Myrmica tenuispina

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

Myr laevinodis var. tenuispina 20550 20550 hal.jpg

Myr laevinodis var. tenuispina 20550 20550 had.jpg

Syntype Specimen Label

M. tenuispina is associated with the mountains of Middle Asia and NE Afghanistan, where lives on subalpine meadows at altitudes between 2700 and 4100 m and nests in the soil and under stones.


Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - A member of the tibetana group. M. tenuispina most resembles Myrmica tibetana but differs from it by its much longer propodeal spines. Superficially, workers and queens of M. tenuispina are similar to the species of rubra or smythiesii species groups, but well differs from them by the shape of the frontal carinae that are strongly curved outwards in their anterior third, to form distinctive wide, subsquare frontal lobes; as a result the frons is relatively wide (FI is subequal to that of the species from rubra- or smythiesii- species groups) but FLI is distinctly larger ( > 1.25 vs. < 1.18). On the other hand, the males clearly differ from these groups by having a relatively short scape (SI1 < 0.40) (see also M. tibetana).

Keys including this Species


Tien-Shan, Alai, Pamir, NE Afghansistan

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: India.
Palaearctic Region: Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


This ant has been associated with a butterfly species that has recently been recognized as two distinct species: Polyommatus icarus and Polyommatus celin. Presently it is unclear if this association is between M. tenuispina and one or the other of these species, or both (Obregon et al. 2015).



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

  • tenuispina. Myrmica laevinodis var. tenuispina Ruzsky, 1905b: 670 (w.) UZBEKISTAN, TAJIKISTAN. [First available use of Myrmica rubra r. laevinodis var. tenuispina Forel, 1904b: 374; unavailable name.] Arnol'di, 1976a: 552 (m.); Radchenko & Elmes, 2002: 35 (q.). Raised to species: Arnol'di, 1976a: 551; Tarbinsky, 1976: 25. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 303.

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



Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - from a combination of the Latin words tenuis = thin or slender, and spina = thorn, to describe the shape of the propodeal spines.


  • Arnol'di, K. V. 1976a. Ants of the genus Myrmica Latr. from Central Asia and the southern Kazakstan. Zool. Zh. 55: 547-558 (page 552, queen described; page 551, Raised to species)
  • Forel, A. 1904c [1903]. Note sur les fourmis du Musée Zoologique de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences à St. Pétersbourg. Ezheg. Zool. Muz. 8: 368-388 (page 374, First available use of Myrmica rubra r. laevinodis var. tenuispina; unavailable name.)
  • Obregon, R., M. R. Shaw, J. Fernandez-Haeger, and D. Jordano. 2015. Parasitoid and ant interactions of some Iberian butterflies (Insecta: Lepidoptera). Shilap-Revista De Lepidopterologia. 43:439-454.
  • Radchenko, A. G.; Elmes, G. W. 2002. First descriptions of the sexual forms of seven Himalayan Myrmica species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Vestn. Zool. 36(5): 35-46 (page 35, queen described)
  • 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 670, worker described)
  • Seifert, B., Schltz, R., Ritz, M.S., Ritz, C.M. 2018. Cryptic species of the Myrmica tibetana complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) revealed by integrative taxonomy. Myrmecological News, 27: 93-110.
  • Tarbinsky, Y. S. 1976. The ants of Kirghizia. Frunze: Ilim, 217 pp. (page 25, Raised to species)