The Ants of Africa
Genus Cataglyphis
Cataglyphis viaticus (Fabricius)

Cataglyphis viaticus (Fabricius)

return to key Bolton (1995) had - Type location Spain (Formica viatica, Fabricius, 1787: 308, worker; Mayr, 1861, queen & male) collector Vahl - no images on Antweb (January 2019) but image from ZMCU - see below
junior synonyms
europaea (Formica cephalotes ssp europaea, Christ, 1791: 511, illustrated, worker; synonymy Emery, 1892b: 161) from "Europe" - no images on Antweb (January 2019)
bugnioni (Myrmecocystus viaticus F. r. adenensis Forel v. Bugnioni n. var., Forel, 1908a: 16; Santschi, 1929b: 41, worker) from Egypt, Suez - new placement here - see below.
new here
basalis (Cataglyphis bicolor var. basalis n. var., Santschi, 1929b: 42, all forms) from Algeria - see
pubens (Cataglyphis bicolor var. pubens n. var., Santschi, 1929b: 43, all forms) from Morocco - see
rufiventris (Myrmecocystus (Cataglyphis) viaticus F. subsp. orientalis Forel v. rufiventris n. var., Forel, 1911d: 353; as M. bicolor var. orientalis in Emery, 1925b: 265, worker) from Greece, Corfu at edge of sea - see below.
all forms known.

Fabricius' (1787) description is at - {original description}. Christ's (1791) description of europaea is at - {original description}. Olivier (1792) had the description - {original description}. Mayr (1855: 381) had the description (as Monocombus viaticus) - {original description}. Emery (1906b) had the description - {original description}. Forel's (1908a) description of bugnioni is at {original description}.

Note from the description and illustration it is clear that the form listed in Bolton (1995: 137) as subspecies tonsilis (Cataglyphis (Monocombus) viatica F. st. mauritanica Em. v. tonsilis n. var., Santschi, 1929b: 32; Cataglyphis (Monocombus) viaticus For. v. tonsilis Sants., Santschi, 1936a: 209, all forms) from Morocco, is a subspecies or junior  synonym of Cataglyphis mauritanicus.

{Cataglyphis viaticus}Fabricius stated specimens from the Iberian Peninsula were ferruginous with a black gaster. Mayr (1855) appears to have confused the identities as he gave the colour as blood red with a dark gaster. He listed it as found across much of southern Europe and gave Formica megalocola Foerster as a synonym. F. megalocola now is recognised as a junior synonym of Cataglyphis bicolor.

The drawings from Emery (1906d) are accurate for C. mauritanicus but not for viaticus which has a domed petiole, see the type below. Presumably taking Fig 22 as accurate, Santschi (1929b: 29) declared the subgenus Monomombus had as its type Formica viaticus Fabricius, with the petiole being squamiform.  Taking out viaticus the type would be the  Formica cursor of Fonscolombe 1846 (see

Christ, J. L. 1791. Naturgeschichte, Classification und Nomenklatur der Insecten von Bienen, Wespen, und Ameisengeschlecht; als der fuenften Klass fuenften Ordnung des Linneischen Natur-Systems von den Insecten Hymenoptera. Hermann, Frankfurt am Main. 535 pp

One of the species studied by Dahbi, Hefetz & Lenoir (2008) -

{short description of image}Agosti (1990a), however, separated tonsilis as a variety of mauritanicus in the altisquamis-group (see above). Some clarification comes from Wehner, Wehner & Agosti (1994), who provided the illustration (right).

I have separated off Cataglyphis desertorum, which appears to be clearly distinct, with a nodiform petiole, and not least from the geographical separation. Thus, the true distribution of viaticus appears to be western North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula

{Cataglyphis viaticus}The photomontage (right) of a type worker is collated from

Oxford University Museum specimens

Cataglyphis viaticus
B Taylor det.
A Lenoir



{Cataglyphis viaticus}The photomontage (right) is of a worker from Morocco, Azemmour, 21.v.2005; ex Alain Lenoir.

{Cataglyphis viaticus polymorphism}The polymorphism photomontage (right) is of workers from Morocco, ex Alain Lenoir.

{Cataglyphis bugnioni}The photomontage (right) of a type worker of bugnioni is collated from
This clearly matches smaller morphs of what I regard as viaticus. The label by D Agosti is wrong.

{Cataglyphis rufiventris}The photomontage of a syntype worker of rufiventris is collated from

{Cataglyphis basalis}The photomontage of a type media worker of basalis is collated from

{Cataglyphis gibbosus}The photomontage of a syntype worker of gibbosus is collated from

{Cataglyphis pubens}The photomontage of a type minor worker of pubens is collated from

2007, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.