Cataglyphis pubescens

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Cataglyphis pubescens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Cataglyphis
Species: C. pubescens
Binomial name
Cataglyphis pubescens
Radchenko & Paknia, 2010

Cataglyphis pubescens f8.jpg

This species was collected in the interior region of the Central Persian desert basin. This area is characterized by hot summer and cold winter with mean annual temperature 19°C, and by the very low annual precipitation – 67 mm only. This territory belongs to the Irano-Turanian phyto-geographical region. Most specimens were collected by hand from a nest. The nest was built in an open area, having a small entrance without surrounding structures. (Radchenko and Paknia 2010)


Radchenko and Paknia (2010) - C. pubescens shares several features of the emeryi-, cursor- and emmae species-groups of Cataglyphis. Thus, setae on the anterior clypeal margin are very long, subequal to or even somewhat longer than the length of clypeus, similarly to Cataglyphis emeryi, but unlike the latter species these setae join close to the anterior clypeal margin, as in the species of cursor-group (Radchenko 1997a, 1998). The first funicular segment is quite long, about twice longer than the second one and only slightly shorter than the second and third segments together: this is one of the diagnostic features of workers of the emmae-group (according to Agosti 1990). On the other hand, worker caste of C. pubescens is not dimorphic (the latter is characteristic for the emmae-group species); additionally, they have distinctly thicker petiolar scale than C. emeryi. In general, workers of the species of all three groups mentioned above are superficially quite similar to one another, particularly their whole body is blackish-brown to black, they have petiole with distinct scale (i.e. it is not cuneiform or nodiform), but their males well differ by the structure of genitalia (Agosti 1990; Radchenko 1997a). Moreover, workers of Cataglyphis emmae and C. emeryi move slowly, rather like Proformica Ruzsky species (C. emmae has been originally described as a member of Proformica) than Cataglyphis, while C. pubescens move very fast, like most of the Cataglyphis species. The proper taxonomic position of this species can be definitively resolved when males will be found. Despite this little taxonomic vagueness, C. pubescens clearly differs from any knows species of the groups mentioned above by the much more developed, dense appressed pubescence on the head and alitrunk.


Known only from the type locality. Yazd Province, Iran.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Iran (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Known only from the worker caste.



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

  • pubescens. Cataglyphis pubescens Radchenko & Paknia, 2010: 71, figs. 8-13 (w.) IRAN.

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



Species of small size, body length ca. 4 mm. Head length subequal straight (not convex) sides (below the eyes), rounded occipital corners and very weakly convex occipital margin. Anterior clypeal margin almost straight, without median notch. Clypeal setae subequal to clypeal length and joined near its anterior margin. Eyes relatively small, their maximum diameter ca 1.05–1.25 times less than length of genae, situated distinctly beyond the midlength of head margins. Ocelli small, forming equilateral triangle. Antennae 12-segmented, scape relatively short, subequal or only slightly longer than head length; first funicular segment relatively long, only slightly shorter than length of second and third segments together, remainder segments distinctly longer than broad. 3rd and 4th segments of maxillary palpes rather long, subequal in length, 5th segment short, 1.5–1.9 times shorter than 4th ones, 6th segment only slightly shorter that the 5th one; 3rd segment not flattened, oval in cross-section, with not abundant erect hairs, length of the longest hairs less than twice longer than maximum diameter of the segment; 4th-6th segments with abundant but somewhat shorter pilosity. Mandibles with long apical tooth, somewhat smaller preapical one and three small basal teeth.

Alitrunk relatively short and robust, mesonotum not raised over pronotal level. Dorsal surface of propodeum subequal to posterior one, both meet at a rounded blunt angle. Propodeal spiracles small, slit-like. Petiole squamiform, with distinct, rather thick scale.

Surface of head and propodeum with fine but dense microreticulation, appears dull, promesonotum and gaster with very fine superficial microreticulation, appear shiny.

Body with sparse whitish standing pilosity, while it is somewhat more abundant than in the most of species of the cursor- and emmae-group. Occiput with more than 10 straight erect hairs, frons and clypeus without such hairs. Alitrunk and coxae with scattered erect hairs of different length, petiolar scale with a few short hairs. Head (especially temples and occiput), mesopleura, propodeum and coxae with dense pubescence, formed by long, very abundant silverish appressed hairs. Gaster with very sparse and short decumbent hairs. Scape and funiculus with short, quite thick, whitish subdecumbent hairs, tibiae with numerous, rather long subdecumbent to suberect setae, and additionally with less abundant yellowish bristles on inner margin. Whole body black.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Iran, province Yazd, Siahkooh National Park, 32°35’55”N, 54°13’57”E, 987 m, 23 May 2008, nest sample, arid area, leg. Omid Paknia, collection code: SIA 2459009 (MMTT); paratypes: 6 workers from the nest of holotype; 2 workers from the same locality but collected by pitfall traps (IZK, MMTT).


From the Latin word pubescens – pubescent, that means character of the depressed pubescence on the head and alitrunk.