Key to Myrmica of the Himalaya and Afghanistan

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This worker key is based on: Radchenko, A.G. & Elmes, G.W. 2010. Myrmica ants of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3: 1-789.

-Myrmica ereptrix and Myrmica petita are known only from the holotype queens

- M. ereptrix (India: Kashmir) is a socially-parasitic species and well differs from any other species of this region by its very wide petiole and postpetiole that have conspicuous, well developed, large ventral lobes.

- M. petita (India: Kashmir) is unusually small (HW 0.82, AL 1.58 mm), smaller than all other known Myrmica queens from the Himalayan region. It is assumed to be a free living species because it has none of the normal parasitic morphological characters, in which case it is probably the smallest queen known for any free-living, Old World Myrmica species.

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1

  • Basal third of first gastral tergite distinctly punctato-striated. - NE Pakistan, Nepal . . . . . Myrmica brancuccii
Head of Myrmica brancuccii worker
Profile of Myrmica brancuccii worker

2

return to couplet #1

  • Whole alitrunk dorsum, or at least part of pronotal dorsum, with transversal rugae . . . . . 3
  • Alitrunk dorsum never with transversal rugae . . . . . 6

3

return to couplet #2

  • Only pronotal and propodeal dorsum partly with transversal rugae, other part of alitrunk dorsum with longitudinal rugosity and reticulation. - India: Kashmir . . . . . Myrmica varisculpta
Head of Myrmica varisculpta worker
Profile of Myrmica varisculpta worker
  • Whole alitrunk dorsum with transversal rugae (sculpture on propodeal. dorsum may be reduced) . . . . . 4

4

return to couplet #3

  • Lateral margins of head with short decumbent hairs, a few long suberect hairs may be present only on the occipital margin and genae. - India: Kashmir, Nepal, Bhutan . . . . . Myrmica pachei
Head of Myrmica pachei worker
Profile of Myrmica pachei worker
  • Head margins with long, abundant standing hairs . . . . . 5

5

return to couplet #4

  • Whole alitrunk with coarse rugosity, petiolar node and postpetiole with coarse transversally-concentric rugae; petiole with very thin and long peduncle, PI1 > 1.60. Body colour blackish-brown to black. - India: Himahal Pradesh . . . . . Myrmica inezae
Head of Myrmica inezae worker
Profile of Myrmica inezae worker
  • Alitrunk with fine rugulosity, sculpture on propodeal dorsum often reduced; petiole with much thicker and shorter peduncle, PI1 < 1.50. Colour lighter, head dorsum dark reddish brown, alitrunk and gaster brownish red. - Bhutan . . . . . Myrmica villosa
Head of Myrmica villosa worker
Profile of Myrmica villosa worker

6

return to couplet #2

  • Anterior clypeal margin shallowly but distinctly notched medially. Propodeal lobes pointed apically (except for Myrmica alperti) . . . . . 7
  • Anterior clypeal margin rounded or pointed, never notched medially. Propodeal lobes rounded apically . . . . . 13

7

return to couplet #6

  • Head and alitrunk very coarsely rugose, surface between rugae on head dorsum smooth . . . . . 8
  • Head and alitrunk much more finely rugulose or even striated, surface between rugulae on head dorsum distinctly punctated . . . . . 11

8

return to couplet #7

  • Lateral margins of head above the eyes with numerous standing hairs. - India: Meghalaya . . . . . Myrmica urbanii
Head of Myrmica urbanii worker
Profile of Myrmica urbanii worker
  • Lateral margins of heads above the eyes without or at most with a few standing hairs . . . . . 9

9

return to couplet #8

  • Smaller species: mean HW 0.92, mean AL 1.68. Posterior half of head dorsum (above the level of eyes) with coarse reticulation, remainder part of head dorsum longitudinally rugose. Propodeal spines very slender, not widened at their base. Head and alitrunk black to blackish-brown, gaster dark brown, while appendages are distinctly lighter, brownish-yellow, contrasting with dark colour of body. - India: West Bengal (Darjeeling), Nepal, Bhutan . . . . . Myrmica weberi
Head of Myrmica weberi worker
Profile of Myrmica weberi worker
  • Bigger species: species' means HW > 1.10, means AL > 1.90. Head dorsum mostly longitudinally rugose, reticulation present only on occiput and temples. Propodeal spines more robust, somewhat widened at their base. Body reddish-brown to black, appendages somewhat lighter, but not contrasting with the colour of body . . . . . 10

10

return to couplet #9

  • Frontal carinae curved outwards to merge with the ruga, which surround antennal sockets. Petiolar node dorsum reticulated. Propodeal lobes rounded apically. - Nepal . . . . . Myrmica alperti
Head of Myrmica alperti worker
Profile of Myrmica alperti worker
  • Frontal carinae not curved outwards and do not merge with the ruga, which surround antennal sockets. Petiolar node dorsum rugose. Propodeal lobes pointed apically. - India: West Bengal (Darjeeling), Nepal, Bhutan . . . . . Myrmica indica
Head of Myrmica indica worker
Profile of Myrmica indica worker

11

return to couplet #7

  • Surface between rugulae on head dorsum finely punctated, appears more or less shiny; alitrunk dorsum with irregular striae; petiolar node and postpetiole very finely superficially punctated or even smooth, appears shiny. - Bhutan . . . . . Myrmica collingwoodi
Head of Myrmica collingwoodi worker
Profile of Myrmica collingwoodi worker
  • Surface between rugulae on head dorsum densely and coarsely punctated, appears dull; alitrunk dorsum finely reticulated; petiolar node and postpetiole densely punctated, submat . . . . . 12

12

return to couplet #11

  • Propodeal spines very long, ESLI 0.52-0.58, directed mainly backwards and slightly curved downwards, subparallel to dorsal surface of propodeum, and faintly diverging, ESDI < 1.10. - Nepal . . . . . Myrmica boltoni
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Profile of Myrmica boltoni worker
  • Propodeal spines relatively shorter, ESLI 0.44-0.47, straight, directed upwards at an angle of about 45°, and distinctly diverging, ESDI> 1.25. - Nepal . . . . . Myrmica martensi
Head of Myrmica martensi worker
Profile of Myrmica martensi worker

13

return to couplet #6

  • Frontal carinae strongly curved in their anterior third, frontal lobes strongly extended, FLI > 1.30. - Tajikistan, north-eastern Afghanistan . . . . . Myrmica tenuispina
Head of Myrmica tenuispina worker
Profile of Myrmica tenuispina worker
  • Frontal carinae more or less straight, frontal lobes not extended, FLI < 1.15 . . . . . 14

14

return to couplet #13

  • Promesonotal dorsum coarsely reticulate, sides of pronotum with slightly sinuous longitudinal rugulae, surface of both very finely punctated; remainder of alitrunk, petiole and postpetiole very densely punctated, have no rugae (only fine striation presents on the lower parts of mesopleura and sides of propodeum). Propodeal spines very short, dentiform, but sharp, ESLI 0.18. - India: Kashmir . . . . . Myrmica williamsi
Head of Myrmica williamsi worker
Profile of Myrmica williamsi worker
  • Whole alitrunk rugulose, rugose or reticulate, punctated or not, or sculpture reduced and alitrunk at least partly appears smooth and shiny; propodeum and mesopleura never only densely punctated. Propodeal spines of different shape . . . . . 15

15

return to couplet #14

  • Body sculpture strongly reduced, alitrunk, petiole and postpetiole appear smooth and shiny, at most partly very finely superficially striated. Body colour yellowish-red. - India: Kashmir . . . . . Myrmica nitida
Head of Myrmica nitida worker
Profile of Myrmica nitida worker
  • Alitrunk, petiole and postpetiole differently sculptured, but never appear smooth and shiny; if sculpture partly reduced, body colour dark reddish brown . . . . . 16

16

return to couplet #15

  • Petiole with very thin and long peduncle, PI1 1.65. Propodeal spines very long, ESLI 0.52, and thin. - north-eastern Pakistan . . . . . Myrmica rigatoi
Head of Myrmica rigatoi worker
Profile of Myrmica rigatoi worker
  • Petiole with shorter peduncle, PI1 < 1.60. Propodeal spines shorter, ESLI < 0.45, and stouter . . . . . 17

17

return to couplet #16

  • Antennal sockets not surrounded by rugae. Head and alitrunk with coarse, almost straight rugae, without reticulation, surface between rugae appears smooth and shiny; petiolar and postpetiolar nodes concentrically rugose. Petiole with long peduncle and sharply concave anterior surface, mean PI1 1.43 - north-eastern Pakistan . . . . . Myrmica vittata
Head of Myrmica vittata worker
Profile of Myrmica vittata worker
  • Antennal sockets always surrounded by concentric rugae or at least by striae. Body with various sculpture, but never with only coarse longitudinal rugae. Petiole with shorter peduncle, means PI1 < 1.40 . . . . . 18

18

return to couplet #17

  • Large and robust species, HW > 1.20, AL > 2.0 mm, head relatively short, CI < 1.15; head dorsum with very dense, not coarse longitudinal rugulosity and reticulation, number of rugulae between frontal carinae level with the eyes > 25, surface between rugulae densely punctated. Petiole massive, with very short, thick peduncle, its anterior surface slightly concave or even almost straight. - Tibet, India: Sikkim, Nepal . . . . . Myrmica kozlovi
Head of Myrmica kozlovi worker
Profile of Myrmica kozlovi worker
  • Smaller, more slender species, HW < 1.15, AL < 2.0 mm, with relatively longer head, CI > 1.20. Head dorsum with not so dense sculpture, number of rugae be- tween frontai carinae level with the eyes < 25. Petiole with distinct peduncle, anterior petiolar margin sharply concave . . . . . 19

19

return to couplet #18

  • Promesonotal dorsum (seen in profile) distinctly impressed transversely, sometimes saddle-shape; mesonotum abruptly curves down to propodeum to form distinct, deep and wide metanotal groove . . . . . 20
  • Promesonotal dorsum (seen in profile) forms more or less regular arch; mesonotum not impressed transversely; mesonotum gently curves down to propodeum to form a metanotal groove, which is generally shallow, but can be quite deep . . . . . 23

20

return to couplet #19

  • Petiolar node and postpetiole with coarse longitudinally-concentric rugae, surface between them smooth, not punctated. Males: scape long, SI1 0.90. - India: Kashmir . . . . . Myrmica rhytida
Head of Myrmica rhytida worker
Profile of Myrmica rhytida worker
  • Petiolar node and postpetiole only punctated, without rugosity, at most with very fine short striation, sculpture may be reduced at different extent. Males: scape shorter, SI1 < 0.60 (males of Myrmica ordinaria are unknown) . . . . . 21

21

return to couplet #20

  • Sides of head with extremely short decumbent pubescence, which is visible under magnification > 70x, only occipital margin with a few long erect hairs. - North-eastern Pakistan, India: Kashmir . . . . . Myrmica cachmiriensis
Head of Myrmica cachmiriensis worker
Profile of Myrmica cachmiriensis worker
  • Sides and occipital margin of head with much longer subdecumbent hairs, which are well visible under magnification < 30x . . . . . 22

22

return to couplet #21

  • Surface of head dorsum between rugae at most very finely superficially punctated, appears shiny. - India: Kashmir . . . . . Myrmica ordinaria
Head of Myrmica ordinaria worker
Profile of Myrmica ordinaria worker
  • Surface of head dorsum between rugae densely and coarsely punctated, appears dull. - North-eastern -Pakistan, India: Kashmir, Himahal Pradesh . . . . . Myrmica wardi
Head of Myrmica wardi worker
Profile of Myrmica wardi worker

23

return to couplet #19

  • Frontal carinae curved outwards to merge with the rugae that surround antennal sockets . . . . . 24
  • Frontal carinae merging with rugae that extend to the occipital margin, they do not curve outwards and do not merge with rugae that surround antennal sockets . . . . . 26

24

return to couplet #23

  • Sides of alitrunk with reduced irregular longitudinal rugulae. or even striation, petiolar node and postpetiole finely punctated only, without rugosity. - North-eastern Pakistan, India: Himahal Pradesh . . . . . Myrmica wittmeri
Myrmica wittmeri casent0913088 p 1 high.jpg
  • Sides of alitrunk with well developed longitudinal rugosity, petiolar node and postpetiole at least partly rugose . . . . . 25

25

return to couplet #24

  • Postpetiolar dorsum with numerous, not coarse longitudinally-concentric rugae, petiolar node dorsum coarsely punctated. India: Himahal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Nepal; possibly elsewhere in Himalaya . . . . . Myrmica smythiesii
Head of Myrmica smythiesii worker
Profile of Myrmica smythiesii worker
  • Postpetiolar dorsum with a few coarse longitudinal rugae, petiolar node dorsum with irregular, short sinuous rugae and fine reticulation. - India: Kashmir . . . . . Myrmica fortior
Head of Myrmica fortior worker
Profile of Myrmica fortior worker

26

return to couplet #23

  • Petiolar node and postpetiole distinctly, often coarsely, rugose . . . . . 27
  • Petiolar node and postpetiole densely punctated, without coarse rugosity, occasionally with short, fine rugulae or striation . . . . . 29

27

return to couplet #26

  • Surface of head dorsum and alitrunk between rugae densely and quite coarsely punctated, appears completely dull. - India: "Himalaya, Pachmarhi, Shurr" . . . . . Myrmica foreliana
Head of Myrmica foreliana worker
Profile of Myrmica foreliana worker
  • Surface of head dorsum and alitrunk between rugae smooth or at most with fine superficially micro-punctated, appears more or less shiny . . . . . 28

28

return to couplet #27

  • More hairy species: head margins with long, abundant erect to suberect hairs, the longest hairs on scape distinctly longer than maximum diameter of scape. Head dorsum mostly with longitudinal rugae, only its lateral parts and occiput with reticulation. - North-eastern Afghanistan . . . . . Myrmica afghanica
  • Less hairy species: head margins with short subdecumbent hairs, the longest hairs on scape not longer than maximum diameter of scape. Only frons with longitudinal rugae, remainder parts with reticulation. - North-eastern Afghanistan, India: Kashmir, Himahal Pradesh, Nepal, Bhutan; possibly somewhere else in Himalaya . . . . . Myrmica rupestris
Head of Myrmica rupestris worker
Profile of Myrmica rupestris worker

29

return to couplet #26

  • Head dorsum mainly with longitudinal rugae, reticulate sculpture may present only on occiput and lateral parts of head dorsum above the eyes. Sides of pronotum mainly with longitudinal rugosity. - India: Kashmir, Nepal, Bhutan; possibly very widespread in Himalaya . . . . . Myrmica rugosa
Head of Myrmica rugosa worker
Profile of Myrmica rugosa worker
  • Only frons with longitudinal rugae, remainder parts of head dorsum with reticulation. Sides of pronotum with sinuous rugae and reticulation . . . . . 30

30

return to couplet #29

  • Mandibles with 7-9 teeth. Propodeal spines somewhat shorter, mean ESLI 0.62. - North-eastern Afghanistan, north-eastern Pakistan, India: Kashmir, Himahal Pradesh, West Bengal (Darjeeling), Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nepal, Bhutan . . . . . Myrmica aimonissabaudiae
Profile of Myrmica aimonissabaudiae worker
  • Mandibles with 10-13 teeth. Propodeal spines somewhat longer, mean ESLI 0.71. - India: Kashmir, Himahal Pradesh, West Bengal (Darjeeling), Nepal . . . . . Myrmica hecate
Head of Myrmica hecate worker
Profile of Myrmica hecate worker