Cataglyphis velox

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Cataglyphis velox
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Cataglyphis
Species: C. velox
Binomial name
Cataglyphis velox
Santschi, 1929

Cataglyphis velox casent0912234 p 1 high.jpg

Cataglyphis velox casent0912234 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

At a Glance • Brachypterous Queen  




Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Iberian Peninsula, Portugal, Spain (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Colonies consist of a few queens and 784 ± 341 workers (range 220-1300)(16 colonies; P.A. Eyer, unpublished PhD).

Short-winged (non-flying) queens exit from natal nest, mate on branches, then re-enter natal nest. On one occasion, a colony was observed to fission the next day after mating (X. Cerda, unpublished observation from Sierra de Cazorla (Spain), July).

Nest entrance of C. velox with workers busy excavating soil. From southern Spain (Photo by Christian Peeters)


Queens are brachypterous, i.e. they emerge from cocoons with non-functional short wings (reviewed in Peeters & Aron 2017).

Three dealate egg-laying queens (note bigger gasters) of C. velox, together with workers of various body sizes. From southern Spain (Photo by Christian Peeters)
Thorax dissection of C. velox queen, showing the lack of wing muscles. By Christian Peeters)


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

  • velox. Cataglyphis (Monocombus) viatica var. velox Santschi, 1929b: 30, figs. 6, 34 (w.) SPAIN. Tinaut, 1990c: 54 (q.m.). Junior synonym of viatica: Collingwood, 1979: 73. Revived from synonymy and raised to species: Tinaut, 1990c: 52.



  • Collingwood, C. A. 1979. The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. Fauna Entomol. Scand. 8: 1-174 (page 73, Junior synonym of viaticus)
  • Peeters C & Aron S. 2017. Evolutionary reduction of female dispersal in Cataglyphis desert ants. Biological J. Linnean Society 122: 58–70. PDF
  • Santschi, F. 1929b. Étude sur les Cataglyphis. Rev. Suisse Zool. 36: 25-70 (page 30, figs. 6, 34 worker described)
  • Tinaut, A. 1990. Taxonomic situation of the genus Cataglyphis Forster, 1850 in the Iberian Peninsula 2. New position for C. viatica (Fabricius, 1787) and redescription of C. velox Santschi, 1929 stat. n. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). EOS. Rev. Esp. Entomol (page 52, Revived from synonymy and raised to species)(page 54, queen, male described)