Taxonomic Revision of the Obligate Plant-Ants of the Genus Crematogaster Lund (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae), Associated with Macaranga Thouars (Euphorbiaceae) on Borneo and the Malay Peninsula


  • Heike Feldhaar University of Bayreuth BayCEER - Bayreuth Center for Ecology and Enviromental Research Animal Ecology I
  • Ulrich Maschwitz J. W. Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
  • Brigitte Fiala University of Würzburg



ant-plant symbiosis, ant partner, Macaranga, Crematogaster


The taxonomy and natural history of ants of the genus Crematogaster Lund, 1831 (Crematogaster borneensis-group of the former subgenus Decacrema) obligately associated with myrmecophytic host-plants of the euphorb genus Macaranga are reviewed. Within this group of ants Crematogaster borneensis André, 1896 (with five subspecies and four varieties), Crematogaster captiosa Forel, 1910 as well as Crematogaster decamera Forel, 1910 have previously been described from SE Asia. Here we synonymise C. borneensis subsp. capax Forel, 1911, C. borneensis subsp. hosei Forel, 1911, C. borneensis subsp. sembilana Forel, 1911, and C. borneensis var. macarangae Viehmeyer, 1916 with C. borneensis André, 1896. Crematogaster borneensis var. harpyia Forel, 1911, C. borneensis var. insulsa Forel, 1911, C. borneensis subsp. symbia Forel, 1911, and C. borneensis subsp. novem Forel, 1911 are synonymised with C. captiosa Forel, 1910. In addition we describe five new species: C. claudiae sp. nov., C. hullettii sp. nov., C. linsenmairi sp. nov., C. maryatii sp. nov., and C. roslihashimi sp. nov.. Seven of these eight species are placed into two informal species subgroups based on queen morphology, life-history characters and a formerly published molecular phylogeny. Keys are provided for the identification of queens and workers, as well as natural history information on the eight ant species. The morphology of these Macaranga-associated Crematogaster (formerly Decacrema) species is compared to the only other three species described for this former subgenus in SE Asia, i.e. C. angulosa André, 1896, C. biformis André, 1892 and C. cephalotes Smith, 1857.


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How to Cite

Feldhaar, H., Maschwitz, U., & Fiala, B. (2016). Taxonomic Revision of the Obligate Plant-Ants of the Genus Crematogaster Lund (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae), Associated with Macaranga Thouars (Euphorbiaceae) on Borneo and the Malay Peninsula. Sociobiology, 63(1), 651–681.



Research Article - Ants