Key to Cataglyphis species groups

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Agosti 1990, Figs 4-12

This key to Cataglyphis species groups is based on Agosti (1990) [1]


  • CI: Cephalic Index. HWx100 / HL
  • EI: Eye Index. ELx100/HW
  • EL: Eye Length. Maximum diameter of the eye
  • FI: Funicular index. Length of first funiculus segment x 100 / Length of second funiculus segment
  • HW: Head Width. Maximum width of the head in full face view, measured below the eyes
  • PI: Propodeum Index PHx100 / MH


  • Petiole squamiform (Figs 7, 10) ..... 2
  • Petiole nodiform (Figs 8, 9) ..... 6


return to couplet 1

  • Mandible with six or more teeth, without postbasal (Fig. 4) or falcate with a cleft posterior the apical tooth (Fig. 5). Third maxillary palp segment flat with erect hairs longer than twice their maximum diameter. Gaster usually covered with thick, silvery shining pubescence .....bombycina group
Cataglyphis bombycinus casent0102114 profile 1.jpg
  • Mandible with five teeth, without postbasal, sometimes with six or seven teeth by splitting off of the median and the premedian teeth into two denticles or four teeth by fusion of the prebasals, but then workers with five teeth always present in the same series (Fig. 6); if with a falcate mandible then denticles always indicated. Third maxillary palp segment never flattened and with erect hairs shorter than 1-5 x maximum diameter of the segment. Gaster with widely set pubescence ..... 3


return to couplet 2

  • Petiole cuneiform (Fig. 10); frons reticulate and sometimes with an additional punctuation; AL > 4.2 mm .....altisquamis group (part)
Cataglyphis altisquamis casent0906293 p 1 high.jpg
  • Petiole an upright or slightly inclined scale (Fig. 7); frons longitudinally striate or reticulate; AL < 4 mm .....4


return to couplet 3

  • Body colour chestnut brown or yellow, shining; AL < 2-5 mm .....pallida group
Cataglyphis pallida casent0911112 p 1 high.jpg
  • Body colour brownish-black to black, matt or silky lustre; if shining then whole body jet black (frigida complex); AL > 3.0 mm .....5


return to couplet 4

  • FI > 190; unicolorous dull brownish black; distinct allometric growth with almost dimorphic workers .....emmae group
Cataglyphis emmae casent0249840 p 1 high.jpg
  • Fl < 180; monophasic size variation in the worker caste ...cursor group
Cataglyphis cursor casent0106260 p 1 high.jpg


return to couplet 1

  • EI > 35; gaster not raised in locomotion .....altisquamis group (part)
Cataglyphis altisquamis casent0906293 p 1 high.jpg
  • EI < 35; gaster raised in locomotion .....7


  • Petiole anterodorsal straight, in lateral view anterior and posterior surface meeting at an angle (Fig. 8). In locomotion, an acute angle between the ventral surface of the gaster and a line spanned between the anterior- and posteriormost point of the alitrunk. El > 27, CI > 96 (measured by the largest workers of a nest-series; an overlap of the EI and CI can exist with those of the bicolor group and has to be taken into consideration.) .....albicans group
Cataglyphis albicans casent0900322 p 1 high.jpg
  • Petiole anterodorsal domed, in lateral view whole dorsum of petiole rounded (Fig. 9). In locomotion obtuse angle between the ventral surface of the gaster and a line spanned between the anteriormost and the posteriormost point of the alitrunk. EI < 28; CI < 97 .....8


return to couplet 7

  • Propodeum raised, PI > 300 (Fig. 12).....urens group
Cataglyphis urens casent0249844 p 1 high.jpg
  • Propodeum arched, PI < 200 (Fig. 11).....bicolor group, nigripes group
Cataglyphis bicolor casent0104612 profile 1.jpg
Cataglyphis nigripes casent0906294 p 1 high.jpg