To cite this page, please use the following:
· For print: . Accessed
· For web:
Camponotus dentatus displays a wide range of variation across the Fijian archipelago. Although there is a temptation to interpret the variation as evidence for multiple species, especially when the more extreme forms are compared, specimens of intermediate morphologies are frequent enough to warrant a more conservative taxonomic approach. The four primary axes of variation are the propodeum shape and armament, petiole shape, facial sculpture, and color. All four primary characters vary independently from each other, which further hampers any attempt to neatly separate the island populations into multiple species.
The differences in propodeal shape and armament are the most striking among the different islands. In general, there is a trend among the northern islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni for the propodeum to be more evenly flattened along its length, and for the propodeal projections to be broadly attached basally. There are many specimens on Vanua Levu in which the propodeum is concavely sloped between its lateral margins, and the lateral margins continue posteriorly on an unbroken trajectory to form the convergent propodeal projections. A nearly equal number of specimens exhibit similarly shaped propodeal projections, but the propodeum itself is either flat or forms a weakly convex slope between its lateral margins. These differences are unrelated to locality. There is a single specimen (CASENT0177338) in which the propodeum is flat, but the projections are narrowly attached to its posterior margin (a condition more often found among specimens from Viti Levu and the southern islands). This specimen is also sympatric with one in which the propodeum has a concave slope and broadly attached projections.
Most of the Taveuni specimens bear strong resemblance to those from Vanua Levu. In eight of the ten specimens examined, the propodeum is weakly raised medially, and its projections are broadly attached and convergent distally. In two specimens (CASENT0175838, CASENT0177512) the propodeum is elevated medially with narrowly attached projections that diverge distally. These two specimens, even more so than the aberrant CASENT0177338 from Vanua Levu, bear a closer resemblance to specimens from Viti Levu than to other Taveuni specimens, including those from the same locality.
Mann, W.M. (1921) The ants of the Fiji Islands. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 64, 401-499.
Sarnat, E.M. & Economo, E.P. (In Press) Ants of Fiji. University of California Publications in Entomology.