Leptothorax muscorum

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Leptothorax muscorum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Leptothorax
Species: L. muscorum
Binomial name
Leptothorax muscorum
(Nylander, 1846)

MCZ-ENT 001 Leptothorax muscorum hal.jpg

MCZ-ENT 001 Leptothorax muscorum had.jpg

Specimen Label

Synonyms

This species shows a preference for drier and warmer habitats (it does not inhabit bogs). In the mountains, it lives in meadows. Nests are built under small stones, under bark, in rotten wood, sometimes in litter. (Radchenko 2004)

At a Glance • Polygynous  • Tandem running  

 

Identification

Pale brown to brown with antennal clubs and head often slightly darker. Propodeal spines short but distinct. General appearance more slender than Leptothorax acervorum. Head striate, mesosoma rugose and gaster smooth. Appendage hairs few and adpressed. Clypeus in some Scandinavian series have a distinct median concavity as described for Leptothorax gredleri Mayr (Buschinger, 1966) but they are not otherwise different from the typical species. Length: 2.4-3.2 mm (Collingwood 1979).

Distribution

Appenines to Central Scandinavia and Pyrenees to Urals, not found in British Isles but common in continental Europe (Collingwood 1979).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland (type locality), France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine.

Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

In Scandinavia, this species is restricted to sheltered valleys in woodland areas where it nests in stony banks, tree stumps or under bark. Its habits are similar to those of L. acervorum with small colonies having one or occasionally two queens. Males and alate queens are found in July and August.

This species is a host for the slave-making species Harpagoxenus sublaevis.

Life History Traits

  • Queen number: polygynous (Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)
  • Mean colony size: 300 (Buschinger, 1966; Moglich et al., 1974; Beckers et al., 1989)
  • Foraging behaviour: tandem recruitment (Buschinger, 1966; Moglich et al., 1974; Beckers et al., 1989)

Castes

Worker

Queen

Male

Nomenclature

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

  • muscorum. Myrmica muscorum Nylander, 1846b: 1054 (w.q.m.) FINLAND.
    • Combination in Leptothorax: Mayr, 1855: 439.
    • Combination in L. (Mychothorax): Ruzsky, 1904a: 288.
    • Subspecies of acervorum: Forel, 1874: 84 (in key); Emery & Forel, 1879: 458; Ruzsky, 1896: 72; Escherich, 1917: 328 (in key); Soudek, 1922: 50.
    • Status as species: Foerster, 1850a: 59; Mayr, 1855: 439 (redescription); Nylander, 1856b: 90; Smith, F. 1858b: 118; Mayr, 1861: 58 (in key); Roger, 1863b: 26; Mayr, 1863: 427; André, 1874: 189 (in key); André, 1883a: 294 (in key); Nasonov, 1889: 31; Dalla Torre, 1893: 125; Emery, 1895c: 318; Wheeler, W.M. 1901b: 519; Ruzsky, 1902d: 21; Ruzsky, 1903c: 207; Ruzsky, 1905b: 616; Wasmann, 1906: 119 (in key); Bondroit, 1910: 497; Karavaiev, 1912b: 582; Stitz, 1914: 62; Forel, 1915d: 26 (in key); Karavaiev, 1916: 503; Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 511; Bondroit, 1918: 121; Bondroit, 1920a: 153; Müller, 1923b: 88 (in key); Emery, 1924d: 262; Menozzi, 1925d: 33; Lomnicki, 1928: 5; Karavaiev, 1931e: 212; Karavaiev, 1934: 145 (redescription); Novák & Sadil, 1941: 89 (in key); Novák, in Kratochvíl, Novák & Šnoflák, 1944: 112; Röszler, 1950: 225; Brown, 1955a: 47; Bernard, 1956a: 161; Buschinger, 1966b: 165; Francoeur & Béique, 1966: 142; Bernard, 1967: 200 (redescription); Pisarski, 1969a: 229; Pisarski, 1969b: 297; Dlussky & Pisarski, 1970: 86; Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 99; Pisarski, 1975: 23; Aktaç, 1977: 122; van Boven, 1977: 101; Kutter, 1977c: 130; Collingwood, 1978: 83 (in key); Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 543 (in key); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1978: 391; Collingwood, 1979: 72; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1397; Pisarski & Krzysztofiak, 1981: 157; Espadaler & Collingwood, 1982: 41; Allred, 1982: 484; Kupyanskaya, 1986b: 96; Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1986g: 53; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 273 (in key); Nilsson & Douwes, 1987: 60; Loiselle, et al. 1990: 323; Kupyanskaya, 1990: 139; Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 132; Arakelian, 1994: 55; Radchenko, 1994b: 111 (in key); Radchenko, 1994d: 147 (in key); Douwes, 1995: 89; Bolton, 1995b: 241; Radchenko, 1995a: 25; Czechowski, et al. 2002: 42; Mackay & Mackay, 2002: 129; Radchenko, 2004: 130; Coovert, 2005: 79; Seifert, 2007: 225; Radchenko, 2007: 31; Zryanin & Zryanina, 2007: 231; Casevitz-Weulersse & Galkowski, 2009: 488; Lapeva-Gjonova, et al. 2010: 20; Boer, 2010: 50; Legakis, 2011: 16; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2012: 510; Czechowski, et al. 2012: 132; Borowiec, L. 2014: 99; Radchenko, 2016: 210; Schar et al., 2018: 6.
    • Senior synonym of betulae: Radchenko, 1995a: 25; Radchenko, 2016: 210.
    • Senior synonym of fagi: Radchenko, 1995a: 25; Radchenko, 2016: 210.
    • Senior synonym of flavescens: Radchenko, 1995a: 25; Radchenko, 2016: 210.
    • Material of the unavailable name “uvicensis” referred here.
  • flavescens. Leptothorax muscorum var. flavescens Ruzsky, 1896: 72 (w.) RUSSIA. [First available use of Leptothorax acervorum subsp. muscorum var. flavescens Ruzsky, 1895: 26; unavailable name.] Subspecies of muscorum: Ruzsky, 1905b: 621. Junior synonym of muscorum: Radchenko, 1995a: 25.
  • betulae. Leptothorax muscorum var. betulae Ruzsky, 1916: 6 (w.) RUSSIA. Subspecies of muscorum: Ruzsky, 1936: 94. Junior synonym of muscorum: Radchenko, 1995a: 25.
  • fagi. Leptothorax (Mychothorax) muscorum var. fagi Ruzsky, 1905b: 619, fig. 151 (w.) CAUCASUS. Junior synonym of muscorum: Radchenko, 1995a: 25.

Description

Karyotype

  • n = 17, 2n = 34 (Canada; Germany; USA) (Buschinger et al., 1980; Fischer, 1987; Loiselle et al., 1990) (possible variation due B chromosomes).
  • n = 18, 2n = 36 (Canada; Germany; USA) (Fischer, 1987; Loiselle et al., 1990) (possible variation due B chromosomes).
  • n = 22, 2n = 44 (Canada; Germany; USA) (Fischer, 1987) (possible variation due B chromosomes).

References

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