Crematogaster volamena

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Blaimer B (2012) Taxonomy and species-groups of the subgenus Crematogaster ( Orthocrema) in the Malagasy region (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). ZooKeys 199 : 23–70, doi. Versioned wiki page: 2012-06-04, version 25042, , contributors (alphabetical order): Pensoft Publishers.

Citation formats to copy and paste


author = {Blaimer, Bonnie B.},
journal = {ZooKeys},
publisher = {Pensoft Publishers},
title = {Taxonomy and species-groups of the subgenus Crematogaster ( Orthocrema) in the Malagasy region (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)},
year = {2012},
volume = {199},
issue = {},
pages = {23--70},
doi = {10.3897/zookeys.199.2631},
url = {},
note = {Versioned wiki page: 2012-06-04, version 25042, , contributors (alphabetical order): Pensoft Publishers.}


RIS/ Endnote:

T1 - Taxonomy and species-groups of the subgenus Crematogaster ( Orthocrema) in the Malagasy region (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)
A1 - Blaimer B
Y1 - 2012
JF - ZooKeys
JA -
VL - 199
IS -
UR -
SP - 23
EP - 70
PB - Pensoft Publishers
M1 - Versioned wiki page: 2012-06-04, version 25042, , contributors (alphabetical order): Pensoft Publishers.

M3 - doi:10.3897/zookeys.199.2631

Wikipedia/ Citizendium:

<ref name="Blaimer2012ZooKeys199">{{Citation
| author = Blaimer B
| title = Taxonomy and species-groups of the subgenus Crematogaster ( Orthocrema) in the Malagasy region (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)
| journal = ZooKeys
| year = 2012
| volume = 199
| issue =
| pages = 23--70
| pmid =
| publisher = Pensoft Publishers
| doi = 10.3897/zookeys.199.2631
| url =
| pmc =
| accessdate = 2020-04-07

}} Versioned wiki page: 2012-06-04, version 25042, , contributors (alphabetical order): Pensoft Publishers.</ref>

See also the citation download page at the journal.


Ordo: Hymenoptera
Familia: Formicidae
Genus: Crematogaster


Crematogaster volamena Blaimer, 2012 sp. n.Wikispecies linkZooBank linkPensoft Profile

Type locality

MADAGASCAR: Toliara: Forêt Ivohibe: -24.56900, 47.20400, 200m, rainforest, malaise trap, 2.-4.xii.2006, B.L.Fisher et al.

Type specimens

holotype worker: pinned, CASENT0125748, BLF15448, malaise trap; original locality label: MADG’R: Toliara, Forêt Ivohibe, 200m, 24°34.14S, 47°12.24E, 2–4.xii.06, rainforest, Fisher et al. BLF15448; deposited at CASC.
4 paratype workers: #1: pinned, CASENT0128455, BLF15450, sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood); same locality data as holotype; deposited at SAMC. #2: pinned, CASENT0488904, BLF08006(23), beating low vegetation, rainforest; original locality label: MADG’R: Prov. Toamasina, Mont. Anjanaharibe, 18.0 km, 21° NNE Ambinanitelo 470m 15°11.3'S, 49°36.9'E, 8–12.iii.2003 Fisher et al. BLF8006; deposited at MHNG. #3: pinned, CASENT0071334, BLF12557, malaise trap; original locality label: MADG’R: Prov. Toamasina, P.N. Mananara-Nord, 16°27.3'S, 49°47.25'E, 225m, 14.xi.2005, malaise, rainforest, Fisher et al. BLF12557; deposited at MCZC. #4: pinned, CASENT0488765, BLF8251(4), beating low vegetation; original locality label: MADG’R: Prov. Toamasina, Mont. Akirindro 7.6 km 341° NNW Ambinanitelo 15°17.3'S, 49°32.9'E 600m, 17–21.iii.2003, Fisher et al. BLF8251; deposited at UCDC.

Other material examined

(CASC, MCZC). MADAGASCAR: Antsiranana: P.N. Montagne d’Ambre: -12.52830, 49.17250, 1046m (D.Lees et al.); 6.9 km NE Ambanizana: -15.56667, 50.00000, 825m (B.L.Fisher et al.); 6.3 km S Ambanizana: -15.68131, 49.9580, 25m (B.L.Fisher et al.); 5.3 km SSE Ambanizana, 425m, -15.66667, 49.96667 (B.L.Fisher et al.); Montagne d’Anjanaharibe: -15.18833, 49.61500, 470m (B.L.Fisher et al.); P.N. Marojejy: -14.43333, 49.78333, 450m; -14.43817, 49.77400, 488m; -14.43500, 49.76000, 775m (B.L.Fisher et al.); R.N.I. Marojejy: -14.43583, 49.76056, 610m (G. Alpert); Fianarantsoa: F Ampitavananima: -23.12972, 47.71700, ca. 35m (B.L.Fisher et al.); Toamasina: R.S. Ambatovaky: -16.77468, 49.26551, 355m; -16.81745, 49.29250, 400m; -16.77550, 49.26427, 430m; -16.77274, 49.26551, 450m; -16.76912, 49.26704, 475m; -16.76330, 49.26692, 520m (B.L.Fisher et al); P.N. Mananara-Nord: -16.45500, 49.78750, 225m (B.L.Fisher et al.); F.C. Sandranantitra: -18.04833, 49.09167, 450m (B.L.Fisher et al.); Rés. Betampona: -17.91801, 49.20074, 500m (B.L.Fisher et al.); Toliara: F Ivohibe: -24.56900, 47.20400, 200m (B.L.Fisher et al.).

Worker measurements

(n=20). Holotype: HW 0.62; HL 0.59; EL 0.11; SL 0.50; WL 0.66; SPL 0.06; PTH 0.13; PTL 0.20; PTW 0.20; PPL 0.10; PPW 0.21; LHT 0.49; CI 1.04; OI 0.19; SI 0.85; SPI 0.09; PTHI 0.65; PTWI 0.99; PPI 2.07; LBI 1.35.

Other material

HW 0.66–0.98; HL 0.62–0.95; EL 0.12–0.18; SL 0.50–0.66; WL 0.68–0.92; SPL 0.05–0.09; PTH 0.13–0.19; PTL 0.21–0.30; PTW 0.21–0.30; PPL 0.11; PPW 0.20–0.32; LHT 0.42–0.72; CI 1.03–1.13; OI 0.18–0.22; SI 0.73–0.84; SPI 0.06–0.12; PTHI 0.50–0.72; PTWI 0.82–1.08; PPI 1.43–2.13; LBI 1.25–1.71.


Workers of Crematogaster volamena are diagnosed most easily by their indistinct occipital carinae (Figure 14), the non-protruding and small eyes and the absence of raised, sharp lateral carinae on the propodeum (Figure 15). All these characteristics are shared with the much rarer, but closely resembling Crematogaster mpanjono, from which it cannot be distinguished reliably based on the worker caste. Crematogaster volamena has slightly longer propodeal spines than Crematogaster mpanjono, and the propodeum is lacking longer erect pilosity. The two species are not known to co-occur, and therefore their distributions (compare Figures 32F and 33D) can help in distinguishing between them. Queens of Crematogaster volamena are readily separated from Crematogaster mpanjono queens by virtue of their well pronounced occipital carinae (Figure 22) and a scuto-scutellar suture that is broadly meeting the mesoscutum (Figure 21, compare with Figure 23). From the remaining Malagasy Orthocrema queens, Crematogaster volamena queens are differentiated by the absence of propodeal spines and their large size (HW 1.72, WL 2.61).

Worker description

(Figures 31A–F). Very small to medium sized species (HW 0.62–0.98, WL 0.66–0.92), with characters of the Crematogaster volamena-group, in addition to the following. Clypeus with several (up to 6), irregular vertical carinae.
Mesonotum transversely concave between lateral carinae.
Head sculpture aciculate; longer, erect pilosity absent from propodeum. Color golden yellow or (more rarely) medium brown.

Queen measurements

(n=1). HW 1.72, HL 1.60, EL 0.37, SL 0.90, MSNW 1.28, MSNL 1.59, WL 2.61, SPL 0.00, PTH 0.39, PTL 0.67, PTW 0.61, PPL 0.43, PPW 0.65, LHT 1.21, CI 1.08, OI 0.23, SI 0.56 , MSNI 1.64, SPI 0.15, PTHI 0.59, PTWI 0.91, PPI 1.50, LBI 2.16.

Queen description

(Figures 32A–C). Large (HW 1.72, WL 2.61), with characters of the Crematogaster volamena-group, in addition to the following. Antennal scapes reaching to about level of median ocelli; occipital carinae well pronounced; eyes medium-sized (OI 0.23); head wider than long (CI 1.08).
Mesosoma compact (MSNI 1.64, WL 2.61); mesoscutum in dorsal view oval; scuto-scutellar suture broadly meeting mesoscutum; dorsal face of propodeum short but distinct, posterior face sloping abruptly; petiole in dorsal view oval; wings smoky.
Head sculpture carinulate-aciculate. Color brown with yellow markings on meso-, metasoma and legs.

Male measurements

(n=1). HW 0.68, HL 0.52, EL 0.26, SL 0.11, MSNW 0.73, MSNL 0.75, WL 1.44, SPL 0.00, PTH 0.19, PTL 0.31, PTW 0.22, PPL 0.15, PPW 0.26, LHT n.a., CI 1.30, OI 0.50, SI 0.21, MSNI 1.93, SPI 0.62, PTHI 0.62, PTWI 0.71, PPI 1.71, LBI n.a.

Male description

(Figures 32 D,E–G). Small (HW 0.68, WL 1.44). Masticatory margin of mandibles with 2 teeth; eyes large (OI 0.50) and protruding, situated slightly below midline of head, and not approaching clypeal margin; antennae 11–12-segmented (separation between 3rd and 4th funicular segment is incomplete in the examined specimen), scapes very short (SI 0.21), 2nd funicular segment globular, last 2 or 3 funicular segments compressed (this may be post mortem); head strongly wider than long (CI 1.30), mostly due to lateral extent of eyes; ocellar triangle extending to posterior head margin in full face view like a crown; occipital carinae distinct.
Mesosoma compact (MSNI 1.93, WL 1.44); mesoscutum in dorsal view as wide as long; scutellum with only one long and flat dorsal face, in dorsal view oval-shaped and posteriorly rounded, dorsoposterior margin not carinate; dorsal face of propodeum about as long as posterior face; propodeal spines absent; petiole in dorsal view oval, carinae or denticles absent and all margins rounded, in lateral view petiole anteriorly tapering; anteroventral subpetiolar tooth absent; postpetiole fairly globular, median impression absent; wings clear.
Head sculpture rugulose, mesoscutum aciculate, scutellum longitudinally carinulate, petiole and postpetiole rugulose-shiny; face with fairly abundant longer erect pilosity; mesoscutum with dense long erect pilosity; posterior part of scutellum with sparse long pilosity; petiole and postpetiole without distinct dorsoposterior setae, but abundant erect pilosity laterally. Color dark brown.

Distribution and biology

Crematogaster volamena is currently known from about 10 localities along the eastern rainforest belt in Madagascar (Figure 32F). Here the species occurs in low- to mid-elevation rainforest or littoral forest. Crematogaster volamena appears to be a generalist in terms of nesting preferences, as it has been collected both nesting arboreally in dead twigs and on the ground in rotten logs. Scant natural history information exists, but noteworthy is a size variation in workers of this species that is reminiscent of a major-minor distinction in other ant genera. The larger workers (Figures 31D–F) have a distinctly enlarged head and more powerful mandibles compared to regular workers (Figures 31A–C), and they are more rarely seen throughout collections. These individuals do not share the attributes of the intermediates described here for Crematogaster rasoherinae and Crematogaster madecassa, such as presence of ocelli, or a queen-like modified mesosoma.


This species is named for the golden yellow coloration that most of its workers possess, as “volamena” means “gold” in Malagasy. This name should be treated as a noun in apposition.

Original Description

  • Blaimer, B; 2012: Taxonomy and species-groups of the subgenus Crematogaster ( Orthocrema) in the Malagasy region (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) ZooKeys, 199: 23-70. doi