Camponotus vagus

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Camponotus vagus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. vagus
Binomial name
Camponotus vagus
(Scopoli, 1763)

Camponotus vagus casent0008640 profile 1.jpg

Camponotus vagus casent0008640 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


This species is a common European species which can be found from southern Finland and Sweden to the north-western parts of North Africa, and from the Atlantic through the northern Mediterranean, Asia Minor, Caucasus, and northern Kazakhstan to the Altai Mountains (Czechowski et al. 2002). It inhabits mostly warm forests as well as dry pine forests, preferring open places and clearings. Nests are built mostly in dead trees and wood stumps. (Marko et al., 2009; Zryanin & Zryanina, 2007)


Collingwood (1979) - In this group of species the anterior border of the clypeus is entire, straight or feebly convex and does not extend beyond the mandibular insertions. The alitrunk in the worker caste is high and steep sided; in profile the dorsum is convex without a break, the dorsal face of the propodeum abruptly curving into the long almost vertical basal face. From above the pronotum is much wider than the rest of the alitrunk which narrows to half its width posteriorly. Mandibles are large: with five strong teeth which are often blunted and worn in the larger workers. The male has the mandibles slender with an apical tooth only.

Uniformly black with profuse body hairs. The sculpture is finely transverse and closely punctured, obscured by long thick pubescence. Length: 6-12 mm.

Keys including this Species


A South European species abundant in the Mediterranean area, but recorded from Portugal to South Russia and the mountains of North Africa to Poland (Collingwood 1979).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


C. vagus nests in dry rotten wood among roots under stones in dry sun exposed banks. It is an active aggressive species biting freely on disturbance. As with other species of this group it is both carnivorous and aphidicolous. According to Pisarski (1961) alatae have been recorded in July in Poland where it occurs very locally in the Centre and South.

They are a host for the phorid fly Microselia southwoodi in southern France.



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

  • vagus. Formica vaga Scopoli, 1763: 312 (w.) AUSTRIA. Latreille, 1802c: 96 (w.q.m.). Hauschteck, 1961: 221 (k.). Combination in Camponotus: Roger, 1863b: 1; in C. (Camponotus): Forel, 1914a: 266. [Misspelled as vagans: Emery, 1891b: 20.] Subspecies of herculeanus: Emery, 1896d: 372; Emery, 1908a: 185; Bondroit, 1910: 488. Revived status as species: Ruzsky, 1905b: 241; Forel, 1915d: 68; Emery, 1916b: 225; Emery, 1920b: 255; Finzi, 1924a: 14; Karavaiev, 1927c: 275; Finzi, 1930d: 317; Santschi, 1931a: 11; Stitz, 1939: 246. See also: Yasumatsu & Brown, 1951: 31; Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 551; Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 214. Senior synonym of pubescens: Olivier, 1792: 492; Emery, 1891b: 20; Forel, 1892i: 306; of fuscoptera: Latreille, 1802c: 96; of kodorica: Radchenko, 1997a: 558. Current subspecies: nominal plus ifranensis.
  • pubescens. Formica pubescens Fabricius, 1775: 392 (w.) HUNGARY. Lepeletier, 1835: 211 (w.q.m.); Schenck, 1852: (q.m.). Combination in Camponotus: Mayr, 1861: 36. Subspecies of herculeanus: Forel, 1879a: 59. Status as species: André, 1874: 176; André, 1882a: 142; Nasonov, 1889: 12; Ruzsky, 1895: 8. Junior synonym of vagus: Olivier, 1792: 492; Forel, 1892i: 306; Emery, 1916b: 225; Emery, 1925b: 74; Bernard, 1967: 341; Kutter, 1977c: 205.
  • fuscoptera. Formica fuscoptera Geoffroy, in Fourcroy, 1785: 452 (q.) FRANCE. Junior synonym of vagus: Latreille, 1802c: 96.
  • kodorica. Camponotus vagus var. kodorica Forel, 1913a: 145 (w.) RUSSIA. Junior synonym of vagus: Radchenko, 1997a: 558.



  • 2n = 28 (Switzerland) (Hauschteck, 1961).


  • Arnol'di, K. V.; Dlussky, G. M. 1978. Superfam. Formicoidea. 1. Fam. Formicidae - ants. Pp. 519-556 in: Medvedev, G. S. (ed.) Keys to the insects of the European part of the USSR. Vol. 3. Hymenoptera. Part 1. Opredeliteli Faune SSSR 119:3-584. (page 551, see also)
  • Atanassov, N.; Dlussky, G. M. 1992. Fauna of Bulgaria. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Fauna Bûlg. 22: 1-310 (page 214, see also)
  • Bondroit, J. 1910 [1909]. Les fourmis de Belgique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 53: 479-500 (page 488, Subspecies of herculeanus)
  • Collingwood, C. A. 1979. The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. Fauna Entomol. Scand. 8:1-174.
  • Dekoninck, W.; Pauly, A. 2002. Camponotus vagus Scopoli, 1763 (Hymenoptera Formicidae) a new ant species for Belgium? Bull. Soc. R. Belge Entomol. 138: 29-30 (page 29, record in Belgium)
  • Emery, C. 1891c. Exploration scientifique de la Tunisie. Zoologie. - Hyménoptères. Révision critique des fourmis de la Tunisie. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, iii + 21 pp. (page 20, Senior synonym of pubescens)
  • Emery, C. 1896j. Saggio di un catalogo sistematico dei generi Camponotus, Polyrhachis e affini. Mem. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna (5)5:363-382 (page 372, Subspecies of herculeanus)
  • Emery, C. 1908a. Beiträge zur Monographie der Formiciden des paläarktischen Faunengebietes. Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 1908: 165-205 (page 185, Subspecies of herculeanus)
  • Emery, C. 1916a [1915]. Fauna entomologica italiana. I. Hymenoptera.-Formicidae. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 47: 79-275 (page 225, Revived status as species)
  • Emery, C. 1920b. Le genre Camponotus Mayr. Nouvel essai de la subdivision en sous-genres. Rev. Zool. Afr. (Bruss.) 8: 229-260 (page 255, Revived status as species)
  • Finzi, B. 1924a. Formiche dell'isola d'Elba e Monte Argentario. Boll. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 56: 12-15 (page 14, Revived status as species)
  • 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 317, Revived status as species)
  • Forel, A. 1892j. Die Ameisenfauna Bulgariens. (Nebst biologischen Beobachtungen.). Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 42: 305-318 (page 306, Senior synonym of pubescens)
  • 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 68, Revived status as species)
  • Hauschteck, E. 1961. Die Chromosomen von fünf Ameisenarten. Rev. Suisse Zool. 68: 218-223 (page 221, karyotype described)
  • 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 275, Revived status as species)
  • Latreille, P. A. 1802b. Histoire naturelle générale et particulière des Crustacés et des insectes. Tome 3. Familles naturelles des genres. Paris: F. Dufart, xii + 467 pp. (page 96, worker, queen, male described, Senior synonym of fuscoptera)
  • 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.
  • Olivier, A. G. 1792. Encyclopédie méthodique. Histoire naturelle. Insectes. Tome 6. (pt. 2). Paris: Panckoucke, pp. 369-704. (page 492, Senior synonym of pubescens)
  • Radchenko, A. G. 1997b. Review of ants of the genus Camponotus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the Palearctic. The subgenus Camponotus s. str. Zool. Zh. 76: 554-564 (page 558, Senior synonym of kodorica)
  • Roger, J. 1863b. Verzeichniss der Formiciden-Gattungen und Arten. Berl. Entomol. Z. 7(B Beilage: 1-65 (page 1, Combination in Camponotus)
  • Ruzsky, M. 1905b. The ants of Russia. (Formicariae Imperii Rossici). Systematics, geography and data on the biology of Russian ants. Part I. Tr. Obshch. Estestvoispyt. Imp. Kazan. Univ. 38(4-6 6: 1-800 (page 241, Revived status as species)
  • Santschi, F. 1931a. Inventa entomologica itineris Hispanici et Maroccani, quod a. 1926 fecerunt Harald et Håkan Lindberg. Fourmis du Bassin Méditerranéen occidental et du Maroc récoltées par MM. Lindberg. Comment. Biol. 3(1 14: 1-13 (page 11, Revived status as species)
  • Scopoli, J. A. 1763. Entomologia carniolica exhibens insecta Carnioliae indigena et distributa in ordines, genera, species, varietates. Methodo Linnaeana. Vindobonae [=Vienna]: J. Trattner, xxxvi + 420 pp. (page 312, worker described)
  • 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 246, Revived status as species)
  • Yasumatsu, K.; Brown, W. L., Jr. 1951b. Revisional notes on Camponotus herculeanus Linné and close relatives in Palearctic regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Fac. Agric. Kyushu Univ. 10: 29-44 (page 31, see also)