Camponotus mita 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: 237-238

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Camponotus mita Rakotonirina, Csősz & Fisher

sp. n.

Camponotus mita Rakotonirina, Csősz & Fisher  sp. n.

( Figures 5View FIGURE 5 B, 7A, 17, 25)

Holotype worker. MADAGASCAR: Province Antsiranana: Andavakoera , 21.4 km 75° ENE Ambilobe  ; 4.6 km 356° N Betsiaka , -13.11833, 49.23, 425 m, rainforest, beating low vegetation, 15–17 Dec 2003 (B.L. Fisher et al.) collection code: BLF10326View Materials, specimen code: CASENT0498906 ( CASC). 

Paratypes. 3 workers with same data as holotype but with specimen codes: CASENT0498907, CASENT0763884, CASENT0763884 ( CASC, MHNGAbout MHNG). 

Diagnosis. Integument black; posterior portion of head, dorsum of mesosoma, and lateral margin of propodeal declivity with randomly scattered, whitish, erect hairs; basal half of antennal scape flattened dorsoventrally; in lateral view, mesosoma short and high, propodeal dorsum shorter than declivitous face; scattered erect hairs present immediately behind lateral margin of clypeus; dorsum of body with a few scattered, erect hairs and thin, short, and sparse pubescence; tibiae without suberect hairs.

Description. Minor worker. In full-face view head elongate, subrectangular (CWb/CL: 0.81–0.84), with straight and parallel lateral margins which join the slightly broadly convex posterior margin at a blunt angle. With head in lateral view, posterior corner of head bluntly angulate, not extending into a lobe. Eyes weakly protruding, not breaking the outline of lateral cephalic margin (CWb/CL: 0.83±0.01, 0.81–0.84; CW/CL: 0.80±0.01, 0.78– 0.82), located at posterior fifth of head (PoOc/CL: 0.20±0.01, 0.18–0.21). In full-face view, clypeus transversely trapezoidal, its anteromedian margin projecting into a blunt triangular lobe, anterolateral angle lacking, median portion with blunt longitudinal carina, posterior margin medially notched. Mandible subtriangular, armed with six teeth. Antennal scape long, less than its distal portion surpassing posterior cephalic border; basal half strongly flattened dorsoventrally, width greatest near basal condyle. In lateral view, mesosoma short and high ( MPHAbout MPH /ML: 0.49±0.02, 0.46–0.53); promesonotum convex and domelike, its level separately higher than that of propodeum; propodeal dorsum short, rounding to steeply sloping propodeal declivity; metanotal groove obsolete. Opening of propodeal spiracle elongate or slitlike. In lateral view, petiolar node scalelike and short, petiolar spiracle located roughly at midheight of node; anterior face sloping posteriorly at dorsal fourth portion of node to reach the straight posterior face dorsally. Middle and hind legs with one pectinate tibial spur. Transverse light strip on posterior margin of gastral tergites wide, maximum width roughly 1/6 of the visible width of second tergite.

Head finely and densely reticulate punctate to finely imbricate; promesonotum finely and densely reticulate punctate, propodeum finely and densely reticulate rugulose; lateral portion of mesosoma with effaced fine and dense reticulate punctures anteriorly and areolate sculpture posteriorly; gastral tergites with fine, transverse strigulae. Mandibles coriarious interspersed with piligerous punctures. Whitish erect hairs randomly scattered from median portion of head to near its posterior margin, where they are transversally spread to near the lateral cephalic margin and down anteriorly to near base of mandible and behind lateral margin of clypeus. Head, pronotum, and anterior section of mesonotum covered with hairs thinner and more erect than remaining posterior portion of body; lateral margin of propodeum with more than one row of hairs; suberect hairs lacking on tibiae. Pubescence short and sparse, distance between some of them greater than their length. Body color black and matte; appendages dark reddish black, basal portion of antennal scape, tip of mandible, and leg brown to dark brown.

Major worker. Unknown.

Discussion. Camponotus mita  may be confused with C. voeltzkowii  because both have the propodeal dorsum shorter than the declivitous face, and there are scattered erect hairs immediately behind the lateral margin of the clypeus. However, the basal half of the antennal scape in C. voeltzkowii  is cylindrical and without a lobe-like leading edge. In addition, the dorsum of the body of the latter species is covered with numerous erect hairs and abundant pubescence.

The identity of C. mita  based on conventional qualitative taxonomy is also recognized by multivariate morphometric analysis. The cluster of the samples of the species created by NC-clustering and partitioning methods is corroborated by shape PCA and confirmed by cumulative LDA with an identification success of 100%.

Distribution and biology. Camponotus mita  is endemic to Madagascar and occurs only in the northern part of the island. While some workers of this species have been collected by litter sifting and Malaise traps from dry forest habitats with altitudes ranging from 60 m to 90 m, others were found foraging on the forest floor and on low vegetation in the humid forests of Andavakoera and Ambato between 150 m and 425 m in altitude.

Additional material examined. MADAGASCAR: Province Antsiranana: Forêt Ambato, 26.6 km 33° Ambanja , -13.4645, 48.55167, 150 m, rainforest, (B.L. Fisher) ( CASC)  ; Forêt d' Andavakoera, 21.4 km 75° ENE Ambilobe , 4.6 km 356° N Betsiaka, -13.11833, 49.23, 425 m, rainforest, (B.L. Fisher) ( CASC)  ; Réserve Analamerana, 28.4 km 99° Anivorano-Nord , -12.74667, 49.49483, 60 m, tropical dry forest, (B.L. Fisher) ( CASC)  ; SAVA Region, District of Vohemar , Andranotsimaty dry forest, 9 km NE of Daraina, -13.1695, 49.70067, 90 m, dry dense forest, (Mike, Rinha) ( CASC)  .


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