One week of so hard samplings of desert ant communities in Merzouga (Morocco) with Marcello D’Amico and Juli Broggi.
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 !!
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 !!
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?
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.
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
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.
Doble feat of our fellow Jose Manuel Vidal Cordero (aka J): he has a baby and publishes a book.
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.
Fernando Amor, Xim Cerdá, Irena Grzes, Piotr Slipinski,
Gema Trigos-Peral and Alberto Díaz in Sevilla.
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)
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.
24th September 2020
We are very happy to annonce that
Elena has obtained a permanent
resarch position at the Doñana Biological
January 15th 2021
Our colleague Sara Castro defended her doctoral thesis obtaining the highest qualification.
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
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.
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
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 19, 2017
Xim's interview on a Spanish Broadcast.
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.
September 3, 2017
NEW PUBLICATION of Paloma, Xim and Elena in Oecologia.
The invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema
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
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.
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
LIVING IN AN INVADED AREA?!!
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.
December 24, 2016
Time for celebrations.
Merry Xmas and happy new year to ALL. Waiting for 2017 coming soon and being even better than 2016!
December 20, 2016
Congratulation Fernando, your paper is on the cover of Ecological Entomology
December 9, 2016
Ants have personality and use it and this may be a key in their capacity to invade new areas. More in the last publication of Olivier "Differences in behavioural traits among native and introduced colonies of an invasive ant" accepted in Biological Invasions
December 8, 2016
We have the visit in Doñana Biological Reserva of some catalan researchers: Antoni Lombarte (ICM, CSIC, Barcelona), Sergio Romero de Tejada (director of the Natural Park of Aiguamolls de
l'Empordà, Girona), Xavier Parladé (IRTA, Cabrils, Barcelona) and Ramón Seminago (CCiT, University of Barcelona). Antoni and Sergi are the authors of an old and interesting paper about Catalan
ant communities that you can download here:
December 5, 2016
Great! Sara has a new accepted publication on the conservation of endemic butterflies in Spain. The paper summarizes the Species Recovery Plans produced for the
endangered and endemic butterflies in Spain (Polyommatus golgus, P. violetae, Agriades zullichi and Euchloe bazae). The paper is entitled "Ecology
and recovery plans for the four spanish of engangered endemic butterfly species"
and is published in Journal of Insect Conservation
December 2, 2016
Paloma's comitee (Ivan Gomez, Joaquin Reyes, Pepe Tella, Xim, Raphael and Elena) is meeting for the second time. Paloma, you're going in the right direction!
November 30, 2016
Joaquín Reyes (University of Cordoba) is giving a private class on the determination of Temnothorax / Leptothorax ants; A rewarding experience!
November 15, 2016
MUBARAK ALI is arriving to Tours. he is starting a ph-D thesis on the honeybees of of Dinder National Park, Soudan. Welcome Mubarak!
November 9, 2016
Elena and collaborators have a paper accepted in PeerJ and entitled "Anthropogenic impacts in protected areas: assessing the efficiency of conservation efforts using Mediterranean ant communities" (to be celebrated with some beers on Thursday...)
NOVEMBER 7, 2016
DALLILA DJENNOUNE arrived today from the University of Tizi Ouzou (Algeria) to Tours. She will stay with us about 3 weeks. She's studying hedgehogs' predation on ants and has exciting data.
NOVEMBER 7, 2016
We received the proofs of the Annual Review Paper on Cataglyphis ants. The final version should be available online in January.
OCTOBER 22-23, 2016
Sunny weekend in Sierra Nevada mountains doing ant baiting and taking samples of ant colonies in an altitude gradient. Temperatures of more than 40 degrees were measured!
FA, RB, IV, XC, EA and the children!
OCTOBER 26, 2016
ROXANA JOSENS IS VISITING THE ANT GROUP IN DOÑANA: Roxana is coming from Buenos Aires for a short visit. It was great to exchange ideas and views on the Argentine ant research http://www.ifibyne.fcen.uba.ar/new/temas-de-investigacion/grupo-de-estudio-de-insectos sociales/dra-roxana-josens/
JOTA and DAMARIS are in the local News Paper of Granada for their research on ant recolonization of burned pine forests.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2016
WILL NAIRN joined us. He comes from UK for an Erasmus + at the EBD. He will collaborate with Jota with ant identification. He should be here until Christmas.
SARA IS IN THE NEWS PAPER: An article has been published this summer in a local News Paper of Ibiza (in spanish) on the research conducted by Sara Castro on the impact of invasive species on this Mediterranean Island.