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Species: Camponotus dentatus   (Mayr, 1866) 

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Note: Not a Valid Taxon Name

Current Valid Name:

Colobopsis dentata

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Colobopsis dentata Mayr, 1866a PDF: 492, fig. 5 (w.) FIJI IS. Oceania. AntCat AntWiki HOL


  Geographic regions: Not found on any curated Geolocale/Taxon lists.

Distribution Notes:

Endemic to the Fiji Islands.

 Gau: Navukailagi 325. Kadavu: Moanakaka 60, Vanua Ava b. Lakeba: Tubou 100 a, Tubou 100 b, Tubou 100 c. Ovalau: Levuka 450, Ovalau, Levuka. Taveuni: Lavena 235, Lavena 234, Lavena 217, Lavena 229, Soqulu Estate 140, Somosomo 200, Nagasau. Vanua Levu: Kilaka 146, Wainibeqa 87, Wainibeqa 53, Kilaka 98, Vusasivo Village 400 b, Rokosalase 180, Rokosalase 94, Rokosalase 97, Rokosalase 118, Lagi 300, Labasa. Viti Levu: Nabukavesi 40, Ocean Pacific 1, Ocean Pacific 2, Lautoka Port 5 b, Suva, Colo-i-Suva 460, Colo-i-Suva 325, Colo-i-Suva 372, Volivoli 55, Volivoli 25, Waivudawa 300, Veisari 300 (3.5 km N), Nadarivatu 750, Waiyanitu.


Unlike many other members of the group, C. dentatus can be found in marginal habitats in addition to forest. Mann (1921) found them living in scrubby vegetation near the coasts and in cultivated areas. Wheeler (1934) found them running on tree trunks in Suva. They were also observed by the authors in the streets of Suva among a heap of rubbish and vegetative debris, and they readily recruited to sugar water baits placed on the ground. Specimens were also collected from sifted litter.


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.

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