Myrmica ravasinii

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Myrmica ravasinii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. ravasinii
Binomial name
Myrmica ravasinii
Finzi, 1923

Myrmica-ravasinii-Holotype-MCZ-28796-L.jpg

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Syntype Specimen Label

Myrmica ravasinii is generally a semi-xerophilous species, but is quite tolerant to various types of habitats although it avoids both more cool and wet beech forests, and more hot and dry archa (Juniper) forests. Nests are built in the soil, often under stones.

Identification

A member of the schencki group. It is one of the most peculiar Myrmica species found beyond the Himalaya, China and SE Asia areas. Its has the narrowest frons among all known Myrmica (mean FI 0.17) and an extraordinarily enlarged lobe on the scape bend that well distinguish it from any other known Myrmica worldwide. It also has a block-shaped petiole in profile with a short peduncle, long spines, big size and strong petiolar rugosity. Its males well differ from those of the other species of the schencki-group (except M. caucasicola) by the presence of long erect hairs on the scape, tibiae and tarsi. (Radchenko and Elmes 2010)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Albania (type locality), Armenia, Georgia, Greece, Russian Federation, Turkey.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Myrmica ravasinii is closely related to Myrmica pelops. The geographical range seems to be restricted to the Balkans and Asia Minor between 38. 42N and 20. 43 E. The main habitat is light forest, usually with Pinus, rarely dense pine forest. The elevation of the sites ranged from 800 to 1800 m, with the majority between 1200 and 1800 m. (Seifert 2003b)

Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - M. ravasinii is a semi-xerophilous species. The regions where it lives are very hot in summer therefore it is a mountain species usually living between 800 and 1800 m. Generally, it lives in fairly open forests (oak, fir, pine), where presumably it benefits from warmth in spring but shade in summer, though occasionally it has been found on mountains meadows. In very dry mountains it is often associated with the edges of small gullies where the sub-soil may be a little moist. Nests are built in the soil and in more shaded places it may live under stones. In southwest Turkey we found sexuals in nests in mid August, and Arakelyan (1989) found them in Armenia in a nest on 30th of August, so nuptial flights probably occur August-September.

Radchenko et al. (2016): Based on both our own, literature and collections’ data it could be argued that M. ravasinii is generally a semi-xerophilous species, but it seems to be quite tolerant to various types of habitats. Although the regions where it distributed are very hot in summer, it lives in mountains at altitudes between 800 and 2150 m a.s.l. where temperature is significantly lower than in plains. Here M. ravasinii inhabits predominantly various types of fairly open forests (oak, pine, hornbeam, abies), but avoids both more cool and wet beech forests, and more hot and dry archa (Juniper) forests. In drier woods it is often associated with the edges of small gullies where the sub-soil may be a little moist. At the same time, it was also found on subalpine meadows. Nests are built in the soil, often under stones. In southwest Turkey sexuals were found in nests on 18ht and 20th of August, but to the north, in Armenia, they were found on 30th of August (Arakelyan 1989, Seifert 2003, Radchenko et al. 2006, Radchenko & Elmes 2010, Elmes, personal communication 2015, Radchenko, unpublished data).

Castes

Workers, queens and males are described.

Nomenclature

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

  • ravasinii. Myrmica ravasinii Finzi, 1923: 2, fig. (w.) ALBANIA. Arakelian, 1989: 734 (q.m.). See also: Finzi, 1926: 112; Seifert, 2003b: 150; Radchenko, Elmes & Alicata, 2006: 519; Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 223.

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

Description

Finzi-1923-myrmica-ravasinii-a.jpg Finzi-1923-myrmica-ravasinii-b.jpg

Type Material

Radchenko, Elmes and Alicata (2006) - 3 workers, syntypes “Albania, Tomor, 1600 m, 1922” (ZMMU, MIZ, Institute of Zoology of the Ukranian National Academy of Sciences); non-type material: about one hundred workers, more than 20 males and queens from Georgia, Armenia and Turkey (ZMMU, Institute of Zoology of the Ukranian National Academy of Sciences, Graham W. Elmes).

Etymology

Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - named for Prof. Carlo Ravasini (1874-1959) of Trieste, a doctor (urologist) and amateur coleopterologist who made the 1923 Ravasini-Lona expedition to Albania; they made their ant collection available to Finzi.

References