Myrmica inucta

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Myrmica inucta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. inucta
Binomial name
Myrmica inucta
Radchenko & Elmes, 2006

Fig. 48 Radchenko et al. 2006.png Fig. 49 Radchenko et al. 2006.png

Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - When we described this species we speculated that M. inucta might be a relict species of the salted steppes that at one time were quite common in northwest Kazakhstan. The type specimens were found in a salted depression on tall-grass halophytous meadow-steppe, in a nature reserve famous for its salted marshes. Such depressions become very salted with salt deposited on the soil surface, due to evaporation after being filled with water. The margins of these salted ponds or lakes form distinct habitats for many species of plants and animals, including some Myrmica species (e.g., Myrmica bergi).

Identification

A member of the schencki group that well differs from other species of this group by its strongly reduced body sculpture and entirely black body. Generally, reduced sculpture of the body is very rare in the genus Myrmica: prior to the discovery of this species, M. nitida from the Himalaya was the only Old World species known to have a reduced sculpture. (Radchenko and Elmes 2010)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Kazakhstan (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Nomenclature

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

  • inucta. Myrmica inucta Radchenko & Elmes, in Radchenko, Elmes & Alicata, 2006: 511, figs. 43-50 (w.) KAZAKHSTAN. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 154.

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

Description

Worker

Head longer than broad, with subparallel sides, slightly convex occipital margin, and quite narrowly rounded occipital corners. Anterior clypeal margin rounded and notched medially. Frontal carinae not strongly curved, frons relatively wide, but frontal lobes distinctly extended. Scape strongly angled at the base, with small vertical lobe that forms only a very small shield on the vertical face of foot.

Alitrunk with convex promesonotal dorsum; promesonotal suture visible from above; metanotal groove shallow, but distinct. Propodeal spines long, acute, straight, not widened at the base, subparallel when seen from above, projecting backwards at an angle less than 45°. In profile, anterior surface of petiole concave, meeting the dorsal surface at a blunt angle; dorsal surface convex and gradually sloping posteriorly, without distinct dorsal plate. Postpetiole somewhat shorter than high, with convex dorsum. Spurs on middle and hind tibiae well developed and pectinate.

Whole body with reduced sculpture, shiny. Head dorsum at most with fine longitudinal striation, antennal sockets do not surrounded by rugae, clypeus completely smooth. Sides of alitrunk. with fine sinuous striation, alitrunk. dorsum with somewhat coarser striation and fine rugulosity. Petiole and postpetiole finely punctured.

Head margins with quite short subdecumbent hairs, alitrunk dorsum (except of propodeum) and waist with relatively long erect to suberect hairs; scape with suberect, and tibiae with subdecumbent hairs. The overall colour black.

Type Material

Holotype. [Kazakhstan, Naurzumsky Nature Reserve, No 625, leg. T. Bragina] Institute of Zoology of the Ukranian National Academy of Sciences; paratypes: 3 workers from the nest of the holotype (IZK, Graham W. Elmes).

Etymology

Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - from the Latin word inuctus = oily sheen, to indicate the black, shiny appearance of the body surface.

References