Guide to Camponotus Ants of Australia

Camponotus ants of Australia book cover

Guide to Camponotus Ants of Australia front cover

Guide to the Camponotus ants of Australia

By Archie McArthur OAM

"Ants are a dominant component of the Australian arid zone fauna, a fact that anyone who has camped in a tent in our deserts can attest to. Ants carry out ecological functions that in other deserts might be done by rodents for instance. Their ubiquity, abundance and diversity make them useful in environmental assessment, but their usefulness is limited by the availability of tools for their identification.

 Despite being common and obvious, the true diversity of Australia’s ants is yet to be determined adequately and described. This is not an ambition without considerable challenges, but the availability of field guides for the identification of our fauna often provides a substantial boost in effort because competent field guides engage the broader community who bring ants from all corners of the realm to the attention of taxonomists.

 For his first field guide Archie focused on a ubiquitous group of ants, the genus Camponotus. Certain species of this genus are famous as honey-pot ants, both of culinary, spiritual and artistic interest to Aboriginal Australians. Having admirably completed the task of providing a field guide to the Camponotus ants of South Australia, Archie realised that a larger and more ambitious task lay ahead of him: providing one for the whole continent!" 

from the introduction by Professor Steve Donnellan, Chief Research Scientist, Evolutionary Biology Unit.

 The purpose of this guide is to enable recognition of the ant genus Camponotus, and identification of 143 species within this genus which have so far been described from Australia.

Guide to Camponotus Ants of Australia (PDF 8.34MB)

This guide can also be purchased in paperback from the Museum Shop.