Camponotus pellitus Mayr 1862,

Wild, Alexander L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 45-46

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.179222

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/03C2878B-FFEA-FFEF-F3D4-D12B3338FB0B

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

Camponotus pellitus Mayr 1862
status

 

Camponotus pellitus Mayr 1862  . REVISED STATUS.

Camponotus pellitus Mayr 1862: 668  . [holotype w examined, NHMW; Brazil]

Camponotus pellitus  var. scintillans Forel 1901 e: 72  . NEW SYNONYMY. [w syntypes examined, MHNG; Paraguay (Jerrmann)]

Camponotus blandus Emery  (nec F. Smith) 1903: 67 (part). Misidentification.

Camponotus (Myrmamblis) pellitus Mayr. Bruch 1914: 229  .

Camponotus blandus pellitus Mayr. Santschi 1922 b: 111  .

Camponotus blandus  st. scintillans Forel. Santschi 1922 b: 111  .

Camponotus (Myrmaphaenus) blandus  subsp. scintillans Forel. Emery 1925: 154  .

Camponotus (Myrmaphaenus) blandus  var. pellitus Mayr. Kempf 1972: 44  .

Camponotus (Myrmaphaenus) blandus scintillans Forel. Kempf 1972: 45  .

The names associated with Camponotus blandus  present one of the most difficult taxonomic problems in the Paraguayan fauna, and one that is particularly frustrating given the abundance of these ants in open habitats throughout the region. Multiple closely-related species certainly occur in Paraguay, but aside from Santschi’s C. crispulus  (see separate discussion under that species), the taxonomic status of these forms is ambiguous and the arrangement in the present study is tenuous.

In eastern Paraguay, most collections are of dark-colored ants closely matching Mayr’s type of C. pellitus  from Brazil and Forel’s types of C. scintillans  from Paraguay. Workers from western Paraguay are almost universally bicolored with a red head and mesosoma and dark legs and gaster. The major  workers of these chaco forms have finer suberect hairs on the sides of the head, spaced more densely, than do workers of C. pellitus  , and the postero-lateral corners of the head of the largest workers are often more produced. Minor  workers of the bicolored forms have smaller eyes than do minors of C. pellitus  , and they have a slightly lower, less convex propodeum. Both forms co-occur in eastern Paraguay near the Paraguay River with little evidence of interbreeding. Forel’s types of C. rosariensis  fall within the range of variation of these bicolored chacoan forms, so I adopt here a two-species scheme with C. rosariensis  representing the bulk of the chacoan collections and C. pellitus  representing most of the eastern collections.

The chacoan forms, while difficult to subdivide further on the basis of external worker morphology, show two distinct nest phenotypes in reproductively mature colonies. I have observed these nest forms within a few meters of each other. One form constructs large, conspicuous crater mounds while the other has cryptic nest entrances in the soil consisting of a single small hole with a slight scattering of excavated earth placed up to half a meter away, a pattern similar to the nests of C. pellitus  . This sympatric difference in nesting behavior suggests the existence of cryptic species.

F. Smith’s holotype of C. blandus  , a minor  worker from Pará ( BMNH, examined), is not a close match to any Paraguayan material. This ant has the smaller eyes and the lower propodeum more similar to C. rosariensis  than to C. pellitus  , but with denser pubescence on gastric tergites 3 and 4 (= abd. tergites 5 and 6) than in most specimens of C. rosariensis  . The C. blandus  type is also colored differently, with the posterior portion of the head quite dark, as in C. pellitus  , the mesosoma lighter, as in C. rosariensis  , and the first gastric tergite concolorous with the mesosoma and infuscated posteriorly. However, I have not examined any material occurring between the type locality in Pará and Paraguay, so I cannot dismiss the eventuality that the name C. blandus  may apply one of these subtropical populations.

NHMW

Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien

NEW

University of Newcastle

MHNG

Museum d'Histoire Naturelle

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Insecta

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Formicidae

Genus

Camponotus

Loc

Camponotus pellitus Mayr 1862

Wild, Alexander L. 2007
2007
Loc

var. pellitus

Mayr. Kempf 1972: 44
1972
Loc

Camponotus (Myrmaphaenus) blandus scintillans

Forel. Kempf 1972: 45
1972
Loc

scintillans

Forel. Emery 1925: 154
1925
Loc

Camponotus blandus pellitus

Mayr. Santschi 1922: 111
1922
Loc

scintillans

Forel. Santschi 1922: 111
1922
Loc

Camponotus (Myrmamblis) pellitus

Mayr. Bruch 1914: 229
1914
Loc

var. scintillans

Forel 1901: 72
1901
Loc

Camponotus pellitus

Mayr 1862: 668
1862