Cardiocondyla stambuloffii

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Cardiocondyla stambuloffii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Cardiocondyla
Species group: stambuloffii
Species: C. stambuloffii
Binomial name
Cardiocondyla stambuloffii
Forel, 1892

Cardiocondyla stambuloffii casent0901756 p 1 high.jpg

Cardiocondyla stambuloffii casent0901756 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Seifert (2023) reports that all nest sites studied were in open, very sun-exposed habitats with sparse, lacunose herb layer. Twelve reports on habitat name xerothermous sandy habitats, frequently along sea coast (here also aeolic sand dunes), along rivers or at margins of lakes. Three nests were in coastal sedimentary soil of moderate salinity (solonchak) and one nest in rocky soil. The males are ergatoid and have shear-shaped mandibles. One nest found by the author in the root bale of a composite plant in a coastal sand dune in Bulgaria contained in October one queen, two adult males and about 300 workers. Arnoldi (1926) reported a maximum of 400–500 workers in nests that extended more than 50 cm down into the soil. The males in the Bulgarian nest did not show any scars or signs of injury suggesting that adult males do not fight. Mutual tolerance between at least adult males is also confirmed by laboratory observations in a population from Georgia (J. Heinze, pers. comm. 2022) and the big number of 10 or 20 ergatoid males observed by Arnoldi (1926) in nests from the northern coast of the Black Sea.

Pashaei Rad et al. (2018) found this species in Iran on parkland soil and plant in a Caspian moist littoral area.

At a Glance • Ergatoid male  


A member of the Cardiocondyla stambuloffii group.

Seifert (2023) - Rather small, CS 524 µm. Head rather short, CL/CW 1.162. Postocular index large, PoOc/CL 0.444. Hind margin of head convex, sometimes with a weak concavity in the median level. Scape short, SL/CS 0.780. Eye small, EYE/CS 0.226. Frons very broad (FRS/CS 0.323), frontal carinae not or very weakly converging immediately caudal of FRS level (FL/FR 1.008). Dorsal profile of promesonotum convex, metanotal depression rather deep (Mgr/CS 3.50 %), dorsal profile of propodeum posterior of metanotal depression linear. Propodeal spines short, reduced to blunt dents (SP/CS 0.074), their supposed axis in lateral view differing by 48° from longitudinal axis of mesosoma; the distance of their bases is the largest within the stambuloffii group (SPBA/CS 0.285). Petiole less than half as wide as postpetiole and much higher than wide (PeW/CS 0.292, PeH/CS 0.373), in profile with a rather short peduncle and the node with very steep and linear anterior and posterior slopes having similar inclination—as result the node profile is symmetric. Area of petiole node in dorsal view small and almost circular. Postpetiole very wide, twice as wide as high (PpW/CS 0.602, PpW /PeW 2.06, PpH/CS 0.305), in dorsal aspect with a weak concavity in anterior margin, its width nearly twice its length, ratio PpW/ maximum median length 1.81, postpetiolar sternite rather flat, with a weak anteromedian bulb. Clypeus and frontal laminae on whole surface longitudinally carinulate; the carinulae continue over the whole vertex but are reduced in the occipital region which is more shiny. Clear foveolae or reticular structures on vertex completely lacking; occasionally (as in the topotypical sample of taurica) semireticular structures are present on paramedian vertex. The interspaces between carinulae are shiny with small flat tubercles of 6–10 µm diameter which have the base of a pubescence hair in their center (Fig. 89). The pronotum at least but usually whole dorsal mesosoma smooth and shiny, few weak carinulae and flat tubercles may be present. Lateral mesosoma in overall impression shiny but meso- and metapleurae longitudinally carinulate. Petiole and postpetiole smooth and shiny. Pubescence on gaster tergites long and dense, PLg/CS 6.46 %, sqPDg 3.51. Whole body concolorous brown, dark brown, or blackish brown.

Cardiocondyla stambuloffii, Cardiocondyla koshewnikovi and Cardiocondyla rolandi are similar semipatric species with probably rather small sympatric zones. Range overlap between C. stambuloffii and C. koshewnikovi occurs in the western Caspian region and between C. koshewnikovi and C. rolandi in eastern Kazakhstan and northern Mongolia. Considering the 13 characters CS, CL/CW, SL/CS, PoOc/CS, EYE/CS, dFOv, FRS/CS, SPBA/CS, PeW/CS, PpW/CS, PeH/CS, PpH/CS and sqPDg, the three species are safely separated on the nest sample level by five exploratory data analyses with a classification error of 0 % (Fig. 143). If run as wild-cards in a LDA, the type samples of C. stambuloffii, C. montandoni and C. taurica are allocated with p=1.000 to the stambuloffii cluster and those of C. koshewnikovi and C. rolandi with p=1.000 to their corresponding clusters.

Keys including this Species


From the westernmost site in greece (22.6 °E) distributed northeast and east over the lowlands along the Black Sea, Asia Minor and Georgia to the western shores of the Caspian Sea (48.6°E). The southern-most site is at 37.62°N in southern Asia Minor and the northernmost one in the southern Ukraine at 46.47°N. The altitudinal range extends from 28 m below the sea level at the Caspian coast to 1700 m a.s.l. in Asia Minor. (Seifert, 2023)

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 46.47° to 37.62°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria (type locality), China, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Türkiye, Ukraine.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.



  • Seifert (2023), Figs. 86–89. Cardiocondyla stambuloffii; Fig.86: head in dorsal view; Fig. 87: lateral view (flipped horizontally); Fig. 88: dorsal view; Fig. 89: head surface between inner eye margin and paramedian vertex. georgia: river Podshori, 2010.08.27


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • stambuloffii. Cardiocondyla stambuloffii Forel, 1892i: 310, pl. 5, fig. 1 (w.q. ergatoid m.) BULGARIA.
    • Type-material: syntype workers, syntype queens (numbers not stated), 1 syntype male.
    • Type-localities: Bulgaria: Burgas, Anchialo, and Sozopolis, 13-16.viii.1891 (A. Forel).
    • [Note: Seifert, 2003a: 262, records that the Anchialo syntypes are dated 17.viii.]
    • Type-depositories: MHNG, MNHU, NHMB, NHMW.
    • [Cardiocondyla stambuloffii Forel, 1892h: 460 (in text). Nomen nudum.]
    • [Misspelled as stambulovi by Ruzsky, 1905b: 628, and others; misspelled as stambulowi by Arnol’di, 1928a: 132; misspelled as strambuloffii by Karavaiev, 1936: 277.]
    • Kugler, J. 1984: 8 (ergatoid m.).
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 71; Ruzsky, 1903b: 314; Ruzsky, 1905b: 628; Emery, 1909a: 23; Emery, 1922e: 126; Karavaiev, 1927a: 288; Karavaiev, 1929b: 210; Karavaiev, 1931a: 315; Karavaiev, 1934: 115; Bernard, 1956c: 302 (in key); Pisarski, 1962a: 331; Pisarski, 1967: 388; Pisarski, 1969b: 297; Pisarski, 1970: 308; Tarbinsky, 1976: 72; Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 538 (in key); Pisarski & Krzysztofiak, 1981: 156; Kugler, J. 1984: 8; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987a: 56; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 276 (in key); Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 174; Bolton, 1995b: 133; Radchenko, 1995b: 450; Collingwood & Heatwole, 2000: 8; Karaman, M.G. & Karaman, 2003: 42; Seifert, 2003a: 262 (redescription); Markó, Sipos, et al. 2006: 69; Petrov, 2006: 99 (in key); Gratiashvili & Barjadze, 2008: 138; Paknia, et al. 2008: 153; Lapeva-Gjonova, et al. 2010: 27; Legakis, 2011: 16; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2012: 485; Guénard & Dunn, 2012: 41; Kiran & Karaman, 2012: 18; Borowiec, L. 2014: 49; Lebas, et al. 2016: 266; Radchenko, 2016: 237; Salata & Borowiec, 2018c: 44; Bračko, 2019: 170.
    • Senior synonym of bogdanovi: Seifert, 2003a: 262; Gratiashvili & Barjadze, 2008: 138; Radchenko, 2016: 237.
    • Senior synonym of montandoni: Pisarski, 1962a: 332; Arnol’di & Dlussky, 1978: 538 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 133; Radchenko, 1995b: 450; Seifert, 2003a: 262; Radchenko, 2016: 237.
    • Senior synonym of taurica: Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 538 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 133; Radchenko, 1995b: 450; Seifert, 2003a: 262; Radchenko, 2016: 237.
    • Distribution: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine.
  • bogdanovi. Cardiocondyla bogdanovi Ruzsky, 1905b: 630, figs. 155, 157, 158 (w.q.) ARMENIA.
    • Type-material: neotype worker (by designation of Radchenko, 1995b: 450).
    • Type-locality: neotype Armenia: Khosrov Reserve, Vedic site,, N. 225-86 (A. Radchenko)
    • [Note: Ruzsky original data: syntype workers, syntype queens Armenia: “Erivanskaya guberniya”, Aralykh, 3000 f., 7.ix.1900 (K.A. Satunin), ZMUM; material lost (Radchenko, 1995b: 450).]
    • Type-depository: SIZK.
    • Status as species: Emery, 1909a: 25; Emery, 1922e: 125; Bernard, 1956c: 302 (in key); Agosti & Collingwood, 1987a: 56; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 276 (in key); Arakelian, 1994: 42; Bolton, 1995b: 132; Radchenko, 1995b: 450; Petrov, 2006: 99 (in key) (error).
    • Junior synonym of stambuloffii: Seifert, 2003a: 262; Gratiashvili & Barjadze, 2008: 138; Radchenko, 2016: 237.
  • montandoni. Cardiocondyla montandoni Santschi, 1912g: 657, figs. 1, 3 (w.) ROMANIA.
    • Type-material: 2 syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: Romania: Lacu-Sarat, nr Braïla (A.L. Montandon).
    • Type-depository: MHNG, NHMB.
    • Status as species: Emery, 1922e: 126; Bernard, 1956c: 302 (in key).
    • Junior synonym of stambuloffii: Pisarski, 1962a: 332; Arnol’di & Dlussky, 1978: 538 (in key) ; Bolton, 1995b: 132; Radchenko, 1995b: 450; Seifert, 2003a: 262; Radchenko, 2016: 237.
  • taurica. Cardiocondyla stambuloffi subsp. taurica Karavaiev, 1927a: 288, fig. 2 (w.) UKRAINE (Crimea).
    • Type-material: 11 syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: Ukraine: Crimea, Janitschary Bay beach, nr Koktebel, 29.ix.-17.x.1919, no. 2818 (Karawajew).
    • [Note: Seifert, 2003a: 263, gives syntype data as, no. 4357, which do not agree with the date and collection number provided in the original description.]
    • Type-depositories: SIZK, ZISP.
    • Subspecies of stambuloffii: Karavaiev, 1929b: 210; Karavaiev, 1931a: 315; Arnol'di, 1933b: 599 (in key); Karavaiev, 1934: 115 (redescription); Karavaiev, 1935b: 108; Karavaiev, 1936: 277.
    • Junior synonym of stambuloffii: Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 538 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 133; Radchenko, 1995b: 450; Seifert, 2003a: 262; Radchenko, 2016: 237.

Type Material

Cardiocondyla stambuloffii

Cardiocondyla bogdanovi

  • This taxon has been described from Armenia (now Turkey) in a sample collected by K.A.Satunin: “Erivansk. gub., Aralych, about 3000 feet, worker, gyne 7.IX.1900 “. Type specimens were not detectable in the collections of ZMLU Moskva and ZM St. Petersburg.

Investigated by Seifert (2023) was one worker from the type locality labelled “Caucasus Aralich Horváth 1893 \ Cardiocondyla bogdanovi Ruzsk. det. B.Pisarski \ Inst.Zool.P.A.N. Warszawa 92/60 \ topotype”, ZIPAS Warszawa. This specimen is not a type but a candidate for neotype fixation. Seifert (2003) presented a comprehensive, data-based argumentation why Ruzsky’s unusually detailed description indicates a synonymy with C. stambuloffii and that the unjustified neotype fixation for C. bogdanovi published by Radchenko (1995) was performed in C. sahlbergi (sample No 465 in SI1 and SI2). A synonymy of C. bogdanovi with C. koshewnikovi is rather unlikely by zoogeography and Ruzsky’s statement “postpetiole more than twice as wide as petiole” also favors a synonymy with C. stambuloffii.

Cardiocondyla montandoni

  • This taxon has been described from Romania. Investigated by Seifert (2023) were three worker syntypes labelled “Cardiocondyla montandoni, Lacu Sarat, Roumanie, Montandon”, depository MHN genève and two worker syntypes labelled “Roumanie, Lacu Sarat, A.L.Montandon”, depository Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel.

Cardiocondyla stambuloffi taurica

  • Seifert (2023) notes that this taxon has been described from Crimea / Ukraine. Karavajev (1927) gave the sampling data “Strand der Janitschary-Bucht in der Nähe von Koktebel, Karawajew (Nr. 2818), vom 29. IX bis 17.X 1919”. According to these data, two worker specimens on separate pins, deposited in SIZ Kiev, labelled “ssp. Taurica \ Enishary bl. Koktebelya 16.vI. 1920 Karavajev \ 4357. coll. Karavaievi \ Cardiocondyla stambuloffi ssp. taurica Karaw. Typus” and “4357. coll. Karavaievi” cannot be considered as primary type specimens. “Enishary bl. Koktebelya”, written in Russian, means in English “Jenizary near Koktebel”. Hence, the collecting sites and collector are fully coincident and because the investigator is also the same, these specimens have a strong indicative value. Furthermore, a synonymy of C. taurica with the most related species C. koshewnikovi is most unlikely for zoogeographical reasons.



Seifert (2003) - Head relatively short, CL/CW 1.157. Postocular distance large, PoOc 0.444. Scape relatively short, SL/CS 0.783. Eye small, EYE 0.225. Frons broad, FRS/CS 0.325. Occipital region with reduced sculpture, shining. Vertex strongly longitudinally rugulose; interspaces between carinulae shining, with small flat tubercles of 7 - 10 mm diameter around bases of pubescence hairs. Foveolae or reticular structures on vertex completely lacking; occasionally (as in type of Cardiocondyla taurica) semireticular structures present on paramedian area of vertex. Frontal laminae and clypeus longitudinally carinulate. At least pronotum, but usually whole dorsal area of mesosoma glabrous. Lateral area of mesosoma in overall impression shining, meso- and metapleurae longitudinally rugulose-carinulate. Propodeal spines reduced to blunt dents. Petiole very narrow, less than half as wide as postpetiole (PEW/PPW 0.485), much higher than wide. Petiole node with small and very shining dorsal surface that is almost circular in dorsal view. Postpetiole in dorsal aspect with concavity in anterior margin, nearly twice as wide as long, ratio PPW/PPL in 21 measured specimens 1.806 ± 0.065 [1.666, 1.919]; postpetiolar sternite flat, with very weak anteromedian bulb. Whole body concolorous brown, dark brown, or blackish brown.


Seifert (2003) - Much larger than worker, CS 676 ± 5. Head short, CL/CW 1.145. Postocular index very large, PoOc/CL 0.464. Postocular head significantly wider than preocular head. Occipital margin straight. Frontal carinae immediately caudal of FRS level diverging. Mesosoma very massive, MW 542 ± 5. Occipital region shining, rather smooth except for small punctures around hair bases. Vertex longitudinally rugulose; interspaces between carinulae shining, with small punctures of 8 - 10 mm diameter around bases of pubescence hairs (at magnifications above 400 x, these punctures appear usually as flat tubercles). Foveolae or reticular structures on vertex completely lacking. Frontal laminae and clypeus strongly longitudinally carinulate. Pronotum shining, rather smooth except for punctures at hair bases and weak transverse rugulae. Mesonotum shining, with small punctures of 10 - 11 mm diameter at hair bases, anterior part more smooth, posterior part with shallow longitudinal carinulae. Praescutellum with similar punctures. Scutellum longitudinally carinulate. Lateral area of propodeaum, mesopleuron and metapleuron more strongly, anepisternite more weakly longitudinally rugulose. Propodeal spines reduced to blunt dents. Petiole very high; dorsal plane glabrous, ending in a caudal corner. Postpetiole more than twice as wide as long, PPW/CS 0.866, almost twice as wide as petiole; postpetiolar sternite with a strong anteromedian process. Pubescence on first gaster tergite sub decumbent (30°) and extremely dense, sqrtPDG 2.72. Whole body more or less concolorous medium to dark brown, mesosoma sclerites occasionally with lighter patches.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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