Myrmica curiosa

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Myrmica curiosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. curiosa
Binomial name
Myrmica curiosa
Radchenko, Zhou & Elmes, 2008

Myrmica curiosa P casent0900307.jpg

Myrmica curiosa D casent0900307.jpg

Specimen Label

Nothing is known about the biology of Myrmica curiosa.


Radchenko et al. (2008) - M. curiosa possesses many features that are intermediate between those of different species groups, and we cannot assign it to any of them. Its relatively large size, slender and long alitrunk and scape recall species of the ritae-group, but it clearly differs from them by its not-notched anterior clypeal margin, a much shorter petiolar node, not-pointed upper latero-ventral corners of the head, and rounded propodeal lobes. On the other hand, M. curiosa resembles species from the inezae-group by the shape of its petiole, but differs by its much shorter propodeal spines. In addition, in many respects it has some features found in several species of the rubra-group (e.g. shape of frontal lobes and clypeus, etc.). Moreover, the long, multi dentate, masticatory margin of mandibles, with more than ten teeth, is one of the diagnostic features of the sister genus – Manica. This feature distinguishes M. curiosa from all other known Myrmica species except for the Himalayan Myrmica hecate, from which it differs by having frontal carinae that curve outwards to merge with the rugae that surround antennal sockets (see also Radchenko and Elmes 2001b).

Keys including this Species


The species is known from the type series, collected in Hunan, Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces of China.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: China (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Males are unknown.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • curiosa. Myrmica curiosa Radchenko, Zhou & Elmes, in Radchenko, Zhou, et al. 2008: 769, figs. 1-10 (w.q.) CHINA. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 115.

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



Head distinctly longer than broad, with very weakly convex sides and occipital margin, and widely rounded occipital corners; anterior clypeal margin convex, neither prominent nor notched medially. Upper lateroventral corners of head narrowly rounded, not pointed (seen in profile). Mandibles with 11-13 small, uniform teeth (only apical and pre-apical ones are larger). Frontal carinae curved outwards to merge with coarse rugae, which surround antennal sockets; frons wide, frontal lobes not extended. Scape long, slender, distinctly longer than head width, gradually and very feebly curved at the base, without any trace of lobe or carina.

Alitrunk long and low, promesonotum slightly convex, with distinct promesonotal suture. Metanotal groove distinct, but shallow and wide. Propodcal lobes rounded apically. Propodeal spines of moderate length (somewhat longer in Sichuan specimens than in Hunan ones), straight and acute, inclined at about 45° (seen in profile). Petiole with distinct, quite long peduncle. Its anterior surface strongly concave, petiolar node with widely rounded dorsum. Postpetiole subglobular, its anterior and dorsal surfaces form a regular arch. Spurs of middle and hind tibiae usually well developed and pectinate, but sometimes partly reduced, rather short and simple.

Frons with many fine, distinctly divergent longitudinal rugae, rest of head dorsum with moderately fine reticulation; clypeus densely longitudinally rugulose, frontal triangle smooth. Mandibles densely longitudinally striate.

Alitrunk dorsum and sides of pronotum reticulute, mesopleurae and sides of prpoodeum with sinuous longitudinal rugosity. Petiolar node reticulate, postpetiole with longitudinally-concentric rugosity.

Whole surface between rugae smooth and shiny (except for punctate posterolateral parts of pronotum). Gaster smooth and shiny. Head margins, alitrunk dorsum and waist with numerous, quite long suberect hairs. Scape and tibiae with relatively long subdecumbent hairs. Sides of alitrunk and waist yellowish red, dorsum of head, alitrunk, petiole, postpetiole and gaster brownish red; appendages testaceus red.

Measurements (mm) and indices of workers (n= 3), data of the holotype are in parentheses: HL 1.34, 1.48 (1.48). HW 1.08, 1.21 (1.22), FW 0.51, 0.53 (0.54), FLW 0.54, 0.57 (0.58), SL 1.30, 1.46 (1.49), AL 2.04, 2.25 (2.30), HTL 1.20, 1.30 (1.34), PNW 0.81, 0.90 (0.91), PL 0.58, 0.62 (0.64), PW 0.29, 0.30 (0.31), PH 0.39, 0.40 (0.42), PPL 0.42, 0.44 (0.44), PPW 0.44, 0.46 (0.47), PPH 0.43, 0.44 (0.45), ESL 0.39, 0.48 (0.48). ESD 0.44, 0.51 (0 .49):

CI 1.22, 1.24 (1.21), FI 0.44, 0.47 (0.44), FLI 1.08, 1.08 (1.09), SI1 0.97, 0.99 (1.01), SI 2 1.20, 1.21 (1.22), PI1 1.51, 1.55 (1.52), PI2 0.51, 0.54 (0.52), PI3 0.25, 0.27 (0.25), PPI1 0.96, 1.03 (0.98), PPI2 0.95, 1.00 (0.96), PPI3 1.47, 1.57 (1.52), PPI4 0.36, 0.42 (0.39), ESLI 0.36, 0.40 (0.39), ESDI 1.06, 1.13 (1.62).


Generally similar to workers by the shape and sculpture of head, frontal lobes, propodeal spines and waist; mandibles with 12-13 teeth, spurs on middle and hind tibiae well developed pectinate. Whole alitrunk with not coarse longitudinal rugae, with only the pronotum reticulate. Dorsum of petiolar node coarsely transeversely rugose.

Measurements (mm) and indices of queens (n=2): HL 1.48-1.49, HW 1.10-1.28, FW 0.54, FLW 0.56-0.58, SL 1.32-1.35, AL 2.58-2.62, AH 1.46-1.56, SCW 1.13-1.28, SCL 1.78-1.94, HTL 1.24-1.32, PL 0.76-0.78, PW 0.39, PH 0.51, PPL 0.52-0.56, PPW 0.62, PPH 0.59-0.61, ESL 0.40-0.49, ESD 0.59-0.62, CI 1.16-1.25, FI 0.44-0.46, FLI 1.06-1.09, SI1 0.89-0.91, SI2 1.05-1.12, PI1 1.47-1.52, PI2 0.59-0.66, PI3 0.30-0.33, PPI1 0.85-0.94, PPI2 0.95-0.98, PPI3 1.58-1.61, PPI4 0.49-0.53, ESLI 0.31-0.41, ESDI 1.20-1.55, AI 1.68-1.77, SCI 1.52-1.56.

Type Material

Holotype, w, China, Sichuan Prov., Hailugou Nat. Park, 29°37'N, 102°05'E, 1700 m, 14x.SS, leg. C. Carpenter et N. J. Nordensten (HARVARD); paratypes: 1 W with the same label as the holotype; 1 w, China, Hunan Prov., Ba Da Gong Mountain, No.9, 15.x.2003, leg. J. Huang; 1 queen, China, Yunnan, Hobasan Mts., 2S00-3150 m, 5-13.vii.2002, 27°20'N, 100009'E, leg. S. Becvar and R. Fougue (KIEV, GUILIN, MILAN).


From the Latin word curiosa (f.) = curious, inquisitive, taken to describe the unusual combination of morphological features.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Chen Z. L., S. Y. Zhou, and J. H. Huang. 2016. Seven species new to science and one newly recorded species of the ant genus Myrmica Latreille, 1804 from China, with proposal of a new synonym (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). ZooKeys 551: 85–128.
  • Guénard B., and R. R. Dunn. 2012. A checklist of the ants of China. Zootaxa 3558: 1-77.
  • Radchenko A. G., and G. W. Elmes. 2010. Myrmica ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3. Warsaw: Natura Optima Dux Foundation, 790 pp.
  • Radchenko A., S. Zhou, G. W. Elmes, and F. Rigato. 2008. Seven new Myrmica species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from China. Annales Zoologici (Warsaw) 58: 767-784.