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Cataglyphis bicolor casent0104612 profile 1.jpg
Cataglyphis bicolor worker
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Cataglyphis
Förster, 1850
89 species

Eomonocombus Arnol'di, 1968
Machaeromyrma Forel, 1916
Monocombus Mayr, 1855
Paraformica Forel, 1915

Cataglyphis, or desert ants,[2] is a genus of ant in the subfamily Formicinae. Its most famous species is C. bicolor, the Sahara Desert ant, which runs on hot sand to find insects that died of heat exhaustion, and can sustain body temperatures of up to 50°C.[citation needed]


Species of this genus are generally morphologically and physiologically adapted to dry and hot habitats.[3]


At least five different species of Cataglyphis occur in the Sahara desert, which may be considered the center of distribution for this genus.[4] Some species reach into southern Russia, southern Spain,[5] the European part of Turkey, the Aral-Caspian area near Tijanchan, Yugoslavia and Hungary.[3]



  1. ^ Bolton, B. (2014). "Cataglyphis". AntCat. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Steck, K.; Hansson, B. S.; Knaden, M. (2009). "Smells like home: Desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, use olfactory landmarks to pinpoint the nest". Frontiers in Zoology 6: 5. doi:10.1186/1742-9994-6-5. PMC 2651142. PMID 19250516.  edit
  3. ^ a b Petrov 1986
  4. ^ Bernard 1968
  5. ^ Mangan and Webb 2012


  • Bernard, F. (1968): Les fourmis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) d'Europe occidentale et septentrionale.
  • Petrov, I.Z. (1986): Distribution of species of the genus Cataglyphis Foerster, 1850 (Formicidae, Hymenoptera) in Yugoslavia. Arh. biol. nauka 38: 11-12. PDF
  • ITIS: Cataglyphis species list
  • Mangan, M. & Webb, B. (2012): Spontaneous formation of multiple routes in individual desert ants (Cataglyphis velox) Behavioral Ecology 23 (5): 944-954 Full HTML

Further reading[edit]

  • Heusser, Daniel & Wehner, Rüdiger (2002): The visual centring response in desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis. The Journal of Experimental Biology 205: 585-590. Full HTML - PDF

External links[edit]