderately long, in minor workers 1.2-1.3 times, in major workers 0.8 times as long as width of head, at apex twice wider than in base, its surface distinctly microreticulate but shiny, with very short and sparse appressed pubescence, in the largest workers with 1-6 erected setae. Mesosoma elongate, in minor workers 2.0-2.3, in major workers 1.9-2.0 times as long as wide, dorsally and laterally distinctly sculptured , slightly stronger than in nominotypical subspecies thus surface slightly less shiny. In lateral view dorsum form irregular arch, with distinctly marked mesonotal groove. Rest of characters like in nominotypical subspecies. Ventral surface of fore femora with more numerous erected setae, especially in major workers such setae occupy also whole external surface of femur and the largest number of erected setae may be up to 20.

Taxonomic Notes

Seifert (2019): Camponotus gestroi: This taxon has been described from Sardinia. The type specimen depicted in under CASENT0905794 shows a very weak or absent metanotal depression, a convex overall dorsal profile line of mesosoma, and the angle between the dorsal plane and declivity of propodeum is about 120°.

Camponotus gestroi creticus: This taxon has been described from Crete. The type specimen depicted in under CASENT0910430 shows a very weak or absent metanotal depression, a convex overall dorsal profile line of mesosoma, and the angle between the dorsal plane and declivity of propodeum is about 120°. A synonymy with C. gestroi appears reasonable at the first impression.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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