Camponotus mahafaly, Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2022

Rakotonirina, Jean Claude & Fisher, Brian L., 2022, Revision of the Malagasy Camponotus subgenus Myrmosaga (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) using qualitative and quantitative morphology, ZooKeys 1098, pp. 1-180 : 1

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Camponotus mahafaly

sp. nov.

Camponotus mahafaly sp. nov.

Figs 15A View Figure 15 , 16B View Figure 16 , 20A View Figure 20 , 66 View Figure 66

Holotype worker.

Madagascar: Province Toliara: Androy Region, District of Tsihombe, 74 km S of Tsihombe, Reserve Speciale Cap Ste Marie, -25.58767, 45.163, 36 m, spiny bush, Malaise trap, 30 Apr-11 May 2003, ( Rin’ha, Mike) CASENT0115206 ( CAS).


2 minor workers of same data as holotype but respectively with collection codes: MG-23-34 and MG-23-33 and specimen codes: CASENT0115287 and CASENT0115718 ( CAS).

Additional material examined.

Madagascar: Toliara: Androy Region, District of Tsihombe, 74 km S of Tsihombe, RS Cap Ste Marie, -25.58767, 45.163, 36 m, spiny bush, ( Mike , Frank Parker , Rin’ha) ( CAS); Androy Region , District of Tsihombe , 74 km S of Tsihombe, RS Cap Ste Marie, -25.58767, 45.163, 152 m, Bush ( Mike , Rin’ha) ( CAS); Anosy Region , District of Fort-Dauphin , PN Andohahela, Parcelle II, Tsimela , 42 km W of Fort-Dauphin, -24.93683, 46.62667, 176 m, transition forest (Michael Irwin, Frank Parker, Rin’ha) ( CAS); Foret de Tsinjoriaky , 6.2 km 84° E Tsifota , -22.80222, 43.42067, 70 m, spiny forest/thicket (Fisher-Griswold Arthropod Team) ( CAS); RS Cap Sainte Marie, 12.3 km 262° W Marovato, -25.58167, 45.16833, 200 m, spiny forest/thicket (Fisher-Griswold Arthropod Team) ( CAS); 5 km E Itampolo, malaise across path of plateau of Andrimpano Forest , -24.65033, 43.96317, 130 m, dry forest (M.E. Irwin, Rin’ha) ( CAS) GoogleMaps .


With head in full-face view, lateral margins of head anterior to eye level parallel and lacking erect hairs, lateral and anteromedian clypeal margins continuously forming broad convexity; scape without erect hairs; mesosoma long and low; body color yellowish to brown.


Minor worker. In full-face view, head sides anterior to level of eye parallel, rounding evenly to posterior margin behind eye level; eye protruding and large (EL/CS: 0.32 ± 0.01; 0.30-0.35), breaking lateral cephalic margin, level of its posterior margin situated approximately at posterior 1/4 of head (PoOc/CL: 0.23 ± 0.01; 0.20-0.24); frontal carinae close to each other (FR/CS: 0.27 ± 0.01; 0.25-0.28), posteriorly parallel, distance between them smaller than their smallest distance to eye; clypeus without well-defined anterolateral angle, its anteromedian margin broadly convex; mandible with two apical teeth normally spaced; antennal scape relatively long (SL/CS: 1.40 ± 0.04; 1.33-1.45). Promesonotum weakly convex; mesonotum with posterior portion flat immediately anterior to weakly visible metanotal groove; propodeal dorsum almost straight (MPH/ML: 0.37 ± 0.03; 0.34-0.50); rounding to declivity, 2 × as long as declivity. Petiolar node short and high, with dorsal margin inclined posteriorly, rounding to anterior margin; height of anterior face 2/3 of that of posterior face; femur of hind leg rounded axially, without twist near base.

First and second gastral tergites without a pair of white spots; lateral margin of head anterior to eye level, with no erect hairs posterior to eye level; two erect hairs present close to posterior margin; antennal scape covered only with appressed hairs; erect hairs lacking on promesonotum; posterodorsal corner of propodeum with a pair of erect hairs. Integument shining; body color yellowish.

Major worker. Unknown.

Distribution and biology.

Camponotus mahafaly is geographically restricted to dry forest and spiny bush and forest habitats of the southwest and south of Madagascar (Fig. 66D View Figure 66 ). Nest sites are generally located in rotten logs, and foraging occurs on the surface of the ground.


Camponotus mahafaly might be confounded with C. cemeryi because the petiole of both species is not nodelike, but in the latter species the antennal scape is covered with suberect hairs and the mesosoma is generally short and high, with a dorsal outline that is strongly convex.

The qualitative morphology-based study of this species agrees with the multivariate morphometrics to support the taxonomic determination of C. mahafaly . Separation of this species is confirmed by LDA with 100% success.


The species name mahafaly is a singular non-Latin noun used in apposition and refers to the Mahafaly region in the southwest of Madagascar.