Contents Contents The Ants of Egypt
SUBFAMILY MYRMICINAE - Genus Cardiocondyla

Genus Cardiocondyla Emery (1869b: 20)


Diagnostic Features - Eyes well developed and sited forward of the front of the midlength of the head. Antennae 12-segmented, with a three-segmented club, and the scapes short, failing to reach the posterior margin of the head. The lateral portions of the clypeus project forwards over the basal margins of the mandibles. Sculpture usually of fine dense puncturation on the head and alitrunk, but none on the gaster. Sparse pubescence but erect setae only on the anterior clypeal margin. Alitrunk with the promesonotal suture absent and the metanotal groove impressed. Propodeum with a pair of teeth or spines. Petiole with a long peduncle in front; in dorsal view the post-petiole is very broad. Middle and hind tibiae without spurs.

Revised by Bolton (1982). All small to minute ants which nest in soil, usually at the bases of trees, or in compressed leaf litter. Belshaw & Bolton (1994) noted that three species are known from Ghana. The full text of Bolton's revision can be seen at -
Bolton, B. 1982. Afrotropical species of the myrmicine ant genera Cardiocondyla, Leptothorax, Melissotarsus, Messor and Cataulacus (Formicidae). Bull. Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Entomol. 45: 307-370. - elegans and nuda not imcluded.

Emery's (1869b) genus definition is at {original description}. Arnold (1916) gave a genus description, this is at {original description}.
Forel (1903a) gave a key to species from the Indian subcontinent; this includes emeryi, nuda and wroughtoni and is at {original description} (parvinoda is from India); Bernard (1956) revised the palaearctic species.

Seifert (2003) reviewed the Holarctic and tramp species in a very detailed and sophisticated study. The list of species known from Egypt changed with the addition of a new species, C. israelica, elevation of C. nuda var fajumensis to species, with synonymy of C. emery var schatzmayri and C. nilotica (from southern Sudan); and addition of C. nigra due to synonymisation of C . elegans var torretassoi. Seifert, however, did not refer to the work of Schembri & Collingwood (1981) nor to Agosti & Collingwood (1987a).

Key to workers - derived from Finzi (1936) and Bernard (1956c) - see also the key adapted from Seifert (2003) below.

1 {Cardiocondyla emeryi dorsum}Postpetiole in dorsal view oval, slightly wider than long (nuda-group) 2
-- {Cardiocondyla elegans pedicel dorsum}Postpetiole in dorsal view heart-shaped, noticeably wider than long 5
2 Metanotal groove hardly visible 3
-- Metanotal groove well marked 4
3 {Cardiocondyla mauritanica} Propodeum with two small triangular spines, short with a broad base; postpetiole hexagonal; TL 2.0-2.5 mm; alitrunk rugosity quite distinct giving an opaque appearance; alitrunk dark red, head and gaster near black mauritanica
-- Cardiocondyla nudaPropodeum with triangular teeth, somewhat raised and dark; metanotal groove marked; TL 2.2 mm; alitrunk dorsum and pedicel nodes subtly but densely sculptured, laterally reticulo-punctate; fuscous, head and alitrunk darker, pedicel paler, antennae and tarsi ochraceous but antennal club blackish
probably not found in Egypt - nuda
4 {Cardiocondyla emeryi type}Propodeum varying from merely angular to with acute spines; TL 2.2 mm; wholly yellow-brown, apex of gaster piceous, head and antennal club brown-piceous emeryi
. Postpetiole in dorsal view heart-shaped .
5 {Cardiocondyla elegans petiole}Petiole node clearly wider than long and slightly raised with a flat to concave anterior; second segment of funiculus as wide or slightly wider than long; wholly piceous; elegans
-- Petiole node as long or longer than wide and distinctly raised; 6
6 {Cardiocondyla sahlbergi}TL 2.0 mm; extensively yellow-rust; more abundant pubescence than type (elegans) and much stronger puncturation, especially on the head sahlbergi
-- {Cardiocondyla wroughtoni}TL 1.7 mm; head mostly shiny with large spaced out puncturations; metanotal groove very deep but with no strangulation (waisting); propodeum dorsum flat, spines short and obtuse; alitrunk irregularly punctate and quite matt; distinctive lateral widening of mesonotum; gaster and pedicel smooth and shiny; abundant pale yellow pubescence; pale testaceous yellow, gaster yellow brown wroughtonii

Seifert Key (2003) - adapted

Note - wroughtonii and sahlbergi are not given as from Egypt and, emeryi ssp chlorotica is regarded as incertae sedis (probably a synonym of wroughtoni or obscurior).

{short description of image}Definitions - CL maximum cephalic length in median line, rearmost point of occiput to forward-most point of clypeus; CW cephalic width (including the eyes); CS cephalic size, arithmetic mean of CL and CW; EYE eye-size index, arithmetic mean of large (EL) and small (EW) diameter of the elliptical compund eye; FRS distance of frontal carinae posterior to insertion of antennae; PPH maximum postpetiole height

1 Postpetiole with prominent anteroventral corners; seen from a frontal angle the anterior margin is concave (6 above) 2
-- Postpetiole without prominent anteroventral corners (5 above) 3
2 Cardiocondyla wroughtoniFirst and following gaster tergites not equally dark cosmopolitan tramp - wroughtonii
-- {Cardiocondyla obscurior bicolor}First and following gaster tergites equally dark cosmopolitan tramp - obscurior
3 Cardiocondyla emeryiFRS/PPH < 0.722; Small CS 386-457 m; head elongated CL/CW 1.19-1.27; postpetiole as high as petiole with conspicuous ventral bulge; propodeal spines moderately long widespread tramp - emeryi
Cardiocondyla minutiorFRS
widespread tramp - minutior
-- FRS/PPH > 0.722 4
4 Eyes small (EYE 0.199-0.246); postocular index large; postpetiole narrow 5
-- Eyes larger (EYE > 0.224); postpetiole wider 7
5 Cardiocondyla fajumensisPropodeal spines in lateral view with blunt angles of 95-120; sides of postpetiole in dorsal view always rounded convex; promesonotal and anterior propodeal profiles forming shallowly convex curvatures to give a wide metanotal depression; head and alitrunk variably yellowish, gaster dark to blackish-brown, larger CS 556-633 m C. shuckardi group inc new status fajumensis (ex nuda) inc schatzmayri and nilotica (Sudan)
-- Propodeal spines in lateral view with smaller angles of 60-95; sides of postpetiole in dorsal view more angular; promesonotal and anterior propodeal profiles not forming shallowly convex curvatures, so metanotal depression weak or absent C. nuda group inc mauritanica - 6
6 Cardiocondyla mauritanicaPropodeal dorsum not sloping down in posterior half; propodeal spines distinct (not very blunt); body slender; head longer; postpetiole with angualte-convex sides in dorsal view mauritanica
-- Propodeal dorsum sloping down in posterior half; propodeal spines reduced to rectangular or obtuse corners; generally shorter and more thickset; postpetiole with rounded sides in dorsal view mauritanica morph B (Sinai)
7 Cardiocondyla nigraEyes large (EYE 0.249-0.283); postocular index small; postpetiole rather narrow; anterior postpetiolar sternite completely flat, in profile changes into the helcium without a distinct angle C. batesii group, inc. nigra - revised species - nigra j syn torretassoi (Wadi Halfa specimens)
-- Eyes medium (EYE 0.224-0.262); postocular index larger; postpetiole wider; anterior postpetiolar sternite medially bulged, in profile changes into the helcium with a distinct angle C. bulgarica group inc israelica & sahlbergi - 8
8 Cardiocondyla israelicaPetiole relatively narrow, with a steeper anterior profile, concolourous medium brown with yellowish tinge new species - Sinai & Israel - israelica (originally as syntypes of torretassoi; earlier reported as sahlbergi by me, and as wroughtoni by Mohamed et al)
-- Cardiocondyla_sahlbergiPetiole wider; concolourous dark brown Tunisia (no Egypt reports) then Near East - sahlbergi
2006, 2012, 2019 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
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