Cataglyphis holgerseni

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Cataglyphis holgerseni
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Cataglyphis
Species group: bicolor
Species: C. holgerseni
Binomial name
Cataglyphis holgerseni
Collingwood & Agosti, 1996

Cataglyphis holgerseni casent0263969 p 1 high.jpg

Cataglyphis holgerseni casent0263969 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

In Oman, workers were collected from under a large Rubus tree.


Collingwood and Agosti (1996) - This species was confused with Cataglyphis nigra in an earlier paper and was not recognised as distinct until Holger Holgersen kindly sent us some ants from the Middle East. Among these were examples of the present species from Sinai. These are immediately distinguishable from other black Cataglyphis by the high-raised propodeum. In profile the dorsal and descending face of the propodeum form a rounded right angle as in the red species Cataglyphis urens. Cataglyphis savignyi also has a high propodeum but this is smoothly rounded.

Cataglyphis holgerseni is one of the largest of the Arabian Cataglyphis and cannot be confused with any other species by its colour and propodeal shape. The petiole is also relatively massive as in C. niger and more so than in its sister species C. urens.

Examples of C. holgerseni from the type locality in Sinai are present in the Copenhagen Zoological Museum, and were misidentified as Cataglyphis caerulescens (a name that has not taxonomic status).


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 24.633333° to 23.07279°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Saudi Arabia.
Palaearctic Region: Israel (type locality), Jordan, Kuwait, Oman.

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.




Images from AntWeb

Cataglyphis holgerseni casent0906535 h 1 high.jpgCataglyphis holgerseni casent0906535 p 1 high.jpgCataglyphis holgerseni casent0906535 d 1 high.jpgCataglyphis holgerseni casent0906535 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0906535. Photographer Cerise Chen, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by KSMA; KSU, King Saud University Museum of Arthropods.
Cataglyphis holgerseni casent0912232 h 1 high.jpgCataglyphis holgerseni casent0912232 p 1 high.jpgCataglyphis holgerseni casent0912232 d 1 high.jpgCataglyphis holgerseni casent0912232 l 1 high.jpg
Paratype of Cataglyphis holgerseniWorker. Specimen code casent0912232. Photographer Z. Lieberman, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMB, Basel, Switzerland.
Cataglyphis holgerseni casent0912233 h 1 high.jpgCataglyphis holgerseni casent0912233 p 1 high.jpgCataglyphis holgerseni casent0912233 d 1 high.jpgCataglyphis holgerseni casent0912233 l 1 high.jpg
Paratype of Cataglyphis holgerseniWorker. Specimen code casent0912233. Photographer Z. Lieberman, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMB, Basel, Switzerland.
Cataglyphis holgerseni casent0317385 d 2 high.jpgCataglyphis holgerseni casent0317385 l 1 high.jpg
Specimen code casent0317385. .
Cataglyphis holgerseni casent0317386 d 2 high.jpgCataglyphis holgerseni casent0317386 l 1 high.jpg
Specimen code casent0317386. .


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

  • holgerseni. Cataglyphis holgerseni Collingwood & Agosti, 1996: 379 (w.q.) ISRAEL, SAUDI ARABIA, OMAN.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, paratype workers, paratype queens (numbers not stated).
    • Type-locality: holotype Israel: Sinai, nr Eilat, 23.xii.1978 (H. Holgersen); paratypes: workers with same data, workers, queens Saudi Arabia: Al-Qatif, 12.iv.1983 (C.A. Collingwood), Saudi Arabia: Riyadh, 22.iii.1983 (C.A. Collingwood), 1 worker Oman: Thumrait, vi.1984 (J.M. Barnes).
    • Type-depository: unknown (perhaps WMLC, perhaps also NHMB, OMNH; Israeli material may be TAUI).
    • [Note: Collingwood & Agosti, 1996: 301, say “All type material is housed in NHMB and duplicates placed in appropriate institutes and museums of the contributing countries”; this apparently was never done.]
    • Status as species: Vonshak, et al. 2009: 39; Borowiec, L. 2014: 56; Ionescu & Eyer, 2016: 120; Sharaf, Fisher, et al. 2018: 4; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2020: 5.
    • Distribution: Egypt, Israel, Oman, Saudi Arabia

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


This species was described by distinguishing it from other similar species. A formal description of its features was not given.

Type Material

Holotype: worker, Sinai, near Eilat, 23.XII.1978, H. Holgersen. - Paratypes: Sinai: workers, same series as holotype. - Saudi Arabia: queens, workers from: Al-Qatif, 12.1V.1983; Riyadh, 22.III.1983; all C. A. Collingwood. - Oman: 1 worker, Thumrait, VI.1984, J .M. Barnes.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Collingwood, C. A. and D. Agosti. 1996. Formicidae (Insects: Hymenoptera) of Saudi Arabia (Part 2) Fauna of Saudi Arabia 15: 300-385.
  • Collingwood, C. A., and Donat Agosti. "Formicidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) of Saudi Arabia (Part 2)." Fauna of Saudi Arabia 15 (1996): 300-385.
  • El-Hawagry M. S., M. W. Khalil, M. R. Sharaf, H. H. Fadl, and A. S. Aldawood. 2013. A preliminary study on the insect fauna of Al-Baha Province, Saudi Arabia, with descriptions of two new species. ZooKeys 274: 1–88. doi:10.3897/zookeys.274.4529
  • Monks J., S. Ross, M. Geiser, J. De Prins, M. Sharaf, N. Wyatt, S. Al Rijeibi, and A. Polaszek. 2019. A preliminary survey of the insect fauna of the Hajar Mountain Range, Oman. Journal of Natural History 53(15-16): 939-963.
  • Sharaf M. R., B. L. Fisher, H. M. Al Dhafer, A. Polaszek, and A. S. Aldawood. 2018. Additions to the ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Oman: an updated list, new records and a description of two new species. Asian Myrmecology 10: e010004
  • Vonshak M., and A. Ionescu-Hirsch. 2009. A checklist of the ants of Israel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Israel Journal of Entomology 39: 33-55.