Cardiocondyla elegans

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Cardiocondyla elegans
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Cardiocondyla
Species: C. elegans
Binomial name
Cardiocondyla elegans
Emery, 1869

Cardiocondyla elegans casent0179878 p 1 high.jpg

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Specimen Labels


There are two queen castes in this species. Pashaei Rad et al. (2018) found this species in Iran on parkland soil in a Caspian moist littoral area.


Seifert (2003) - A member of the Cardiocondyla elegans group. Long scape, long PLG, moderately large eyes, and small postocular distance.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Armenia, Bulgaria, China, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Iran, Israel, Italy (type locality), Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Seifert (2003) - Cardiocondyla elegans shows a discrete gyne bimorphism in dimensions and shape of mesosoma and wing length while other measurements and characters are monomorphic. A cluster of gynes with MW 418 ± 16 [392, 442] (n = 10) can be separated from one with MW 485 ± 17 [465, 531] (n = 1 2) within 12 gyne samples investigated. The full similarity of the associated workers and the occurrence of both gyne types within the same nest (Barcelona: Bellaterra) indicate an intraspecific polymorphism. The microsomatic gynes with (ML*MW)/(CL*CW) 0.903 ± 0.024 [0.870, 0.940] are supposed to have weaker flight muscles and short wings. They should be mated intranidally by ergatoid males and should either stay within the mother colony, propagate by colony fission, or seek adoption in conspecific neighboured colonies. The macro somatic gynes with (ML*MW)/(CL*CW) 1.129 ± 0.046 [1.086, 1.254], strong flight muscles, and normal wing length are suspected to disperse in the air and to found a new colony independently after having been inseminated by an ergatoid male within the mother nest.

Colonies contain less then 500 workers and are monogynous.



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

  • elegans. Cardiocondyla elegans Emery, 1869b: 21, pl. 1, fig. 10 (w.q.) ITALY. Menozzi, 1918: 83 (ergatoid m.); Kugler, J. 1984: 14 (ergatoid m.). Senior synonym of santschii: Bondroit, 1918: 147; Emery, 1922e: 125; of gallica: Baroni Urbani, 1973: 200; of dalmatica, provincialis, schkaffi: Radchenko, 1995b: 449. See also: Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 172; Seifert, 2003a: 225.
  • santschii. Cardiocondyla elegans r. santschii Forel, 1905b: 174 (w.) FRANCE. Forel, 1910a: 23 (q.). Junior synonym of elegans: Bondroit, 1918: 147; Radchenko, 1995b: 449.
  • schkaffi. Cardiocondyla elegans subsp. schkaffi Arnol'di, 1933b: 599 (w.q.) RUSSIA. Junior synonym of elegans: Radchenko, 1995b: 449.
  • provincialis. Cardiocondyla provincialis Bernard, 1956c: 303, fig. 6 (w.) FRANCE. Junior synonym of elegans: Radchenko, 1995b: 449.
  • gallica. Xenometra gallica Bernard, 1957b: 101, fig. 1 (ergatoid m., not q.) FRANCE. Junior synonym of elegans: Baroni Urbani, 1973: 200; Radchenko, 1995b: 449.

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



Seifert (2003) - Rather large species, CS 560 ± 30. Head of medium length, CL/CW 1.153. Postocular distance smaller than in related species, PoOC/CL 0.397. Eye of medium size, EYE 0.248. Scape longer than in related species, SL/CS 0.847. Pubescence length on 1st tergite much longer than in other species, PLG 41.8. Clypeus more or less glabrous, with few weak longitudinal microrugae in posterior and lateral areas. Frontal lobes and frontocentral vertex posterior of frontal carinae finely longitudinal microrugulose. Frontal carinae usually slightly converging immediately caudal of the FRS level. Whole vertex with shallow but well-demarcated simple or bicoronate foveolae of 16 - 19 mm diameter; interspaces between foveolae on paramedian vertex smaller than their diameter. Dorsal area of promesonotum with shallow foveolae of 10 - 15 mm diameter around bases of pubescence hairs, interspaces glabrous and larger than foveolar diameter. Dorsal area of propodeum glabrous but with small foveolae and very delicate microrugosity. Lateral area of mesosoma in overall impression shining but finely microreticulate-rugulose. Dorsum of waist glabrous, with scattered fragments of very tine microreticular structures. First gaster tergite glabrous. Spines well-developed but rather blunt. Petiole node wider than long. Postpetiolar sternite with anteromedian portion significantly more bulging than anteroparamedian portion; in lateral view this anteromedian bulge forming small, obtusely-angled, rounded corner and changing into helcium with distinct angle. Head, mesosoma, waist, and gaster concolorous dark to blackish brown.


Seifert (2003) - Rather large, CS 635. Head of medium length (CL/CW 1.1 37 ± 0.015) and with slightly excavated occipital margin. Postocular distance smaller than in related species, PoOc/CL 0.390 ± 0.010. Scape much longer than in related species, SL/CS 0.803 ± 0.014. Whole body covered with very long and dense pubescence. Vertex with rather shallow but well-demarcated, closely-set, bicoronate foveolae; interspaces clearly smaller than foveolar diameter and on frontocentral and paramedian vertex with longitudinal rugulae. Frontal lobes densely rugulose. Lateral area of clypeus with few longitudinal carinulae. Promesonotum, prescutellum, and scutellum densely foveolate. Cuticular surface of dorsal waist and gaster glabrous, with scattered fragments of microreticular structures and numerous basal pits of pubescence hairs. Metapleurae microreticulate and with few longitudinal carinulae on the bulla glandulae metapleuralis. Propodeal spines well-developed but rather blunt. Petiole node in lateral view not produced caudad, in dorsal view nearly twice as wide than long. Postpetiole node twice as wide than long and with weakly concave anterodorsal margin; its sternite with a conspicuous anteroventromedial corner. Whole body concolourous medium to blackish brown. Gynes with mesosoma dimorphism.

Type Material

Seifert (2003) - Lectotype worker (fixed by present designation), original label “Naples \Boscadi, Capodimonte, 1 8 .VI. 1 866 \Typus \Cardiocondyla elegans Em., Napoli”, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa Genova. 5 paralectotype workers labelled “Naples”, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève (probably a gift of Emery to Forel).