Cataglyphis bombycina resides in the harsh climate of the Sahara Desert in Africa.  The Sahara Desert extends through Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and Tunisia (World's Largest Desert 2005).  C. bombycina is found in the central part of the Sahara Desert (Lenoir et al. 2010).

The Sahara is known as the “Great Desert,” and is the world’s largest hot desert (World's Largest Desert 2005).  It has some of the harshest living climates on Earth.   The Sahara Desert is known for its lack of rainfall.  Very little rain ever hits the desert but when it does, it’s usually no more than 5 inches (World's Largest Desert 2005). 

Winds in the desert are brutal, and they create big sand dunes.  C. bombycina make their nests, which hold their large colonies, close to these sand dunes (Gehring and Wehner 1994).  The nests are burrows that are dug into desert sand.  They dig in the sand and live underground because it is a lot cooler, and they can use the nest to escape the heat (Myers 1995).  Desert lizards tend to make their dens close to nests of C. bombycina.  This creates a little bit of a problem for the ant, but when the C. bombycina is most active outside the nest is when the lizards are tucked away in their dens (Gehring and Wehner 1994).  The lizards usually head back into their dens when the temperature reaches 116 degrees Fahrenheit, then C. bombycina has roughly ten minutes to scavenge the desert to find food and they scurry back into the nest before they die from from the heat (Myers 1995). 

C. bombycina is one of the most heat tolerant animals on the planet.  The temperature in the Sahara Desert can reach up to 60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit (Holden 1995).  It can forage at a body temperature above 50 degrees Celsius (Gehring and Wehner 1994).  The surface of the desert sand is very hot so C. bombycina have longer legs to keep their bodies about 4 mm off the ground to maintain a temperature that is about 10 degrees cooler than the surface of the sand (Lenior et al. 2010). 

Since the sun is so prevalent in the desert, it limits what can live in its habitat.  Very few organisms can survive the intensity of the sun so very few organisms are even out when the sun is up.  When finding food in this desert habitat, C. bombycina has to make do with what they can find.  Usually they bring back insects that have died from heat exhaustion (Lenior et al. 2010).  Before they make their dash out to find food, a couple worker ants scout the outside of the nest and check to make sure it is the right time to leave.  When it is, they will signal all the other workers that it is time to forage (Myers 1995). 

In the desert, there are desert bushes and grasses that the C. bombycina might utilize.  If the ant is getting too hot or can’t get back to the nest in time, it will climb up the stalk of the grass or bush to escape the heat of the sand (Lenior et al. 2010).  In the desert there are very few plants for the C. bombycina to use (Wehner et al. 1992).  Some C. bombycina can’t find a shelter in time and end up dying, but most of them, have a calculated line in aspect of the sun, back to the nest to avoid death from the heat (Wehner et al. 1992).

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