October  2023



Top: J (JM Vidal-Cordero) is already Doctor in Biology. Here he is with his thesis committee (from left to right): 


Juli Pausas (CIDE, CSIC, Valencia), Joaquín Reyes-López (University of Córdoba) and Francisca Ruano (University of Granada).




Down: In memory of Raphaël Boulay (third from the right, in Dúrcal, Granada, July 2016), ideologue and director of this thesis that has been defended a bit later than he would have liked. All's well That ends well.


October  2023


A new working day meeting of the Biolivar Operational Group on this occasion at the University of Jaén. The partners of the project (members of ASAJA Sevilla, Institute of Sustainable Agricultur (IAS-CSIC), Doñana Biological Station - (EBD-CSIC), AFAPA, University of Jaén, DOP Estepa, Evenor-Tech and Syngenta) met to share the first results of the analyses and studies that are being carried out within this project that seeks to achieve a more sustainable olive grove (Photographs of Violeta Blanco Díaz, DOP Estepa).


September  2023





Antoine Wystrach and Barbara Webb groups with Xim's family in the panoramic restaurant La Primera del Puente







September  2023





Delicious paella in Elena & Xim house



Visit of Antoine Wystrach’s team for field work in Seville and as usual they made some social dinners with the Spanish researchers.






September  2023


Se busca candidato/a para un contrato en la Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC) para realizar una tesis doctoral sobre los efectos del fuego sobre las hormigas a nivel ecosistémico bajo la dirección de Xim Cerdá (EBD) y Francisco M. Azcárate (UAM, ). La tesis forma parte del proyecto del Programa de Generación del Conocimiento PID2022-138420NB-I00. La tesis tendrá un importante componente de trabajo de campo en pinares quemados del sistema Central y de Andalucía, así como en parcelas de quemas prescritas en Doñana. Para ser elegible se requiere tener la titulación de Máster y el carnet de conducir B. Para poder concurrir, la persona candidata deberá registrarse en la bolsa de trabajo del CSIC (como predoctoral). De ser elegida, deberá ser admitida en un programa de doctorado y formalizar la matrícula antes de la firma del contrato. Para más información contactar con los directores: xim@ebd.csic.es, fm.azcarate@uam.es


September  2023


VI Congreso Internacional de Biodiversidad y Conservación de la Naturaleza, ConserBio 2023




Oral communication by Jota: What was eaten and what was served: Portfolio effect in the recovery of ant communities after a fire in a Portuguese landscape dominated by pine trees.










Poster communication by Jota: What's going on with ants of La Palma?








July  2023


                 Taxomara 2023

Beja - Portugal



Xim, Elena and Jota in the Congress of

Taxomara 2023, in Beja, Portugal.












Daniel Oliveira, Jota and Xim (with Romy, the dog) in the same congress during the excursion to National Park of Guadiana Valley.






May  2023



The first true (non-test)  sampling of soil arthropods for the AGROECOseqC project in CRF (INIA, Madrid), with Sara Sánchez-Moreno, Patricia Plaza and Miguel Angel Porcel
Next samplings will be in Mauguio (INRAE, Montpellier, France) and Gembloux (CRA-W, Belgium).


April  2023




One week of so hard samplings of desert ant communities in Merzouga (Morocco) with Marcello D’Amico and Juli Broggi.

April  2023






See our new contribution in Chemoecology !


With Isabel Salado (JAE intro CSIC) we show that the variability of the quantity of iridomyrmecin, the venom of the Argentine ant, is independent of the success of the supercolony !!

April  2023




See our new contribution in Toxins!


With JP Llopart and collaborators of UdelaR (Uruguay) we show that the venom of the Argentine ant is toxic for juvenile amphibian in the native range of the Argentine ant !!

April  2023




The first day of field work in the Biolivar project, with our partners from DO Estepa, ASAJA Sevilla and Syngenta. It was a real pleasure to enjoy and learn about insects in this field trip with Oscar Aguado and Luis Miranda.



March 2023


New fieldwork season in agro-ecosystems: first-day testing with Joaquin Cobos our new material (farm La Hampa, IRNAS-CSIC) to sample epigeal arthropod with pitfall traps in cereal crops (project AGROECOseqC)



March 2023



Starting the field season with the survey of the great tit breeding and the interactions with Argentine ants. Very good days and company, with Juli Broggi and Ana Carvajal. But, there are no birds in the nesting boxes... should we work with the geckos instead? :)


But...where is the gecko?


June 2022



Guillermo Albert (Universitat de València) just arrived to Seville to develop his Master Thesis field work about individual foraging trajects of some Mediterranean ant species.


April 2022





A couple of figures from the manuscript Can thermoregulatory traits and evolutionary history predict climatic niches of thermal specialists? Bujan et al. 2022, published in Diversity and Distributions, and in which our team has participated.  


You can get a courtesy copy in our publications section,


clicking their link

go as you please !!!

October 2021





Thibaud Monnin, Fátima García-Ibarra and Pascal Jouquet (Institud d ´ Écologie et des Sciences de l ´ Environnement de Paris, France) working in Doñaña ICTS-RBD, and visiting the ceramics in tribute to Raphaël Boulay in Palacio de Doñna.


July 2021




Doble feat of our fellow Jose Manuel Vidal Cordero (aka J): he has a baby and publishes a book.


Congratulations !!!

June 2021

In the recent paper “Long-term spread of the Argentine ant European supercolonies on three mediterranean islands” published in Myrmecological News, Sara Castro-Cobo, Oliver Blight, Xavier Espadaler and Elena Angulo gathered data on the presence of the invasive Argentine ant Linepithema humile along the coast of Corsica and two Balearic Islands, Ibiza and Formentera. Native from SouthAmerica, the Argentine ant arrived on these islands during the decades of 1960-70. They studied the spread of the three supercolonies present in Europe: the Main, the Catalonian, and the Corsican. The authors show how globally the three ant supercolonies have expanded and invaded new territories along the coasts of these islands. The Main supercolony was more successful in the Balearic Islands while the Corsican supercolony spread more in Corsica. Beaches that had more human presence and were nearer already invaded beaches had a greater chance of being invaded, suggesting the importance of secondary introductions.

On the left, Sara Castro-Cobo; on the right, Elena Angulo, and on the middle, the Shark.

Read more: https://blog.myrmecologicalnews.org/2021/06/23/long-term-spread-of-the-argentine-ant-in-europe/


May 2021



Fernando Amor, Xim Cerdá, Irena Grzes, Piotr Slipinski,

Gema Trigos-Peral and Alberto Díaz in Sevilla.


May 2021



The ant-ecology group has received some invited

researchers to work with us: Daniela Ortiz (Universidad Nacional de Comahue, Argentina), Piotr Slipinski (Museum

and Institute of Zoology of Varsaw, Poland) and Irena Grzes (Agricultural University of Krakow, Poland)

May 2021



Félicien Degueldre, PhD student of Serge Aron

at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), with his

helpers and friends Pauline Dacquin and Grégory

Philippart excavating nests of the ant Cataglyphis

tartessica in Doñana Biological Reserve (Spain).







What language does science speak?


Not only. Also French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, German… 

Surprisingly, we miss much science by focusing only on English. See our paper in press in Stoten:

Angulo et al. (2021) Non-English languages enrich scientific knowledge: the example of economic costs of biological invasions. Science of the Total Environment. 


And... a funny video to illustrate it: 

24th September 2020





We are very happy to annonce that

Elena has obtained a permanent

resarch position at the Doñana Biological



Well deserved!!!


Huge Congratulations!!!



January 15th 2021




Our colleague Sara Castro defended her doctoral thesis obtaining the highest qualification.





Congratulations Sara!!


Congratulations CRISTELA and DIANE !!
A new site on the web !

Fourmidables is the project of two PhDs in Ecology and Biology who want to share their scientific knowledge on insects to the max. Their aim is to raise public awareness on the importance of insects to have a new look at them using their scientific expertise.
The goal of Fourmidables is to address environmental questions using playful and original activities allowing everyone to observe, manipulate, listen and discuss subjects. The ambition is to communicate knowledge to the most people to promote respect for the environment.
What do they offer ? Scientific animations about insects on various formats and for everyone: individuals, companies, associations etc.
For more information about their activities please visite their web site:
www.instagram.com › fourmidables33


*** January 2020 - NEW PUBLICATION ***


In this new paper we analyse the changes in hydrocarbon composition on Aphaenogaster iberica ant populations along an altitudinal gradient and their consequences in nestmate recognition.


Irene Villalta, Léa Rami, Paloma Alvarez-Blanco, Elena Angulo, Xim Cerda, Raphaël BoulayEnvironmental and genetic constraints on cuticular hydrocarbon composition and nestmate recognition in ants

Animal behaviour (159) 105-119



December 7th 2019

Our collaborator Antonio Galarza (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) and his wife were recently visiting us in Seville!


Mars 28th 2019






Today was Paloma's defence. She got the highest qualification.


August 5 to 10, 2018

Paloma Xim and Xavi Arnan at the  IUSSI 2018 congress in Guarujá, Brazil.

JUNE 27th, 2018: Terrible news

Raphaël Boulay a passionate ecologist and myrmecologist passed away at the age of 44 after a prolonged illness.  His orphan lab group will always remember him as an exceptional researcher, friend, husband and father.


JUNE 17, 2018: Social Event


Traditional Paella in Xim's house with part of the ant ecology group, the orientation team, including Antoine, and other collaborators.



*** June 2018 - NEW PUBLICATION ***


Based on a large data set on ant communities, Arnan et al published a paper entitled "Dominance-diversity relationships in ant communities differ with invasion"


The manuscript is in press in Global Change Biology (available on the website of the journal).


*** May 25, 2018 NEW PUBLICATION ***


A revision on the evolution and functioning of queen-pheromones in ants has been accepted for publication in special issue of Journal of Chemical Ecology.


Queen control or queen signal in ants: what remains of the controversy 25 years after Keller and Nonacs seminal paper?

Irene Villalta, Silvia Abril, Xim Cerdá, Raphael Boulay


A queen of Tapinoma nigerrimum with her first egg clutch by Fernando Amor.

May 2018


Dani and J seraching for ants in the alcornoques natural park


foto; Iñigo Sanchez


Sunday May 13th : Social event

Gastronomic- scientific meeting in Xim' and Elena's house with

Mathieu Lihoreau, Tamara Gómez-Moracho (univ paul Sabatier) and Joe Woodgate from Queen Mary University of london).


April 2018 - This year again Ana, Paloma and Jota have animated an ant exposition at the Seville Science Festival. A great opportunity to move science closer to citizens. As usual, ants are very successful.

April 2018 - Field trip in the Israelian desert to test the ecological benefit of thermophyly in Cataglyphis ants.

April 6th, 2018 - Preparing field trip to Israel to study desert ants.

March 10th, 2018 - Visit to Doñana burned area 10 months after the fire with Juli Pausas and Josabel Belliure. https://www.uv.es/jgpausas/

February 13th 2018 - NEW EXCELLENT VIDEO:


How to put 2040 pitfall traps in a hot summer and stay optimistic: ant sampling and African dancing (it really deserves to see the end of the video). Featuring Charlotte, Damaris and Jota. Created by Damaris Crespo Funes.

More videos of Jota:



February 7th 2018 - Weekly ant lab meeting in Seville:


Palomas' results are interesting but complex...

*** February 6th 2018 - NEW PUBLICATION ***


Silvia Abril, Mireia Diaz, Alain Lenoir, Carolina Paris, Raphae¨l Boulay & Crisanto Gomez: Cuticular hydrocarbons correlate with queen reproductive status in native and invasive Argentine ants (Linepithema humile, Mayr) - Plos One

In this new paper we analyse differences of cuticular hydrocarbons between native and invasive Argentine ant queens in relation with their fertility.

January 31th 2018 - ANT LAB MEETING


Jota was so happy to present his last results to the ant lab meeting in Seville!

January 17th 2018 - ANT LAB MEETING


First ant lab meeting in Seville with special guest Juli Broggi, foraging for Tortilla de Patata and Chocolate (?)

December 13th 2017 - DEFENSE


Today was Cristelas' defence. She got the highest qualification.

Her jury was composed of Vincent Fourcassié, Thibaud Monnin, Claudio Lazzari (president), Jeröme Orivel (not on the picture because he was in Kourou), Xim and Raphaël. Great defense. Congratulations Cristela!

December 6th 2017


After two months in Raúl Maneyro's lab, Paloma and her students, Lucía Moreira y Juan Pablo Llopart, have been performing experiments to study the interaction between the Argentine ant in its native range and amphibians .

November 15th, 2017


Mubarak is back after six months in the field in Sudan where he collected samples for morphological and genetic analyses and make behavioural observations on wild honeybees

November 11, 2017 - NEW PUBLICATION


Dalila Djennoune was in France last year and now publishes her first article in Turkish Journal of Zoology. Ants, particularly Messor, are one of the main source of proteins of Algerian hedgehogs in Kabylia. Congratulation Dalila.

Comparative diet of hedgehogs (Atelerix algirus) in two localities in Kabylia, Algeria

Djennoune D, Marniche F, Amroun M and Boulay R - Turkish Journal of Zoology



November 09, 2017 - NEW MEMBER


Dani Sanchez-García just arrived in the group for his master. He will work on Doñana ant communities. With the help of Ana!

*** November 07, 2017 - NEW PUBLICATION ***


Elena with Franck Courchamp: Allee effect in Social Species





October 18 - November 06, 2017


Ant community sampling in Velez de Benaudalla

October 25, 2017


Xim is invited by Hervé Jourdan in New Caledonia where gave a conference on ant sexuality.

October 20, 2017


Almost done!

October 9, 2017


Paloma arrived at Raúl Maneyro's lab at Universidad de la República in Montevideo (Uruguay).




October 8, 2017


Diego Anjos (University of Sao Paulo) is visiting Jordano's lab at the EBD. He attended the last Ant-Ecology group meeting to explain his researches on the effect of fire on ant communities in "Campos Rupestres"



October 2, 2017


Curro Molina has collaborated with J in the identification of 381 bees from 47 species from andalusian burned areas. A very good work!

September 30, 2017 - NEW PUBLICATION


NEW PUBLICATION of Irene, Fernando, Patro, Xim, Raphaël in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

The phylogeogaphy of Cataglyphis albicans in the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco shed new light on species delineation.  Only three species are confirmed in the IP: C. iberica in the north east, C. rosenhaueri in most of the IP and C. gadeai in the east coast. All three species derive from a unique ancestor in North Africa that crossed the Gibraltar Straits before the Mesinian Salinity Crisis.

September 17, 2017


Xim's encounter with alumni Angel Barroso in Sanlucar de Barrameda

September 14, 2017


Field work in Sanlucar de Barrameda with the next generation of myrmecologists.

September 14, 2017


Isabel Salado is joining the Ant-group in Sevilla for two months with a Jae-intro internship. She's gonna work on the Argentine ant supercolonies.

Welcoe Isa!



September 3, 2017


NEW PUBLICATION of Paloma, Xim and Elena in Oecologia.

The invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is less preferred than native ants by native predators. Native myrmecophagous toads showed lower prey preference to the invader irrespective of previous contact and the learning process.

August 23 to 25, 2017


Xim, Cristela, Léa and Raphaël attended the 29th UIEIS-SF conference organized by Claudie Doums, Thibaud Monnin and Mathieu Molet at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. On the picture, Bernard Kaufmann, Tintin and Thibaud Monnin.



July 26, 2017


Paloma and Sara just published a popularizing science article on invasive Argentine ants. It is really interesting (in spanish).










Photo credit: Fernando Amor.

July 20, 2017


Irilena Linardaki and Marit Kelling have just finished their last pitfall sampling in the recently burned area near Moguer (Doñana). Both have been with us during several moths and have provided a great great help, in particular to Jota. Thank you very much for your help. Hope this experience in Doñana will serve you for your respective careers !

July 16, 2017


While she was in the field at the Mirador of Lanjarón (Granada) Irene observed the interesting behaviour of this Tracheliodes wasp. This wasp predates on a Tapinoma. Its hunting behaviour is very efficient. For more information, you can read the very interesting document of José María Gomez Durán.

Another video of Tracheliodes by Paloma in Doñana.

July 12 - 14 TAXOMARA.


Xim, Elena and Nuria Polo attended the XII Iberian Congress of Myrmecology in Madrid. A great opportunity to exchange with spanish researchers interested in ant ecology.

The congress was organized by Paco Azcarate and Javi Seoane en la UAM.



July 7th, 2017


The GAGA consortium publishes a note in Myrmecological News. The aim of the consortium is the sequencing 200 ant genomes. Global Ant Genomics Alliance.


The paper



July 1st, 2017


The brain hunter (El cazador de cerebros), a Spanish TV program, visited Doñana National Park to interview Elena Angulo about the Argentine ant and the biological consequences of its invasion. The episode deals with “The future of the Planet” and Elena is going to share limelight with eminent Prof. Edward O. Wilson!

web del programa: http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/el-cazador-de-cerebros/

June 30th, 2017


Celebration in Xim and Elena's house with all the Cataglyphis research group featuring Paul, Mike, Cornelia, Antoine and many others. Great to see you this year again!!!!

June 30th, 2017


Irene, Fernando and Raphae¨l were collecting Cataglyphis rosenhaueri in Sanlucar de Barrameda. Not too hot these days.

June 16th, 2017


Léa defended her master thesis at the university of Lyon. She did an excellent work. Wait for the publication!

June 3rd, 2017


Jota and Merit are using food baits to monitor ant interactions in burned regions of Andalucia. Here, Crematogaster scutellaris is recruiting on tuna fish.

May 31, 2017


Sara is visiting Kailen Mooney's lab at UC Irvine. She'se digging Argentine ant nest for her experiments. Good luck!

May 13, 2017 FOURMIdable!


Jota, Paloma and Lea were at Seville Science Festival were many children could enjoy and discover the extraordinary life of ants.

May 13, 2017 SUDAN BEES


African bees produce a lot of honey but they're also a bit aggressive.

May 10, 2017


Marit Kelling assists the team as a trainee this summer. She studies landscape ecology in Mûnster, Germany and is at the end of her bachelor program.


May 1, 2017


FIELD in Sierra NEVADA featuring Léa, Irene, J, Raphaël (and Anaïs). The weather is good and we have lot's of ants.

April 27, 2017


Franck Courchamp gave a seminar at the IRBI on ant profiling!

April 27, 2017


Eirini Linardaki comes from London for an Erasmus + at the EBD. She will help J. in processing his samples of ants from burned plots. She will be with us until July 22th.

April 24. 2017 7th CEWM


Fernando explains  his results on the evolution of asexual reproduction in Cataglyphis floricola and C. tartessica to Gema trigos-Peral (Warsaw Museum of Zoology). Xim and Abraham Hefetz also participated to the 7th Central European Workshop of Myrmecology in Kraków.

April 20, 2017


NEW PUBLICATION: Is phenotypic plasticity a key mechanism for responding to thermal stress in ants? In Cristela's first thesis paper that will be published in Naturwissenschaften, we show that ants reared at a greater temperature tend to have a smaller body size; yet they are also more resistant to heat stress.

April 14, 2017


Hard time Working!

April 10, 2017



Xim just arrived at the IRBI. He will be there for one month and work very hard on a couple of manuscripts with Cristela and Elena on the eco-temperature of Aphaenogaster species.

Hope this will work!!

April 9, 2017



Maciej Barczyk is an Erasmus student who joined EBD last week. Though his main project will be on bees, he will also collaborate with the ant group! Welcome Maciej.




Amonio David Cuesta-Segura, Paloma Alvarez-Blanco y Julián Artiguez. Nuevos registros, distribución actualizada, presas, depredadores y parasitoides de Tracheliodes quinquenotatus (Jurine, 1807) en la Península Ibérica e islas Baleares (Hymenoptera: Crabronidae)



April 6, 2017


Romain and Melissa are installing pantraps along the Loire river in Tours. They are collaborating on the bee project for their M1.

April 1, 2017


María del Carmen Ramírez Soto incorporated the ant group in Sevilla for a few months. She is substituting Ana who got a baby!


March 31, 2017


Yongzhi Liu is a student at Polytech'Tours. His projectm supervised by Nicolas Monmarché, is the development of an automatic system of ant detection for field studies.

March 25, 2017


Cristela travelled to Coppenhaguen to work with Jon Shick on ant respirometry.


March 24, 2017



The EBD just received a brand new toy that will save a lot of time. Léa has the honor to use it for the first time. Running her 840 samples in the GC will just be so cool, now!


March 13, 2017

Jota is really a great myrmecologist! He has trapped and identified more than 40,000 ants. Some are really rare and suprising.

Do you guess who they are???












Amblyopone sp, Aphaenogaster cardenai and Polyergus rufescens

March 12-14, 2017

Aimee Classen visited us at the EBD. She gave a seminar and met young group members.


Prolific and interesting (in spite of the rain)!


Also look at the Brand new Car...

New Publication in Insectes Sociaux:

Amor F, Ortega P, Boulay R, Cerdá X 2017 Frequent colony orphaning triggers the production of replacement queens via worker thelytoky in a desert-dwelling ant


Production of male and female offspring in QR and QL groups of C. tartessica (a-c) and C. floricola (d-e). Graphics b and e show the average number (± SE) of females (plain lines) and males (dotted lines) in QR and QL groups. Graphic c shows the number of individuals produced in C. tartessica QR (plain symbols females) and QL groups (open symbols - males), respectively. Graphic f shows the production of females in C. floricola QR (plant symbols) and QL groups (open symbols).

March 02, 2017



Ángela, Jorge and Pablo joined us. They are biology students from the University of Seville and they are going to help "J" with the processing of samples collected last summer. They'll be with us for 4 months.

February 16, 2017



Ants and Phtalates in the Amazonian Rain Forest on French TV (By Alain Lenoir)


Februrary 05, 2017



Olivier Blight, a former Post-Doc in the Ant Ecology group visited the EBD and participated to the MEDECOS conference.


February 04, 2017




Paloma was awarded the best poster at MEDECOS. Enhorabuena!

February 01, 2017



Cristela is giving her talk at MEDECOS. Great job!

January 31, 2017



Another lab meeting today with the almost entire group!

January 31, 2017



Xim is at the opening ceremony of XIV Medecos & XIII AEET meeting ("Human driven scenarios for evolutionary and ecological changes"). To his left, Philip Rundel (president of the International Society for Mediterranean Ecology), to his right, Paco Lloret (president of Terrestrial Ecology Spanish Association) and Miguel Angel Castro (Rector of the University of Seville).

Cristela, Paloma are attending the meeting in Sevilla. Olivier Blight is also coming from Avignon to participate too.

January 16, 2017



"A global database of ant species abundances" by Gibb H; Dunn R; Sanders N; Grossman B; Photakis M; Abril S; Agosti D ; Andersen, A; Angulo E; Armbrecht I; Arnan X; Baccaro F; Bishop T; Boulay  R; Brühl C; Castracani C; Cerdá X; Del Toro I; Delsinne T; Diaz M; Donoso D; Ellison A; Enriquez, M; Fayle T; Feener Jr. ; Fisher, B; Fisher R; Fitzpatrick M; Gómez  C; Gotelli N; Gove A; Grasso D; Groc, Sarah; Guénard B; Gunawardene N; Heterick B; Hoffmann, B; Janda M; Jenkins C; Kaspari M; Klimes P; Lach L; Laeger, T; Lattke J; Leponce M; Lessard, JP; Longino, John; Lucky A; Luke S; Majer J; McGlynn T; Menke S; Mezger D; Mori A; Moses J; Munyai TC; Pacheco R; Paknia O; Pearce-Duvet J; Pfeiffer M; Philpott S; Resasco J; Retana J; Silva R; Soroger D; Souza J; Suarez A; Tista M; Vasconcelos H; Vonshak M; Weiser M; Yates M; Parr C

January 13, 2017



Reduced lab meeting in Seville

January 12, 2017



Sara gave her seminar at the EBD today. Full audience!

January 11, 2017



Léa joined the Seville lab for her master degree. She will work on Aphaenogaster ants.

January 10, 2017



Spanish National TV interviewed the director of the Doñana Biological Station. Xim is answering questions on biodiversity and the researches conducted in this center of Excellence. Also featuring in the Video, Elena and Jordi Figuerola (in lab coats!)



January 09, 2017



Mathilde and Lucas have joined the Tours lab last week. They are working hard to measure ant morphological traits. They'll be with us for 3 months.