Myrmica phalacra

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Myrmica phalacra
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. phalacra
Binomial name
Myrmica phalacra
Radchenko & Elmes, 2009

Two workers and two gynes were found on mountain meadows at the altitudes ca. 2000 m.

Identification

A member of the pachei group. It is characterized by the quite coarse transversal sinuous rugosity (numbering < 20) on the mesonotal and propodeal dorsum and by the absence of the decumbent hairs on the lateral margins of head posterior to the eyes. In some respects, it resembles Myrmica hlavaci, but differs from it by partly reduced rugosity on the head dorsum, where the frons (level with the eyes) has < 15 fine, slightly sinuous longitudinal rugae, with only some of them extending unbroken to the occipital margin. (Radchenko and Elmes 2010)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Known only from the type locality from Shaanxi Province of China.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: China (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Males have yet to be collected.

Nomenclature

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

  • phalacra. Myrmica phalacra Radchenko & Elmes, 2009a: 74, figs. 21-30 (w.q.) CHINA. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 216.

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 weakly convex sides and occipital margin, and broadly rounded occipital corners; anterior clypeal margin rounded, slightly prominent and not-notched medially. Upper latero-ventral corners of head rounded, not pointed (seen in profile). Mandibles with 7-8 teeth. Frontal carinae very feebly curved, merging with rugae that extend to the posterior third of head dorsum, they do not curve outwards and do not merge with fine striae that surround antennal sockets. Frons wide, frontal lobes not extended. Scape relatively long, slightly longer than head width, gradually, but distinctly, curved at the base, without any trace of lobe or carina. Alitrunk long and low, promesonotum slightly convex (seen in profile), promesonotal suture indistinct (seen from above). Metanotal groove very shallow. Propodeal lobes rounded apically. Propodeal spines relatively short, straight, sharp, directed backward and somewhat upward at an angle of about 45°. Petiole low, with distinct peduncle, its anterior surface concave, dorsum of node widely rounded. Postpetiole subglobular, its anterior and dorsal surfaces forming a regular arch. Spurs on middle and hind tibiae well developed and pectinate.

Head with partly reduced rugosity: frons with fine longitudinal rugae, < 15 rugae between frontal carinae level with the eyes, but only some of them run unbroken posteriorly to reach the occipital margin; temples with fine reticulation, surface between rugae quite coarsely punctatcd, appearing dull. Clypeus with a few fine rugulae, its surface shiny; frontal triangle smooth and shiny; mandibles longitudinally rugose.

Pronotal dorsum with irregular sinuous rugulosity and reticulation, combined with transverse rugae; pronotal sides anteriorly reticulated, posteriorly punctato- striated. Mesonotal and propodeal dorsum with < 20 quite coarse transverse sinuous rugae. Lower parts of mesopleura and sides of propodeum punctated and with longitudinal rugosity. Surface between rugae on alitrunk finely punctated, though appearing more or less shiny. Petiole and post petiole with some short irregular striae, surface finely punctated but appearing more or less shiny. Gaster smooth and shiny.

Head margins without decumbent or subdecumbent short hairs, only genae and occiput have a few long suberect hairs; alitrunk dorsum with sparse long hairs; petiole with 6-8 long hairs. Scape and tibiae with subdecumbent hairs. Body colour dark reddish-brown, appendages somewhat lighter.

Queen

Generally similar to workers by the shape of head, frontal lobes, propodeal spines and waist. Rugosity on the head dorsum more developed than in workers. Alitrunk long and low, coarsely sculptured; pronotum with reticulation, scutum with sinuous rugae, diverging backwards to form a subtriangular pattern on the posterior half of scutum; scutellum with semiconcentric rugae; only propodeal dorsum with coarse transverse rugae; mesopleura and lower part of propodeal sides longitudinally rugose.

Type Material

Holotype, w, China, Shaanxi Prov., Qin Ling Shan, 118 km E Xian, 110°06'E, 34°25'N, Stop 1950-2000 m, No. 969, 19.viii.1995, leg. Wrase Institute of Zoology of the Ukranian National Academy of Sciences; paratypes: 1 w and 2 q with the same label as holotype (IZK, Graham W. Elmes, Schulz).

Etymology

From the Greek word phalachros = bald, to describe the complete absence of hairs, even subdecumbent ones, on the sides on the head.

References