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Camponotus (Myrmothrix) planatus Roger

Camponotus planatus, full face view of a worker.
Camponotus planatus, profile view of a worker.

Ants in the genus Camponotus are collectively known as carpenter ants because some species nest in wood, including man-made structure. This genus includes some of the largest and most common ants in the world, and they are found in all biogeographical regions (Bolton, 1995).  More than 900 species of Camponotus are known worldwide, with 50 species reported from the United States (Hanson and Klotz, 2005), and 20 species found east of the Mississippi River (Deyrup, 2003; Smith, 1979). 

Species in this genus are variable in size with workers ranging in size from 3 to 15 mm or more in length and queens (also referred to as females) of some species attaining a length of 19 mm or more. Many species are polymorphic. Workers have a 12-segmented antenna that lacks an apical club. Antennal fossae do not touch the posterior border of the clypeus. Ocelli are not present on the heads of workers. The workers of most species have an indistinct metanotal suture between the promesonotum and the propodeum, although this suture is present in C. sexguttatus and some members of the subgenus Colobopsis.  Those species that lack the obvoius and deep metanotal suture have the shape of the alitrunk in a smoothly curved arc (as seen in profile). 

Camponotus planatus, commonly called the compact carpenter ant, is an exotic species found in southern Florida. This species normally occurs in Cuba and from Mexico to Colombia, but is now well-established in parts of southern Florida, including the Keys.

This is a small species of carpenter ant with workers ranging in size from 3 to 6 mm in overall length. They have abundant, long, golden hairs on the head, alitrunk, and gaster and a few erect hairs also on the legs and bases of scapes. The alitrunk and head are reddish brown and the gaster is dark brown to blackish.

Nests are often difficult to find and are found in such obscure places as hollow twigs, old termite galleries in dead wood, grass culms, voids in tree trunks, and leaf axil bases in palms.


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