Myrmica salina

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Myrmica salina
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. salina
Binomial name
Myrmica salina
Ruzsky, 1905

Myrmica salina P casent0904072.jpg

Myrmica salina D casent0904072.jpg

Specimen Label

Synonyms

Poorly known, but most probably M. salina inhabits relatively, wet, often halophytous biotopes in steppes of West Siberia and Kazakhstan. (Radchenko and Elmes 2010)

Identification

A member of the specioides complex of the scabrinodis species group. Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - Based on the rediscovered type material, M. salina obviously belongs to the scabrinodis species group, most probably to the specioides-complex. The worker and queens have a moderately developed horizontal lobe at the base of their scape and a relatively wide frons (FI 0.36). By these features, M. salina could be confused with Myrmica scabrinodis, but the male has the specioides-complex features of a combination of a relatively short scape and short standing hairs on the scape and tibiae. On the other hand, the worker of M. salina well differs from Myrmica curvithorax, which have much narrower frons (FI ≤ 0.30).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Kazakhstan (type locality), Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovenia.

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.

  • salina. Myrmica scabrinodis var. salina Ruzsky, 1905b: 687 (w.q.m.) RUSSIA & KAZAKHSTAN. Subspecies of schencki: Weber, 1948a: 302. Junior synonym of lonae: Sadil, 1952: 249. Revived from synonymy and raised to species: Arnol'di, 1970b: 1842; Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 534; Seifert, 1988: 25. Junior synonym of lacustris: Radchenko, 1994f: 77. Revived from synonymy: Seifert, 1994: 13; Seifert, 2002a: 96, 99. Senior synonym of ahngeri, georgica, tobiasi: Seifert, 2011: 183. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2004: 228; Radchenko & Elmes, 2009c: 520; Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 254.
  • ahngeri. Myrmica scabrinodis var. ahngeri Karavaiev, 1926f: 66, fig. 3 (w.) RUSSIA. Subspecies of scabrinodis: Arnol'di, 1970b: 1841; Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 534. Junior synonym of specioides: Seifert, 1988b: 16; of scabrinodis: Radchenko, 1994e: 79; of salina: Seifert, 2011: 183.
  • georgica. Myrmica georgica Seifert, 1987: 183, figs. 1-10 (w.m.) GEORGIA. Junior synonym of turcica: Seifert, 1988b: 18; of scabrinodis: Radchenko, 1994e: 79. Revived from synonymy: Radchenko & Elmes, 2004: 231. Junior synonym of salina: Seifert, 2011: 183. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 141.
  • tobiasi. Myrmica tobiasi Radchenko & Elmes, 2004: 224, figs. 1-17 (w.q.m.) KAZAKHSTAN. Junior synonym of salina: Seifert, 2011: 183. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 307.

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

Description

Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - Myrmica scabrinodis var. salina was described by Ruzsky (1905: 687) based on workers, queens and males from different places in West Siberia and Kazakhstan. The taxonomic history of M. salina is extremely complicated and rather puzzling because for many decades there were no types (presumed to be lost) and the original description of this species was ambiguous. Here we outline the problem. The original text is in Russian so first we translate the description and some of Ruzsky's further comments (loc. cit., p. 700):

Description: “(workers). Frontal carinae well developed, raised at the base, lobe-like (in typical scabrinodis they are smaller). Lobe at the bend of scape transversally oblique (less oblique than in scabrinodis and less transverse than in lobicornis), and looks like transversal dent or thick scale. Middle part of frontal triangle smooth and shiny. Sides of head dorsum with large reticulation, surface between reticulation punctated but appears shiny. [Propodeal] spines long and straight. Petiolar dorsum angled. Outstanding hairs more sparse [presumably compared to scabrinodis], on the gastral tergites almost absent. Brownish-red with dark brown or blackish-brown head dorsum and first gastral segment; antennae, mandibles, legs and apex of gaster lighter. Length 4.7-5 mm.

(queens). With same features as workers. Colour somewhat darker than in workers, alitrunk with brownish-black patches. Basal half of wings brownish. Length 5-6 mm. (males). Whole head very finely punctato-striated (in typical scabrinodis head, especially on sides and rear part, with quite coarse irregular rugosity). Antennal scape thickened in the middle. Outstanding hairs on the body, legs and antennae sparser [presumably compared to scabrinodis?]. Alitrunk almost without hairs. Colour of wing as in queens. Length of scape as in typical scabrinodis.”

Additional comments: “…This variety is interesting because its queens and workers by the dark colour and by the almost transverse, scale-like lobe at the bend of antennal scape, is similar to M. lobicornis, but its males on main features are similar to M. scabrinodis males and differs only by sculpture of head and sparser pilosity. This species, indubitably, is most similar to the variety schencki Emery, and both are intermediate between scabrinodis and lobicornis . ... M. schencki together with var. salina are intermediate between M. scabrinodis and M. lobicornis, but salina is more close to the first and schencki - to the latter”.

Based on the rediscovered type material, M. salina obviously belongs to the scabrinodis species group, most probably to the specioides-complex. The worker and queens have a moderately developed horizontal lobe at the base of their scape and a relatively wide frons (FI 0.36). By these features, M. salina could be confused with M. scabrinodis, but the male has the specioides-complex features of a combination of a relatively short scape and short standing hairs on the scape and tibiae. On the other hand, the worker of M. salina well differs from M. slovaca, which have much narrower frons (FI ≤ 0.30).

Etymology

Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - from mediaeval Latin salina = salt pan, or salted place being derived from the Latin word salis = salt, here it describes the type habitat “salted marsh”.

References

  • Arnol'di, K. V. 1970b. Review of the ant genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the European part of the USSR. Zool. Zh. 4 49: 1829-1844 (page 1842, Revived from synonymy, and raised to species)
  • Arnol'di, K. V.; Dlussky, G. M. 1978. Superfam. Formicoidea. 1. Fam. Formicidae - ants. Pp. 519-556 in: Medvedev, G. S. (ed.) Keys to the insects of the European part of the USSR. Vol. 3. Hymenoptera. Part 1. Opredeliteli Faune SSSR 119:3-584. (page 534, Revived from synonymy, and raised to species)
  • Czechowski, W. 2009. Myrmica slovaca SADIL and Myrmica deplanata EMERY rather than M. salina RUZSKY and M. lacustris RUZSKY (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Poland. Polish Journal of Entomology, 78: 315-317.*Radchenko, A. G. 1994h. Survey of the species of the rubra, rugosa, arnoldii, luteola and schencki groups of the genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from central and eastern Palearctic. Zool. Zh. 73(1 11: 72-80 (page 77, Junior synonym of lacustris)
  • Radchenko, A.G.; Elmes, G.W. 2004. Taxonomic notes on the scabrinodis-group of Myrmica species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) living in eastern Europe and western Asia, with a description of a new species from Tien Shan. Trudy Russkogo Entomologicheskogo Obshchestva 75(1): 222-233 (page 229, see also)
  • Radchenko, A.G. & Elmes, G.W. 2010. Myrmica ants of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3: 1-789.
  • Ruzsky, M. 1905b. The ants of Russia. (Formicariae Imperii Rossici). Systematics, geography and data on the biology of Russian ants. Part I. Tr. Obshch. Estestvoispyt. Imp. Kazan. Univ. 38(4-6 6: 1-800 (page 687, worker, queen, male described)
  • Sadil, J. V. 1952 [1951]. A revision of the Czechoslovak forms of the genus Myrmica Latr. (Hym.). Sb. Entomol. Oddel. Nár. Mus. Praze 27: 233-278 (page 249, Junior synonym of lonae)
  • Seifert, B. 1988b. A taxonomic revision of the Myrmica species of Europe, Asia Minor, and Caucasia (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Abh. Ber. Naturkundemus. Görlitz 62(3): 1-75 (page 25, Senior synonym of slovaca)
  • Seifert, B. 1994a [1993]. Die freilebenden Ameisenarten Deutschlands (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) und Angaben zu deren Taxonomie und Verbreitung. Abh. Ber. Naturkundemus. Görlitz 67(3): 1-44 (page 13, Revived from synonymy and senior synonym of slovaca)
  • Seifert, B. 2002a. The “type” of Myrmica bessarabica Nasonov 1889 and the identity of Myrmica salina Ruzsky 1905. Mitt. Münch. Entomol. Ges. 92: 93-100 (page 96, 99, Revived from synonymy and senior synonym of slovaca)
  • Seifert, B. 2011. A taxonomic revision of the Eurasian Myrmica salina species complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Soil Organisms 83: 169-186.
  • Weber, N. A. 1948a. A revision of the North American ants of the genus Myrmica Latreille with a synopsis of the Palearctic species. II. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 41: 267-308 (page 302, Variety of schencki)