Myrmica arnoldii

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Myrmica arnoldii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. arnoldii
Binomial name
Myrmica arnoldii
Dlussky, 1963

Myrmica arnoldii P casent0900281.jpg

Myrmica arnoldii D casent0900281.jpg

Specimen Label

Despite its typically "socially-parasitic" features, M. arnoldii has only been found living in independent colonies. Dlussky reported that in Siberia colonies lived mainly in larch forests, but also in steppe-like habitats, with nests usually being built in decaying wood and rarely in the soil. This accords with the more recent samples from Mongolia taken by M. Woyciechowski (Krakow): colonies were living on northern and western slopes in mountain Larix-Betula forest at about 1000 m altitude, nests were usually in rotten tree stumps but sometimes in the soil or moss, they were quite populous and usually polygynous. We suggest that M. arnoldii might be a temporary social parasite, or represents a hypothetical step in the evolution of social parasites, or even is a social parasite that has reverted to a free-living lifestyle. In any case, this interesting species would make an ideal subject for further study. (Radchenko and Elmes 2003)

Identification

A member of the arnoldii group. Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - M. arnoldii shares several morphological features with the species of incompleta-group, e.g. shape of scape and frontal lobes in the female castes, and short scape of males. M. arnoldii well differs from almost all other free-living Palaearctic Myrmica species by several features, many of which are considered as the "socially-parasitic syndrome": males have 12-segmented antennae (this feature led Arnoldi 1968b. erect subgenus Dodecamyrmica); the petiole and postpetiole of all castes have ventral lobes, which are most developed in queens; the spurs on tibiae of mid- and hind legs are often reduced (more frequently in female castes); they are small, queens are little larger than workers (AL of workers, queens and males < 1.5, 1.8 and 1.6 mm, respectively) (see also Radchenko and Elmes 2003a).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

South Siberia from Tuva to eastern Transbaikalia, and Mongolia.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Mongolia, Russian Federation (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • arnoldii. Myrmica arnoldii Dlussky, 1963: 191, figs. 1, 4, 5 (w.) RUSSIA. Arnol'di, 1968: 1803 (q.m.). Combination in M. (Dodecamyrmica): Arnol'di, 1968: 1803. See also: Francoeur, 1981: 759; Radchenko & Elmes, 2003a: 222; Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 94.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Radchenko and Elmes (2003) -Taxonomic notes. This unusual species has a rather uncertain taxonomic position. It well differs from almost all other free-living Palaearctic Myrmica species by several features, many of which are considered as socially-parasitic: males have 12-jointed antennae (this feature led Arnoldi 1968 describe subgenus Dodecamyrmica); the petiole and postpetiole of all castes have ventral lobes, which are most developed in queens; the spurs on tibiae of mid- and hind legs are often reduced (more frequently in female castes); they are small, queens are little larger than workers (AL workers, queens and males < 1.5, 1.8 and 1.6 mm, respectively). The body sculpture, colour and shape of petiole (subtriangular when viewed in profile) of queens are similar to that of Myrmica myrmicoxena, and they differ by their slightly larger size and wider frons. Males differ by the number of antennal segments, 12 rather than 13.

Description

Etymology

Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - M. arnoldii: this species was dedicated to the famous Russian myrmecologist K. V. Arnoldi

References

  • Arnol'di, K. V. 1968b. Important additions to the myrmecofauna (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the USSR, and descriptions of new forms. Zool. Zh. 4 47: 1800-1822 (page 1803, queen, male described, Combination in Myrmica (Dodecamyrmica))
  • Dlussky, G. M. 1963a. Two new species of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from eastern Transbaikalia. Entomol. Obozr. 42: 190-194 (page 191, figs. 1,4,5 worker described)
  • Dlussky, G. M. 1963b. Two new species of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from eastern Transbaikalia. Entomol. Rev. (Wash.) 42: 104-106 (English translation)
  • Francoeur, A. 1981c. Le groupe néarctique Myrmica lampra (Formicidae, Hymenoptera). Can. Entomol. 113: 755-759 (page 759, see also)
  • Radchenko, A. G.; Elmes, G. W. 2003a. A taxonomic revision of the socially parasitic Myrmica ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Palaearctic region. Ann. Zool. (Warsaw) 53: 217-243 (page 222, see also)
  • Radchenko, A.G. & Elmes, G.W. 2010. Myrmica ants of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3: 1-789.