Camponotus efitra Rakotonirina, Csősz & Fisher

Rakotonirina, Jean Claude, Csősz, Sándor & Fisher, Brian L., 2017, Taxonomic revision of the Malagasy Camponotus grandidieri and niveosetosus species groups (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) using qualitative and quantitative morphology, Zootaxa 4238 (2), pp. 203-245: 221-223

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Camponotus efitra Rakotonirina, Csősz & Fisher

sp. n.

Camponotus efitra Rakotonirina, Csősz & Fisher  sp. n.

( Figures 8View FIGURE 8 B, 9B, 12, 20)

Holotype worker. MADAGASCAR: Province Toliara: Réserve Spéciale de Cap Sainte Marie, 12.3 km 262° W Marovato , -25.58167, 45.16833, 200 m, spiny forest/thicket, ex dead tree stump, 11–15 Feb 2002 (Fisher, Griswold et al.) collection code: BLF05584View Materials, specimen code: CASENT0453926 ( CASC). 

Paratypes. 5 workers with same data as holotype but with specimen codes: CASENT0453927, CASENT0763879, CASENT0763880, CASENT0763881, CASENT0763882 ( CASC, BMNH, MHNGAbout MHNG). 

Diagnosis. Body bicolored, either entirely black and appendages brown or head, mesosoma, and petiolar node and appendages brown to reddish-brown and gastral segments dark brown to black. Roughly apical third of antennal scape surpassing posterior cephalic margin. Dorsum of propodeum convex.

Description. Minor worker. In full-face view, head more or less elongate (CWb/CL: 0.87±0.02, 0.84–0.91), lateral margins roughly straight and posteriorly diverging and rounding to the convex posterior margin. Eyes concealing lateral outlines of head, their posterior level located at posterior fourth to fifth portion of head (PoOc/ CL: 0.22±0.01, 0.20–0.25). Clypeus transversely trapezoidal (ClyL/GPD: 0.59±0.06, 0.51–0.83), anteromedian margin convex or broadly triangular, posterior margin weakly notched medially. Mandible subtriangular, apical margin armed with six sharp teeth. Antennal scape long, approximately its apical third portion surpassing posterior cephalic margin. In lateral view, mesosoma without anterior and dorsolateral margination; in lateral view, promesonotal dorsum convex, posterior portion of outline sloping to the impressed metanotal groove; propodeal dorsum forming a separate weak convexity. In dorsal view, mesosoma widest at level of pronotum, and decreasing in width towards propodeal declivity. Opening of propodeal spiracle rounded. In lateral view, petiolar node more or less flattened anteroposteriorly and inclined anteriorly, its dorsum rounding to the anterior and posterior faces. Tibial spurs of middle and hind legs pectinate with very short serrate comb.

Head and mesosoma and petiolar node imbricate, with sparse small punctures from which an appressed hair arises, gastral tergite coriarious. Mandible finely and densely imbricate superimposed with piligerous punctures. Whitish erect hairs thinner on dorsum of head, promesonotum, and gastral tergites; thicker on propodeum and petiolar node. Composition of hairs: a few pairs on median portion of head from clypeus to near posterior cephalic margin; few and scattered on pronotum, one pair on mesonotum, one pair on posterodorsal propodeal angle, a row of hairs on junction of lateral propodeal surface and declivity, a row of hairs from upper half of lateral portion to dorsolateral angle of petiolar node, two rows of hairs at middle and near posterior margin of first four gastral tergites. Pubescence on dorsum of head and mesosoma longer than those on gastral tergites; pubescence more closely spaced on head capsule and farther apart from mesosoma to gaster. Body bicolored and shining: either body entirely black to dark brown with reddish-brown to brown appendages; or head, mesosoma, petiolar node, and appendages reddish-brown to brown and gastral segments black to dark brown.

Major worker. Characteristics of minor worker, except: head much larger (CS: 1.95±0.43, 1.35–2.43); lateral margins broadly convex, slightly concave at level of eye and abruptly converging to the base of mandible; posterior margin broadly concave medially. Mandible more robust. Clypeus with elongate median portion (ClyL/GPD: 0.82±0.07, 0.70–0.89), its anteromedian margin broadly convex. With head in full-face view, eyes located farther from lateral cephalic border (CWb/CL: 0.88±0.02, 0.83–0.90; CW/CL: 0.80±0.02, 0.78–0.84), their level of rear margins situated at posterior fourth or third of head capsule (PoOc/CL: 0.29±0.03, 0.23–0.33). Scape short, not extending beyond posterior cephalic margin. Apart from a more impressed metanotal groove, dorsal outline of mesosoma roughly uniformly convex, sloping from mesonotum to posterodorsal angle of propodeum. Posteromedian portion of head finely and densely reticulate punctate; lateral portion from near base of mandible to near posterior margin covered with coriarious sculpture superimposed with sparse punctures from which an appressed hair arises.

Discussion. Camponotus efitra  can be confused with C. maintikibo  , but the former generally has a dark body color ranging from brown to reddish-brown to black; the body color of the latter is yellowish orange. In the C. maintikibo  minor worker, the propodeal dorsum is approximately straight, inclined posteriorly, and continuously related to the promesonotum, whereas in C. efitra  the propodeal dorsum forms a separate convexity from a domelike promesonotum.

The Camponotus efitra  cluster is located next to the C. auropubens  and C. grandidieri  clusters. These results are corroborated by the data obtained from the partitioning technique, and confirmed by shape PCA and LDA with an identification success of 100%.

Distribution and biology. This species is restricted to the spiny forests and thickets between 25 m and 250 m in altitude in the south of Madagascar. Workers of C. efitra  have mostly been captured by beating low vegetation, pitfall, and Malaise traps. One colony was found in a dead tree stump. Camponotus efitra  is sympatric with C. maintikibo  , C. grandidieri  , and C. voeltzkowii  .

Additional material examined. MADAGASCAR: Province Toliara: 3.5 km 236° SW Marovato , -25.55389, 45.25583, 230 m, spiny forest/thicket, (Fisher, Griswold et al.) ( CASC)  ; 6.1 km 182° S Marovato , -25.58167, 45.295, 20 m, spiny forest/thicket, (Fisher, Griswold et al.) ( CASC)  ; 7.0 km 156° SSE Lavanono , -25.47111, 44.9885, 50 m, spiny forest/thicket, (Fisher, Griswold et al.) ( CASC)  ; Androy Region, District of Tsihombe , 74 km S of Tsihombe, Cap Ste Marie Reserve , -25.58767, 45.163, 36 m, spiny bush, (Rin'ha, Mike) ( CASC)  ; Mahafaly Plateau , 6.2 km 74° ENE Itampolo, -24.65361, 43.99667, 80 m, spiny forest/thicket, (Fisher, Griswold et al.) ( CASC)  ; Parc National de Tsimanampetsotsa , 6.7 km 130° SE Efoetse, 23.0 km 175° S Beheloka, -24.10056, 43.76, 25 m, spiny forest/thicket, (Fisher, Griswold et al.) ( CASC)  ; Parc National de Tsimanampetsotsa, Mitoho Cave , 6.4 km 77° ENE Efoetse, 17.4 km 170° S Beheloka, -24.04722, 43.75317, 40 m, spiny forest/thicket, (Fisher, Griswold et al.) ( CASC)  ; Réserve Spéciale de Cap Sainte Marie , 12.3 km 262° W Marovato, -25.58167, 45.16833, 200 m, spiny forest/thicket, (Fisher, Griswold et al.) ( CASC)  ; Réserve Spéciale de Cap Sainte Marie , 14.9 km 261° W Marovato, -25.59444, 45.14683, 160 m, spiny forest/thicket, (Fisher, Griswold et al.) ( CASC)  ; 3 km E Itampolo, Malaise across path of lower bench of Andrimpano Forest , -24.65783, 43.95617, 45 m, dry forest, (ME Irwin, Rin'ha) ( CASC)  ; 5 km E Itampolo, Malaise across path of plateau of Andrimpano Forest , -24.65033, 43.96317, 130 m, dry forest, (ME Irwin, Rin'ha) ( CASC)  ; Mikea Forest, deciduous dry forest, Tulear Province , -22.90367, 43.4755, 30 m, deciduous dry forest, (M.E. Irwin, F.D. Parker, R. Harin'Hala) ( CASC)  ; Mikea Forest, spiny forest, Tulear Province , -22.91333, 43.48222, 37 m, spiny forest, (R. Harin'Hala) ( CASC)  ; Tsimanampetsotsa National Park, Mitoho Forest, Malaise across trail at escarpment base, -24.0485, 43.75233, 120 m, dense dry forest, (ME Irwin, Rin'ha) ( CASC)  ; Tsimanampetsotsa National Park, Mitoho Forest , -24.0485, 43.75233, 150 m, dense dry forest, (ME Irwin, Rin'ha) ( CASC)  .


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