Camponotus JTL-016 (cf. christopherseni) Longino ms.

Formicinae, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker lateral view

worker face view

major lateral view

major face view


Costa Rica (throughout country in wet forest areas above 500m elevation, dropping out with other ants above 2000m; known from Cordillera de Talamanca to Cordillera de Guanacaste).


Minor worker: scapes with abundant subdecumbent, relatively long setae, and with 3-10 differentiated erect setae scattered along shaft of scape; cheeks with projecting erect setae; sides and dorsum of pronotum both flat and meeting at a rounded angle (sharper angle than JTL-010); sides of pronotum without erect setae; dorsal and posterior faces of propodeum subequal in length, flat, meeting at a distinct angle; first gastral tergite with abundant erect white or clear setae, underlying pubescence relatively sparse, fully appressed, and sharply differentiated from erect setae; integument of first gastral tergite moderately shining, feebly shagreened; color solid black.

Major worker: head all black; face coarsely granular/punctate; clypeus protruding posteromedially, strongly convex in lateral view; face and cheeks with abundant short, stiff, slightly clavate setae; head subquadrate.

May grade into cuneidorsus (see notes there).

Similar species: JTL-027, cuneidorsus, JTL-010.

Natural History

This is a very common species in mid to upper elevation wet forests. I have collected it dozens of times as foragers on low vegetation and as an opportunistic cavity nester. I often find nests in dead branches and in cavities in live branches of understory vegetation, and in reachable vegetation along road edges and stream or river edges. Nests are typically small, often with only a few dozen workers, but colonies are polydomous and thus it is difficult to say how large colonies can get.

This species is often found as an opportunistic inhabitant of ant-plants, but always as a peripheral or marginal inhabitant and not a dominant species. In surveys of Cecropia inhabitants, this species is very commonly encountered. Nests are usually in single or a few contiguous internodes, but multiple nests are often found in the same tree or sapling. Nests are very often encountered in lower internodes of Cecropia insignis and C. angustifolia saplings, while founding Azteca queens dominate the upper nodes. In montane habitats, Azteca colonies may be weak in crowns of mature C. insignis trees, and do not occur at all in mature C. angustifolia trees. In these cases Camponotus JTL-016 may be found nesting in mature trees as well, but still scattered in the crown in multiple small nests. When a C. insignis tree is occupied by an Azteca colony (usually A. xanthochroa in montane forests), Camponotus JTL-016 will often have nests in lower branches, or lower portions of branches that have Azteca in the apex.

Page author:

John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505

Date of this version: 22 January 2002
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