Camponotus sanctaefidei Dalla Torre 1892

Formicinae, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker lateral view

worker face view

major lateral view

major face view

Additional images: minor worker, dorsal view of mesosoma (reduced, original), lateral view of petiole (reduced, original). Major worker: lateral view of head (reduced, original).


Costa Rica to Brazil. Costa Rica: throughout country to about 1000m elevation.


Minor worker: Propodeum with distinct pair of posteriorly projecting subtriangular teeth; dorsal face of propodeum subrectangular, longer than wide in dorsal view; propodeal spines widely spaced; first gastral tergite with very dilute pubescence, not obscuring integument; petiole subquadrate, not scale-like; dorsum of pronotum punctate; propodeal suture weakly impressed; propodeal spines relatively short and triangular (longer and more spiniform in bidens).

Major worker: head elongate and subrectangular, clypeus with pair of broad projecting tubercles, propodeal spines absent or in the form of broad blunt tubercles.

Similar species: bidens.

Natural History

This tiny Camponotus species can be found in the high canopy of primary rainforest, in beach edge vegetation, and in open second growth vegetation. Foragers are diurnal. At La Selva Biological Station, the species is moderately abundant in canopy fogging samples.

The nests are in small cavities, usually dead dry stems about 1cm diameter or less. I have found nests in hollow stems with an outside diameter of 3mm and an inside diameter of 2mm. I have also found nests in other small cavities, such as the dead thorns of Acacia ruddiae, dead stems of Triplaris melaenodendron, and dead nodes of Cordia alliodora. The nests always seem to be in highly insolated areas such as the tops of rainforest trees or in scrubby open vegetation. Colony founding appears to be monogynous and claustral, because I have several times collected isolated foundress queens in small cavities.

In Corcovado National Park, at Los Planes, I was collecting in open scrubby vegetation, and I found a nest in a small dead stem. I collected the entire nest. The outside diameter of the stem was 5mm, and the nest was in a chamber 2mm wide and 18cm long. The nest contained 26 adult workers, 3 large larvae, and several small larvae.

Near Monteverde, I once observed a nest in Triplaris melaenodendron. The nest was in a dead terminal stem, but the lumen was continuous with a lower, live portion of the stem that was occupied by Azteca longiceps, a dominant plant-ant. Also, I observed a worker on the trunk, in amongst many agitated Azteca workers. The worker was immobile and completely ignored by the Azteca workers. Does this species have a specialized relationship of some kind with Azteca?

Type Data


Literature Cited

Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1892. Hymenopterologische Notizen. Wien. Entomol. Ztg. 11:89-93.

Page author:

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

Date of this version: 22 January 2002
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