Camponotus vagus,

Collingwood, C. A., 1979, The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark., Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 8, pp. 1-174: 90

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Camponotus vagus


30. Camponotus vagus  HNS  (Scopoli, 1763)

Figs. 116-120.

Formica vaga Scopoli  HNS  , 1763:312.

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.

Worker. Uniformly black with profuse body hairs. The sculpture is finely transverse and closely punctured, obscured by long thick pubescence. Length: 6-12 mm. Queen. As worker. Length: 14-16 mm.

Male. Pubescence dilute; petiole deeply emarginate rising to a sharp acute angle at each side of the dorsal crest. Length: 9-10 mm.

Distribution. Sweden: Öl. and Gtl. - Finland: Ab and Ka. Rare. - Range: a South European species abundant in the Mediterranean area, but recorded from Portugal to South Russia and the mountains of North Africa to Poland.

Biology. C. vagus  HNS  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.

Note. Forsslund (1957a) doubted its existence in Fennoscandia as the only verifiable specimen was an alate queen taken in Öland. However, there is a good series of workers from Gotland in the University of Lund collection, an old specimen from Karelia australis in the Helsinki Museum and a live colony has been kept under observation by A. K. Merisuo at Rymattylla in southwest Finland (Merisuo and Kapyla, 1975).