The first report of ants (Formicidae: Hymenoptera) in salt marshes and salt pans in central parts of Iran




The present study was conducted in Salt marshes and Salt pans in central parts of Iran. 121 specimens of ants were collected by trapping and hand during spring, summer and autumn 2017 to 2019. Nine species belong to two subfamilies of Myrmicinae and Formicinae were identified. The vegetation, physical and chemical parameters of soil such as salinity, Ph, and other factors were investigated. Darband Shoor Mountain station with five species had the highest diversity and vegetation density and the lowest salinity of soil (72.14 ds/m) whereas Salt Lake station had only one species, with no vegetation and the highest salinity of soil (153.15 ds/m). Cataglyphis lividus (André, 1881) was the dominant species in all the stations except in Darband Shoor Mountain station. All the species were reported for the first time from salt marshes and salt pans in the central parts of Iran and were approved by Prof. Brian Taylor, in Royal Entomological Society of London, England.


Agosti, D. and Johnson, N.F., 2003. Fernández, F., Ed. La nueva taxonomía de hormigas. Introducción a las hormigas de la región neotropical. Instituto Humboldt, Bogotá, Pp 45–48. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
Agostoni, K., 2010. "Rare plant species discovered at Sand Dune Park". The Daily Breeze. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
Aram, E., 2015. Faunistic investigation and biodiversity of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Khvoresh Rostam District, Khalkhal County, Ardabil Province, Iran. M.Sc. Dissertation, Islamic Azad University, Tehran Medical Branch, Iran. Pp 145.
Arde, M.J., 1994. Investigating Characteristics and Behavioral Characteristics of the Ants in Karaj city. M.Sc. Dissertation, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran. Pp 108.
Belchior, C., Sendoya, S. F., Del-Claro, K., 2016. Temporal Variation in the Abundance and Richness of Foliage-Dwelling Ants Mediated by Extrafloral Nectar. PLoS ONE 11(7), 1-17, e0158283. https:// 10.1371/ journal. pone.0158283
Bharti, H., Gul, I., Dubovikoff, D.A., 2014. First description of male of Cataglyphis cugiai Menozzi, 1939 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Himalaya, with notes on the species ecology and biodiversity conservation of the region. C. Entomol. Bull., 10(1), 137-139, Doi: 10.23885/1814-3326-2014-10-1-137-139
Bolton, B. (1994). Identification Guide to the Ant Genera of the World. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Borowiec, L. and Salata, S., 2012. Ants of Greece – checklist, comments and new faunistic data (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus 23(4), 461-563.
Cardoso, D.C. and Schoereder, J.H., 2014. Biotic and Abiotic Factors Shaping Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Assemblages in Brazilian Coastal Sand Dunes: The Case of Restinga in Santa Catarina. Fla Entomol., 97(4), 1443-1450.
Clark, A.T., Rykken, J.J. and Farrell, B.D., 2011. The Effects of Biogeography on Ant Diversity and Activity on the Boston Harbor Islands, Massachusetts, U.S.A. PLoS One. 2011; 6(11): e28045. https: // /10.1371 /journal .pone.0028045
Collingwood, C.A., 1985. Hymenoptera: Fam. Formicidae of Saudi Arabia. Fauna of Saudi Arabia, 7, 230-302.
Collingwood, C.A. and Agosti D., 1996. Formicidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) of Saudi Arabia (Part 2). Fauna of Saudi, 15: 300-385.
Dahmen, H., Wahl, V.L., Pfeffer, S.E., Mallot, H.A. and Wittlinger, M., 2017. Naturalistic path integration of Cataglyphis desert ants on an air-cushioned lightweight spherical treadmill. J. Exp. Biol., 2017 220, 634-644. doi: 10.1242/jeb.148213
Davis, L.V. and Gray, I.E., 1966. Zonal and seasonal distribution of insects in North Carolina salt marshes. Ecol. Monogr., 36, 275–295. Doi: 10.2307/1942419
Emery, C., 1906. Rassegna critica delle specie paleartiche del genere Myrmecocystus. Memorie Reale Accademia Scienze dell'istituto di Bologna, Series VI, Volume 3, 173-187.
Folgarait, P.J., 1998. Ant biodiversity and its relationship to ecosystem functioning: a review. Biodivers. Conserv., 7: 1221. 7(9), 1221–1244. Doi: 10.1023/a: 1008891901953
Foster, W.A. and Treherne J.E., 1976. Insects of marine saltmarshes: problems and adaptations, pp. 5–42 In Cheng L [ed.], Marine Insects. North-Holland Publishing Company, Amsterdam, Holland.
Forel, A., 1904. Dimorphisme du mâle chez les fourmis et quelques autres notices myrmécologiques. Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique, 48, 421-425.
Ghatei Kalashami, M., 2016. Faunistic investigation and biodiversity of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Northern part of Guilan Province, Iran. M.Sc. Dissertation, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. Pp 90.
Griffiths, Hannah M., Ashton, Louise A., Walker, Alice E., Hasan, F., Evans, Theodore A., Eggleton, P., Parr, Catherine L., 2017. Ants are the major agents of resource removal from tropical rainforests. J. Anim. Ecol., 87(1), 293-300.
Goulet, H. and Hubert, J.F., 1993. Hymenoptera of the world. An identification guide to families. Research Branch, Agricultural Canada Publication. Canada Communication Group?Publishing, Ottawa. 668 Seiten. Preis: FF 412,—. ISBN 0?660?14933?8.
Guénard, B. and Dunn, R.R., 2012. A checklist of the ants of China. Zootaxa, 3558, Magnolia Press, 1-77.
Hashimoto, Y., 2003. Identification guide to ant genera of Borneo. Inventory and Collection. Total protocol for understanding of biodiversity, Chapter: 9, Publisher: Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Editors: Yoshiaki Hashimoto, Homathevi Rahman. Pp. 89-162.
Houadria, M., Blüthgen, N., Salas-López, A., Schmitt, M. I., Arndt, J., Schneider, E., Orivel, J. and Menzel, F., 2016. The relation between circadian asynchrony, functional redundancy, and trophic performance in tropical ant communities. Ecology, 97(1), 225–235. https:// doi. org/10. 1890/14-2466.1
Howes, B.L., Howarth, R.W., Teal, J.M., Valiela, I., 1981. Oxidation?reduction potentials in a salt marsh: Spatial patterns and interactions with primary production. Limnol. Oceanogr., 26(2), 350-360. 10.4319/ lo.1981.26.2.0350
The Iran Meteorological Organization, 1955. Climatic Analysis of Central Areas of Iran. Received in 1396. Available from
Jilkova, V., Chlumsky J., Koutecky P. and Stech M., 2012. Roles of species-preferential seed dispersal by ants and endozoochory in Melampyrum (Orobanchaceae). J. Plant. Ecol., 6(3), 232–239.
Loken, Luke C. and Oliver, Samantha K., 2016. Habitat Requirements and Occurrence of Crematogaster pilosa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Ants within Intertidal Salt Marshes. Fla Entomol., 99(1), 82-88. Doi: 10.1653/ 024. 09 9.0115
Luke S.H., Fayle, T.M., Eggleton, P., Turner, E.C., Davies, R.G., 2014. Functional structure of ant and termite assemblages in old growth forest, logged forest and oil palm plantation in Malaysian Borneo. Biodivers. Conserv. 23, 2817–2832. Doi: 10.1007/s10531-014-0750-2
McCoy, E.D. and Rey, J.R., 1987. Terrestrial arthropods of northwest Florida salt marshes: Hymenoptera (Insecta). Fla Entomol., 70, 90–97. Doi: 10.2307/3494762
Menozzi, C., 1927. Zur Erforschung des Persischen Golfes (Beitrag nr. 12) Formicidae (Hym.). Supp. Entomol., 16, 117-119.
Mifsud, D., Mangion, M., Azzopardi, E., Espadaler, X, Cuesta-Segura, D., Watson, G.W. and Perez Hidalgo, N. 2011. Aphids associated with shrubs, herbaceous plants and crops in the Maltese Archipelago (Hemiptera, Aphidoidea). Bul. E.S.M., 4, 5-53.
Mohseni, M.R., 2015. Identification and Biodiversity of Ants (Formicidae: Hymenoptera) in Qom Province, Iran. M.Sc. Dissertation, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran. Pp 161.
Moore, M., Tansuwan, M. and Carmona-Galindo, V.D. 2013. Differential bait preference and rate of attraction by Argentine ants (Linepithema humile Mayr) at freshwater and saltwater marsh sites in southern California. BIOS 84(4), 232- 236.
Nafisi Fard, R., 2014. Faunistic investigation and biodiversity of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Sabzevar city and Suburbs, Iran. M.Sc. Dissertation, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. Pp 103.
Orabi, G.M., Semida, F.M., Abdel-Dayem, M.S., Sharaf, M.R. and Zalat, S.M., 2011. Diversity patterns of ants along an elevation gradient at St. Catherine Protectorate, South Sinai, Egypt, (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zool. Middle. East., 54(1), 101–112. 7140.2011.10648882
Paknia, O., Radchenko, A. and Pfeiffer, M., 2010. New records of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Iran. Asian Myrmecol., 3, 29-38, Doi: 10.20362/am.003005
Palomo, G., Martinetto, P., Perez, C. and Iribarne, O. 2003. Ant predation on intertidal polychaetes in a SW Atlantic estuary. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 253, 165-173.
Pashaei Rad, S., Taylor, B., Torabi, R., Aram, E., Abolfathi, G., Afshari, R., Borjali, F., Ghatei, M., Hediary, F., Jazini, F., Heidary Kiah, V., Mahmoudi, Z., Safariyan, F. and Seiri, M., 2018. Further records of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Iran. Zool. Middle. East., 64(2), 145-159. Doi: 10.1080/09397140.2018.1442301
Pétillon, J., Montaigne, W. and Renault, D., 2009. Hypoxic coma as a strategy to survive inundation in a salt-marsh inhabiting spider. Biol. Lett., 5(4), 442-5. .1098/rsbl.2009.0127
Radchenko, A.G., 1998. A Key to Ants of the Genus Cataglyphis forester (Hymenoptera, Formicidae from Asia). Entomol. Rev., 78(4), 475-480.
Rabeling, C., Brown, J.M. and Verhaagh, M., 2008. Newly discovered sister lineage sheds light on early ant evolution. PNAS, 105(39), 14913-14917. 0806187105
Reidenbaugh, T. G. and Banta, W. C. (1980). Origins and Effects of Spartina Wrack in a Virginia Salt Marsh. Gulf Res. Rep., 6(4): 393-401. 4. 07
Sanders, D. and van Veen, F.J.F., 2011, Ecosystem engineering and predation: the multi-trophic impact of two ant species. J. Anim. Ecol., 80, 569–576. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2010.01796.x.
Schalles, J.F., Hladik, C.M., Lynes, A.A. and Pennings, S. C., 2013. Landscape estimates of habitat types, plant biomass, and invertebrate densities in a Georgia salt marsh. Oceanography, 26(3), 88–97. 0/oceanog.2013.50
Ward, Philip S., 2007. Phylogeny, classification, and species-level taxonomy of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa, 1668(1668), 549-563. http://dx.DoI. org/10.11646/zootaxa.1668.1.26
Wardle, D.A., Hyodo, F., Bardgett, R.D., Yeates, G.W., and Nilsson, M. C., 2011. Long?term aboveground and belowground consequences of red wood ant exclusion in boreal forest. Ecology, 92, 645–656. Doi: 10.1890/10-1223.1
Weiss, Harry B. and West, E., 1924. The insects and Plants of a Salt Marsh on the Coastal Plain of New Jersey. J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc., 32(2), 93-104.
You, H., Jin, H., Khaldi, A., Kwak, M., Lee, T., Khaine, I., Jang, J., Lee, H., Kim, I., Ahn, T., Song, J., Song, Y., Khorchani, A., Stiti, B. and Woo, S., 2016. Plant diversity in different bioclimatic zones in Tunisia. J. Asia Pac. Biodivers., 9(1), 56-62. 01.002