Cardiocondyla zoserka

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Cardiocondyla zoserka
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Cardiocondyla
Species: C. zoserka
Binomial name
Cardiocondyla zoserka
Bolton, 1982

Cardiocondyla zoserka casent0901750 p 1 high.jpg

Cardiocondyla zoserka casent0901750 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The modification of the mandibles, clypeal structure and antennal funiculi suggest that this species is an inquiline. Based on it close resemblance, Cardiocondyla shuckardi may be the host of zoserka.


The bizarre modification of the funiculi renders the species immediately recognizable. To the best of my knowledge no other ant has funiculi even remotely resembling this one, and certainly they cannot be confused with any other member of Cardiocondyla. Apart from the modifications of the head and its appendages the overall appearance of zoserka is very like that of Cardiocondyla shuckardi females. (Bolton 1982)


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Nigeria (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • zoserka. Cardiocondyla zoserka Bolton, 1982: 318 (q.) NIGERIA.
    • [Note: type-specimens are alate males, not queens as stated (Heinze, 2019: 4.]
    • Status as species: Bolton, 1995b: 133; Heinze, 2019: 4.



Holotype: TL 3.3, HL 0.68, HW 0.55, CI 81, SL 0.46, SI 84, PW 0.47, AL 1.04.

With the head in full-face view the outer margins of the mandibles conspicuously sinuate, passing through a right-angle apically and forming a flat transverse anterior margin along to the apical tooth. Masticatory margin of mandible with the usual five teeth but the apical tooth considerably enlarged, the three basalmost teeth very small. Form of clypeus more Leptothorax-like than is usual in the genus, with a broadly and evenly convex anterior lobe which projects over the base of the mandibles and with an impressed area between the frontal lobes behind the posterior margin of the clypeus. Funicular segments of antennae with bizarre modification and highly characteristic. In dorsal view funicular segment 1 slightly longer than broad, 2 slightly broader than long, but thereafter segments 3-10 short and very broad, becoming even broader apically and with segments 8-10 extremely broad. The apical funicular segment swollen-conical in dorsal view. In ventral view the funiculus even more bizarre. Segments 1-5 appearing the same as in dorsal view, segments 6-7 flattened dorsoventrally, segment 8 slightly transversely concave, the very broad segment 9 strongly transversely concave and segment 10 so concave that the strongly arched ventral surface appears almost to touch the dorsal at the point of maximum concavity. Apical segment invaginated and forming a cup-shaped hollow which extends deep into the segment. Ocelli distinct. Maximum diameter of eye 0.24, about 0.44 x HW. With alitrunk in dorsal view the mesoscutum slightly broader than long, the rounded pronotal corners visible anteriorly. In profile the propodeal dorsum sloping down posteriorly to a pair of small acute denticles. Petiole and postpetiole nodes both distinctly broader than long in dorsal view. Dorsal surfaces of head, mesoscutum and scutellum granular to shagreened, with scattered punctures, the mesoscutum also with very faint striate vestiges longitudinally. Dorsal propodeum with ground-sculpture vestigial to absent, with a few feeble transverse rugulae. Petiole, postpetiole and gaster with scattered minute punctulae dorsally. Hairs absent except on mouthparts but the body with a fairly dense and quite conspicuous appressed pubescence which is most easily visible on the first gastral tergite. Colour dark brown to blackish brown, the appendages lighter.

Paratypes. TL 2.9-3.3, HL 0.62-0.67, HW 0.51-0.55, CI 82-84, SL 0.42-0.46, SI 82-85, PW 0.42-0.46, AL 0.90-1.00 (4 measured).

As holotype but may be slightly lighter in colour. Sculpture reduced in some, the propodeal dorsum almost smooth and the dorsal alitrunk less intensely sculptured. Maximum diameter of eye 0.21-0.24, about 0.41-0.44 x HW.

Type Material

Holotype female, Nigeria: nr Abuja, Gurara Falls, 20.iii.1972 (E. Classey) (The Natural History Museum).

Paratypes. 4 females with same data as holotype (BMNH, Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel, Museum of Comparative Zoology).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics