Contents Contents The Ants of Egypt
Ecological Notes - Mostafa Sharaf

Wadi El-Arbaein
This wadi splits the mountains in St. Katherine area. It is bounded by Gebel El-Sarwo (2150m high) to the east, and extension of Gebel Safsafa (2168m high), and Gebel El- Rabba at the northern boundary with N 2833`27''. and E 3356`88''. St. Katherine city has unusual climatic conditions compared with the climate of the rest of Egypt. There is a wide difference in temperature between summer and winter. August is the hottest month, with a mean temperature of 25.9C, and January is the coldest month with a mean temperature of 7.7C. The presence of high mountains in St. Katherine makes the climate continental, and augments the difference between day and night. The most common plants are Achillea fragrantissima (Forssk.) Sch. Bip., Artemisia inculta Del., Echinopis glaberrinus Dc., Tanacetum santolinoides Dc., Onopordum ambiguum Fresen.(Compositae), Alkanna orientalis (L.) Boiss. (Boraginacaeae), Asclepias sinaica (Boiss.) Muschl. (Asclepiadaceae), Fagonia mollis Del., Peganum harmala L. (Zygophyllaceae), Mentha longifolia (L.), Origanum syriacum L., Plomis aurea Decne., Salvia spinosa L., Stachys aegyptiaca Pers., Ballota undulata (Fresen.) Benth. (Labiatae), Verbascum sinaiticum Benth (Scrophulariaceae), Diplotaxis harra (Forssk.) Boiss. and Zilla spinosa (L.) Prantl. (Cruciferae).

El-Mafareq
Situated at the junction of Wadi Fieran with El-Qaa plain, about 100 km east of St.Catherine city with 90 m high, N:2842.; E: 3319 and mean minimum and maximum temperature of 14.7 C in January and 29.6 C during August. Locality for Cataglyphis sbulosus - this site is a desert ecosystem (this agree with the habitat given by Kugler), it is a small oasis cultivated with fruit tree and many wild plants. the most dominant plants in this site are: Acacia raddiana Savi (Leguminosae), Tamarix nilotica (Ehrenb) (Tamaricaceae); Zizyphus spinachristi (L.) Wild (Rhamnaceae) and Zygophyllum simplex L. (Zygophyllaceae). I prefer to provide the site with these ecological data because very little ecological information is known and published about this nice species except that given by Kugler so we need much more information about it.

Wadi Sahab
A location where many ant species were collected and recorded: Sahab (S), near to Feiran Oasis. Sahab is 60 km north eastwards of El-Mafareq, and 40 km north westwards of St. Katherine. with 900 m high, N 2843'02'' E 3346'79''. The temperature ranging from a January mean minimum of 11.2C to an August mean maximum of 27.8C. the most important plants are Tamarix nilotica (Ehrenb) Bge (Tamaricaceae), and Vine plants.

Siwa oasis
It is characterized by abundance of hills and mountains and its sandy soil, though it is also a well cultivated land, where many crops are cultivated more than that of Baharyia oasis. Palm, Olea, Lemon and fruits are the dominant crops. Many regions of the oasis are dried desert and in some places the naturally cultivated plants were found. The under ground water which is the source of water in the oasis, is found in bigger regions than that of Baharyia. The cultivated lands increase around the water sources. Siwa oasis is lying between the longitudes 2458' and 2612' E and latitudes 29 and 2936' N. The lowest point is about 143 m below sea level. The oasis is 17 m below sea level. The total area of the oasis is about 1088 km.

Baharyia oasis
It is characterized by its sandy soil, though it is a well cultivated land. Palm is cultivated in extensive regions and other agricultural crops such as apricot, olea and green beans grow in this land. The people of the oasis depend on the under ground water in their different uses. The Baharyia oasis is differentiated into two main regions, the original oasis where the native people of the country live, and the region of the iron mines. In addition to the cultivated regions of the oasis, there are also dried desert regions, and naturally cultivated plants in some places of the desert Baharyia oasis is lying between longitudes 2835' and 2910' E and latitudes 2748' and 2830' N. The lowest point near El-Qasr village is about 113 m below sea level. The total area of the oasis is about 1800 km2.

Kharga oasis
It is an elongate depression lying between latitudes 24 and 26 N and longitudes 30 and 3112' E, having a maximum length about 185 km extending from north to south. The width ranging from 15 to 30 km. the cultivated areas represents about 1% from the total area of the oasis (note: this percentage may be changed now!!"Mostafa"). The lowest point is about 18 m under the sea level. The oasis is composed of many villages, the largest one is El-Kharga followed by Baris and Bulaq respectively. The underground water is the main water supply and the land is sandy with more rocky hills. In spite of this, it is suitable for agriculture because of the presence of a clay bed with a thickness reaching more than two meters as in Baris. The rest of the area is represented by an extensive desert, cultivated in some areas with a naturally cultivated desert plants.

Dakhla oasis
It is the west of El-Kharga oasis and far from it with about 120 km. it lies between latitudes 25 and 26 N and longitudes 25 and 26 E. It is a sandy land with rocky areas. The lowest point is about 100 m below sea level. The total area of the depression is more than 410 km with sandy clay cultivated land about 107 km and 88.5 km ready for agriculture. The largest part of the oasis is sandy deserted areas. The cultivated areas are subdivided into two large parts separated by narrow desert zone. The western part is more important than the western part because it contains the most cultivated land, the centers of popular services, and El-Qasr, Budkhula, El-Rashda and Mut villages. The cultivated land of the eastern is about half of that of the western area.

Red Sea region
It is a sandy soil, the cultivated plants are not found except in very small areas around the native people houses, or in the preparatory schools, and all these cultivated areas have no agricultural value. The scarcity of the cultivated areas may be due to the presence of the city along the sea shore, or to its being petroleum areas.

Ghardaqa
This region is a sandy soil area with some stony regions along the sea shore. The specimens were collected from the region of the institute of the science of the sea, their rest houses, around the houses of the natives and close to the sea. There are no cultivated regions, except some plants for decoration around the people houses.

Safaga
It is a sandy soil with some rocky regions. The cultivated areas are very rare; most of the regions are dried deserts. Some specimens were collected from the rest houses of the company of the red sea phosphate, in its factories and around the restaurant. The regions where the collection was done are far from the sea.

Quseir
It is a deserted dried region; the cultivated areas are very rare except some regions in the rest houses of company of the red sea phosphate. The collection was done from the houses of the people, at sea shore, at the rest houses of the company and at the garden of the rest. the specimens were collected along 280 km along the red sea coast from Ras Gharib to Quseir.

2006, 2015, 2019 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

href="ecological_notes.htm"