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Species: Crematogaster (Crematogaster) scutellaris   (Olivier, 1792) 

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Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Extant: 3 valid subspecies

Formica scutellaris Olivier, 1792: 497 (w.) FRANCE. Palearctic. Primary type information: Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated). Type-locality: France: Provence (no collector’s name). Type-depository: MNHN. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Mayr, 1855 PDF: 470 (q.m.)
Combination in Myrmica: Schenck, 1852 PDF: 132.
Combination in Crematogaster: Mayr, 1855 PDF: 469.
Status as species: Latreille, 1798 PDF: 48; Latreille, 1802a PDF: 261; Schenck, 1852 PDF: 132; Mayr, 1855 PDF: 469 (redescription); Nylander, 1856b PDF: 100; Gredler, 1858 PDF: 30; Smith, 1858a PDF: 135; Roger, 1859 PDF: 259; Mayr, 1861 PDF: 74 (in key); Mayr, 1863a PDF: 404; Roger, 1863b PDF: 36; Emery, 1869b PDF: 23; Dours, 1873 PDF: 169; Forel, 1874 PDF: 69 (in key); André, 1874c: 201 (in key); Emery, 1878a PDF: x (in list); Emery, 1878: 58; Emery & Forel, 1879 PDF: 464; Emery, 1880 PDF: 398; André, 1883b: 392 (in key); Forel, 1886e PDF: clxviii; Provancher, 1887: 244; Cresson, 1887 PDF: 262; Forel, 1889 PDF: 257; Saunders, 1890 PDF: 205; Emery, 1891c: 13; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 85; Medina, 1893 PDF: 105; Forel, 1894d PDF: 24; Forel, 1895e PDF: 227; Saunders, 1896 PDF: 42; Forel, 1902a PDF: 154; Ruzsky, 1902d PDF: 31; Forel, 1904c PDF: 372; Forel, 1904d PDF: 6; Ruzsky, 1905b: 488; Forel, 1907d PDF: 22; Emery, 1908e PDF: 23; Forel, 1911f PDF: 340; Emery, 1912e: 652; Krausse, 1912c PDF: 164; Stitz, 1914 PDF: 73; Emery, 1914c PDF: 157; Forel, 1915d: 32 (in key); Donisthorpe, 1915f PDF: 337; Emery, 1916a PDF: 155; Menozzi, 1918 PDF: 85; Bondroit, 1918 PDF: 113; Santschi, 1919e PDF: 244; Menozzi, 1921 PDF: 27; Müller, 1921 PDF: 48; Emery, 1922c PDF: 143; Finzi, 1922a PDF: 120; Menozzi, 1922c PDF: 327; Müller, 1923b PDF: 70; Finzi, 1924a PDF: 13; Emery, 1924b PDF: 12; Emery, 1924c PDF: 165; Santschi, 1925g PDF: 348; Lomnicki, 1925b PDF: 1; Donisthorpe, 1926a PDF: 7; Wheeler, 1926a PDF: 3; Karavaiev, 1926b PDF: 109; Menozzi, 1926b PDF: 182; Stärcke, 1926a PDF: 84 (in key); Karavaiev, 1927a PDF: 289; Kutter, 1927a PDF: 99; Donisthorpe, 1927c: 388; Menozzi, 1927b PDF: 90; Kutter, 1928: 66; Finzi, 1930d PDF: 313; Cori & Finzi, 1931 PDF: 238; Santschi, 1931a: 5; Santschi, 1932e PDF: 70; Finzi, 1933 PDF: 164; Menozzi, 1934: 159; Grandi, 1935 PDF: 100; Zimmermann, 1935 PDF: 22; Stitz, 1939: 128; Finzi, 1940 PDF: 160; Novák & Sadil, 1941 PDF: 82 (in key); Bernard, 1950a PDF: 4; Donisthorpe, 1950e PDF: 1061; Consani & Zangheri, 1952 PDF: 40; Ceballos, 1956: 304; Bernard, 1956b PDF: 258; Bernard, 1959a PDF: 346; Fromantin & Soulié, 1961 PDF: 95; Baroni Urbani, 1964a PDF: 4; Baroni Urbani, 1964b PDF: 44; Baroni Urbani, 1964c PDF: 154; Cagniant, 1964 PDF: 88; Cagniant, 1966b PDF: 279; Bernard, 1967a PDF: 164 (redescription); Baroni Urbani, 1968e PDF: 449; Kutter, 1968b PDF: 59; Baroni Urbani, 1969e PDF: 332; Collingwood & Yarrow, 1969 PDF: 65; Cagniant, 1970a PDF: 418; Baroni Urbani, 1971c PDF: 79; Baroni Urbani, 1974a PDF: 233; Bolton & Collingwood, 1975: 3 (in key); Aktaç, 1977 PDF: 121; Kutter, 1977c: 88; Collingwood, 1978 PDF: 82 (in key); Collingwood, 1979 PDF: 66; Schembri & Collingwood, 1981 PDF: 430; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987a PDF: 54; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b PDF: 272 (in key); Casevitz-Weulersse, 1990b: 137; Le Moli & Rosi, 1991: 30; Bolton, 1995b: 162; Mei, 1995 PDF: 762; Poldi et al., 1995: 4; Espadaler, 1997g PDF: 29; Collingwood & Prince, 1998: 14 (in key); Gallé et al., 1998: 214; Cagniant, 2005 PDF: 10; Bračko, 2006 PDF: 136; Cagniant, 2006 PDF: 198; Petrov, 2006 PDF: 94 (in key); Bračko, 2007 PDF: 17; Seifert, 2007: 215; Radchenko, 2007 PDF: 33; Karaman, 2008 PDF: 20 (in key); Gratiashvili & Barjadze, 2008 PDF: 138; Casevitz-Weulersse & Galkowski, 2009 PDF: 487; Lapeva-Gjonova et al., 2010 PDF: 18; Boer, 2010: 46; Csosz et al., 2011 PDF: 57; Legakis, 2011 PDF: 14; Borowiec & Salata, 2012 PDF: 490; Kiran & Karaman, 2012 PDF: 18; Borowiec, 2014 PDF: 68 (see note in bibliography); Lebas et al., 2016: 272; Steiner et al., 2017: 8; Salata & Borowiec, 2018c 10.5281/zenodo.2199191 PDF: 44; Seifert, 2018: 178.
Material of the nomen nudum Crematogaster capiterubro referred here by Baroni Urbani, 1971c PDF: 80.


Crematogaster scutellaris is a medium-sized species with a dark brown to black body contrasting with a shiny reddish head. The species is relatively common and dominant component of Mediterranean Europe’s ant fauna (Marlier et al., 2002), and is frequently introduced into central and northern Europe (Boer & Vierbergen, 2008; Klotz et al., 2008; Rasplus et al., 2010). López-Sebastián (2004)provides a brief review of the biology of C. scutellaris. The nests are made of chewed wood and soil. in a large variety of microhabitats, including dead wood, human structures, and even stone walls (Soulié, 1956;1961 (1960)). The colony founding is independent, and colonies can live for several decades. All the workers are believed to be sterile (Casevitz Weulersse, 1991). The diet of the species is not well studied, but it is known to be an avid tender of hemipterans and will also take living and dead arthropods. Crematogaster scutellaris makes strong chemical trails used for recruiting large numbers of foragers that form conspicuous columns (Soulié, 1961 (1960)).   

// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Morocco, Tunisia
    Asia: Georgia, Israel, Turkey
    Europe: Andorra, Balearic Islands, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
  Native to (according to species list records):
    Palearctic bioregion

Distribution Notes:

Native Range. Mediterranean Europe.
Introduced Range. Northern Europe: Germany, Netherlands.


It had been presumed that the species was unable to establish outdoor colonies north of its native range on account of climatic conditions, but recent discoveries of such colonies in Germany (Heller, 2004)and the Netherlands (Boer & Vierbergen, 2008; Vierbergen, 1994)suggest establishment is possible and becoming more likely as the climate warms. In Germany, interceptions are most often associated with deliveries of cork and timber (Heller, 2004). Crematogaster scutellaris has also been intercepted as US ports of entry, though no records of establishment are known.  

Xerothermous forests, forest edges, nests in wood (Source unkown).


Diagnosis among workers of introduced and commonly intercepted ants in the United States. Head shape ovoid. Antenna 11-segmented. Antennal club 3-segmented. Antennal scapes not conspicuously short; easily extended beyond eye level. Antennal scrobe lacking. Eyes medium to large (greater than 5 facets) but distinctly less than half head length. Mandibles triangular. Pronotal spines absent. Propodeum armed with spines or teeth. Waist  2-segmented. Petiole flattened; lacking a distinct node; lacking peduncle; lacking large subpetiolar process. Petiole shape subrectangular. Postpetiole attached to upper surface of gaster. Head and mesosoma lacking abundant short flattened, semierect hairs. Head often reddish in color and contrasting with rest of body.

Crematogaster scutellaris can be easily distinguished from C. obscurata (which is introduced to the United States and commonly intercpted) by the following characters: (1) a 3-segmented club (versus 2-segmented); (2) a more trapezoidal petiole (versus triangular); (3) lack of abundant, flattened semierect hairs on its dorsal surfaces; (4) head often a reddish color that contrasts with rest of body.


(Dutch vernacular name: rode schoripoenmier)


Boer, P. & Vierbergen, B. (2008) Exotic ants in The Netherlands (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Entomol. Ber. (Amsterdam), 68, 121-129.

Casevitz Weulersse, J. (1991) Reproduction et développement des sociétés de Crematogaster scutellaris (Olivier, 1791) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Ann. Soc. Entomol. France, 27, 103-111.

Heller, G. (2004) Ein Vorkommen von Crematogaster scutellaris (Olivier, 1791) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Süddeutschland. Myrmecol. Nachr., 6, 1-3.

Klotz, J., Hansen, L., Pospischil, R. & Rust, M. (2008) Urban ants of North America and Europe. Cornell University Press,  196 pp.

López-Sebastián, E., Tinaut, A. & Selfa, J. (2004) Acerca de Crematogaster scutellaris (Olivier, 1791) (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) como depredador de huevos de la procesionaria del pino. Bol. Sanid. Vegetal Plagas, 30, 699-701.

Marlier, J.F., Quinet, Y. & de Biseau, J.C. (2004) Defensive behaviour and biological activities of the abdominal secretion in the ant Crematogaster scutellaris (Hymenoptera: Myrmicinae). Behav. Process., 67, 427-444.

Rasplus, J.Y., Villemant, C., Paiva, M.R., Delvare, G. & Roques, A. (2010) Hymenoptera. BioRisk, 4(2), 669-776.

Soulié, J. (1956) Le déclenchement et la rupture de l'état d'hibernation chez Crematogaster scutellaris Ol. (Hymenoptera: Formicoidea). Insect. Soc., 3, 431-438.

Soulié, J. (1961 (1960)) Des considérations écologiques peuvent-elles apporter une contribution à la connaisance du cycle biologique des colonies de Cremastogaster (Hymenoptera - Formicoidea)? Insect. Soc., 7, 283-295.

Vierbergen, G. (1994) Hymenoptera / Formicidae / Crematogaster scutellaris in The Netherlands. Verslagen en Mededelingen (Annual Report 1993, Plant Protection Service, Wageningen, The Netherlands) 173: 51-52

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Crematogaster scutellaris   Smith, F., 1858, Catalogue of the hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae., London: British Museum: 135, (download) 135 8127
Crematogaster scutellaris   Forel, A., 1904, Note sur les fourmis du Musée Zoologique de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences à St. Pétersbourg., Yezhegodnik Zoologicheskogo Muzeya Imperatorskoi Akademii Nauk 8, pp. 368-388: 5, (download) 5 3994
Crematogaster scutellaris   Collingwood, C. A., 1979, The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark., Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 8, pp. 1-174: 66, (download) 66 6175

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 9 times found in Pinar, 7 times found in Ruderal, 1 times found in Pinus sp., 5 times found in Encinar, 2 times found in Pinus halepensis+pistacea lentiscus, 3 times found in Q. pyrenaica, C. sativa, 3 times found in pine forest, 3 times found in City, 2 times found in anthropogenic, 2 times found in mesic scrub oak, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 17 times Foraging, 7 times on tree, 3 times nbp, 2 times Nido bajo piedra, 2 times Foraging on tree, 2 times Nido en tronco, 2 times Nido en tocón, 2 times Nest open in soil, 2 times Forrajeando, 1 times Under stone, 1 times Foraging tree, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 59 times Hand, 19 times search, 7 times Pitfall, 1 times Bait, 1 times Net, 1 times Winkler.

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1740 meters, 394 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1904-07-23 00:00:00.0 and 2021-07-09 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: syntype of Acrocoelia ruficeps: casent0919656; syntype of Crematogaster scutellaris corsica: casent0912720; syntype of Crematogaster scutellaris degener: casent0912721

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