Cardiocondyla mauritanica

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Cardiocondyla mauritanica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Cardiocondyla
Species group: nuda
Species complex: mauritanica
Species: C. mauritanica
Binomial name
Cardiocondyla mauritanica
Forel, 1890

Cardiocondyla mauritanica casent0005678 profile 1.jpg

Cardiocondyla mauritanica casent0005678 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Cardiocondyla mauritanica is a cosmopolitan species that is one of the most abundant and widely distributed members of the genus, being found primarily in semi-arid and urban environments. Part of the success of C. mauritanica in exotic locales may relate to its ability to co-exist with dominant invasive ants, such as the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Wetterer, 2012).


A member of the Cardiocondyla nuda group.

Keys including this Species


Cardiocondyla mauritanica shows an apparently continuous distribution and geographic variation in morphology from northwest Africa to India suggesting that C. mauritanica is native throughout this subtropical expanse. Old World records of C. mauritanica far from this range come from Ascension, Zimbabwe, and several Indo-Pacific islands. The sole temperate record of C. mauritanica comes from Ukraine. Cardiocondyla mauritanica was first found in the New World in 1967, and has spread through the southwestern US, northern Mexico, Florida, and the West Indies.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.
Indo-Australian Region: Indonesia, New Guinea, Philippines.
Nearctic Region: United States.
Neotropical Region: Barbados, Guadeloupe, Mexico, Puerto Rico.
Oriental Region: India, Nepal, Pakistan.
Palaearctic Region: Afghanistan, Algeria, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Egypt, Greece, Iberian Peninsula, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Oman, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia (type locality), Turkey, Ukraine.
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Distribution based on specimens

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The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Cardiocondyla mauritanica for further details


Semi-deserts and other xerothermous habitats.


In Yemen Sharaf et al. (2017) observed workers foraging in wet, sandy soil next to a small stream. Some specimens were found in leaf litter under a date palm where the soil was moist and rich in decayed goat and sheep faecal material. Colonies contain less then 500 workers and may have more than one queen. New nests can be formed by fission.





The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • mauritanica. Cardiocondyla nuda var. mauritanica Forel, 1890a: lxxv (w.) TUNISIA. Forel, 1901e: 378 (q.); Forel, 1904c: 6 (ergatoid m.). Subspecies of nuda: Forel, 1901e: 378. Raised to species: Ortiz & Tinaut, 1987: 32. Senior synonym of nitida: Bernard, 1956c: 305; of ectopia: Seifert, 2003: 248; of caparica: Henin, Collingwood & Paiva, 2003: 377.
  • nitida. Cardiocondyla emeryi subsp. nitida Bernard, 1948: 142 (w.) ALGERIA. Junior synonym of mauritanica: Bernard, 1956c: 305.
  • ectopia. Cardiocondyla ectopia Snelling, R.R. 1974: 76, figs. 1-5 (w.q. ergatoid m.) U.S.A. Junior synonym of mauritanica: Seifert, 2003a: 248.
  • caparica. Leptothorax caparica Henin, Paiva & Collingwood, 2001: 163, figs. 1, 2 (w.) PORTUGAL. Junior synonym of mauritanica: Henin, Collingwood & Paiva, 2003: 377.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Seifert (2003) - Throughout the cosmopolitan range of C. mauritanicas only minor variation in morphometry is detectable. C. mauritanica specimens from India (Punjab, Himachal Pradesh) have a slightly narrower postpetio1e and slightly shorter spines. Furthermore, there is a certain trend from NW Africa east to India to have the petiole node lower and more rounded in profile (not quadrate as in the Tunisian type population).

The Old World population and the American population (the synonomized Cardiocondyla ectopia) are almost identical in body shape, surface structures, and morphometry. In both workers and gynes the American specimens are fully within the range and very close to the mean values of Old World C. mauritanica though weak statistic differences are detectable in worker petiole width and strength of sculpture (see above). Conspecifity is further indicated by the high similarity of the characteristic ergatoid males from typical C. mauritanica and C. ectopia populations and by mDNA data (Trindl and Heinze, pers. comm., October 2002).



Seifert (2003) - Head elongated, CL/CW 1.183. Postocular index large, PoOc/CL 0.447. Eyes relatively small, EYE 0.232. Frontal carinae immediately caudal of the FRS level parallel or only very slightly converging. Foveolae on vertex not separated by interspaces, deeply impressed, with 17 - 22 ϻm diameter and on paramedian vertex usually without inner corona. Longitudinal sculpture on vertex relatively well developed but obscured by their merging with strong foveolar margins. Median vertex and frontal laminae finely longitudinally carinulate; clypeus with few longitudinal rugae. Whole mesosoma usually with well-developed microreticulum, but less strong than in C. nuda; samples with weak mesosomal microsculpture, meaning mildly shining overall surface appearance, may occur locally throughout the range. Metapleuron laterally longitudinally rugulose. Surface of 1st gaster tergite completely glabrous, a delicate microreticulum, as present in C. nuda and C. paranuda, is absent, but fragmentary reticulate structures may occur. Metanotal groove more or less shallow. Spines short and blunt. Petiole narrow, PEW/CS 0.265, node slightly longer than wide. Postpetiole relatively narrow, roughly hexagonal in dorsal aspect, with completely flat stemite, and distinctly lower than petiole, PEH/PPH 1.146 ± 0.034 [1.057 - 1.256]. Colour variable. Typically, dorsal head dark brown, mesosoma and waist orange brown, gaster dark to blackish brown. Lighter brown or, on the other hand, concolorous blackish brown samples may locally occur throughout the range.


Seifert (2003) - Head of medium length, CL/CW 1.171. Postocular index large, PoOc/CL 0.434. Occipital margin straight or weakly concave. Frontal carinae diverging caudad. Head sculpture comparable to worker. Whole dorsal area of meso soma densely and deeply foveolate; lateral area of mesosoma with longitudinal rugosity superimposing the microreticulum. Spines short and blunt. Shape of waist similar to worker but segments slightly wider and higher. Postpetiole significantly lower than petiole, PEH/PPH 1.154 ± 0.036 [1.089, 1.230]. Dorsal area of head, dorsal area of mesosoma, and gaster in typical case dark to blackish brown, lateral area of mesosoma and petiole lighter brown. Concolorous dark brown or lighter brown specimens may occur.