Cataglyphis livida

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Cataglyphis livida
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Cataglyphis
Species group: albicans
Species complex: livida
Species: C. livida
Binomial name
Cataglyphis livida
(André, 1881)

Cataglyphis livida casent0905718 p 1 high.jpg

Cataglyphis livida casent0905718 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Cataglyphis livida is a common species at Rawdhat Khorim, Saudi Arabia. Populations increase in spring and peak in June. This species was found abundantly foraging on Acacia gerrardii Benth (Sharaf et al., 2013). Pashaei Rad et al. (2018) found this species in Iran on the ground and in trees in medium to low rainfall areas.


Salata et al. (2021) - Whole body yellow, only gaster sometimes with indistinctly infuscated apex; mesosoma and coxa covered with a layer of silvery hair.

A study on type specimens of C. livida revealed that this species could be easily separated from most members of the livida complex based on the presence of a layer of silvery hair on propodeum and katepisternum, and lack of these on posterior head. Lack of comment on this feature in the original description combined with mislabeling of type specimens (see Bračko et al. 2016) caused confusion, leading to the long-lasting misinterpretation of C. livida.

Keys including this Species


Salata et al. (2021) - Unknown. Due to mislabeling of type specimens of C. livida and Cataglyphis viaticoides, both species were wrongly interpreted, and most of their historic records require verification. Based on available material, we can confirm its presence in Egypt, coastal parts of Israel, Syria, and Antalya Province in Turkey.

Borowiec & Salata (2020) - A recent genetic study on members of the Cataglyphis albicans group showed that Cataglyphis livida occurs only on coastal part of Israel. While the border zone between Israel and Jordan is occupied by Cataglyphis arenaria (Eyer and Hefetz 2018). Both species are very similar morphologically and probably record from Petra by Wheeler and Mann (1916) concerns rather C. arenarius than C. livida.

Earlier records (likely no longer valid): This species is widely distributed from Egypt to Afghanistan (Radchenko, 1997) and has been reported from all countries of the Arabian Peninsula (Collingwood, 1985; Tigar and Collingwood, 1993; Collingwood and Agosti, 1996; Tigar and Osborne, 1999; Collingwood et al. 2011) (Sharaf et al., 2013).

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 42.596228° to 13°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Gambia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.
Palaearctic Region: Bulgaria, Iran, Israel (type locality), Kuwait, Oman, Türkiye.

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.


Association with Other Organisms

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  • This species is a mutualist for the aphid Aphis fabae (a trophobiont) (Shiran et al., 2013; Saddiqui et al., 2019).
  • This species is a mutualist for the aphid Subcryptosiphon sp. (a trophobiont) (Stary, 1969; Saddiqui et al., 2019).



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

  • livida. Myrmecocystus albicans var. lividus André, 1881b: 58 (in text) (w.) ISRAEL.
    • Menozzi, 1933b: 84 (q.m.).
    • Combination in Myrmecocystus (Cataglyphis): Santschi, 1910f: 234;
    • combination in Cataglyphis: Wheeler, W.M. & Mann, 1916: 173.
    • Subspecies of albicans: André, 1882b: 168 (in key); Dalla Torre, 1893: 216; Emery, 1893f: 257; Forel, 1902a: 156; Forel, 1904b: 383; Emery, 1906d: 54; Forel, 1906c: 189; Forel, 1909e: 384; Forel, 1910a: 13; Santschi, 1910f: 234; Forel, 1911f: 280; Forel, 1911h: 458; Karavaiev, 1911: 10; Karavaiev, 1912a: 16; Wheeler, W.M. & Mann, 1916: 173; Stitz, 1917: 348; Santschi, 1921d: 72; Viehmeyer, 1923: 93; Karavaiev, 1924: 305; Emery, 1925b: 262; Menozzi, 1927g: 380; Santschi, 1929b: 40; Santschi, 1929c: 107; Menozzi, 1929e: 128; Stitz, 1932b: 737; Santschi, 1932f: 518; Menozzi, 1933b: 84; Santschi, 1934d: 281; Finzi, 1936: 192; Bernard, 1948: 163; Donisthorpe, 1950e: 1065; Bernard, 1953a: 201; Délye, 1960: 264.
    • Status as species: Arnol'di, 1964: 1810; Pisarski, 1965: 420; Pisarski, 1967: 418; Pisarski, 1970: 324; Aktaç, 1977: 128; Collingwood, 1985: 290; Kugler, J. 1988: 259; Agosti, 1990b: 1494; Arakelian, 1994: 106; Bolton, 1995b: 136; Collingwood & Agosti, 1996: 381; Radchenko, 1997c: 428; Radchenko, 1998: 506 (in key); Mohamed, Zalat, et al. 2001: 45; Paknia, et al. 2008: 154; Vonshak, et al. 2009: 39; Lapeva-Gjonova, et al. 2010: 58; Collingwood, et al. 2011: 458; Kiran & Karaman, 2012: 9; Sharaf, Abdel-Dayem, et al. 2013: 570; Borowiec, L. 2014: 57.

Taxonomic Notes

Bracko et al. (2016) - The status of this species was misinterpreted probably due to confusion with type material preserved in the Museum of Natural History in Paris. André (1881), in the original description, clearly wrote that specimens named as a Myrmecocystus albicans var. viaticoides were collected in Beyruth (Lebanon). As diagnostic features he noted red colouration of the head and mesosoma and mostly black gaster. In the same paper he described another taxon: Myrmecocystus albicans var. lividus. Specimens of this species were collected in Jaffa, Syria (now Israel) and were distinguished by whole body pale reddish and only apex of gaster infuscate (now dried syntypes appear faded and are almost completely yellow). Surprisingly, in the material preserved in Paris Museum one bicoloured syntype with dark gaster with determination label “viaticoides” has locality label “Syrie” (available in AntWeb CASENT0912236) and another one, uniformly yellow syntype with determination label “viaticoides”, has locality label “Beyrouth” (available in AntWeb specimen/CASENT0915503). In the same collection there is also one syntype of uniformly yellow body with determination label “lividus” and locality label “Syrie” (available in AntWeb We found two other syntypes with determination label “lividus” and locality label “Jaffa” in Forel’s collection in Genève (available in AntWeb CASENT0911099) and in Santschi’s collection in Basel (available in AntWeb https:// Radchenko (1997) studied syntype labelled “Beyrouth” (with mostly yellow abdomen) and suggested that records of bicoloured Cataglyphis viaticoides from Turkey, Caucasus and Iran concern Cataglyphis rubra (Forel, 1903). In his next paper with a key to Asian members of the genus Cataglyphis (Radchenko 1998), he named bicoloured taxon as a C. rubra and unicoloured taxa as a C. lividus and C. viaticoides with note that C. viaticoides is a problematic species. Agosti (1990), in his review of Cataglyphis, noted that syntypes of C. viaticoides do not correspond with species description but he did not propose any solution of this problem. In our opinion only syntypes from Beyruth should be the true types of C. viaticoides, while syntypes from Syrie or Jaffa should be treated as a true types of C. lividus. Probably, discussed above syntypes, were inversely labeled in Paris Museum (bicolored specimens should have label "Beyrouth / Abeille" and uniformly yellow specimens should have label “Jaffa / Abeille” or "Syrie / Abeille"). Cataglyphis viaticoides is the only species of the mentioned above two taxa which occurs in Greece. Data on the distribution of C. bicolor (Fabricius, 1793) in Transcaucasia, Asia Minor, Iran, the Middle East and Arabian Peninsula should refer to C. viaticoides. True C. bicolor is restricted only to North Africa (Wehner et al. 1994, C. Galkowski pers. comm).



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